North America

Home-Based Happily Ever Afters

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2011

While in the Music City, wedding guests can explore nearby attractions, including the historic Belle Meade Plantation, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Grand Ole Opry House. Call for nightly rates.

Contact: (888) 888-9414; thehermitagehotel.com

the ritz-carlton chicago, a four seasons hotel When it comes to luxury hotels, it doesn’t get much better than a Four Seasons property. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to weddings, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel knows a thing or two about throwing a lavish affair. From the moment the bride and groom confirm their wedding, to all the day-of finishing touches, the expert staff here leaves no detail unattended. Here, couples can celebrate with their loved ones beneath the ballroom’s sparkling 400,000-crystal chandelier, enjoying floor-to-ceiling views of Chicago, or select from a number of more intimate salons. Wedding menus can even be tailored by the property’s executive chef. A number of customizable wedding packages are available to accommodate varying party sizes and can include a 3- or 4-course sit-down dinner, wedding cake and more.

Located atop Water Tower Place on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel, features 435 redesigned guestrooms with scenic views, an award-winning spa, fitness club and indoor pool, as well as deca Restaurant + Bar. During their stay, wedding guests can peruse nearby art galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as other popular attractions such as Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Sears Tower and The Hancock Observatory, among others. Nightly rates vary.

Contact: (800) 819-5053; fourseasons.com

the venetian, las vegas Nothing says “wedding” quite like Las Vegas. Where else outside of Venice can couples enjoy a romantic wedding day gondola ride? The Venetian, Las Vegas makes this and other Italian-inspired fantasies come true with its wide selection of wedding packages. The property’s Garden Romance package, for instance, includes use of the Venezia side garden for one hour, along with photography and other wedding ceremony essentials, and 20 percent off suite accommodations for bride and groom for $1,650 (maximum of 10 guests). Or, recommend the Courtyard Romance package, which includes private use of the Venezia Courtyard for one hour, a personal event planner to assist with ceremony details, bouquet and other essentials. This package is priced at $9,500 with a maximum of 100 guests. Brides and grooms can also choose to exchange vows aboard a private gondola ride along The Venetian’s Grand Canal while being serenaded by their own gondolier.

The Venetian is an all-suite property boasting over 3,000 accommodations that range from 650 sq. ft. to 2,900 sq. ft. Each suite comes complete with a Roman tub, plush king-sized bed and sunken living space with HDTV. Call for nightly rates.

Contact: (866) 659-9643; venetian.com

the fairmont empress You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy a wedding that’s fit for a princess. The 477-room The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, with its palatial-style architecture and history dating back to the early-1900s, has played host to kings, queens, dignitaries and celebrities, so why not your soon-to-be newlyweds? Towering over Victoria’s sparkling Inner Harbour, the hotel offers an Elopement package with rates starting at $1,900 for up to four guests. It includes a romantic venue for the couple—this can range from the property’s Rose Garden, blooming with fragrant roses and hydrangeas, to The Palm Court, complete with Italian marble floors and dome stained glass ceiling—all the wedding essentials, as well as 1-night suite accommodations for bride and groom with breakfast in bed, and dinner for two in the Empress Room. During their stay, make sure clients experience afternoon tea in the hotel’s historic Tea Lobby, a tradition that’s been taking place at The Fairmont Empress for over a century. Here, guests can sip on a selection of seasonal teas created exclusively for the hotel, along with freshly baked pasties like raisin scones served with heavy cream and strawberry preserves prepared by the hotel’s award-winning pastry chef. Regular nightly rates at The Fairmont Empress start at $220.

Contact: (800) 257-7544; fairmont.com

pelican hill With its beautiful seaside setting boasting views of the Pacific Ocean, Pelican Hill sets the stage for an upscale yet relaxing wedding on the Southern California coast. Situated on 504 acres between the picturesque towns of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, Pelican Hill offers couples three very romantic ceremony venues. Our favorite: the Wedding Lawn, a verdant and private outdoor area featuring a renaissance-style rotunda and spectacular vistas over the resort, the golf courses, the coastline and the Pacific. It accommodates up to 270 guests for a banquet and 350 for a reception. For indoor parties, La Capella is the resort’s indoor wedding venue and features hand-hewn wooden ceilings, fireplace, bell tower and ocean views. It is separate from the hotel for more privacy and can accommodate 120-180 guests. Additionally, Pelican Hill hosts just one wedding per day to ensure that each couple has their own exclusive experience and rights to take photos on property.