You may already know that you want an island themed wedding or at least an island wedding dress as part of your special day. Remember that picking the perfect destination that will complement your dress style is just as important as picking a beautiful island dress. Here are some ideas that may escape your initial brainstorming of locations for a wedding but often prove to be the perfect romantic setting. You will even save money compared to an event at the popular destinations.
Many couples want to have a destination wedding and then continue their honeymoon around the same area. One way to reduce costs is to have the wedding guests and party take a cruise to Hawaii. You get the benefit of visiting Hawaii without the expensive hotels, food, entertainment and other vacation costs. Sure you still have to pay for the cruise and maybe a flight to the cruise port depending on where you live but this is often less than a round trip flight to Hawaii, lodging expenses and food expenses. You now have the option of having a ceremony on the cruise ship with a backdrop of the nearby Hawaiian Islands on the horizon soaking in the beautiful deep blue ocean. The bride & groom might want to escape for some romance on the Hawaiian Islands after the wedding while at a port of call.
The Florida Keys are in the Caribbean but cost a fraction of what a full blown cruise will run especially for a large group. The keys are a great choice for budget minded couples who live in the eastern US. Florida businesses pretty much lives on tourists so there is always great deals waiting for the opportunistic bargain seeker. A good place to start is a visitor’s center where you can get discounts on everything from lodging and restaurants to dinner shows, attractions and tours. For the more courageous couples you can head just north to the Florida Everglades for a truly memorable experience; if you love sea food make sure you find Cap’s Place where you will encounter the best seafood you will ever eat. Cap’s has been open since 1928 and still prepares food the same way, oh yeah; the menu is based on the daily catch. If it wasn’t caught that day you won’t be eating it at Cap’s Place.
Off the coast of Los Angeles and Orange County is the island of Catalina. Even though you are only a 90 minute boat ride from LA you feel as though you are in another world. You get the island feel without the expense of traveling to an exotic destination available only to the wealthy. There are a few resorts right on the water that have exceptional accommodations for a wedding and reception. Alternatively you can head up the mountain of Catalina to either a private residence or one of the few outcroppings for spectators. You will need to plan ahead especially if your wedding is anytime from spring to fall since many city dwellers escape to Catalina for a weekend retreat. This is one bustling island with tourists from around the world, island inhabitants and southern Californians. Don’t let the popularity of Catalina burst your bubble because the island is popular for one reason; it breathes romance & hospitality.
Malibu or San Diego
Southern California offers some of the most romantic, picturesque scenes for weddings rivaled only by island destinations such as Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand and Bora Bora. Two of the most popular areas of southern California by locals and tourists are Malibu and San Diego. Malibu is just north of LA and nestled in the beautiful mountains that bunt up against the ocean. Some may be turned off by the LA crowd but San Diego is as different from LA as Tokyo is to New York. You will find that the locals, tourists and everyone else in San Diego are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Everyone is laid back, looking for a good time and happy to help anyone in the community…even if they are just passing through. On top of all that San Diego has as much romance as Paris with its beautiful views, architecture and landscaping. There is a reason San Diego is “America’s Finest City”; there are just too many positives to list.