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Signature Drinks for your Destination Wedding

Whether you’re serving them as cocktails or mocktails, a popular trend is to offer signature drinks during your reception that show off your unique personality and style as a couple. With drinks already being included at all inclusive resorts, this can also be a trendy and budget-friendly way to personalize your big day. We put together some of our favorite signature drink ideas for your destination wedding.

While planning Good Morning America contest winners Bobbie and Alonzo’s wedding, Jessica Mulroney stuck to this trend and the happy couple served custom “Love on the Beach” cocktails. Check out the latest issue of Wedding Vacations magazine to read more about their destination wedding at Royalton Punta Cana Resort and Casino.

Expert Tip: Make sure to print out ingredient lists (or bring this magazine along!) for the resort staff to follow and make sure to choose common ingredients that you can find at any bar.

Love on the Beach

  • 1 oz. vodka (for an alcoholic free alternative simply omit this ingredient)
  • 1 oz. peach schnapps
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 2 oz. orange juice

Mai-Tie the Knot

Mai-tais are a favorite tropical drink at all inclusive resorts and look adorable garnished with paper umbrellas in your color scheme.

  • 2 oz. white rum (for an alcoholic free alternative simply omit this ingredient)
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. orange juice or orange curacao liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine

Christine and Tyler’s Real Wedding, photographed by Monica Lopez Photography

Blushing Bride Bellini

This pink-hued cocktail offers a tropical twist on the traditional toast to the newly-married couple!

  • 1 oz. peach schnapps
  • 4 oz. sparkling wine or (for an alcohol free alternative) sparkling fruit juice

Say Yes Sangria 

This delicious fruity beverage is best made in large batches. We recommend incorporating tropical fruit that’s local to your destination.

  • 8 oz. orange juice
  • 8 oz. apple juice
  • 8 oz. club soda
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 16 oz. white wine, red wine or (for an alcohol free alternative) ginger ale
  • 1 cup assorted fresh fruit, sliced and with the peels left on
  • 2 cups ice

Mint to Be Mojito

Regardless of whether you’re saying “I do” in Cuba or another tropical destination, this ever-popular drink that originated in Havana is always a crowd pleaser.

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 oz. white rum or (for an alcohol free alternative) Sprite
  • 1 oz. club sda
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup ice

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Designing Bobbie and Alonzo’s wedding day look

By: Jessica Mulroney

Bobbie and Alonzo first got married in jeans in a park and went back to the work the next day so when I was dreaming up their wedding day look in Punta Cana, one thing I wanted it to be was picture-perfect. Their resort, Royalton Punta Cana Resort and Casino, sits on a dreamy white-sand beach in the Dominican Republic which made that pretty easy. I also wanted to make sure that all elements of the day reflected their personal style. Read on for my complete décor breakdown of Bobbie and Alonzo’s tropical celebrations.

CEREMONY SET UP

When we asked Bobbie and Alonzo what they were most looking forward to about travelling to Punta Cana, they both said the beach. So, when scoping out the ceremony locations at Royalton Punta Cana, the choice was simple. Set on the resort’s pristine white sands, the wooden altar of the beach gazebo has a gorgeous rustic simplicity, set off beautifully by the azure waves of the Caribbean. Bobbie had told me that she loved the color purple, especially in pastel shades, so I arranged for lilac rose petals to be scattered down the aisle.


I also wanted to ensure that both the bride’s preferred color and Bohemian style were integrated in the altar décor, so I chose asymmetrical arrangements of lush greenery with lilac, blush and ivory florals. I included a loosely draped cream-colored fabric to soften the wood structure and make the floral arrangements really pop. We placed gold geometric lanterns along the front posts of the gazebo and for the ceremony seating, I selected wooden cross back chairs to tie in to the rustic Bohemian vibe, complete with cream cushions.

 CEREMONY FLORALS

The purple theme was also included in Bobbie’s bouquet, which was a luscious arrangement featuring roses, lisianthus and limonium with mixed styles of greenery to add texture and volume. Alonzo’s boutonniere followed a similar style, featuring a mini succulent with greenery and a subtle lilac accent.

The altar arrangements and centrepieces were made using the same flowers, colors and textures to complement Bobbie’s breathtaking bouquet.

THEIR SIGNATURE COCKTAIL

It’s always important to me to include little signature details that reflect the personal taste of the couple. One of my favorite ways to do this is with a special cocktail to welcome guests to the reception. Bobbie told me her favorite drink to sip on is Love on the Beach – a mix of peach schnapps, vodka, orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice and an orange wedge garnish – so we ensured this was offered at the beach bar.

I also wanted guests to be able to toast to the bride and groom, so we created a champagne tower right at the entrance to the cocktail reception. To tie in a touch of purple into these set-ups we created some custom signage with a beautiful lilac water color motif, detailing the couple’s signature cocktail and a ‘Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs.’ sign.

SUNSET BEACH COCKTAIL HOUR

I wanted to create a chic set-up for Bobbie and Alonzo’s cocktail hour. We arranged high top tables surrounding the dance floor, with ivory chiffon linens tied with greenery at the leg, decorated with gold candle.

We also wanted guests to be comfortable and be able to dance the night away, so we added a rustic wooden basket decorated with greenery and filled it with comfortable flip flops.

While guests sipped on cocktails they were treated by a delicious butler passed selection of hors d’oeuvres including fried chicken taquitos and seafood ceviche. We also surprised the bride and groom with a live guitar trio, which was the perfect addition to set the scene for a romantic cocktail hour.

 RECEPTION SET UP

For Bobbie and Alonzo’s reception set-up, I planned an intimate oceanfront celebration beneath a wooden canopy loosely draped with cream organza. The canopy was also adorned with string lights and hanging terrariums with candles to create a romantic ambiance as guests dined. Since I truly believe that there is no such thing as too many candles, we also placed large geometric lanterns around each of the posts of the canopy as well.

To tie in the rustic elegance décor theme, we hung cascading arrangements of flowers and greenery along the entire length to create the illusion of a secret garden right there on the beach.

 TABLE SETTINGS

Nestled beneath the canopy was an exposed wood table with a cascading ivory chiffon table runner tied off with a satin ribbon.

To decorate it, we placed a lush green runner across the table and arranged a variety of geometric terrariums with succulents, candles and flowers in the shades of ivory, lilac and blush. The place settings included delicate crystal charger plates lined with gold plated flatware.

 MENU

Each place setting featured custom menu in a soft purple watercolor motif, a subtle pop of color as not to overpower the table décor that focused on candles and greenery. As a nod to the beautiful destination where they said, “I do”, we came up with an island-inspired menu which included a savory Saffron Seafood Cazuelita to start, a decadent Surf and Turf entrée and Baked Alaska as a final sweet treat.

To cap off the night they enjoyed a vanilla wedding cake with a lilac hued Chantilly icing, which their son picked himself during their tasting.

 

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Real Weddings Photo Contest

Want to be featured in the next issue of Wedding Vacations magazine and get the chance to win a trip for two to Riu Palace Peninsula in Cancun? Enter your favourite photos from your destination wedding into our Real Weddings Photo Contest and you could be one of the six couples featured in the glossy pages of our magazine. The grand prize winners will receive a trip for two to Riu Palace Peninsula.

About the Resort

Situated in the heart of Cancun’s popular resort area with a beautiful beachfront, the Riu Palace Peninsula offers well-rounded getaways for travellers of all ages. The hotel’s private beach area features free sun loungers and towels for guest use. Three adults-only villas offer exclusive amenities like a swimming pool with a chill-out terrace and concierge service.

For creative travellers, the RiuART atelier offers the opportunity to create art inspired by your tropical surroundings. Younger guests keep entertained with daily programming at the RiuLand kids’ club and a dedicated children’s swimming pool. A wide range of delicious cuisines are on offer like Japanese dishes, Italian favourites and authentic Mexican meals with a patisserie and ice cream parlour to keep sweet tooths satisfied.

How to Enter

Step 1: Submit up to 10 of your best destination wedding photos.

Step 2: Write a short description of your big day!

Step 3: Submit!

Click here to enter our Real Weddings Photo Contest!

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Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A

For our latest Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog, we talked to one of our Senior Destination Wedding Consultants, Seana Grasset. From the hottest photography trends for destination wedding photoshoots to typical destination wedding budgets, Seana had a lot to share! Read on to get the expert scoop on your most pressing destination wedding questions.

For more expert advice, check out our previous Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog.

Can you recommend any destination wedding-themed favors that I can give to my guests?

There are so many cute and creative favours that you can provide to your wedding guests. One of my favorites is a “Wedding Week Survival Kit” that includes vacation essentials like sunscreen, Advil, Aloe Vera, sun glasses, etc. We can arrange to have these adorable useful kits delivered to your guests’ rooms the night that they arrive, so they can be used throughout the week. It’s also fun to choose a wedding favor that reflects your unique destination. For example, if you are getting married in Mexico, personalized maracas are always a hit.

For couples who prefer to provide their guests with an experience, excursions are a great way to thank your guests for joining your celebrations. Booking an excursion for your group, such as a catamaran cruise, or an island adventure is a perfect way to explore your destination and make memories together during your destination wedding week. The planners at Wedding Vacations will be able to help you source the favors and excursions that will best fit what you are looking for!

Typically, what are the busiest months for destination weddings?

In my experience, November and April are the busiest months for destination weddings. November is popular because many people are eager to take a vacation to the tropics as the weather gets colder. April is also a great month to travel for destination weddings because the busy spring break months have just passed and its still peak season in many popular destinations across Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Hyatt Ziva Wedding by Monica Lopez Photography

What’s your favorite location to plan destination weddings?

My favourite location to plan a destination wedding is Mexico – especially Cancun and Los Cabos! Mexico has so many amazing resort venues that provide stunning wedding day backdrops and a wide selection of trusted local vendors available, meaning that we have a lot of flexibility in terms of creativity and bringing your wedding vision to life.

With that said, every destination is special and exciting to plan at in their own way, so no matter where you choose to have your wedding, your Destination Wedding Consultant from Wedding Vacations will help make your day one of a kind and incorporate the beauty of the location into it!

What are some popular photography trends for destination weddings?

The First Look photoshoot is a very popular choice among couples. This consists of a private photoshoot where couples see each other for the first time in an intimate setting prior to the ceremony. These photos always turn out very genuine and romantic and helps to relieve some of the nerves surrounding the ceremony, so couples can fully enjoy it.

A recent trend I’ve begun noticing is a sunset photo shoot the day after the wedding. Couples tend to be more relaxed after the wedding day and this results in beautiful and blissful newlywed shots. It is also a great way to professionally capture even more of the destination for wedding week memories that you can have and hold onto forever.

What’s a typical destination wedding budget?

In my experience, destination wedding budgets vary . The budget depends on your wedding destination, your décor and entertainment preferences, and your guestlist. It is important to note that regardless of your budget, your Destination Wedding Consultant will be there to work with you to ensure that you are in a comfortable place with your budget, without compromising your wedding day vision!

Looking for more advice? Check out our previous Ask the Wedding Planner blogs featuring advice from expert destination wedding planners Jessica and Emily.

Send us your destination wedding planning questions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by email at weddings@weddingvacations.com and we’ll select questions to include in our next Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog!

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Real Wedding: Yamila & Romulo

 Where it all started

Yamila and Romulo met through mutual friends while on a camping trip. The pair became friends first but as time passed they realized they had an undeniable romantic connection, and although they didn’t fall in love fast, they fell hard.

One evening after a romantic dinner date, Yamila and Romulo went back to his house. When she opened the door, Yamila was stunned to see the hall decorated with candles, rose petals and photos of their journey together. The decorations led to a room filled with roses and when Yamila turned around, Romulo as down on one knee holding a gorgeous engagement ring.

 Planning the wedding

Yamila and Romulo always knew they wanted to have a destination wedding. The couple loved the idea of having a small celebration with their nearest and dearest, plus they knew their friends would jump at the chance for a tropical getaway!

The couple decided to host their big day in Punta Cana, as it would be the perfect opportunity to experience their favorite destination with their family and friends, many of whom had never been there. Be Live Collection Punta Cana proved to be the ideal spot to host their week-long celebration in the sun as it offered upscale accommodations, delicious dining options and an incredible beachfront location.

 Day details

On November 15th, 2018, Yamila and Romulo started their forever in a beautiful church located near their resort. Romulo’s favorite part of the day was realizing all of his dreams were coming true as he watched Yamila walk down the aisle. Afterwards, the newlyweds and their guests celebrated with a lively reception at Mylos, the resort’s elegant Mediterranean restaurant.

Wedding Day Wear

Yamila’s gown: Princess gown

Yamila’s shoes: Rhinestone sandals

Yamila’s accessories: Headband, veil, bracelet and earrings

Romulo attire: Navy blue suit

Romulo accessories: Bow tie

Wedding bands: White gold

The bridesmaids wore: Soft pink sweetheart neckline dresses

The groomsmen wore: Navy blue suits

 

 Small details 

Flowers: Roses

Color scheme: White and silver

Hairstyle: Curls

Makeup style: Natural with a hint of glam

First dance: Juanes – Para tu amor

Invitations: Boarding pass invitations and luggage tag RSVPs

Welcome gifts: Bottle of rum with a thank you letter and an itinerary for the wedding day delivered to everyone’s room

 

Traditions

Old: Yamila decorated her bouquet with the rosary that her grandmother and mother used when they got married

New: Yamila’s head piece

Borrowed: Yamila’s heels

Blue: Yamila’s garter

 

 

Tips: “If possible, visit your resort prior to your wedding. Seeing your venues beforehand will give you peace of mind and help you choose décor to suit the space.”

 

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5 of our favorite honeymoon destinations

A tropical honeymoon is the best way to celebrate and appreciate one another after a big exciting wedding week in destination. From strolling along endless white-sand shores and sharing romantic candlelit dinners to embarking on exciting adventures together, there’s no better way to start your married life together than a honeymoon in the tropics.

Many couples who get married in destination, switch resorts and head on their honeymoon to a new tropical destination. To help inspire your post-wedding retreat, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite adults only resorts to visit on your honeymoon.

Stay in bucket list-worthy bungalows at Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma

You and your sweetheart can head on the honeymoon of your dreams at Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma. Set off the coast of Maroma Beach, this overwater oasis provides the ultimate romantic retreat with luxury bungalows set atop the Caribbean Sea where you can soak up the sun on your private terrace, complete with an infinity pool and a ladder leading into the Caribbean Sea. When the sun goes down, you can indulge in gourmet dining at the Overwater Grill and Wine Bar or elevate date night with a moonlight dinner on your private terrace.

Fall in love all over again at Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia

Boasting spectacular amenities and a serene atmosphere, Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia is the perfect spot to enjoy some much-needed relaxation with your new spouse after your wedding celebration. This elegant beachfront resort offers exclusive adults only areas including a postcard-worthy private beach with waiter service, a sparkling infinity pool and trendy bars and restaurants. Plus, you and your sweetheart can choose from an array of lavish accommodation options such as a private swim-out pool, rejuvenating terrace Jacuzzi or breathtaking views of Saint Lucia’s tropical coast.

Keep the post-wedding party going at CHIC Punta Cana 

Couples looking to celebrate their marriage in style will love CHIC Punta Cana’s famed party atmosphere. You and your spouse can look forward to unparalleled entertainment with lively themed pool parties hosted by a DJ and beach bashes on the coveted shores of Uvero Alto. This resort also has a trendy on-site nightclub, a casino and premium dining options such as Pescari specializing in sushi and ceviche. For an elevated experience, you can reserve stylish cabanas and sunbathe around an exclusive pool area while sipping cocktails brought to you by an attentive butler.

Embark on your first married adventure at Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica

Celebrate tying the knot at Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, an eco-oasis nestled in lush jungles on a pristine golden-sand beach. Couples craving an adventure can explore Costa Rica’s fascinating underwater landscapes with complimentary snorkeling or soar across the treetops and take in panoramic views of the Gulf of Papagayo with an action-packed zipline excursion. In the evenings, you can test your luck at the nearby casino or cuddle up with your loved one and watch a movie under the stars before retiring to well-appointed guestrooms.

Pamper your partner in paradise with beachside couples’ massages at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall 

Newlyweds will fall in love all over again at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. This upscale seaside sanctuary offers an impeccable beachfront location where you can stroll along endless white-sand shores or sunbathe beneath a palapa. Active duos can take advantage of complimentary water sports and try windsurfing across turquoise waters while those looking to relax can opt for soothing couples massages by the beach. After dining at one of the resorts delicious restaurants, couples can sip cocktails around a romantic oceanside fire pit and cheers to forever.

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First dance songs for every type of couple

Many couples choose a song that’s meaningful to them for their first dance – whether it’s the song that played on their first date, the soundtrack that accompanied their first kiss or a long-time favorite that makes them smile every time they hear it. If you don’t happen to have a special song of your own, or don’t know exactly which track to choose, we came up with a list of just a few of our favorite first dance songs for every type of couple – whether you’ve dreamed of a traditional slow waltz or want to surprise your guests with a choreographed routine.

No matter which song you choose, your first dance will be nothing short of magical with a tropical sunset and breathtaking beach as your backdrop.

For the traditional couple

Adventure Photos

These tried-and-true ballads are perfect for more traditional couples who want to stick to a swaying slow dance on the sparkling white-sand shores.

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley (1969)
  • All of Me – John Legend (2013)
  • At Last – Elta James (1960)
  • Make You Feel My Love – Adele (2008)

For a tropical twist: Is This Love – Bob Marley and The Wailers (1978)

Our resort pick: Nothing says classic beach wedding like a reception by the sea! Traditional couples can share their first dance on the pristine white sands of Punta Cana at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels and Resorts.

For the rock-n-roll couple

Romanza Photography

Rock star brides and grooms can take to the poolside dance floor with these rocking – but still wedding-appropriate – song picks.

  • I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith (1998)
  • Every Breath You Take – The Police (1983)
  • Wonderwall – Oasis (1995)
  • Everything I Do (I Do It for You) – Bryan Adams (1991)

For a tropical twist: Kokomo – The Beach Boys (1988)

Our resort pick: Rock-n-roll couples will love taking to the dance floor on the Sunset Terrace at the raving Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

For the party animal couple

Monica Lopez Photography

Want to surprise your guests with a fun choreographed routine under swaying palms? These upbeat tracks are perfect for couples looking to get the party started.

  • Crazy in Love – Beyoncé (2003)
  • Forever – Chris Brown (2007)
  • Happy – Pharrell (2013)
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (2016)

For a tropical twist: Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves (1983)

Our resort pick: Party-loving couples looking to dance til’ they drop can dance the night away on the Sky Terrace at the entertainment-themed Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica.

For the pop-loving couple

Elvira Glawatzki Photography

If you and your new bride and groom appreciate a good pop ballad, you’ll love these popular (and romantic) melodies that pair perfectly with tropical sunsets.

  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (2014)
  • Marry Me – Train (2009)
  • Anything Can Happen – Elie Goulding (2013)
  • I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys (1999)

For a tropical twist: Lucky – Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat (2008)

Our resort pick: Couples can sway to their favourite pop ballad under shimmering fairy lights at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. The coastal landscapes of Los Cabos provide a dreamy backdrop that’s worthy of a love song!

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Most popular destination wedding locations of 2019

There are countless reasons to tie the knot in a breathtaking tropical destination – from stretching a day’s celebration to an entire week of fun with your nearest and dearest to securing a breathtaking venue and the services of a professional destination wedding planner.

Choosing the ideal destination for your big day isn’t easy, that’s why we’ve put together a list of the most popular destination wedding locations of 2019 to inspire your wedding day vision! Read on to see the hottest spots that couples are heading to this year.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Nestled outside lively Cancun, Riviera Maya is a tranquil seaside sanctuary. Home to spectacular beaches lined with a wide selection of luxury, boutique and family-friendly resorts, this tropical paradise has something to suit all wedding styles; from glamorous receptions to intimate ceremonies and even authentic Mayan wedding ceremonies. Celebrate in style with your guests at one of Playa del Carmen’s famed nightclubs or treat your wedding party to a thrilling excursion rappelling into fascinating cenotes or exploring ancient Mayan ruins.

Where to stay: Wedding groups are indulging in luxury getaways at Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya by Karisma this year. Here, couples can toast to forever at an array of upscale à la carte restaurants and host a lavish reception at Blue, a delectable restaurant specializing in international and Mexican fare. Guests can enjoy pampering in paradise with a host of gourmet services such as attentive beach butlers, 24-hour room service and more.  

Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos’ perennially sunny weather, boasting nearly 360 days of sunshine each year, makes it a top choice for destination weddings year after year.  Couples can choose to walk down aisle on golden-sand shores or share their first married kiss on an elegant terrace overlooking legendary Los Cabos arch off the coast.  With a variety of nearby activities for a fun-filled wedding week, guests can tee off at world-class golf courses overlooking the coast of Cabo San Lucas, head on a thrilling ATV ride or embark on a romantic boat ride.

Where to stay: Set on the coveted coast of Cabo San Lucas, the recently opened Riu Palace Baja California offers awe-inspiring wedding venues and luxury amenities for an unforgettable destination wedding week. Those who prefer to unwind in paradise can achieve a wedding-worthy glow sunbathing by ocean-facing infinity pools while those looking to party can enjoy the legendary themed pool parties hosted next door! This new resort is sure to be a hit for wedding parties for many years to come.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Known for exquisite white-sand beaches dotted with picturesque palm trees, Punta Cana provides idyllic backdrops for tropical nuptials. This leading Dominican destination is known for its world-class golf courses, exceptional resorts and unparalleled natural beauty. Adventurous couples can channel their wedding week excitement into exploring Punta Cana’s impressive landscapes, from colorful coral reefs to verdant jungles.

Where to stay: Couples looking for a luxury wedding getaway can choose to host their celebrations at Majestic Mirage Punta Cana. Guests can relax in lavish one-bedroom suites complete with outdoor Jacuzzis or try out an array of resort-offered activities including windsurfing, snorkeling and catamaran rides across sparkling seas. Couples can choose from several picture-perfect wedding venues including the beach, a gorgeous wedding gazebo and an on-site chapel ideal for traditional ceremonies.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay offers laid-back getaways infused with vibrant Caribbean charm. Wedding groups will fall for the island’s warm and welcoming culture and can experience a range of activities to suit all travel styles, from relaxing on pristine beaches to hiking to the top of famed Blue Mountains and tasting local favorites such as rum and coffee. Couples can spice up their ceremony with Jamaican-flare with live reggae performances and gourmet meals featuring authentic flavors.

Where to stay: Royalton White Sands Montego Bay is an ideal destination for a luxurious wedding week to suit guests of all ages. Travelers can spend sunny days sipping tropical cocktails at the swim-up bar while younger guests cool off at the water park. With a variety of accommodation options catering to all types, guests can choose to stay in spacious family suites with a Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, elegant swim-out suites and more.

Antigua

Antigua is a dreamy destination wedding location with year-round sunshine and spectacular scenery. With 365 white-sand beaches wrapped around this picturesque island oasis, couples can host sun-kissed ceremonies against the backdrop of blue hued skies and seas. Wedding groups can choose to stay at an array of impeccable resorts or take advantage of the islands famed waters and sail along the coast or try an array of popular water sports.

Where to stay: Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa is brand-new resort set to open in 2019 on one of Antigua’s most coveted beachfronts. This opulent oasis is the first to offer Overwater Bungalows with direct access to the Caribbean Sea in Antigua and is sure to be a favorite for wedding couples for many years to come. Additionally, the resort features a tranquil spa offering an extensive menu of rejuvenating treatments including facials, massages and more to ensure couples have a stress-free wedding week and a beauty salon to assist with wedding day glam.   

Planning ahead? Stay tuned for info on the hottest wedding destinations for 2020 and 2021 coming soon.

Start planning your destination wedding today!
Contact a Destination Wedding Consultant at 1.800.739.8876 or by email for more info.

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Real Wedding: Ben & Karen


Where it all Started

Karen and Ben first met in their hometown of Ottawa when they were in high school. Years later, the couple reconnected and Ben asked Karen out; they went for a scenic drive downtown followed by a romantic skate on the Rideau Canal,  hot chocolate and Beaver Tails. Ben was stationed in Vancouver with the RCMP and Karen moved out to the west coast to be with him. It was on their first vacation together in Hawaii that Ben knew he wanted her to be a part of his life forever.

Romanza Photography

In July 2016, Ben arranged to be working on Parliament Hill in his RCMP Red Serge as part of the Canada Day celebrations and asked Karen to come meet him on the Hill. After letting his coworkers in on the secret and getting permission to propose anywhere on the Hill’s grounds, Ben took Karen and their families for a private tour of the famous Library of Parliament.

Romanza Photography

During the private tour, Ben took Karen up to the second floor. He told her how much she meant to him and that she had been an incredibly positive influence on his life – then, he pulled out a ring and nervously blurted out, “Will you marry me?!” Before Karen could even open her mouth to respond, Ben’s dad popped out from behind one of the bookshelves with a big grin on his face to take a celebratory photo – he thought she had already said yes! After some laughs, Ben’s dad left and Karen responded “YES!”

Planning the Wedding

Planning a wedding in Canada seemed like a lot of work, especially after the arrival of their first son. All their family lived in Ottawa while they were based in Vancouver and planning a wedding from across the country didn’t make sense. The couple decided on a destination wedding so they could spend an entire week with their friends and family from across Canada, in paradise.

Romanza Photography

Karen and Ben were the lucky grand prize winners of a dream destination wedding provided by Wedding Vacations by Sunwing and jeweller Maison Birks. As the grand prize winners, they received a destination wedding at Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Jamaica, their wedding day attire from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay and Hudson’s Bay Men, wedding jewellery from Maison Birks and more! The couple worked with one of Wedding Vacations destination wedding experts to plan their big day and they even flew into Toronto for a bride and groom styling session with Jessica Mulroney.

Day Details

On December 6, 2018, Karen and Ben exchanged their vows in front of 30 of their closest family and friends on the picturesque Sky Terrace at Royalton Negril. One of the couple’s favourite moments from the big day was Karen walking down the aisle with her dad towards Ben, with a radiant smile on her face.

Romanza Photography

After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with a private reception on the Sky Terrace, decorated in glamorous, romantic shades of pink and gold. They’re planning on taking a vacation with their son in the future for their honeymoon.

Wedding Day Wear

Romanza Photography

Karen’s dress: Mikaella Bridal from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay

Karen’s accessories: Birks Snowflake® Jacket Earrings and Birks Birks Rosée du Matin® White Gold and Diamond Bracelet

Karen’s shoes: Michael Kors

Ben’s attire: Zegna suit, Tiger of Sweden shirt and tie all from Hudson’s Bay Men

Ben’s accessories: Birks Challenger® Watch with Brown Leather Strap

Ben’s shoes: Canali

Wedding bands: Birks Deco™  Wedding Bands and Birks Deco™ Round Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

The bridesmaids wore: Long pink shiffon dresses with Birks Pétale® Yellow Gold and Diamond Stud Earrings and Pendant

The groomsmen wore: Grey suits with Birks Challenger® Watch with Black Leather Strap

Small Details

Romanza Photography

First dance: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Flowers: Pink roses

Photographer: Romanza Photography

Hair and makeup: Lindsay Scarfone with Pretty Me Makeup

Stationary and invitations: Paleterra

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Romanza Photography

Traditions: Memorial of pictures of those who passed and could not attend the wedding, with shots set up to do a toast in their memory

Old: Crochet flowers Karen’s grandmother used to knit, which were tied to her bouquet

New: Garter

Borrowed: Beautiful hair clip

Blue: Garter

Tips

Romanza Photography

“It’s possible to have a destination wedding and still get the same customization and personalization as a wedding back home. Give some thought as to how you want your day to look and start getting ready early. Also, bring items from home to incorporate in your reception and ceremony – be creative!”

Start planning your destination wedding today! Contact a destination wedding consultant at 1.800.739.8876 or by email for more info

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Planning the perfect bachelorette in paradise with Tessa Virtue

Between breaking Olympic records at Pyeongchang, appearing on The Ellen Show with her long-time skating partner, Scott Moir, and producing and starring in her cross-country Thank you Canada Tour, Tessa Virtue got together with Jessica Mulroney to plan her friend Allie’s bachelorette party. With relaxation and pampering in mind, Tessa and Jessica decided the perfect place to host her bachelorette party was in beautiful Mexico.


This past summer, the Wedding Vacations team and Jessica Mulroney jetted off to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where Tessa and her friends, Allie and Kat, enjoyed the ultimate bachelorette party at Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort and Spa.

Pick the perfect venue

Andrew Hiorth of MPSG Inc.

Adults only all inclusive resorts are the way to go. Everything is at your fingertips from gourmet dinners to poolside pina coladas! Tessa and her friends stayed at the adults only Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort and Spa in the Riviera Maya, which offered options for both relaxation and adventure.

Plan an excursion


It’s always fun to get out of the resort and explore your destination. There are many different types of Sunwing Experiences excursions for every type of bachelor or bachelorette party – from city tours to sunset catamaran rides and ziplining. Tessa and her friends explored lively downtown Playa del Carmen, where they strolled along Fifth Avenue, explored the local shops and art galleries, and stopped for coffee and snacks at an oceanside restaurant.

Set aside some time for R&R


Make sure to set aside some time for pampering and relaxing! Visit the resort spa for a massage or even just a manicure to help ease any pre-wedding day stress. Tessa and her friends all enjoyed relaxing massages at the resort’s outdoor spa; Tessa even participated in a unique Mayan treatment.

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