Since Justin surprised with me a romantic proposal during our trip to Thailand for my 30th birthday, I’ve been casually doing a little research into different types of destination wedding. Whilst we’ve not made a decision on what is best for us (more on that conundrum another time) I thought I would share some of my research with you. From cliff top cabanas in Bali to pop-up weddings in the Las Vegas desert, these stylish and unique destination wedding ideas are perfect for travel lovers.
Which do you like the look of?
Vegas weddings have come a long way since Little White Chapel elopements (although this is still a very good value and fuss-free way to do it). My research into unique weddings has thrown up some gorgeous retro and desert inspired options too though.
Flora Pop, Pop-Up Wedding
Flora Pop is about the coolest, unexpected way I have discovered to elope, ever! Flora Pop was created by Victoria Hogan who has a background in floral design and wanted to bring something different to the Las Vegas wedding scene. She customised her vintage ‘Teardrop Trailer’ by hand to create a gorgeous, vintage-inspired, pop-up wedding chapel.
At a Flora Pop wedding, Victoria brings her vintage Teardrop Trailer to a location of your choosing, provides flowers, the marriage ceremony (she’s the wedding officiant) and celebratory donuts, and marries you in a really fun and informal way.
Downtown Weddings packages start at $650 or Desert Wedding Packages, which also include a champagne toast seating area, start at $1500. The packages can be customised if you have witnesses or want to add extras like a vintage car transfer.
Cactus & Lace
Cactus & Lace create rustic-glam elopements against the stunning backdrop of the Valley of Fire. The Cactus & Lace team consists of 3 lady photographers (Lory Fabbi, Reyanna Jarrel, and Rachel Garcia) and they bring their eye for styling and photography to every wedding they create. Their wedding packages, which start from $4750, include all the stylistic design and decor (you can choose from themes like Desert Romance and Cowboy Love) as well as hair and make up for the bride, luxury transportation for the couple, flowers, cake and 2 hours of professional photography with 2 photographers.
More options: the chicest chapel on the strip can be found at Aria Las Vegas. Their wedding packages include access to bridal and groom dressing rooms, live internet broadcast of your ceremony and the option to hold a private reception in one of their Executive Suites. Prices start at $1,900 for the wedding ceremony & 45 minutes of photography. You can also hold a retro style wedding at the Neon Museum in Downtown Vegas, prices start at $450 for the 30 minute ceremony, officiant not included.
My sister held her wedding in Lindos, Greece and it was filled with good food, Greek dancing and beautiful views. One of the most popular places for wedding in Greece are the sunset view terraces in Santorini.
Santorini is such a unique setting for a wedding due to that fact that its traditional white buildings cling to the side of a cliff that was created when the island was burst open by a volcano some 3000 odd years ago. Weddings at sunset overlooking the caldera are among the most popular options on the island, although you can also hold your ceremony and reception in a winery or at a beach taverna.
A brand new wedding venue opening on the island this year is La Ceil or Sunset Terrace. Venue hire for the ceremony and reception is €1850, with catering starting around €66 per head and 6 hours of free flowing alcohol for €50 per person.
Companies such as the UK based Ionian Weddings offer packages that include the wedding ceremony, reception for 20 guests, transport and flowers for around €5000 (drinks not included) or if you would like to custom design your wedding with a local planner you can work with teams such as Santorini Glam Weddings, whose portfolio include weddings that look like this…
Bali is a popular choice for destination weddings for the Aussies due to its reasonable prices and proximity to Oz (relatively speaking!). It’s so well set up for weddings that there are lots of options catering to almost every style and budget. Almost every luxury hotel on the island has a wedding co-ordinator who can help you arrange a resort wedding, or you can hire a villa or book out a whole resort such as Mick’s Place if you want something a bit more private.
I’ve come across two jaw-dropping boutique hotel wedding venues that I wanted to share with you. They are both by Alila, one is on the coast at Uluwatu and one is in the jungle outside Ubud.
Alila Villas Uluwatu
Alilia Villas Uluwatu has one of the most stunning venues I’ve ever seen for a coastal wedding. Their sunset cabana perched over the edge of a cliff at Uluwatu offers what they call a ‘wedding at the end of the world.’ Wedding packages, which start from $4200 for 30 guests, include elegant decorations such as a floral aisle and 2-night stay in a 1-bedroom pool villa for the bride and groom. Your wedding reception can be held at a private villa or in the glamourous wine room of their CIRE restaurant.
Weddings at Alila Ubud take place amongst the rice paddies and palm trees found in this tranquil part of the island. A traditional Balinese wedding in the Sculpture Garden (from $2800 couple only) includes traditional wedding umbrellas, 2 Balinese Girls for the bridal procession, a cake and 2-nights in a pool villa, among other treats. Your reception may be held next to their award-winning infinity pool – it makes for exceptional photos, as the photographer below proves.
I’ve come across a few wedding locations in my local area too. One of my favourite local cafes, The Grounds Of Alexandria, hold elegant, rustic receptions amongst their twinkly-lit gardens. Having sampled their food and coffee, I know this would be a great option for foodies.
For a wedding so close to the Harbour Bridge you can almost touch it, there’s the Water @ Pier One wedding venue. Situated on a heritage listed wharf just under the bridge, this venue comes with some of the best views of the city. I couldn’t find any up to date prices for this venue, so you’ll have to enquire to find out more! (I saw an old pdf online which had catering listed as starting from $145 per head but I think this is out of date now.)
Any brides-to-be tempted by these options? I think I’m in love with them all!