“I Do” Destinations in Historical & Luxurious Settings

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Casa Ybel Resort (Photo credit: Luminaire Foto)
Casa Ybel Resort (Photo credit: Luminaire Foto)

casa ybel resort, sanibel island
Laid-back Sanibel Island, known for its white-sand beaches and picturesque backdrops, is home to Casa Ybel Resort, which spans across 23 acres along the Gulf of Mexico and offers various wedding venues—from the beach to a lakeside gazebo and a Gulf-front lawn. The historic property has been hosting weddings for over 100 years, so it doesn’t skip on the important details, such as offering snacks to the wedding party before the couple walks down the aisle, or late-night bites like beef sliders, baked mac & cheese cups, as well as an assortment of dessert options to help keep the party going well into the wee hours. Wedding options include the Intimate Wedding package for parties of 25 or less with a beach or lawn ceremony, reception, plated dinner, Champagne toast, floral bouquet and boutonniere, a wedding cake and more, and starting at $185 pp. Larger ceremonies for up to 250 guests include a 3-hour open bar, and a plated or buffet dinner. When booking either an intimate affair or a large soiree, couples receive the service of a wedding coordinator. The property also plans off-site excursions for wedding guests. casaybelresort.com

the brown palace hotel and spa, denver
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, an Autograph Collection property, is located in Denver and offers couples five distinct wedding venues able to accommodate weddings from 50 to 350 guests (starting at $140 pp). The hotel’s onsite Spa at the Brown Palace is a perfect way for the bridal party to squeeze in time for some pampering before the big day as they offer hairstyling, makeup application, cocktails and appetizers. Couples who book their wedding at The Brown Palace receive a complimentary deluxe guestroom for their wedding night and discounted guestroom rates, as well as a complimentary dinner for two at the onsite Palace Arms restaurant on their 1-year anniversary. brownpalace.com

planters inn, charleston
In 2014, Conde Nast Traveler ranked Charleston as a popular U.S. destination, and to add to the accolade, Planters Inn was also voted as the “2014 Best Hotel in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure magazine. Located in Charleston’s Historic District, the intimate 64-guestroom property, originally built in 1844, has come a long way as it was once a dry-goods storehouse and is now part of the Relais & Chateaux collection.

“With her confection-colored antebellum mansions and charming seaside ambiance, Charleston is an enclave of easy elegance that remains untouched by fad or fashion,” says Chelsea Dentler, catering sales manager at Planters Inn and the onsite Peninsula Grill. “Charleston is an undeniably picturesque place—a sumptuous visual setting for unforgettable weddings.”

The property features three charming ceremony venues—the Courtyard, featuring bluestone and historic Charleston brick, boxwoods, fountains, and crepe myrtle trees; the Charleston Room, which accommodates up to 50 guests for cocktail receptions, and 32 guests for seated dining; and the Garden Room, which features fabric panels and antique mirrors, and accommodates up to 120 guests for cocktail receptions and 80 for seated dining. Couples who are seeking to take in Charleston’s coastal location can opt for a ceremony aboard the Wishing Star, the property’s private, 84-ft. wooden motor yacht, which accommodates 20 guests. The property has also recently added its famous 12-layer Peninsula Grill Ultimate Coconut Cake as a wedding cake option for couples. Extra perk for agents: The food and beverage portion of all wedding bookings are also commissionable. plantersinn.com

carmel valley ranch, carmel
Carmel Valley Ranch offers plenty of greenery and mountain views, making it ideal for a rustic romantic ceremony setting in California. Ceremony sites include the Vineyard Lawn, which is nestled in a Pinot Noir vineyard surrounded by oaks and lavender plants, and the Valley Lawn, which showcases views of the bucolic valley. Receptions can be held at the Redroom Room, perched above the Vineyard Lawn and offering traditional elegance with views of the valley and forest, and featuring an outdoor terrace. The Oak Room, a private outdoor courtyard, features the “Adventure Kitchen” (couples can choose to hide this feature), allowing chefs to prepare the meal in front of guests. The Clubhouse, meanwhile, recently went through a $1 million redesign and offers views of the valley and hills. Outdoor receptions can be coordinated in The Range, where couples can tent the property’s driving range while taking in the views of Carmel Valley. The Organic Garden is the most unique option at the property as it provides an intimate, rustic venue set among flowerbeds and vegetable gardens used for the property’s farm-to-table cuisine. Site fees start at $3,000. The onsite Spa Aiyana provides pampering for couples and their wedding party with various wedding packages such as the Queen Bee package, which spreads over two days and includes a shellac manicure, an Aiyana pedicure, an oxygen infusion facial, and wedding makeup and hair. Grooms also get special treatment with the Grooming Bar package that features a classic hot shave, an Arnica massage, and a Bloody Mary bar. The bride-to-be can also celebrate her upcoming nuptials with her special ladies with The Hive or the {Bee}autiful Bachelorette packages, offering poolside cabanas, Champagne toasts, and spa treatments. carmelvalleyranch.com

st. regis princeville, kauai
At the St. Regis Princeville, located in Kauai’s northern shore, it’s all about ceremonies amid mountain waterfalls, Hawaiian forests, and ocean tide pools.

“The St. Regis Princeville is an extraordinary destination wedding site. Overlooking majestic Hanalei Bay and waterfall-laced mountains, couples have the opportunity to customize their wedding ceremony from the arrival by a traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe to a performance by a master of Hawaiian slack key guitarist,” says Ashlee Libbrecht, senior conference & catering manager. Additionally, she points out, “couples residing in a suite can enjoy signature St. Regis butler service throughout their stay,”

Among the ceremony options is the Kamani Cove, a beach lawn site surrounded by the Makana Mountain and the Na-Molokama waterfall with a canopy of kamani trees overhead, which accommodates up to 100 guests. The Leolani Cove, meanwhile, offers an intimate location for a barefoot beach ceremony (accommodating up to 30 guests)—a short rocky pathway leads couples to the perfect spot alongside the ocean under the kamani trees. The Hanale’I Terrace, a cliffside location offering views of the Pacific Ocean and the tropical gardens, is an elegant choice with an open-air area for up to 30 guests, as is The Bay Terrace, with views to Hanalei Bay and beyond, and featuring the waterfalls of Na-Molokama as the focal point of the ceremony (it fits up to 60 guests). The property’s most popular package, Intimate Celebrations, includes an oceanfront ceremony, a Hawaiian-inspired officiant, a 1-hour solo acoustic musician, a bride and groom lei, a bridal bouquet, a 2-hour photography session, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, a 4-course romantic seaside dinner for two in a private cabana, custom wine pairings, pressing of wedding attire, and romantic wedding night turndown service, priced at $7,700 (based on two guests). Receptions can also be celebrated in the 6,616-sq.-ft. Astor Ballroom, accommodating up to 500 guests for an extravagant affair (or sectioned into four smaller venues). The Nalu Kai restaurant is ideal for a casual reception as it accommodates up to 150 guests and offers outdoor space in a garden setting with cabanas and torch lighting. starwoodhotels.com/stregis/property/overview