Are you planning a destination wedding at an unforgettable locale? If you are still mulling things over for amazing options, and do not have a plan in place, this bit of advice might be of interest to you! Take a read and let us know what you think!
With the average cost of weddings at an all-time high ($31,213 as reported by the same survey), couples are breaking free from the cocoon that banquet halls, country clubs and hotels hold them in, and are turning to butterfly museums and fruit orchards as the setting for their special day. Here are three more other colorful wedding destinations that deviate from the norm.
If you’re looking for a destination that’s grandiose to the extreme, a canyon setting is in order. At the northwest corner of Arizona lies the Grand Canyon, where the cliffs are as high as the clouds and you can hear the whispers of its Native American culture. There’s no better place to tie the knot than one of the Natural Wonders.
Grand Canyon National Park has nine ceremony and reception locations including the Point Imperial Viewpoint that sits highest along the rim. The nearby picnic area only holds 20 people max, but if you have a large group, Shoshone Point accommodates up to 85 people.
• Obtain an Arizona marriage license and special use permit from the park.
• Reserve as far in advance as possible to secure the location.
• There isn’t a lot of lodging near Grand Canyon National Park, so look into setting up a hotel block in Flagstaff (73 miles away) and rent a charter bus for transportation.
Forest, Beach, Mountain Wedding
Choose a wedding venue where the ocean meets the rainforest as it does on Vancouver Island, North America’s little secret. With beaches, mountains and a woodland forest, Mother Nature will surely be smiling upon you on your special day.
Venue option: Best known for its rustic elegance, Wickaninnish Inn lies on Tofino beach. The venue holds 50-60 guests and has a planner onsite to handle your custom wedding. The property’s natural elements of old-growth forests and windswept beaches are the perfect backdrop for photos. Rent a small row boat or motorboat and have the photographer capture you heading out to sea.
• Research Canadian marriage eligibility requirements and obtain your Canadian boating license.
• Plan activities — whale-watching, surfing and spa treatments — ahead of time.
• The Inn has an elopement coordinator for those who want the most intimate ceremony.
If you and your partner support animal conservation efforts, host your wedding at the local aquarium, where your event supports marine conservation. Most city aquariums have event spaces and wedding packages available. If you're near Boston (or even if you're not) the New England Aquarium is a romantic setting with eco-friendly services. The aquarium was recently awarded Wedding Wire’s Couple’s Choice and sits in The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame.
• This is a popular venue, so book far in advance.
• Advise your guests to plan extra time for before and/or after the wedding, as there's much to see in historical Boston.
• The happy couple must appear together to be granted the marriage license, which has a maximum 60-day window of validity from the time you get it to the time you sign it.
When choosing your wedding destination, there are no rules. If you want to say “I do” in a treehouse, do it. If you want to kiss the bride or groom in a cave, book the Bridal Cave in the Ozarks. The more you personalize the party, the better it will be.
Have any of these locales, or similar, peaked your interest? I find the aquarium option extremely unique and unforgettable. And, I'm biased, I live in Arizona, with the fabulous Grand Canyon, one cannot deny such a wedding would be remarkable and memorable for guests, but more importantly for the happy couple.
Please share your insight on these topics!
Image 1: Shutterstock//Image 2: Andrew Holman Photography//Image 3: Imago Dei Photography//Image 4: Ron Solimon Photojournalism