REPORTER ROUNDUP PART I: In 2014 it’s all about foodie destinations, farm to table dining, and glamping. It’s no longer about getting married in a destination and flying in all of your wedding/event décor to replicate the Western trends. Destination weddings are about authenticity, embracing the locale, and having lots of onsite adventurous activities at the fingertips of your guests.
Using seasonal menus from local farms, and supporting the local community by incorporating handmade objects from the town artisans into your wedding are the new Must Do’s. We urge you to simply style for your setting. Here are some great destinations and venue tips for events.
1. ST BARTHS: Foodie destinations are all the rage and the island of St Barths boasts the reputation of the culinary capital of the Caribbean. With only 8 square miles, it holds over 60 restaurants. That along with a recent change in the law that allows couples to get married on the island without a one month residency makes St. Barths the place to wed. We dig La Banane for wedding receptions, “A less pricey hotel option for St. Barths” according to Harper's Bazaar. With 9 bungalows you and your guests can take over this retro-chic hotel with its perfectly placed pops of yellow. If you want a traditional ceremony you can get married in St. Bartholomew’s Angilican the most darling white church that has been on the island since 1855. Before you wed, host guests at Maya’s for your welcome dinner. In addition to it’s fabulous cuisine St. Barths is renowned for it’s water sports, so you and your guests can work off your dinner by going surfing, fishing, scuba diving, and boating.
Must Do: Treat guests to libations at The Carl Gustaf Lounge, ranked one of the best spots in the world for sunset cocktails.
2. JOSE IGNACIO: is a small village on the Southern Coast of Uruguay. It is often referred to as the Hamptons of South America. It has become known as as a celeb hideout and one of the coolest destinations in Latin America. For the trendsetting bride this would be the new coastal paradise hotspot to host a wedding.Playa Vik Jose Ignacio is a private Avant Garde beachside retreat with a huge collection of contemporary Uruguayan & international art. Sweeping views of the Atlantic make this an ideal setting to say ‘I do’. Casa Suaya Hotel Boutique was built by restaurant whiz Adolfo Suaya who built Los Angeles A-List eateries The Lodge & Geisha House. If you want a more “mi casa es su casa” feel, you will get lots of wedding planning personal service and you can even hire a celeb chef to cook for your guests.
Must do: Go horseback riding on the beautiful beaches through Haras Godiva. For guests who really want a unique experience the Laguna Garzon Lodge Floating Hotel is an eco hotel resting on stilts on a Biosphere Reserve that is World Heritage UNESCO site.
3. ICELAND: We have seen a million field and farm weddings (which we do love) but if you really want to be unique, you can take wedding photos in front of glaciers and lava fields without having to travel too far or spend too much. Gorgeous geysers, waterfalls and lava make Iceland the new wedding hotspot. Not only is it a quick & easy flight from the US, but flights are super affordable right now with a plethora of amazing deals online. Hotel Budir is a countryside hotel that provides a reception backdrop of a lava field ,dramatic mountains and ocean. They are accustomed to organizing weddings here and will arrange a ceremony on the golden sand beach close to the hotel or at Budir Church, the most picturesque wooden church you have ever seen. Perched on the edge of the lava field with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other, this church seats about 70 guests. Church Photo: Nordica Photography
Must Do: Take your guests to Seljalandsfoss, a stunningly spectacular waterfall (you can also have your wedding ceremony here!)
4. CANADA: With glamping, eco-friendly and farm to table weddings being all the rage, how about combining all three at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in Canada. For the adventurous couple, this eco-safari playground is accessible by a scenic 45 minute private seaplane transfer from Vancouver, BC., or a 30 minute boat ride from Tofino. The resort lends itself to weddings of 2 to 50 guests where your guests will channel their inner scouts and sleep in luxury tents. The lush farmland of the area provides Chef Orr the opportunity to source an abundance of locally grown and raised products from the region and cook them for your guests.
Must Do: You & your guests do not need to leave this eco-heaven. With activities ranging from archery, shooting, hiking, fishing, climbing and zip lining to whale and bear watching, or visiting the hot springs you will be completely fulfilled. Ready to relax? Lounge in the “games tent” or “library tent” filled with antique furnishings and access to the internet.
5. NICARAGUA: Nicaragua is aimed to be the next eco-tourism destination. It has always been one of the largest countries in Central America with the least amount of tourism, but travelers are starting to love the reasonable prices, rainforests, and incredible surfing. Numerous spas & resorts are starting to pop up including the brand new Mukul Resort with multiple venue spaces to choose from. You can have your wedding in a lush tropical rainforest, Palapa bar or beach house. The entire resort supports the locals by infusing handmade elements from the surrounding areas.
Must Do: Cerro Negro Volcano. Yep, you and your guests can glide rapidly down the black sands of a steep volcano. It’s called Ash Boarding, the new extreme sport which allows you to descend the volcanic ash of Cerro Negro strapped onto a board.
STAY TUNED FOR PART II OF THE ROUNDUP TOMORROW!