DESTINATION WEDDINGS | 5 of My Favorite Knockout Wedding Venues for an Intimate Beach Wedding

I don’t know about you but I’m a HUGE FAN of a little thing called the destination wedding, for so many reasons.  Usually it involves a location that has sand and warm water nearby.  Usually it means you don’t have to invite as many people as your mom and in-laws would like you to invite.  And usually it means backdrops that will make your pictures more mind-blowing than you ever could have imagined in your wildest dreams.

A destination wedding is my personal favorite type of wedding, mainly because I haven’t had a vacation in way too long and I want anyone reading this to have one and invite me.  Just kidding, not really.  But anyway – today I’m sharing five intimate destination wedding locations that are so eye-poppingly gorgeous they’ll make your eyes bleed (in a good way) (ok I don’t think eyes bleeding can ever be a good thing but YOU GET ME).

(Quick note: you can check out a ton of intimate wedding setups over at DestinationWeddings.com right now, if you’d rather just get on with it.  They let you browse resorts by inspiration categories!)

El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Maroma Beach is where it’s at.  If you don’t trust me just ask the Travel Channel, which ranked it one of the top ten best in the world.  For your wedding it’s quite perfect because it’s got these super unique thatched huts (read: palapas) where you can have a wonderfully intimate beach ceremony that everyone you know will likely want to replicate the moment they get engaged.  Only reason to avoid this location is if you don’t want to deal with jealousy and copycat weddings in your family. :)

Did I mention the suites at this resort have SWIM-UP ACCESS and a little something called INFINITY POOLS???  I believe I’ve sold you on this location, moving along…

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Gran Caribe Real – Cancun, Mexico

Tell me, do floor to ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of the Mexican Caribbean appeal to you, when you imagine your wedding ceremony?  Then you’ll love the “Our Lady of Guadalupe” Oceanfront Catholic Chapel.  Obviously this spot is right on point for the couple seeking a lovely religious ceremony.  The religious among us deserve a gorgeous setting (and backdrop for photos) on their wedding day, and that can be hard to find for this set.  That’s why I love this location.

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Isla Mujeres Palace – Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres Palace is for you if what you desire is a small and private occasion.  It’s not touristy here; there’s a really amazing small town vibe going on and many of the beaches are untouched.  Who doesn’t LOVE THAT?

I’d like to note that the setup at Isla Mujeres Palace was literally made for your intimate beach wedding – it was custom built for just these types of occasions – and the pictures you’ll get, exchanging vows under a gauzy canopy pocketed by palm trees, will be the kinds of pictures you return to again and again for years to come.  You guys know how I feel – pictures are everything.  (Aside from the love you share of course.)

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Couples Tower Isle – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

First of all, Jamaica.  Second of all, WE’RE TALKING JAMAICA, PEOPLE.  But I’ll try to be more specific about why I think you should have your wedding there – privacy.  If privacy is important to you as a couple, then you should very seriously consider this location for your wedding.  You and your honey can wed on the property’s secluded island – and it can be as private as just the two of you, or you can throw in some close friends/relatives.  One thing I can tell you for sure is I’ve never heard a couple complain that they regretted having a really private wedding.  So there’s some food for thought.

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Dreams Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

So I can’t say enough good things about Los Cabos, that’s the honest truth.  I was there recently and my goodness the weather was perfection. <== this is very important to me, and usually determines my like/dislike for a place.  So there’s that.

Los Cabos is pretty well known for things like its celebrity crowd, its breathtaking mountain views and its killer spas.  But what I’d like to make you more aware of is its truly lovely gazebo beach garden setup – the thing is so perfect for an intimate sunset ceremony, you guys.  I cannot recommend it enough.

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What do you think of the concept of a destination wedding?  Any of you had one, or are planning to have one?  Lemme hear your thoughts :)

Alison



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TGIF GOODIES | Pick Your Giveaway! + Polka Dots + Yummy Pretty Styling Props That Cost Next to Nothing!

 

So it’s late Friday afternoon and I’m about to hold a giveaway [the giveaway's up! ENTER HERE] but I need your help choosing what to giveaway — fret not, all will be revealed… {Continue reading…}

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NEON + PASTEL DIY COUNTRY BEACH WEDDING | Good luck ever loving your own dog again, after you see the face of the French Bulldog in this Wedding. | Pure 7 Studios

Attention Photographers! If you’re a photographer who’ll be in the NYC area Friday and are interested in joining us as our photographer for backstage access fun at a particularly incred runway show… let me know ASAP. Thank you! Update: All set now, thanks all!

In other news…

Here is what newlyweds Alyson and Zac said they were going for, with their wedding:

-a laid back feel with minimal décor.

-romantic without feeling stuffy.

-We wanted people to leave with the feeling that they had just been to an awesome concert with the album and poster to remember it by.

Here is what I heard:

Today’s feature, {Continue reading…}

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“ADULT ONLY” DIY RUSTIC SURF WEDDING (with succulents + surfboards): Randi & Jared Met While Working at a Surf Shop.. | Michelle Sullivan Photography

“So this is how the story goes…

Let’s start with the morning before the wedding. I was totally prepared. The last thing I needed to do was get a mani and pedi with my girls. I went to pick up my fiance’s sister first. She hops in the car and hands me a baby sippy cup, she has one for herself as well. My mind was already mush from all of the wedding planning so I didn’t question it. I start driving to our nail appointment and take a sip from my sippy cup at a red light.

Whataya know!!! It’s a margarita!”

… is how today’s bride, Randi, starts out her wedding story. So yes, I love this girl. Enjoy her wedding because I did to infinity and beyond.

{Continue reading…}

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SEASIDE GLAMOUR + I NEED HER DRESS | fuchsia + mint + white delight | Plus, The Bambeen… and I need a little advice from you guys. Also, holy crap I’ve lost my mind.

Second verse, same as the first.  I have to warn you, yet again, that today’s post got so out of hand I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU.  I’m afraid even to read it over for spelling and punctuation.  I fear my own rampant oddness will get the best of me, like two parallel universes (universi?) colliding.  I’m scared.  Please, hold me.

Yep… happy late afternoon on Friday, friendlies.  Please, BRACE THYSELVES.  {Continue reading…}

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SEASIDE DIY WEDDING | Part I | “Properly throw your heart and soul into it…” I officially LOVE white bridesmaids dresses, y’all. Also, Good Bambino Hunting.

*i die*

Ok, SO!  Happy late Monday afternoon, my darlings. :)  It’s lovely to talk to your fine faces again after this muggy (in these parts) weekend we had.  Hope it wasn’t too icky for you, wherever you’re currently living!  I’m pumped to share the first part of this feature I’ve got for your eyes today, mainly because it’s fantastic, but also because it’s great, and a little bit because it’s amazing.  So, a mixture.  {Continue reading…}

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WEST COAST WEDDING LOVE | Darci + Blake | Ahhh, beach, balloons, sailboats, dusty miller and a dream dress… where am I… I’m not… I’m not in wedding heaven, am I?

So, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there were a couple of pieces of pretty redonkulous news this week… {Continue reading…}

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OMG I’m a finalist. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

Succulents and peace.  Two of my favorite things.  (FYI, that’s my guy’s hand.  The biggest glimpse I’ve granted yet!)

Alright.  A little overwhelmed here.  I feel like I have nothing of value to say.  All I can conjure is “thank you so much,” and “what an honor” and other sappiness like that.  Here’s the deal: you guys nominated me, and now THIS IS HAPPENING: I’m a flippin’ FINALIST in the Best Real Bride Wedding Blog category.  Say WHAT?!!  My excitement over this is beyond measure.  But, as I sit here trying to come up with something worth reading, my mind just keeps spitting out “duuhhhh.”

Point is, I’ve pulled up to this weird place called “a loss for words.”  You freaking people actually touched me so much that I don’t really know what to say.  Obvs., this morning’s post is going to be sort of brief, because I’m actually a little choked up right now.  I realize I’m being ridiculous – it IS just a blogger award.  But it’s like THE ONE I want, so badly.  So it gets me, it gets me right heeaaahh (points to heart).  Ok, getting on with it… I’m going to ask you a little favor: would you kindly vote for me?  If you already did, I appreciate it like crazy.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.  But if you haven’t… would you?  Each and every vote makes a serious difference.  You’d be surprised.  It’s nothing at all like American elections.  Just click here, or on this wee badge, below:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart you guys!

-♡-

In other news, my sister’s pwecious wittle babies are coming into town tonight, so to celebrate becoming a finalist… but moreso general family togetherness, which is far too rare since they live across the nation, I’m planning for us all to hang in the backyard and do a little o’ this (we’ve got heaps of leftover sparklers to burn up):

Also, I’d love to try on a few of these, wouldn’t you?

And I’d love.love.love.love.LOVE to go here:

{sparklers: Elizabeth Messina / Lovely Bridal dresses: Sweet Little Photographs / beach: 20×200}

I’m gonna leave you for now with one of my favorite quotes of pretty much ever, which has nothing at all to do with anything.  It’s from my little book of everything I’ve ever loved enough to jot down.  But before I’m through, let me once again say thank you, everyone, for visiting the blog, reading the blog, leaving your incredible comments and generally ruling as humans.  If not for you, I wouldn’t be doing this thing I do every day.  (:

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
~ Hafiz

xoxo!

Seacrest out

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FASHION for your HEALTH | your happiness and your look | Not Enough Sun in Your Life? Try Wearing it.

In her “Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not,” English nurse Florence Nightingale wrote that light – preferably sunlight – plays an essential role in the process of getting well.  She also said that those of us who are ailing “should be able to see … sky and sunlight,” as she observed that most patients tended to lie with their faces turned towards the light, much in the way that “plants always make their way to the light.”

This is why doctors are always telling us to make sure we get enough Vitamin D.  Among its many purported health benefits, it is understood that the Vitamin D our body produces when our skin is exposed even to just a little bit of sunshine can actually make us feel better emotionally.  Which means it can literally and figuratively brighten our day!  That’s kind of awesome.

So, now that we know that sunlight is pretty important for our general well-being, it seems like it should be easy enough to get our hands on it – err, faces in it – right?  Just step into the light for 10-15 minutes and ta-da, you’ve got yourself enough rays for the day (well, health-wise; certainly not fun-wise).

Unfortunately, while at work, many of us do not have the privilege of being seated near south-facing windows, and still others have the misfortune of being caged inside of too-high cubicle walls, seemingly fated never to experience the touch and feel of daylight between the hours of 9am to 6pm.  (Which reminds me – when did the acceptable amount of hours in a typical work day go from 9 – 5 to 9 – 6?  When and WHY did this change?  Yes, I am asking you, The Man.)

Anyway… so what are we to do if we can’t spend some time outside, soaking up those warm winter rays?

Well, if you really don’t have any time at all to do it, then a) you’re being seriously overworked, and b) you might want to check with your doctor about alternative ways to get your daily dose – ’cause, for real, it’s important.

Beyond that, I’ve got some fashion advice: how about a fun, alternative way for you to get some light in your life?  While it won’t result in the production of Vitamin D, it will give you a seriously useful boost of confidence that should last well beyond sunset.  What is it?  Well, unless you’re interested in waking up at dawn to catch a few minutes of sunbeam satisfaction before you head off to work, I suggest dawning some glam threads that’ll serve to brighten your mood… not to mention many of those around you!  I love it when I see someone who has really put some effort into her look… especially if it’s on a day when I HAVEN’T!  :)

So, what to wear?  Today, I’ve gathered up a healthy mix of fun, shimmering, soft, chic and romantic looks for the flashion-obsessed bride!  Any sparkle or glow in your get-up will do; from a dress with lots of glitz, to a clutch that catches some serious light, to earrings that illuminate your immediate surroundings.  Whether you’re into a frock with some flash, or you prefer a soft, chic look that leaves the razzle-dazzle to a super accessory, it doesn’t matter… when you arrive at your bachelorette party in any one of these get-ups, you’ll look and feel hotter than each and every one of those girls on stage at your future hubby’s bach… I mean, any of those girls in their winter coats working the ski lifts at the lodge.  Because that’s where men go for bachelor parties; they go to ski lodges, and then they turn in early.  ;)

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GIFT LOVE | Only Things I Like More Than Great Gift Ideas Are Great Gift Inspiration Boards…

These gift ideas caught my eye so firmly, that I just had to share.  Though I think my love for them is quite apparent, given the very crudely exacto’d page tears on the right side of each leaf.  Somehow, I need to learn an effective way to manage my excitement when I’m tearing that excitement out of somewhere and scanning it into somewhere else that the world is going to see.  Any suggestions on how to reconcile thrill and precision?

I will eagerly await your advice; in the meantime, delight in these very glam, very thoughtful gift ideas.  Perfect for the holidays, a bridal shower, your office’s secret Santa (does capitalizing his name mean I still believe?)… really, any opportunity you may have to present someone with a little bit of superb style.  Plus a little assistance for the man in your life…

By the way, I’m starting with my favorite item, the Banana Republic Viscose dress on the right – which, by the way, I CAN’T FIND ANYWHERE.  Even right when this issue of InStyle Weddings hit newsstands!  Anyone able to locate it?  Such a dreamy frock… I want to be wearing it right now.  And I want to be wearing it for my rehearsal dinner, too because it is SO RICHLY BEAUTIFUL.

***

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BRIDE STYLE | Stylish Shades of White – Not Just For Your Wedding Day

Float like a cloud in these dreamy little numbers, marked by their cream and ivory hues…
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