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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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Love by Design – Colin and Justin say “I do” take two!

When they’re not busy visiting spectacular Canadian cottages on their new docuseries, Great Canadian Cottages, or sharing their expert design tips and advice on popular daytime talk show, Cityline, you will find couple Colin and Justin relaxing at their home in Toronto or at their period house that they have lovingly restored in their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. For their ten year wedding anniversary this year, this design-duo couple decided to renew their vows with Wedding Vacations in sunny Mexico.

On a sunny day in November at the breathtaking Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Colin and Justin renewed their vows in a ceremony officiated by our contributing editor (and the couple’s close friend) Jessica Mulroney. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the couple re-professed their love for each other next to a picturesque waterfall in a private cove. We caught up with them afterwards where they told us all about their love story and why now was the perfect time for them to renew their vows.

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

 First things first – how did you two meet?

Justin: It was our first year at uni and we were both at a night club called Bennett’s. Our eyes met across the room as we were both laughing… and we’ve been together ever since!
Colin: And of course, when we first met in uni there weren’t any mobile phones…
Justin: Colin used to have to call me on the phone in the corridor of my dormitory. My dorm mates kept asking who the guy was that kept calling every ten minutes!

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

What was your first wedding like ten years ago?

Colin: Our first wedding was small and beautiful. It was on February 15th, 2008 at the Chelsea Register Office in London, near where we lived at the time.
Justin: It’s where Mick Jagger and Bianca got married, so it’s a glamorous place [laughs]. And of course, we chose February 15th because it was £60 cheaper than actual Valentine’s Day…
Colin: It was absolutely perfect; it was attended by our two closest friends in the whole world, Elaine and George Ponte. After the ceremony, the four of us went back to Justin and my’s apartment in Chelsea and popped a bottle of champagne.
Justin: Which is when our two friends told us that they were pregnant and we were going to be godparents!
Colin: So not only did we get married that day we also got the gift of our goddaughter, Tallulah. And two years later, another goddaughter, Jasmine! It was the happiest day.

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

Was a vow renewal something you had been thinking about doing for a while?

Justin: Yes! We’ve always said that we want to renew our vows every ten years and it was our ten year anniversary back in February.
Colin: We’ve just been so busy this year – in between filming Great Canadian Cottages on Cottage Life and all our travels, we had trouble finding time to get away!

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

Why did the two of you decide to have your vow renewal in Cancun?

Colin: We knew we wanted to have it somewhere warm. Cancun is perfect because it’s just a short four-hour flight with Sunwing from Toronto where we live.
Justin: Plus, we had heard from our friends who had been here recently how spectacular Hotel Xcaret Mexico is. We also read an article in Condé Nast Traveller about this resort and how it really redefines the concept of an all inclusive resort, so we knew we wanted to come here to exchange our vows!

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

 On this trip, you got to enjoy a romantic getaway at Hotel Xcaret Mexico. How was that?

Justin: It’s been so perfect. As designers, we’ve found everything about this resort so picture-perfect and so Instagrammable, so perfect for Pinterest. Riviera Maya is just such a great place to go to – and the weather has been fantastic, so much better than back home in Toronto, that’s for sure!
Colin: Yeah, Hotel Xcaret Mexico is just such an amazing resort. Sometimes you go to beautiful resorts and they can be all surface… you know, no substance. The staff here are magnificent. They really do look after you and go the extra mile and to us that makes a huge difference. And we went paragliding! Which is fantastic! We also want to try out the Sea Trek activity…
Justin: The sky’s the limit here. And why not – its our vow renewal after all!

Andrew Hiorth – FABLE Studios

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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 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 year 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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Behind the Scenes at Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Nestled in the lush landscapes of the Riviera Maya is Hotel Xcaret Mexico. This unique resort first opened its doors in 2017 and quickly became the hottest new spot for destination weddings and vow renewals in Mexico.

Andrew Hiorth- MPSG Weddings

For our recent cover shoot, the Wedding Vacations team travelled to Hotel Xcaret Mexico with cover stars Colin and Justin. The married celebrity designers enjoyed a romantic getaway at the resort and renewed their vows in a picturesque cove with a breathtaking vow renewal ceremony officiated by our contributing editor Jessica Mulroney.

Breathtaking Ceremony Spaces

Andrew Hiorth- MPSG Weddings

There are plenty of gorgeous places at the resort where you can host your destination wedding ceremony or vow renewal! Colin and Justin said “I do” for the second time in one of the resort’s private coves, which we decorated with lush greenery and romantic votive candles.

Magical Reception Venues

Colin and Justin hosted their vow renewal reception at the resort’s unique Las Cuevas restaurant. The magical venue is nestled in a series of manmade caverns and lit by flickering candles on the wall. After dinner, everyone kicked off their shoes and danced the night away on the beach-turned-dancefloor!

Spectacular Suites

The sprawling suites at Hotel Xcaret Mexico are split into different casas across the resort offering beautiful views of rivers, infinity pools or the ocean. Each room features a private balcony with a hammock, perfect for soaking in the view!

Download the latest issue of Wedding Vacations magazine to see more beautiful shots from our cover shoot at Hotel Xcaret Mexico.

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Destination Inspiration: Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica

As your Canadian destination wedding experts, we love being the first to bring you the scoop on some of the hottest new destination wedding locations and resorts – including the brand-new Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica! This luxury resort offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf of Papagayo with five-star service and amenities worthy of Hollywood’s hottest stars. Read on for the low-down on this gorgeous new wedding destination.

A-Lister Venues

Wedding Terrace

You can exchange your vows on the rooftop Wedding Terrace at Planet Hollywood, which offers sweeping views of the Gulf of Papagayo that will take your breath away. We recommend saying ‘I do’ at sunset – the changing colours of the sky over the distant mountaintops create a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony and your wedding photos! Of course, couples can also choose to host their ceremony on the beach with their toes in the sand.

Raving Receptions

Gusto Restaurant

After you’ve walked down the aisle, you and your sweetheart can move the party on to one of the resort’s chic restaurants for a semi-private reception. You can also choose to upgrade to a cocktail hour and fully-private reception in a location of your choosing!

Wedding Packages Fit for a Star

Planet Hollywood Spa

The PH Love wedding package includes everything you need to make your big day seamless. From a special VIP welcome for the happy couple to flowers for the bride and groom, your on-site wedding coordinator (and your Wedding Vacations planner back home!) will make sure your wedding is a tropical breeze.

Celeb-Worthy Suites

Bedroom in Director’s Suite

Spend your wedding week living like an A-lister in Planet Hollywood’s lavish suites. You and your guests can choose from a variety of accommodation options, ranging from Red Carpet Rooms to STAR Class Producer’s Suites that can sleep up to nine guests! All the suites offer extra-special amenities including Phabulous Beds™, 24-hour room service and available upgrades to Star Class™.

Contact one of our destination wedding specialists to start planning your big day at Planet Hollywood!

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Real Wedding: Samantha & Darren

Where it all Started

Samantha and Darren first met at a party when they were in university. She was immediately attracted to his smile and he thought she was beautiful – especially in the leopard-print sweatshirt she was wearing that night! The minute Darren walked through the doors at the party, Samantha thought “I’m going to marry this man.”

The proposal, which took place several years later, was nothing short of spectacular. While on a trip to British Columbia, Darren told Samantha they were going for a nice lunch. However instead of pulling up to a restaurant, Darren drove them to a helicopter pad! Samantha was terrified of heights but realized that there might be a proposal in the works, so she sucked up her fears and climbed on board.

After a stunning ride over the Rocky Mountains, the helicopter landed by a beautiful riverbank for a picnic lunch. Darren led Samantha over to a sunny spot by the water, where he got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him… of course, her answer was a resounding ‘yes’!

Planning the Wedding

Samantha and Darren knew from the start that they wanted a destination wedding. They didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on just one night. They wanted to enjoy an entire wedding week full of making memories with their friends and family.

They chose Mexico as their wedding destination because they had been there before and loved the food and top-notch service. Several of their friends had gotten married at Royalton Riviera Cancun and loved it. Plus, there were plenty of activities for all their guests, a wide selection of restaurants and a gorgeous Sky Terrace where they could have their ceremony.

Day Details

On May 7th, 2018, Samantha and Darren exchanged their vows on the Sky Terrace at Royalton Riviera Cancun in front of 77 of their closest family and friends. Samantha walked down the aisle in a form-fitting fit and flare lace dress with a sweetheart neckline, while Darren stood waiting for her in a royal blue suit that matched the sparkling ocean behind them.

After their picture-perfect ceremony on the Sky Terrace, everyone moved to the casino for the couple’s rustic-meets-romantic-glam reception. Samantha’s favourite moment of the big day was when they walked into the reception and were announced as husband and wife for the first time. Darren’s favourite moment of the day was his excitement to see Samantha walk down the aisle.

Samantha’s big day was made even more special as her bridesmaid Seana (first from right of the bride), was also her Wedding Vacations destination wedding planner! It was so special for Samantha to have her friend by her side throughout the entire process and on her big day. For their honeymoon, Samantha and Darren plan on hiking through Peru.

Wedding Day Wear

Samantha’s Dress: Fit and flare lace dress

Samantha’s Shoes: Blinged-out white heels

Samantha’s Accessories: Finger-length lace veil and jewelled belt

Darren’s Suit: Custom royal blue suit with a thin tropical-print tie

Darren’s Shoes:  Brown weathered dress shoes

Darren’s Accessories: Matching brown belt and a blue and brown watch

The Bridesmaids Wore: Long, light pink dresses with a halter neckline and open bar

The Groomsmen Wore: Matching royal blue suits with tropical-print ties

Samantha’s Ring: Canadian made, vintage-style ring with a leaf detail

Darren’s Ring: Viking-style band with hammered silver pattern

Small Details

Flowers: Blush pink roses, baby’s breath and succulents

Photographer: Romanza Photography

Hair and makeup: The Royal Spa

First dance: Sure Thing – Miguel

Wedding Favours: Candy bag full of assorted treats

Tips for Brides and Grooms

Don’t sweat the small stuff! Enjoy the moment and be happy that you are marrying the love of your life, because that’s what it’s all about.

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

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