Romantic Resorts: Royalton Saint Lucia

Resort Overview

Exciting news! Newly-engaged couples looking to bring their guests somewhere completely new for their destination wedding have a luxurious option as of February 2017: Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa. Saint (or St.) Lucia is known for romance, but this is one of the only new builds on this lush island and one of the only resorts with a modern look and feel.

The location looks just like a postcard— the resort sits in a private cove surrounded by rolling green hills on either side. Perfect for photos (or Instagram, or Snapchats. We don’t judge.) the resort’s delightful tropical decor and elegant design is around every corner. The entrance alone features a welcoming open concept with contemporary fountains and an incredible view of the ocean. Wedding party photo location? Check.

For when you start tackling your guest list, the resort has separate sections that might make your job a little easier. This is one of the only locations in Saint Lucia where couples can stay in an adults only area (Hideaway) while guests with kids can stay in the main section of the resort. A pirate-themed splash park will make sure the flower girl and ring bearer have as much fun on their wedding vacation as the adults.

Our Favourite Wedding Venues

Sky Terrace

While the idea of wedding crashers makes an excellent movie, in reality, those unwanted resort guests wandering in during the best man speech isn’t quite as entertaining. This is just one of the many perks of hosting your wedding at the Sky Terrace. Located above the Grazie Italian restaurant, this private terrace is designed with stunning architecture and a view that will allow your guests (and photographer, let’s be real) an uninterrupted view of the sunset.

This venue offers an exclusive feel and private bar so your guests can get the perfect cocktail without a long walk or lineup. New for Royalton Resorts, this sky terrace’s location allows for plated meals as opposed to buffet-style dinners. Embracing the latest trends, late night snack add-ons include items popular on Pinterest including gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and mini burgers.

Beautiful Beaches

Beaches and destination weddings go hand-in-hand, and with Royalton Saint Lucia’s beautiful setting this option is a no-brainer. Perfect for intimate or boho weddings, this venue option can be as laid back or glammed up as you like. Aisle runners, seat décor, and extra flowers can all be arranged (extra costs may apply some extras are included depending on your package) by your destination wedding planner.

The Inside Scoop:

  • There are multiple ceremony options available including symbolic, Hindu, Jewish and Catholic.
  • The on-site Royal Spa has a bridal suite for the bride and bridesmaid’s hair and makeup appointments the day of the wedding.
  • If you want to check out the resort before you make your final call, the bride and groom can get 3 nights back on the bridal suite if you book the wedding after your site visit.
  • Cx Culinary Experience is perfect activity for small groups and features multiple gourmet courses with wine and beverage pairings. We love this experience for a rehearsal dinner or special treat for the wedding party and parents. This is not included in the resort’s all-inclusive experience and requires an extra cost.
  • The bride and groom can book a private cabana the day after the wedding where they can order private breakfast and spend the day relaxing after the “I do”.

Your destination wedding planner can help you arrange any of the details above and provide you with package details for weddings at this resort. Call 1.800.739.8876 or email for more info.

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Real Wedding Photo Contest Winners: Ashley and David

Volume 6 Issue Congratulations to Ashley and David on winning our Destination Weddings Photo Contest from Volume 6 Issue 1.

Where it All Started

New Year’s is often a time of new resolutions and beginnings. For Ashley and David, it was the setting for their meeting and a budding relationship. Both quickly fell head-over-heels for one another, with David’s kind nature and Ashley’s fun-loving personality being some of their most favourite qualities of each other. It wasn’t long before David asked Ashley out, and they went out for a nice dinner followed by a romantic stroll along the lakeshore for their first date.

Both travel enthusiasts quickly realized they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together—Ashley not being able to think of a single day where David wasn’t kind and sweet to her, and David missing Ashley immensely whenever they were apart. So one evening when Ashley was working late, David expertly put together his proposal. Tired after a long day’s work, Ashley was surprised to come home and find rose petals and candles trailing upstairs to their living room, where David wrote, “Will you marry me?” with beautiful roses. Ecstatic, Ashley happily said yes and the newly-engaged couple celebrated with a delicious meal that David prepared—and champagne of course.


Planning the Wedding


As the both shared a love for travel, David and Ashley knew a destination wedding would be perfect for them. Plus, they thought it would also be great for their friends and family to share their love and joy, and have an unforgettable time together in a tropical destination. Previously, David had vacationed in Mexico and raved about the destination to Ashley and so they decided to get married on the stunning white sands of Royalton Riviera Cancun in Mexico.

Day Details

Every moment leading up to their special day was perfect. Many find wedding planning to be stressful as there are so many things to take into account, but Ashley and David enjoyed every minute of it since Royalton’s wedding planners and staff treated the pair like royalty. The expert staff arranged everything from the ceremony location, to the food and stunning decorations. The couple were even upgraded to a beautiful suite overlooking the ocean—even more romantic as the sun begins to set!

On February 28, 2015, the rooftop sky terrace on top of the resort’s Hideaway section was beautifully decorated in a glamorous-meets-rustic-bohemian style, with ocean blue and ivory decorations and simple white flowers with pink-rose accents. Dressed in an ivory taffeta gown with a beaded bodice and Tiffany-blue suede pumps, Ashley happily looked onto David as she strode down the aisle, her neatly pulled-back curls gently rustling in the ocean air. David too gazed back lovingly at his gorgeous bride.


Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: Ashley’s grandmother’s handkerchief—passed down as a family tradition.

New: A bracelet.

Borrowed: Jewelry.

Blue: The garter.

Wedding day wear

Ashley’s gown: Ivory taffeta gown with a sweetheart neckline, beaded bodice, and corset back.

Ashley’s shoes: Tiffany blue suede pumps.

Ashley’s accessories: Hairpiece and faux crystal earrings and bracelet.

David’s attire: Linen pants, blue and white dress shirt.

The bridesmaids wore: Tiffany blue gowns.

The groomsmen wore: Blue shirts with linen pants.

Wedding bands: Tungsten ring, double halo princess cut, with double jacket.

Small details

Flowers: Bloom Bridal.

Hair and makeup: As a makeup artist and owner of Pohanka Makeup Artistry, Ashley did her own makeup just the way she envisioned: classic bridal look, using rose gold and soft plums, individual lashes and winged liner, contoured cheeks with bronzy glow—accented with a soft pink lip stain. Hair was styled in beachy curls, slightly pulled back with hairpiece and veil.

Photographer: Stefania Giordano.

Stationary and invitations: Online via email.

First Dance: I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice.

Favours: Shot glasses with date and location printed on it.

Want to be featured in the next issue or on our blog? Our contest is now open click here to enter. For French (Quebec entrants) click here.

Tips for other brides and grooms

“Research your resort, don’t sweat the small stuff, relax, and enjoy every second of your day.”

“Don’t worry about others opinions! Do your wedding the way you want and you will be much happier in the end.”

“Take as many pictures as you can! You will love looking back on the memories.”

 As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Ashley and David will be treated to a romantic getaway at the Riu Palace Pacifico in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.










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Inside the Latest Issue of Wedding Vacations

We’re so excited to announce that the latest edition of our magazine is now available for download. (You can also pick up a copy in any leading travel agency, or look out for it inserted in the spring/summer edition of Today’s Bride that hits newsstands early January.) From following The Bachelorette Canada’s ups and downs throughout her adventure in Cuba, to the glamorous interior of Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay, this issue offers brides-to-be plenty of destination wedding inspiration. For those who want to learn all the details of Jasmine’s stay at Royalton Hicacos can read all about how this resort helped create romance while our in-destination experts NexusTours helped create the Fantasy Dates.

For brides-to-be trying to determine which dress will eventually be ‘the one.’ Jessica Mulroney returns with a selection of six inspiration-worthy gowns from Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay.

This is the perfect issue to just leave open for your significant other, with an exciting article about proposing in unique destinations like cenotes, waterfalls, or in atmospheric restaurants in Old Havana. Whether they get the hint or not these sites make for perfect couples excursions on your next getaway.


Our trending section includes a fun quiz for what your flower choices say about your relationship, plus tips on what to put in welcome tote-bags for wedding guests. No matter which stage of the wedding planning process you’re at this issue has helpful tips and inspiration to help you reach the big day.


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6 Fashion Forward Gowns for Destination Weddings

Walking into Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay, the Wedding Vacations by Sunwing’s team is greeted warmly by our contributing editor Jessica Mulroney and a sea of dazzling wedding gowns. The other floors of Hudson’s Bay’s flagship store on Queen Street are decorated in the holiday spirit, Christmas windows included, but the heavenly glow of Kleinfeld on the seventh floor is a world unto its own.

As we walk through the store Jessica’s excitement is infectious and the selection of dresses she has to share with this issue’s readers are even more stunning in person. Our favourite part of the line-up is the vast range of styles she’s chosen. There’s something for every bride: from whimsical and modern to super sultry, every personal taste is reflected. After our model Mackenzie finished hair and makeup with fellow experts Rachel Renna and Ryan Dowell the transformation truly started with a dramatic looking eye, a classic lip, and soft, romantic waves

1. Glittering Lace Romance

Featuring an elegant mermaid shape, Jessica picked this stunning LOVE by Pnina Tornai for Kleinfeld gown because the shapes in the lace detailing reminded her of “tiny, glittering starfish.” The shape skims the figure and pools into a lovely, circular chapel-length train. For a touch of drama, the dress features a plunging neckline, cap sleeves and sexy keyhole back trimmed in cut-out lace shapes. With a romantic drape and all-over sparkle this dress is reminiscent of a mythical mermaid washed ashore.

2. Macramé Magic


Embracing a bohemian look in a sweet yet sexy way, this Oscar de la Renta gown combines a laid-back column shape with sweet and sexy lace look. Sheer from the upper thigh down, this dress is perfect for a beach ceremony or photos on the sand after the ceremony. Giving the dress a sophisticated option, the dress has lacy self-tie straps that can be tucked in or left out for extra modesty.

3. Silky and Sultry

Another mermaid silhouette gown, this pick by Ines Di Santo is perfect for brides looking to show a little (okay, or a lot of) skin in destination. Featuring an illusion front with elaborate lace, the neckline dips low for a daring statement. The back features a dramatic keyhole and illusion back finished with buttons that trace along the spine. Finished with a sweeping chapel-length train this gown embraces the sheer trend that’s still growing strong, while keeping a romantic silhouette.

4. Retro Inspired Sheath

This figure-hugging sheath gown by Sottero and Midgley is perfect for a beach-loving bride. With a timeless shape, this gown features spaghetti straps and V-neckline accented with subtle beading. The lace pattern creates a striking, vintage-looking pattern that flows across the form and finished with a dramatic illusion back with buttons. An easy to manoeuvre sweep-length train makes this effortless gown perfect for dancing the night away or walking across the sand to your partner-to-be. Our editors loved this gown as the circular lace shapes reminded us faintly of sand dollars.

5. Girly Stripes

Ultra-modern but with a classic romantic shape this Hayley Paige gown features a ballgown silhouette in a sweet organza. The bodice features a ballet-inspired plunging neckline with illusion cut-outs below the arm and simple ribbon sash. A U-shaped back is accented with cut-out detailing which flows into a dramatic, full-skirt. The stripe detail designed in a tonal hue so this sweet detailing also adds a slight sheen.

6. Soft Pink Blossoms

Featuring a soft petal pink hue this embroidered organza gown by Rivini adds a little extra princess feel to your destination wedding. The illusion keyhole back is finished with embroidered floral details that have a slight shimmer, perfect for catching tropical sunshine. The chapel length train is perfect for brides looking for a little bit of drama, while the front bodice dips almost to the waistline for a statement-making entrance.




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Top 10 Resorts for Romance

With the finale of The Bachelorette Canada airing this week we can’t wait to see who Jasmine’s final pick is. While she was getting swept away in the romance at Royalton Hicacos and exploring Cuba on two very different (yet equally spectacular!) fantasy dates, we couldn’t help but get a bit of romance-travel-envy ourselves. If you’re looking to create a vacation filled with golden sunsets, beach dinners, and perfect rooms for an evening in, check out our top ten picks for romantic resorts.

1. Royalton Hicacos Resort and Spa


Where better to start than the Royalton resort that enchanted us all on The Bachelorette Canada? Located along the beautiful, white-sand beaches of Varadero, this adults only resort has a tranquil atmosphere perfect for couples. Spend some time with your honey at the on-site spa relaxing with a couples Swedish massage, or enjoy unlimited à la carte dining so every meal feels like a special occasion. Recreate a Fantasy Date with a catamaran ride or try paddle boarding. Tempted by a sunset dinner like the one Jasmine and Mikhel had on Cayo Blanco? The resort can make it happen right here on the beach.

2. Chic Punta Cana


Perfect for couples looking for a glamorous vacation with plenty of exciting activities, this adults only Dominican Republic resort features heavenly indulgences, a “Just Us” couples package for romantic extras, and luxurious accommodations. Relax in elegant poolside cabanas and take some silly photos in the mermaid pool. With special events throughout the week including live bands, dance parties, retro nights and beach parties, couples will stay entertained around the clock.

3. Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia









Opening this January, this all-new resort in stunning St Lucia promises to offer couples an adults only paradise that is perfect for couples who want to relax or explore this fascinating island. Situated along a lush coastline this resort will let you experience the best of the landscape with yoga classes on the beach, or snorkelling. With Royalton luxuries such as unlimited à la carte dining plus a ‘Romance Package’ for dinners on the beach, this resort will delight couples looking for romance and a chance to see the famous Pitons.

4. Riu Reggae

Part of the Signature Collection available through Sunwing Vacations


Newly opened, Riu Reggae is the second adults only resort to be situated in the ‘Land of All Right’. Part of the Signature Collection the new adults only Riu Reggae in Montego Bay offers an idyllic location to unwind together. Swim away the hours in the infinity pools, enjoy the beachfront location, and dine in gourmet restaurants. With access to the neighbouring Riu Montego Bay resort, couples can also dance the night away at the nightclub.

5. Riu Palace St. Martin

Part of the Signature Collection available through Sunwing Vacations


Nestled in a hidden bay on the French side of St Maarten, Riu Palace St Martin is an oasis that lends itself to romantic vacations. This boutique style property is situated on a secluded golden-sand beach while the on-site spa offers relaxing treatments perfect for two. Watch the waves roll in from the infinity pool overlooking the beach and enjoy varied gourmet dining options. A favourite is La Mer, a French restaurant with a lovely terrace right on the beach

6. Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa

Part of Sunwing’s Relax Resorts™

Jewel Dunns River Beach Resort - Dive In Movie

Offering couples an excellent beach and location near all the attractions of Ocho Rios, this Jamaica resort is perfect for couples who want to explore. With opportunities to dine under the stars or watch movies from the pool with ‘Dive-In Movies’, it’ll be hard to top date nights like these when you’re home again. An ideal location for active couples, there’s a host of land and water sports on offer, plus unlimited green fees at the nearby Championship golf course.

7. Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort and Spa

Part of Sunwing’s Relax Resorts™


Located in the Riviera Maya, this resort features a beautiful beachfront location with crystalline pools, a serene spa, and a range of elegant à la carte restaurants. Couples can have a soothing steam in the sauna, visit the driving range, or dance the night away at La Salsa nightclub. Relax on Bali beds or cabanas on the beach, and at the end of the night cozy up in your suite with comfortable features and modern décor.

8. The Lodge Pico Bonito

Pico Bonito

For couples wanting an “off the beaten path” feel to a romantic getaway this jungle lodge has won itself a spot on National Geographic Traveler’s Top 50 Eco-lodges of the World. Featuring intimate, cabin-style accommodations with private patios, the lodge is great for wilderness loving couples as it is surrounded by rainforest views, waterfalls, and beautiful tropical birds. Embark on guided tours, visit a butterfly nursery, or try river rafting nearby.

9. Royalton Cayo Santa Maria


Situated on the impeccable beaches of Cuba’s Cayo Santa Maria, this resort has been rated the #1 All Inclusive Resort in the area by TripAdvisor®. Couples will love the adults only atmosphere and serene environment with unlimited à la carte dining, dedicated butler service, and relaxing rain showers.  Activities such as catamaran rides or Hobie cat sailing make this resort is perfect for couples looking to make the most of the beach together.

10. Dreams Las Mareas


Combining luxury with the lush scenery of Costa Rica, Dreams Las Mareas is perfect for couples who want to spend an evening relaxing in their patio Jacuzzi while tropical birds and butterflies dance in the trees. The resort has a spacious adults only pool section while the beach offers activities like kayaking and boogie boarding. With options for romantic meals on the beach, an on-site spa, and excursions like ziplining and hot springs nearby, this resort is perfect for couples who want to experience a little eco-adventure.

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Gifts for Groomsmen and the Experience at Gotstyle

Accessories are the gift that keeps on giving

Just as a good suit is a great investment, dapper accessories are just as key for your groomsmen’s look for the wedding day. Where better for us to find a little inspiration than while we were at the Gotstyle Bathurst store which was filled with gentlemen-worthy goodies that could be used for the big day and many days after. Whether you give a pocket square to be worn for the wedding or grooming products that can be used daily, a little gift for those joining you in destination is never a bad idea.


If a few or all of you visited the store to pick out your suits, why not commemorate a successful shopping experience with flasks wrapped in a leather sleeve. Perfect for tucking away into an inner jacket pocket, these will likely be used multiple times.


Freshen Up

Consider unique grooming products for the guys as a way to feel fresh and rejuvenated in destination, these organic shave balms and styling creams by H by Hackwell are made with ingredients like citrus and fennel for a spa-like treat for the face.


Carry-On Ready

Create a stylish care-package that’s perfect for carry-on luggage all packed in a leather travel case. We loved this Carry On Cocktail Kit, compass-themed cufflinks, and handy handkerchiefs perfect for beach photos in the sun.


Square Off

The pocket square to groomsmen is what earrings are for a bridesmaids—the wedding day attire isn’t quite complete without this finishing touch. Give your groomsmen different squares in similar hues for a unique but cohesive look.


Perfect Packs

They’re going to need one to get to the destination so help your guy squad along with a sporty and versatile carry on or backpack in leather or a case with wheels.


Lapel Love<

Show those perfectly cut lapels off with a vibrant floral shaped lapel pin, better than a floral boutonniere these accessories won’t ever wither.


Pop of Colour

Another way to help your groomsmen stand out, these cool laces by Stolen Riches feature quirky names and stylish silver-toned aglets for a polished tip.


Tied with a Bow

Well, preferably a Windsor knot, but a tie is a groomsmen gift classic that’s practical and thoughtful. It’s always difficult to try and match a colour perfectly so take out the guess work and give a tie instead.


Slip on or Lace Up

The trend of brides paying for their girls’ shoes is growing trend and the guys can adapt this too, a pair of penny loafers or brogues are also excellent ideas for your father and in-law.


Show Your Support

Dare to show off vivid patterns or choose to go classic, a finely-crafted belt is another gift your groomsmen can re-use daily.


The Gift of Grooming

For those who would rather pay for an experience together stop into the store for a royal shave, clean up, head shave or even hair colour, to ensure everyone looks their best for all the photos to come.





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Real Weddings Winners: Shalini and David

Where it all Started

The night Shalini and David met, Shalini was in the middle of a running joke with her friend who introduced the two.  She had decided, for the sake of her friend’s birthday, to go the whole night speaking in a fake accent (which always made her friends laugh) and yet would seem convincing to strangers.  When she and David were introduced, Shalini kept up the charade and while David didn’t fall for her party trick, it at least got him to fall for her. They went without seeing each other again for a few months until a Halloween party brought them together once more.

For their first date, David cooked Shalini an amazing steak dinner at his place and Shalini brought her dog along to test his character. Luckily he won them both over with ease, and the couple has been inseparable ever since.


Shalini and David were the winners of the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest from Volume 06 Issue 1. The two won a romantic trip to Memories Varadero. Scroll to the bottom of the page to enter the latest contest.


Planning the Wedding

Both Shalini and David always knew they wanted a destination wedding from the very beginning. Since David is from the USA and Shalini is from Canada, the couple hadn’t had the chance to get their friends and families to connect yet and they knew a destination wedding could help break the ice. They wanted a chance for their families and friends to be together for more than just one day and have an excellent vacation at the same time.

Shalini and David selected the Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa for their 65 guests. This luxurious resort was the perfect option for all their guests while a private beach club off-site offered the intimacy and flexibility they were looking for in their celebration.

By the end of the destination retreat, the guests had gotten the chance to spend time together during both ceremonies and the reception and it brought them all that much closer and feeling like one big family. It was exactly what Shalini and David had wished for and they wouldn’t have had it any other way.



Day Details

The wedding day consisted of two celebrations: a Hindu ceremony and a symbolic beach wedding the next day where Shalini and David were married by a friend. The resort hosted many of the Hindu elements of the wedding including a henna Party, a prayer service and a welcome dinner. The beach club and ceremony was a secret event that celebrated their love for travel and each other.


The couple poured details into as much of the wedding as possible, making the day they tied the knot more personal and special for their guests. Shalini made almost everything for the wedding, from decorations to welcome bags and even ‘Team Bride’ and ‘Team Groom’ shirts for the guests. They kept all the elements travel themed because of how much time the couple spent together exploring different cities around the world and it let the guests learn more about them and the places they’ve been.


The programs for the guests were actually fans, made by Shalini, which were decorated with details about the two different ceremonies. She wanted the guests to know what was happening during the Hindu ceremony to let them feel included and understand the significance of each moment.


The seating chart was arranged using city names as table numbers complete with photographs of the couple in each location in the centre. Instead of seating cards, guests received rustic bronze compasses that had their name and the city. For the guestbook, Shalini hand painted a globe in white and rose gold to have the guests sign with wishes and hopes for the couple on their new journey together.




Wedding Day Wear

Shalini’s gown:Custom-made ivory lace dress with an illusion neckline and open back.

Shalini’s shoes: Customized pink Converse sneakers with the couple’s names on one shoe and the wedding date on the other.

Shalini’s accessories: Crystal and pearl drop earrings as well as a white gold Pandora bracelet with wedding charms that the groom gave to her before the ceremony.

David’s attire: All the groom’s wear was custom-made in India, he wore light grey pants, a light grey vest with a white linen shirt.

David’s accessories: The groom had a coral tie as well as white Converse personalized with the wedding date.

Bridesmaid dresses: For the beach ceremony the bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses in different pastel colors and had matching parasols.

Groomsmen’s attire: The men wore custom-made grey linen pants with white linen shirts, with grey suspenders and different coloured pastel bowties to match the bridesmaids.

Small Details

Flowers: Custom-made during one of the bride’s trips to China, they were various pastel coloured flowers.

Photographer: Revos Photos.

First Dance: Jeena by Atif Aslam.

Since the wedding was multicultural, the couple wanted to include Hindu wedding traditions in destination.  On the beach, they had a henna party with colourful pillows and paper lanterns. A Punta Cana artist and some friends of the bride gave guests beautiful and intricate henna designs including Shalini’s henna designs on her hands and feet. The couple also held a Choora ceremony where prayers are said for the bride and her family gave her traditional bracelets to wear for six months. The last ceremony that the couple took part in is called a butna. The wedding guests put a pasty mixture made with turmeric all over the bride and groom to cleanse and beautify them in time for their wedding.


Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: The bride’s earrings.

New: The bride’s garter.

Borrowed: The veil was borrowed from one of the bride’s closest friends.

Blue: The bride’s Indian wedding dress.



Tips for Brides and Grooms

  • “Prepare for the unexpected”
  • “Remind yourself ahead of time that some things may not go as planned but at the end of the day you are marrying your best friend and that is what truly matters”





Want to Share Your Destination Wedding?

By submitting your destination wedding to be featured in Wedding Vacations magazine and online you will be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Riu Palace Pacifico. Submit up to ten photos and a little explanation of why you and your sweetheart deserve to win. Click here to enter and learn more.

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Real Weddings: Marie-Pier & Carol

It was a chance encounter that brought Marie-Pier, a teacher, and Carol, a police officer, together. Hailing from the outskirts of Montreal, both had gone separately to Varadero with their respective group of friends for a vacation, but didn’t stay at the same hotel. As they headed out for a night out in downtown Varadero, Marie-Pier couldn’t help but notice the handsome fellow with a great smile and shy demeanour, while Carol couldn’t take his gaze off the woman with beautiful eyes.  Marie-Pier recounts, “I saw him and I knew I had to go talk to him, I know it sounds cheesy but from the moment we met, we knew it was more than just a fling.”

Carol decided to propose to Marie-Pier during a surprise weekend getaway. As they settled in with a bottle of wine, the sky lit with meteor showers, Carol turned to Marie-Pier and asked if she would marry him. It was only when he presented her with the box, that they both noticed it was empty! “After a short panic attack and search for the ring,” Marie-Pier recounts, “I said yes!”

An intimate affair



Continuing with their Cuba theme, Marie-Pier and Carol celebrated their nuptials with a private gazebo ceremony at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero. Wearing a private label organza Kevin G. confection, the bride made her way down the aisle to a piano rendition of Coldplay’s Clocks. Joined by 48 of their friends and family, the wedding was officiated by the couple’s best friends, adding to the intimacy of their celebration. Walking down the aisle to her husband – who was crying from the beginning to the end of the ceremony – was undoubtedly Marie-Pier’s most memorable moment from the wedding, while Carol recalls the beauty of the service and the amount of people who chose to celebrate their love, as his most cherished and unexpected moments,
“Having our best friends there to celebrate with us made our day perfect,” he says.

The evening progressed with a music-filled reception, featuring plenty of Cuban rum, and complete with a first dance to Shania Twain’s From This Moment, a choreographed dance to the Backstreet Boys’ Get Down and a night full of dancing to an expertly-curated playlist of classic rock, disco, 90s dance hits and 2000s pop. “There was no time to sit!” Marie-Pier remembers.
Having their friends and family present for their tropical nuptials was certainly the highlight for both Marie-Pier and Carol who added, “We really wanted our wedding to be a special time for our guests too.” So to show their appreciation, they provided them with a customized itinerary and personalized gifts as part of their wedding favours.
Marie-Pier and Carol extended their Cuban stay with a week’s honeymoon.


As the winners of the Destination Weddings Photo Contest, Marie-Pier and Carol were treated to a romantic getaway at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Get Their Look
Marie Pier’s gown: Organza, Private Label by Kevin G.
Marie-Pier’s shoes: Silver wedge heels, Aldo.
Carol’s outfit: White shirt and black pants, Protocol.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Long turquoise gowns.
Groomsmen’s attire: Turquoise shirt and black pants, Protocol.
Hair and makeup: Soft and natural makeup; chignon.
Types of rings: White gold and diamonds (her), titanium (him).
Photographer: Marc-Antoine Gascon and Alexandre Bergeron-Cyr.
Stationary and invitations: Vistaprint.
Favours: Candy bar, heart-shaped plantable paper and lotto tickets.
Welcome gifts for guests: Havana Club rum.

Tips For Brides and Grooms

  • Do not hesitate to ask questions during the planning process. Your travel agent, your wedding planner and your family have the knowledge to answer a lot of your concerns.
  • Don’t be afraid to give some responsibility to some of your closest friends.
  • Most importantly, appreciate every single moment of this special week.



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5 Destination Wedding Options to Explore

We’ve all been there. You’re on Pinterest searching destination wedding ideas and there’s so many beautiful images it’s hard to know where to start. Before you visit your destination wedding consultant it can help to start researching some of the places you and your partner would be interested in. Let us here at Wedding Vacations help you start the planning process with some picks that you may not have considered.


Where: Palm Beach or Oranjastad

Why: Often praised as one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, Aruba’s beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and incredible landscapes offer plenty for destination weddings. Located outside of the hurricane belt, this small island’s sunny days are paired with refreshing breezes and low humidity. If beach weddings are your #1 choice, why not choose the island with a seven mile strip of glorious, powdery white sands. Set out and explore this island’s highlights like Casibari Rock, Alto Vista Chapel, or stroll through the streets of Oranjastad.

When: The climate in Aruba is pretty much perfection year-round. May is typically the warmest month, January being the coldest at an average of 27°C (80°F) and November getting a little more rain but still not enough to dampen your guests’ spirits.

Aruba 2

Costa Rica

Where: Liberia and Playa Langosta

Why: Combining postcard-worthy beaches with some of the most lush, verdant foliage, Costa Rica is an oasis for those who want to do more than just beach hop (but really, you could do that too). This is the perfect option for active couples or nature lovers who can be married surrounded by blossoming tropical flowers and rolling mountains in the background. For a selection of eco-excursions, few destinations offer a wider range of options than Costa Rica; everything from rainforest canopy tours to relaxing hot spring visits let you and yours relax or get a shot of adrenaline.

When: Depending on which region you visit the country has a wet and dry season, but it differs by area. Typically Guanacaste is the driest, the Caribbean coast is wetter, and the Pacific side is hot all year long.

Costa Rica 2



Where: West Bay Beach or French Harbour

Why: This Honduras island is one of the best spots for snorkelling and diving. While on dry land visitors are enchanted by this this island’s white-sand beaches and rolling hills. If you and yours want all the tropical splendor of some of the destination wedding hot spots but want to bring your guests to somewhere new and exciting, Roatan is the gem you’re looking for. With such incredible reefs just off-shore this is the place for a trash the dress session underwater so make sure your photographer brings an underwater camera!

When: Annual average temperatures typically hover around 27° C with seasonal lows only dipping to 25° C in January. During October to February is technically the island’s rainy season but don’t hold out for a rain shower because the precipitation is quite minimal.

Roatán 1



Where: Willemstad or Piscadera Bay

Why: From nightlife, to historical landmarks, to beautiful scenery Curacao has a sprinkling of everything brides and grooms are looking for. Say “I do” on one of the many tranquil and intimate beaches and later have your guests explore the salt flats of Jan Kok to spot flamingos.  Once everyone’s returned home, you and your husband/wife can relax in one of the many spas on the island. Diving or snorkelling here is a must, there’s an entire world of colourful fish and mysterious wrecks down below just waiting to be discovered.

When: This pretty island is also outside of the hurricane belt and boasts a sunny, warm climate for a majority of the year. Couples can expect average temperatures of about 27° C and some brief showers at night from October and February.

Curacao 1


Saint Lucia

Where: Gros Islet and Reduit Beach

Why:  We could just let the image of the majestic Piton mountains do the talking but where’s the fun in that? Saint Lucia has an alluring combination of thrilling eco-adventures and the glamorous resorts that are sure to leave your guests impressed. From sunset champagne cruises or trying the unique blend of flavours in Saint Lucia’s cuisine there’s no shortage of options for what visitors can do on the island.

When: Saint Lucia’s temperatures range from  around 21°C to 32° C depending on the season. Typically December and January are cooler, and high 30s are not uncommon from June to August. The island is even welcoming during the rainy season which is between June and November, these showers are usually brief and bring out the vibrant hues of the landscape (hello jaw-dropping wedding photos).

St Lucia 1

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Let’s Dance: Destination Inspired Song Picks

The first dance as husband and wife is one of those moments that can tempt even the least emotional wedding guests to get a little teary-eyed. There’s just something about that slow moment and seeing the bride and groom celebrate their new relationship status with a moment just for two.

Some couples know from early-on which song they’ll pick for the special day, while others scramble to find the perfect tune. If you find yourself in the latter group, we’ve collected a few sweet sounds we think would be perfect for a destination wedding.


Like I’m Going to Lose You-Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend

Favourite line: “Wherever we’re standing, I won’t take you for granted, cause we’ll never know when we’ll run out of time”
Reminds us of: A glamorous Mexico wedding with a reception on a veranda.

Who You Love-John Mayer ft. Katy Perry

Shalene and Andrew at the altar
Favourite line: “But I’m not running anymore, cause I’ve fought against it hard enough to know that you love, who you love”
Perfect for: An intimate wedding on the lush beaches of Costa Rica.

I’m Yours- Jason Mraz

Wedding-17 (2)
Favourite line: “There’s no need to complicate, our time is short, this is our fate, I’m yours.”
Perfect for: A relaxed and romantic Jamaica wedding.

You and I-Ingrid Michaelson

beach wedding
Favourite line: “Don’t you worry there, my honey, we might not have any money, but we’ve got our love to pay the bills.”
Perfect for: Barefoot celebrations in the sand in Aruba.

Do you have any recommendations to add to our list? Comment below or tweet us your picks!

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