Tag Archives: destination

DIY, Kitschy Wedding in Hawaii with Disney References

Ten and Jesse met in church, four days after the bride immigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines. For their January wedding, they wanted a day which was colourful and cost-friendly but also honoured their beliefs. They were helped immensely by their ‘church family’, with members performing at the wedding, paying for the cake and helping them set everything up. Their pastor also led the ceremony.

“It was very important for both of us that our special day was an expression of our everyday selves,” Ten explained, “relaxed and casual with tons of laughter, but just dressed up a bit. It was fun putting different ideas together to figure out how it would work together. The result came out to be a mix and match, DIY, kitschy look, which is pretty much our daily aesthetic. We just chose what we liked and tweaked it so that it all worked together.”

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Intimate & Rustic Destination Wedding in Sicily with a Lilac Dress

Baglio di Pianetto, a winery in Sicily, was the setting for Jenn & Mike’s intimate wedding last year. Pre-pandemic, they still opted for a small wedding, inviting just 20 guests. The wedding took place on a Tuesday evening and after a short, symbolic ceremony, they hosted a simple Sicilian meal for their loved ones. They kept things as fuss-free as possible – there was no band, no big décor elements and no forced itinerary for the day.

Originally they planned to elope, but when their friends and families found out they were going to Sicily, where the groom’s grandparents were from, a few of them wanted to come along, too. The planned an adventure for everyone for the week before where they all travelled around the country in caravans visiting wineries, ruins, olive farms and beaches. The couple had some maps of the trip they all took made which were a really lovely memento of everywhere they went.

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Atlas Mountains Destination Wedding with a ‘White Party’ BBQ Reception

Ashleigh and Daniel decided to fly themselves and all their loved ones over to Morocco for their October wedding. They opted for the Atlas Mountains and had one hell of a cerebration at L’Amandier Hotel in the Ouirfane Valley, just south of Marrakech. The day after the main event, they hosted a casual BBQ for everyone and the theme was ‘all white’ with everyone dressed head-to-toe in white. They were legally married back when they got back to the UK a week later.

“My husband Daniel and I had zero experience planning weddings when we started our epic journey”, began the bride. “The only reason we even embarked on planning a destination wedding by ourselves is because we were dissatisfied with the way that every venue we approached kept forcing us to choose from a set-menu of pre-packaged options (from flowers to food) that made it impossible to craft our dream day. We were working with a budget below the national average, so getting a wedding planner was never going to be realistic for us, but we still wanted a personalised experience that we could never forget!”

They were mostly inspired by their surroundings for the theme and decor. They made their own favours as well as the seating plan and all the paper goods.

“For us, the core values of our wedding were to have:

1. Key family and friends being able to attend
2. Lots of GOOD food – this may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how limited ‘package wedding’ food options can be
3. An intimate, natural setting – we didn’t want a big resort with lots of strangers milling around
4. Authentic charm – in our case we wanted our wedding to have a traditional Moroccan influences
5. Good music and dancing into the night!

Every time we were faced with tough decisions we had these core points to come back to. This made it a lot easier to be decisive and let go of anything that didn’t really serve us.”

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A Spanish Superhero Themed Wedding with a Belfast Music Hall Reception

Jamie and Michael had two very different wedding celebrations –  a small family-focused event in the scorching heat in Malaga and a second a few weeks later, for all the rest of their friends and family back home in Belfast… in the rain! The two events couldn’t be more different (the bride even changed her hair colour between the two!) but both felt completely right for them. After all, isn’t that what being a Rock n Roll bride is all about?

“We wanted our wedding to include the everyone and everything we love and to show our personalities, we didn’t see the point in changing ourselves or pretending to be something we weren’t, just for one day”, began the bride. “We both always knew we wanted to get married abroad but hadn’t decided where. After a bit of research, we fell in love with Cortijo Rosa Blanca. I hated the thought of a white wedding, I was keen to have lots of colour in our day. I also hate the smell of fresh flowers, they make me sneeze! We also knew we wanted to include superheroes, we both love Marvel and DC and have seen every single superhero movie.”

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Glitter, Sequins & Mermaids: Colourful Club Tropicana Wedding in Ibiza

Alright, we need to talk about one of the greatest destination weddings I’ve probably ever seen: Cara and Tod’s insanely awesome, super colourful, don’t-give-a-fuck Ibiza wedding! The groom wore a silver sequin jacket and his groomsmen were in NEON PINK SHORT SUITS. I kid you not, you will never have seen a wedding quite like this one before. Oh and there were real life mermaids at their reception – NBD.

They split the wedding over two days, meaning they could have a whole weekend of fun in the sun with all their guests. “The legal ceremony was a traditional beach ceremony followed by a meal at El Chiringuito“, Cara explained, “but the after party/ reception was anything but traditional. The dress code to our guests was ‘Glitter, sequins, tropical, festival vibes’ – you can see by the photos what a fabulous effort everyone made!”

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Fun & Festive Yet Elegant & Edgy Wedding in Mexico

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Anna-Rose and Matt flew to Mexico for a week for their spring wedding. The day was elegant with an edge and the bride wore not one, but two, stunning dresses.

“Our rehearsal dinner was fun, festive and very Mexico, but for the wedding itself we wanted to do something unexpected: a formal wedding in Mexico” explained the bride. “Everyone was expecting the typical beach wedding, but I’m not a beach wedding kind of girl, so we were married in the courtyard of the villa we rented and kept all the colours very muted (whites, blacks, some gold and leafy greens).”

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“My husband’s mom passed away one year before our wedding and the week she passed, she was in the hospital, a bit delirious and someone asked her what she wanted, her response was, ‘a beach’. That was the last thing she said. Up until that moment I had been planning on getting married in Michigan, but when I heard that, I thought, life is too short to do things just because it’s the thing to do. You have to live your own life. Some people were very upset and judgemental about us having a destination wedding, but most people embraced it and were so happy to be a part of it.”

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Xunantunich Ruins Wedding

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Michael and Sandy were married in Belize at the Xunantunich archaeological site. The couple are both fascinated by the ancient Maya culture and love visiting sites throughout Central America so saying their vows there was really special to them both.

“We met when Michael came to work at my tattoo shop”, said Sandy. “Our wedding was inspired mostly by black and red (our favourite colours) and Day of the Dead as we both love that celebration. We love skulls, motorcycles, and Rock n Roll!”

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“The ceremony was held at the base of El Castillo, the main temple at the site. The day was perfect, not too hot, blue skies with a few puffy clouds. The guests lined up to create an ‘aisle’ for us to walk down and we had provided them with red and black paper parasols for shade. We had created our own vows to say to each other before the Justice of the peace said her part.”

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Simple Destination Wedding in Marrakech

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I love Marrakech, so much so that I visited twice last year! So when Eyman and Bandele’s colourful destination wedding landed in my submissions pile, I was super excited. The bride is from Sudan, the groom from Jamaica, and they now both live in the UK.

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The wedding was held at the Dar Anis Riad. “We decided to keep things simple and use the natural surroundings as our décor”, said the bride. “As the main courtyard contained three small orange trees we used oranges as name placements with simple toothpick type labels inserted into individual whole oranges. The table centrepieces were locally sourced flowers and candles.”

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Picnic Party Destination Wedding in Portugal

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Samantha and Gary’s destination wedding was held at Casa Monte Cristo on the Western Algarve coast. They hired a villa where they stayed for the week before the wedding too.

“We had always wanted an outdoor wedding but me being from Ireland we knew that would be too much of a risk to do it there!” explained the bride. “We decided very early on in planning we would have a destination wedding.  We choose Portugal as it has always been a favourite family holiday for me growing up and we also wanted to pick a place that wasn’t too expensive for guests to travel to and stay.”

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“As the wedding was going to be completely outdoors, we decided on a picnic party theme with blankets and balloons and games for the guests play. It was also important to us that the whole day be held at the same place, so that guests could really enjoy the day and not have to worry about getting from one place to the next.”

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American Hustle Inspired Wedding in Vegas

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Brazil-based Marcela and Pedro got married in Vegas and they had the most amazing wedding ever! Their ceremony was at the Graceland Chapel and their ‘reception’ was lunch at Billy’s BBQ. After that they all went to Omnia Nightclub – from the early afternoon until 5am!

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“Our wedding vibe and inspiration for the dress code was American Hustle, the movie based in the 1970s”, said the bride. “After the ceremony we rented out Billy’s BBQ place for lunch. Its a very simple but cool BBQ joint off the strip with plastic plates and all delicious food. On the way there after the ceremony we stopped at a huge liquor store and got pink champagne, beer, bourbon and gin. Since Billy’ doesn’t serve alcohol, we drank our own in plastic cups. We all had so much fun!”

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Disney Inspired Tattoo Artist’s Wedding in Thailand

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It’s not often that Disney and heavily tattooed couples go together, but for Vicky and Lee, that’s exactly what inspired their destination wedding in Thailand.

The tattoo artist pair met when Vicky got a job at the studio where Lee was working. “Our first meeting was on a night out at Rock City, when he approached me with a drink to congratulate me getting a receptionist job at the tattoo studio where he worked”, the bride told me. “He was so shy that it’s probably the most words I heard come out of him for the next few years. After maybe six years I actually got the opportunity to learn how to tattoo myself. He’d always been supportive of this and it’s now lead to us opening our own studio with a couple of friends.”

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The couple got engaged Thailand a few years so it was only fitting that they returned there for their wedding. “It’s a place that means a lot to us so we knew we wanted to get married there”, she continued. “When you have so many special memories you want to share them with those closest to you. Although its not always a popular decision to do a wedding abroad, we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Its the land of smiles and is so beautiful.”

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Luminescent Costa Rican Wedding

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It’s finally getting warmer which is making me dream of sandy beaches and tropical getaways. Jacqui and Peter’s Costa Rican wedding is doing nothing to help my craving to hop on a plane!

The couple met in 2006 at an international electronic music festival. To their surprise they discovered that they were both from Philadelphia. They were married nine years later, in January 2015. “Both of us love travel and the adventure of it”, Jacqui said. “This inspired us to go somewhere else to get married….and drag our friends and family with us!”

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Both being artists who work with light, they wanted this to be a recurring presence at the wedding. “Peter creates a digital and surreal environment with his visual projections of light and lumens, and my theatre company hand paints masks and costumes with special paint that reflects ultraviolet light. We both create work that is said to have a magical and inspiring effect on people when they see it. We decided to integrate light into a night time wedding using glow sticks in unique ways, and LED lit tables and chairs.”

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An Unplugged Wedding in Belize: Sharon & Matt

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Sharon and Matt’s small Belize wedding at Honey Camp Ranch cost them just $5000. They avoided the usual trappings of a traditional wedding, instead choosing to do things their way. That meant everything was either borrowed, donated or homemade. The bride wore a custom wedding dress, made for her by her mother, and no shoes! She made the stationery herself and the flowers and reception decorations were collected from the local area.

This was also a completely unplugged event. There was no electricity, and no cell phones or computers allowed! The couple wanted their wedding to be a refreshing escape from their excessively electronic lives in the US.

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“The inspiration for the wedding was love for the nature of Belize”, wrote the bride. “The most unusual thing about our wedding was that there was no electricity. The natural sounds of Honey Camp Ranch and the romantic light of gas lanterns in the evening made the lack of electricity a huge benefit and gave a better connection with the amazing natural environment of Belize – away and unplugged from the busy world. It was different from the norm because it was a destination wedding, was super low-key, and was in the jungle!”

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