Graceful Garden Ceremony: San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California
Elegant and luxurious, the San Ysidro Ranch is nestled in the Montecito Hills on a citrus farm dating back to the 1800s. This 41-room-suite ranch is stretched over 500 picturesque acres, with wedding venues that include a masonry barrel-vaulted wine cellar, a private cottage that can set up to 60 and sycamore tree-lined estate lawns where you can host up to 200 guests. If serenity and privacy are high on your wedding agenda, look no further. Best Time to Go: September to November and March to June
Wedding Spot: The Stone House, which features a dining room with crackling fireplaces, ocean views and heated stone flooring, is perfect for kicking off your wedding shoes and dancing the night away.
Unique Feature: Rent the same cottage JFK and Jackie stayed at on their honeymoon (now known as the Kennedy Suite). This was also the wedding location of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
Cuisine: Farm to table gourmet fare that highlights the best of California.
Luxurious Mexican Wedding Feast: One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
This iconic location, long celebrated as one of the world’s most exclusive resorts, relaunched in April after an expansive makeover. The historic on site wedding chapel, with its candle-lit aisles, whitewashed arches, views of the tropical grounds and breathtaking beaches, feels like the backdrop to a contemporary fairy tale. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, with torches lighting the way to your reception on the beach. Best Time to Go: March to May and October to December
Wedding Spot: Located on its own peninsula, this private wedding oasis offers exquisite beachfront reception, dining and dancing.
Unique Feature: All guests have their own personal butler for the duration of their stay.
Cuisine: Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s cuisine will dazzle even the most discerning palate.
Rustic-Chic Affair: Hidden Pond Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine
Perfect for the couple that love the outdoors but want to kick it up a glamorous notch or two. The understated, but luxurious Hidden Pond Resort is charmingly private, its secretive location living up to its name. Wedding activities for guests may include mixology classes, guided bike excursions, paddle-boarding, and gardening. Only a short drive from the beautiful ocean shores of Kennebunkport, the resort can even arrange for you to greet guests with a private, captain-led sailing excursion in the Atlantic. Although the culture of Maine is low-key, this unique town is comfortable hosting past presidents and cultural leaders. Best Time to Go: May to October
Wedding Spot: The Farm—one of two on site organic flower and vegetable gardens can accommodate 200 guests and is as rustic as it is plush.
Unique Feature: Hidden Pond is surrounded by 60 acres of birch groves, balsam fir and sweet fern.
Cuisine: Farm-to-fork restaurant, Earth, is the brainchild of James Beard Award winning chef Ken Oringer.
Breathtaking Desert Wedding: Amangiri Villas, Aman Resorts, Lake Powell, Utah
This one-of-a-kind resort is set among romantic raw landscapes and the starkly beautiful desert scenery of Utah’s deep canyon country. Designed to blend in with the area’s incredible red rocks and yellow sand, it would be hard to find a more dramatic or romantic wedding venue in North America. The resort features a number of outdoor wedding venues, from magnificent pool terraces with floating walkways that function as wedding aisles, to campfire pavilions with a softly spiritual ambiance. Amangiri —meaning Peaceful Mountain—offers up a rare and beautiful glimpse into the Four Corners of the U.S. Best Time to Go: April to September
Wedding Spot: The Desert Lounge, an open-air living room, running north to south, offers sweeping views and is a romantic choice for a sunset or sunrise wedding
Unique Feature: Stargazing at its finest—savour the endless twinkling sky, accompanied by a soothing soundtrack of chirping crickets.
Cuisine: Locally sourced with an emphasis on wood-fired ovens and rustic Navajo flavours.
Woodsy Upscale I Do’s: Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, California
There may not be a more intimate wedding spot in North America than Ventana Inn. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and one of Big Sur’s most iconic properties, the Inn, set on 243 private acres, is perched on top of a rugged cliff. The climbing, twisting and turning drive to Ventana’s tranquil grounds along the scenic Pacific Coast with its jaw-dropping views will leave your guests speechless. Once there, immerse yourself in the lush yet unassuming world of rolling meadows, wood-burning fireplaces, spacious suites, daily yoga and local fauna (think gentle deer)—the latter may even show up to watch the ceremony. Best Time To Go: March to June and September to November
Wedding Spot: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean—way, way up—Ventana’s wedding terrace can’t be beat. Nor can the sunset.
Unique Feature: Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Sean Parker were all married here.
Cuisine: Local California cuisine, farm-to-table cooking, seasonal and gourmet.
Low-Key Plantation Wedding: The Moorings Village, Islamorada, Florida Keys
This understated beach retreat is set on a former coconut plantation in the beautiful Florida Keys. The 18-acre site is surrounded by four bodies of water—the Atlantic, the Gulfstream, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay. Located on the ultra-chill island of Islamorada, famous for its orange-and-purple sunsets, swaying palm trees and pristine turquoise waters, this little paradise oozes laid-back charm. Your wedding guests can spend their days deep sea fishing, swimming, kayaking or simply burying their toes in the sand while sipping on fresh pina coladas. Wedding vows are exchanged oceanfront on the picturesque and oh-so-blue Morada Bay. Best Time to Go: November to May
Wedding Spot: No other place than waterfront. On Morada Bay, you and your wedding guests can spend the night dancing barefoot on the beach surrounded by tiki torches.
Unique Feature: With only 18 rooms, you can do a buy-out of the entire property for just you and your guests.
Cuisine: Feast on fresh local catches with classic French and Caribbean influences.
Sublime Beach Wedding: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
If you dream of exchanging your vows surrounded by pristine white beaches and crystal-blue waters, then the island of Maui is the paradise of your fantasies. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Four Seasons Resort Maui—the best location on the island for a stunning sunset ceremony—is known for its impeccable service and opulence, which means you can enjoy the most romantic day of your life, stress-free. Best Time to Go: December to May
Wedding Spot: The resort’s Fountain View lawn can host everything from intimate affairs of 20 guests to grand affairs of 200—and in grand style. Think canopied dining tents complete with chandeliers, and dinner and then dancing, backlit by a spectacular sunset.
Unique Feature: The hotel is shaped like a horseshoe, which means almost every guest room has ocean views.
Cuisine: Fresh seafood is the hallmark of the resort’s gourmet Hawaiian cuisine.
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