We love tradition here at Invitations by R Squared.
We are also loving the trend of breaking with “traditional” tradition, creating new ones, and really making the day memorable. From the newer tradition of the destination wedding to moving away from the stark, traditional wedding invitations and wedding stationery of the past, eclectic and offbeat brides everywhere are looking to own their day.
The Wedding Dress:
Is a short dress more your style? Rock it! Designers from the legendary Oscar de la Renta to Duchess of Cambridge favorite Jenny Packham are pulling up hemlines. Or maybe white just isn’t your color—brides are walking down the aisle in everything from pale pink to sapphire blue to patterns of all kinds! It’s a great way to show off your personal wedding style (and your shoes)!
It used to be assumed that the bride’s parents would shell out big bucks for their baby girl’s big day. Not anymore. More than ever before, brides and grooms are taking their first big financial step in marriage, and paying their own way for their destination wedding. This way, you get your day, your way and the couple gets to make all the decisions.
Décor that rocks:
Brides are thinking beyond pale pinks, blushes, and creams and embracing bright yellows, hot pinks, cool greens, and vibrant oranges. Choose festive flowers, brighten the linens, or go big and bright with a colorful gown (think Gwen Stefani’s pink ombré style dress). Besides, showing off your signature color brings more of your personality to the event.
Take a look at your groom:
That first look is everything, but it doesn’t have to happen at the ceremony. Many brides and grooms are taking pictures pre-ceremony to ease the post-ceremony timeline. And some are even getting ready together to make the party last longer. This helps ease some of the pressure of the first look, and it’s a fun way for the bridal party and families to spend more time together.
New ideas for rehearsal night:
The post-rehearsal party can be so much more than a stuffy, speech-filled dinner. Instead couples are throwing pool parties and beach bashes, living it up at local hotspots, or taking their guests for some mini golf or laser tag. The goal: fun! A fun night out will ease pre-destination wedding jitters and entertain your bridal party.
Who gives away the bride:
Brides want to honor their mom too, so many are taking the walk with both parents. Others are showing off their independence by taking their first steps to marriage solo. Another option: Dive head first into marriage by walking down with your future husband. There are no rules here, and new traditions to be made. You know who and what matters to you.
Most of all, always keep in mind that this day is about you guys, celebrating your love and the first steps into a life together. Y’all could get married in burlap, standing in a river, and still have the event be magical, amazing, and altogether memorable.
Now, let’s look at some destination wedding locations.
Lots of couples like the idea of the far-flung destination wedding, but others – who may not want a hometown wedding – really would prefer to stay stateside. Possibly, though, not right in their own backyards. For those couples, the team has assembled these ideas:
Alabama – Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville:
This modern space offers four versatile settings for saying “I do,” including an outdoor patio and a large gallery with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Big Spring International Park. If they can tear themselves away from admiring the landscape, guests can browse the contemporary Southern artwork.
Holding your welcome dinner at Cotton Row Restaurant. The seasonal American menu includes a surprisingly mouthwatering dessert: peanut butter and jelly in phyllo. Then wind down with music at The Kaffeeklatsch, a coffee house turned bar and unplugged stage at night.
Alaska – University of Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks:
Resembling a glacier set against the mountains, this stark building is both striking and cozy. It hosts affairs of 50 people or fewer, so it’s a good fit for small destination wedding events.
A super fun activity is shopping for favors at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market. The vendors sell gourmet foods, such as berry-infused vinegar and specialty honeys. Treat your bridesmaids to a soak in the geothermic pools at the Chena Hot Springs Resort. If you’re there from December through March, stay up to see the Northern Lights.
Arizona – The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Marana:
The attentive wedding planners at this resort will create menus and drinks for you (even color-coordinated margaritas). That’ll leave you more time for outdoor spa treatments, like a moisturizing facial with Arizona aloe, while looking out on petroglyphs in the Sonoran Desert.
Taking your destination wedding party to Kartchner Caverns State Park for a tour of 200,000-year-old limestone caves. They’re filled with elaborate rock formations and, in the summer, a colony of bats. Say goodnight with chocolate-chili pepper fudge favors from Arizona Fhantom Fudge.
– Manka’s Inverness Lodge, Inverness:
Destination wedding events at this little-known gem turn into wild events by nature. The 100-year-old fishing lodge, now a luxury inn, is situated between the misty coastline and dense forests. A fireplace and 18-foot ceilings, plus sweeping bay views, provide a dramatic Northern California backdrop for exchanging vows or holding a small reception.
Consider throwing a picnic for your destination wedding party at Hog Island Oyster Farm in nearby Marshall. Bring your own food and drink, buy oysters on-site, and take advantage of the farm’s shucking lessons, picnic tables, grills, and gorgeous view of sleepy Tomales Bay. Or organize a leisurely morning bike ride through Point Reyes National Seashore. Cyclists (and hikers too) are drawn to its rolling hills and delicious pit stop: the Bovine Bakery.
Florida – The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota:
Circus mogul John Ringling built this Venetian mansion for his wife, Mable, but now it’s a gallery for Renaissance and Baroque art. Most stunning is the 81-foot tower in the center of the palm-filled property. Make reservations at the Columbia Restaurant. Order its famous 1905 salad: a hearty portion of lettuce, tomato, ham, Swiss and Romano cheeses, green olives, and garlic dressing, prepared at the table.
Send your destination wedding guests home with a bottle of award-winning grapefruit sparkling wine from St. Armand’s Gifts & Winery. For an oceanside afterparty, head to Siesta Key’s Daiquiri Deck. The drink menu has 13 types of daiquiris.
Hawaii – Na ’Aina Kai Botanical Garden, Kilauea, Kauai:
The grounds surrounding Na ’Aina Kai (which translates into “lands by the sea”) feature prime examples of iconic Hawaiian scenery—a waterfall-fed lagoon, pristine beaches, and a teak-and-mahogany forest. This once-private 240-acre estate feels isolated in the best kind of way.
Your destination wedding guests will have plenty of space to roam, explore, and view the 90 bronze sculptures that are sprinkled throughout the property. The fresh-baked goodies, such as coconut-cream eclairs and guava sourdough, offer delicious favor options.
For a seafood-rich welcome dinner, bring guests to Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant, west of Kilauea on the Hanalei River. Its chefs are known for their fresh, inventive sushi. Or, to stock up on supplies for a cookout on the water, visit the fish market out back. As a keepsake, purchase a Niihau shell lei. The art of stringing tiny shells into a necklace has been perfected by generations on the island of Niihau. Find beautiful examples, as well as hand-crafted koa bowls, at the Kauai Museum.
Life really does seem to go into warp speed when you’re planning any wedding, but especially a destination wedding. Maybe you’re also buying a house together, or one of you might be starting a new job. Yes, warp speed is normal. Embrace the chaos and learn how to make small decisions quickly so you don’t get dragged down into the depths of the destination wedding planning abyss.
Don’t feel like you’re all alone in this; we’re here to help! Get in touch with us, and schedule a consultation with our fearless leader, the Fabulous Fran. She will help you untangle some of the strands that are stressing you out. You’ve got a date, you’ve got a venue … Let us help with your destination wedding stationery suite!
In the meantime, check out these lovely inspiration and mood boards to help keep your planning process rolling along!
We know you’re going to have a celebration that is everything you’ve dreamed of. And we couldn’t be happier for you both.