Wedding

Destination: Wedding

As soon as Brooks and I got engaged, we got to thinking: where should we get married? Brooksโ€™ family is in Canada. Mine is Tennessee, Nevada and Utah. Our friends are spread out all across America and throughout Europe, too. A destination wedding would make sense, but where?

Am I the get married on the beach, toes in the sand kind of girl? Or would we rather do something unexpected in the winter, maybe in the snowcapped mountains? Iโ€™ve been to beautiful weddings at vineyards, ranches, on tropical islands, and they were each stunning in their own way.

Then I begin to think of logistics such as flights, hotels, transporting this here and that there. Taking time out of our hectic schedules to visit the destination for a walk through and menu tastings. I also have this daunting thought, what if I forgot something essential back at home? Has anyone ever forgotten say, their wedding dress?! Might it be easier and less stressful if we kept things closer to home in LA?

I normally like to create a list of pros and cons whenever I have to make a big decision. I’d love your help — what’s your advice?

Photo credit: kitzcorner

Julianne Hough
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Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough is just trying to be a nice person who dances as often as possible, usually in public. She recently wifed up to NHL star Brooks Laich and is the proud dog-mom of two pups, Lexi & Harley (theyโ€™re the real brains behind everything).
Julianne Hough
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  • Jackie Chapman Davis

    Canada because most of your guests probably haven’t been and it is beautiful!!

  • henleyco

    As a wedding planner, who has helped NHL players with their destination weddings, I think the location needs to be where your heart sings! Thinking about a location that is special to both of you is most important; the guests that are meant to be there will find a way to get there! I just did a wedding in La Jolla, CA for a NHL player from Canada! Would love to help you too!

  • Margaret Bee

    I did mine in Wilton Manors, FL (where my husband is from), and it’s a lovely destination area. I did not forget my dress or anything important in Los Angeles, but we did forget it 3 times on the way from my in-laws’ place to our hotel to get ready. Oy. Anyhow, there are beautiful places across the globe and I’m sure you’ll end up at one so try not to worry too much and enjoy the process. It goes by in a flash!

  • Tracey Rapoza-Braam

    I’d honestly pick where YOU and Brooks want to go. After all, it’s your day. No one else’s. Pick where you would love to get married. Pick what will make you happiest. In the end, that’s all that matters.

  • Rosanna

    I think something in Italy, or Spain. Maybe if it’s too much for logistic then a nice Country wedding.

    Also I believe if you do a beach wedding then it should be in an Island like Hawaii.

  • Brittany

    Come to my house!!! HAHA just kidding. Wherever you feel at home. Maybe a place that holds significant meaning to both of you, or the place you got engaged, the place you first met, or your first date. Just pick a place where you will be the happiest and can share it with all of your family and friends! Hoping you figure it out! Love ya

  • Jane Bennz

    It sounds like the majority of your friends and family are going to have to travel anyway so why not make the day as stress-free as possible for YOU. If you are truly stressed about details such as worrying about the weather or that you’d forget something or that something at your destination doesn’t work out, then stay close to home. If that reduces your stress, find something nearby that makes your event special without making it stressful. LA is a short drive from some of the nicest spots in the world where you can get great photos, world class services, etc. So look at your own priorities and the family will come out to you.

  • Jose de Avila

    The Biltmore estate in Ashville North Carolina.

  • Delany Rae

    The place you met or somewhere in the middle like Utah.. You should do a contest so that someone can win a chance to attend your wedding

  • Camila Araya Morales

    Coeur d’alene? I think is specia for you both and it’s a beautiful place! Imagine a winter/spring wedding there! so gorgeous. Good luck with everything Jules!!!

  • Hadar Lourie

    wow the venue is a really hard decision to make. I also think like most of people who commented.Since is gonna be a shlep for everyone do what u want-what will make you guys happy ๐Ÿ™‚ What a fun and crazy time you must be going through!! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anne van Lienden

    I think for sure you should go for an outside wedding i think that suits you. Maybe its a good thing to look where the most people come from europe or states and then where and look at what is most centerd of those places. But maybe its nice to do it back at home spend your night before the wedding at your parents house stuff like that. Good luck planning the wedding!! I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful wedding.

  • Briana Hamill

    Check out wedding pics from Iceland on Pinterest! Absolutely stunning, and it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your family.

  • Lauren Reynolds

    I don’t have a specific place in mind, but maybe a little advice. I would think the best place to have a wedding is someplace that has a special meaning to both of you. Like a place that you both have shared a special moment and is significant to you. I hope this helps a little. You may want to take this with a grain of salt, I’ve never been married, so it’s just a romantic’s point of view.

  • Meredith Kuntz

    I agree with Jane. It sounds as though a majority of people will have to travel regardless. I would suggest picking somewhere that speaks to you and to the two of you as a couple. Is there a great memory of somewhere you’ve gone together? Or Google search venues/restaurants/parks/historical places in your favorite areas of the country/world, and see if anything pulls at your heartstrings. Weddings in historic mansions, in crumbling buildings that are hundreds of years old, or even in the middle of a town square in a quaint European village would all be beautiful, and wonderful, and perfect.

    As for logistics, I have discovered that weddings will be a lot of work/organization, regardless of where you hold it. There are always a million things to pack, jobs to assign, people to enlist for help, etc. whether it’s literally in your backyard, or thousands of miles away on the other side of the globe. Good luck choosing!

  • SDPEdmonton

    If Brooks is playing, then winter would be limited (mostly to around all star break unless he’s fortunate enough to get to go!). I would suggest that since everyone will be travelling anyway, do it where you’re comfortable, even if this means home!

  • Emily Miller

    I have always dreamed of getting married with the ocean behind me and my feet in the sand. But I am a Canadian girl and the thought of a winter wonderland wedding is always in the back of my mind. There is nothing more beautiful than the snow covered trees, heating from a fire place. For some reason a beautiful chalet at the bottom of a ski hill comes to mind when I think of winter wedding.

    Having a destination wedding is always scary, I go away for a week and I manage to forget something so I couldn’t imagine the stress of having to bring everything with you and making sure that all your guest get there.

    Having your wedding in LA might be your best option if you want to have a big wedding with lots of guest. You don’t have to worry about getting yourself to a destination and forgetting some. All you have to worry about is your guest getting to you. Who doesn’t love the west coast. If you wanted to do a winter wedding though (which I could imagine would be difficult during hockey season) I would say consider Utah, it’s close to the Canadian boarder and not to far from LA.

    Hope I could help a little. I’m currently leaving vicariously through your journey ?

    Emily

  • Michela

    Bora Bora!!!! Has the best picture oppurtunities and its my dream place to go

  • Terri Walsh

    My cousin got married in Spain. Only his super close friends/ family where able to go but he had a HUGE party once he got back home (lobster and all) as we are from the maritimes. The pictures where stunning and it looked like such a laid back/romantic wedding. Have you ever seen the Chateau that they are re-doing in France? That place looks magical…in the mountains. So picturesque. I’m planning my wedding for next year. I have a HUGE family so it will be a big one but just think of what you want, who you want to be present at your wedding, what’s important to you guys. Then go from there…its about you and your future husband and nobody else.

  • Gina

    I always wanted a destination wedding but for me, it just wasn’t in the cards. However, I have been to 2 so far and both were amazing. I highly recommend it and many people think it’s hard on your guests, which it can be, however, for those that want to be there, they will be there. It’s a vacation with friends and family! As a guest, you get to meet people you wouldn’t have the opportunity to if you just attended a wedding. With the vacation atmosphere, you typically spend 3 or 4 days with these people and get to know the bride and grooms’s family and friends. I get the fear of forgetting something, but I guarantee you won’t forget your wedding dress! Besides, I’m sure you have enough connections to make anything happen of something was left behind or goes “wrong.” You definitely should pick somewhere that is meaningful to you both and speaks to you. You are going to have to venue search no matter what and for some reason, when you find it, I think you will just know!

  • Kashti

    How about where you guys got engaged? From your pictures on Instagram Idaho looks beautiful! Or maybe find the halfway point between Utah and Canada!:)

  • Rachel Phillips

    My husband and I had a destination wedding in Punta Cana, DR and we couldn’t have been happier with how it all turned out! We were at a large resort, and all of our guests were in the same hotel. We celebrated with our guests for the entire weekend of the wedding (plus a few days) and have wonderful memories of our wedding week with all of our favorite people. While you have to make some sacrifices when you go abroad for your wedding, you can also still stay very true to your vision. And I bought a special garment bag to take my wedding dress with me. It folded up nicely and was safely tucked away in an overhead bin. I doubt you’d forget your dress…such an important piece!

  • Shaheen Ahmad

    In my opinion, the most romantic place to share your vows should be Notre Dame de Paris (such a beautiful cathedral) but some family members might struggle financially getting to Paris. Now you could do the wedding in a more practical & sentimental location such as LA, Utah, or Canada (lovely spot, my aunt has a timeshare there) & share precious memories. Or (this is my fav) DISNEY WORLD/DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!

  • Alexa

    Maybe somewhere where you just imagined in your dreams! Jules go with your gut! This is your day

  • Ema Lafrance

    British Columbia is always beautiful, no matter the time of year! Or Greece would be a pretty amazing place.

  • Anette

    Marry in surrondings you both love and feel you have a connection to! Like a place you used to visit as s child or antything you can relate to in any way!

  • I love Destination Weddings! Pros – a unique and unforgettable experience, your family (most of them, it sounds like) have to buy a ticket anyway, and you’ll spend a whole weekend with your guests in a location that you’ll never all be together in ever again…it’s great!
    All you need is a solid planner and the experience will be actually…fun! And I promise that a good planner will NOT let you forget your dress. When I’ve coordinated weddings, even 2 hours away from the bride’s house, we treat it like a destination wedding and run the lists over and over and nothing gets left behind!
    If you need a florist (insert shameless plug…like how many of these have you gotten so far?!) – I’m a major fan, a Brooklyn NY gal who was a dancer for 18 years and now does my own events and flowers…and am just starting to build my name. I love LOVE and would be so stoked to work with you…wherever the plane ticket takes me, and would bring all of my super-talented florist friends with me to truly wow you and your guests.
    (pitch over)…anyway – Style Me Pretty has some great destination inspiration…some of my favorite shots are from Italy or Spain. Why not get a whole villa to yourselves and have everyone come out? Or a mountaintop location with snowy gorgeous views…that’s a great idea! Sit down together, and write down the top 5 places that you’d want to do this in without looking at each other’s list, and see if you have any common themes…and follow your heart.

  • Shell Y

    Maybe do the wedding somewhere closer to home, where everyone can stay together,and they don’t have to go overseas. Take over a nice hotel in a private location and make a whole long weekend of it. Somewhere closer to home would be less stressful for you to handle the arrangements and you wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting anything. Save the awesome destination pics for the honeymoon and go somewhere really special.

  • Heleen knikker

    where does your heart tell you to go?? Because following your heart is the best advise I can give you. This is YOUR special moment. If you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a wedding dress, look around you and what do you see?? The ocean, a lake, a castle, the Eiffeltower?? Personally I love the lake wedding photo!! Good luck and hugs from the Netherlands โค๏ธ

  • Amanda Mocsi

    Taking into account your hectic schedules, I would say it would probably be best if you did a summer wedding. It would give you more flexibility in the day choice and it wouldn’t feel so rushed as trying to plan it around the all star break all of three to four days. Also, with a summer wedding it would give you an opportunity to go on a honey moon and enjoy time together as newlyweds before having to return to your demanding schedules. A destination wedding sounds like a fantastic idea! You could go somewhere where you’ve never been before and have always wanted to check off your bucket list. It would be a fun place for everyone to go and have a great time away from home. However, when planning a destination wedding you’ll have to take into consideration certain laws and policies. For instance, in France you must be a resident for 40 days before you’re allowed to get married, and some foreign licenses don’t always transfer over to the US as well. I think my best advice is to get married in a place that means something to you and Brooks. They always turn out to be more sentimental for you guys as well as your family and friends. And if that means getting married stateside, where you have to fondest memories, then that is what you should do. Plus, you would be able to incorporate your dogs easier, which I think you should do because they seem to be really important to you guys. I hope this advice helped; wedding planning is a passion of mine!

  • Alexa

    Go with what your heart says!

  • Jena

    I would suggest that you give people save the dates 8-12 months in advance. Also, consider the complexities of a long flight if you have lots of young kids traveling. Considering the schedules you have, a reception in Canada makes sense- but perhaps the wedding should be in Cali.There are so many vendors and confidentiality contracts to be signed, it will be hard to do all this in other countries. So, another option is the Aniston route of making your honeymoon a destinationparty. Santorini, Greece is amazing as is Udaipur or Jaipur, India. (This is where the filmed Bond- among other beautiful reasons to do it there. But, you must only go between Dec and Feb, otherwise it is too hot) Lots of palaces in Rajistan, India.Best of luck!

  • Agustina Castro

    Where should I start? Okay… First of all don’t forget it’s YOURS and Brooks wedding and anyone else! So don’t pick the place because of others opinions! Of course your friends and family (and us ?) should suggest but the decision is yours!
    Having said that, I agree with most of the writers here; I think you should have your wedding “wherever the wind blows you”. So many options right? How to choose might be difficult, mostly because of the distances and having your guests all around the U.S. and Europe! But I believe that no matter where your wedding is, no one will want to miss it and will do the impossible to attend!
    As a couple, I imagine you guys have significant places where something important happened and it’s hard not to think about them! For example, near where you guys met or where you had your first kiss or where you got engaged! Don’t think about forgetting wedding essentials and forgetting something because I’m sure you will have everything organized and checked, and if it happened you could count on people who will do everything to help you (*cough cough* I don’t mind traveling where you are to help you ?)
    So, dear Jules ? you and I know that planning a such an important event is not easy and requires a lot of time! You won’t decide it from day to day, I’m sure the idea will pop in your head suddenly and you will know it’s the right thing to do! And don’t forget to tell us when it happens! I hope I helped you in some way and I wanted to thank you for letting me be part of your, may I say, most important day!
    Have a wonderful day Julianne, I love you!
    Ps. Have Lexi and Harley already picked their bridesmaid dresses? Imagine how cute would the girls look! ????

  • Alice

    I am from New Zealand and my husband is American, we chose Hawaii as it was half way between! We also got engaged there so it already had special memories for us. We wanted a small wedding so hoped having a destination wedding would cut back on the people who could attend – we were wrong, it made no difference to the people who wanted to celebrate with us, they made it their vacation for the year. We spent a week with everyone eating great food and having great adventures and really getting to know each other. We were so touched to have everyone there knowing the time and expense involved. It will be the only time the two sets of family and friends get together so having more than the one special day and not feeling rushed was awesome! As for the planning, I dont think it was too much harder than planning a local wedding. I spent a lot of time emailing, sending lots of pictures to the wedding planner of my ideas. You do have to trust the planner, but they are professionals and often pick up on things you would miss or expand on your ideas. I learnt what was important to me and focused on those things, letting others or the planner to take care of the things that didnt mean as much to me. I gave people the options on hotel rooms but they booked directly themselves, people are more than capable of booking their own flights and hotels these days, you dont need to add something else to your plate! Make lots of lists on what to pack – and check them twice! I had some things shipped to the planner early. Get to the destination at least a few days before the big day to sort out final details and have walk throughs, also to get rid of any jet-lag and airplane stuffiness! The only regret I have is not having a videographer, having a video that i could show to the couple of people who could not attend would have been awesome, as well as the long term memories of the day that really does go by so fast! Enjoy the planning!

  • Georgia Sides

    a beautiful rustic barn on a ranch in Montana sounds like the kinda weddin for you

  • Lynn Morris

    The most important part of your wedding day is obvious your marriage, so for me, the locale is secondary, having said that, wherever you choose will instantly become special because it will be where you said your vows and began your marriage. Enjoy this exciting time and best wishes always!

  • Caity Merriman

    I got married in the virgin islands in April and it was beautiful. So fun. If I had unlimited funds I would have gone to Tuscany to have my wedding looking out on the sunflower fields. Dreamy

  • Tanya Chabot

    I’d vote for British Columbia, Canada…. because well I’m a Canadian and I think we really do have a beautiful country, especially if you love the outdoors, and BC just so happens to be one of our most beautiful provinces. Of course at the end of the day it depends what your heart tells you, you have to go where you and the hubby want to most!

  • Jill Amore

    Get married someplace that you have seen and love. A place with meaning to you both. Get the best wedding planner familiar with that place and sit back and be the Bride. Those who crave being there, will be there.

  • Reagan Lungren

    In my opinion for you guyd it would depend what time of year it is. If its like in the summer you could have it any where you wanted. But if its during hockey season maybe somwthing close to D.C. Or if its DWTS season maybe something in LA.

  • Meghan Hermansen

    Julianne, my husband and I did a destination wedding to Florida (from Idaho). We k ew it would be tough for family and friends to make it, but also knew we wanted to keep it small. So we sent out invites, and had small beach wedding and reception in Florida and had a second reception in Idaho. I didn’t have to worry about forgetting anything on my big day, since we were close enough to any store that I may or may not need. Everything went well and 5 years later, still going strong.

    Ask yourselves these questions:
    1) How many people are you inviting to your wedding? Is the same number attending your reception? Just because big huge weddings are beautiful, remember what the day actually means… you and Brooks will be proclaiming your love to one another. Do you really want someone who you met once or twice there? The most important people to you ahould v6e there and everything else can be icing on top. This is all up to the two of you!
    2) Do you have any budget or are you throwing it together with a budget that will drain you of all your worth?

    Just a few things to think about. I dreamed of a big wedding, like every little girl does, but get down to the bare bones of what this means to you two, and then add on from there. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congratulations!!!

  • Taryn Camp

    Leave it up to luck ๐Ÿ™‚ Put all of the choices in a hat and pick at random!

  • Sarah Schultz

    I think getting married in the US is more logical than getting married in Europe however, getting married in Europe has more of a “fairytale” feeling than the US does. Getting married in Canada could give your guests the destination feel and opportunity to explore a new side of the world, without having to travel halfway across the world. It could also give your new in-law the opportunity to showcase their side of the family and could be a great family bonding session. Having the option of going anywhere in the world is amazing and regardless of where you and Brooks say “I Do”, it will be perfect because, at the end of the day, you get to spend the rest of your life with him ? Happy wedding venue hunting!

  • Jasmin Robert

    you should come in here in the Province of Quรฉbec in Canada!!… we have a beautifull city called Quรฉbec which has a Europeen look like style in Downtown… We also do have winter and a lot of snow.. A lot of lake and nice exterior decor. And we speak french which could be exotic :-).. a new place to discover and not so far from USA !!!
    contact me and I can send you nice romantic place picture.

  • Donna Prange

    We are going on a cruise for a destination wedding for a close friend of our daughters. How amazing to spend time with friends and future family on the cruise and add a wedding to boot! Just another suggestion, I am so HAPPY for you, and wish that this decision could be easier. However, whatever you choose do it for the two of you… Happy planning! ??

  • Karlee

    A Saskatchewan wedding during the summer or fall of course! We have beautiful skies which make for awesome pictures!

    Or get married in a forest somewhere with lights hanging from the trees (think Bella and Edwards wedding in Breaking Dawn :P). Maybe in Banff/Lake Louise, Alberta?

  • JulesLokey

    If you are trying to stay in California, I would recommend going to Sonoma. It is a charming small town and the vineyard views are so beautiful! I think it is about a 7 hour drive from LA… a little bit far but definitely worth it! Congrats Julianne! I’m sure the wedding will be amazing no matter where you decide to celebrate!

  • Josine Pastrana-McKee

    It’s about where you and Brooks want to get married.. If your loved ones want to come and celebrate, they will go wherever you have it…for your busy schedules, stress and time purposes.. Elope than have a huge celebration in the city where your life will be…..no matter what you decide, just remember it’s about you and him at the end of the day.

  • Judy Rox

    Wherever it makes you and Brooks happy. In the summer, do you love to go to the beach more or the mountains? I think for convenience for guests it would be easier for it to be in the US so why not pick a beautiful place neither of you’ve been to. Good luck with the planning!

  • Julie Luppino

    Jules, I am a Washington DC resident and also a huge Caps fan! I also just returned from my own destination wedding in the British Virgin Islands, Scrub Island. This was a year and a half of planning. Only our family and close friends attended. We have visited before and fell in love with Scrub Island and wanted to share “our paradise” with our family and friends. If there’s a special place you enjoy I suggest sharing it with your family and friends and get married there.

  • Katherine

    There are beautiful chateaux in the French countryside, such as the Chateau Villermaux, if you are looking for a fairytale style wedding. I also suggest Santorini as a wedding destination because it is absolutely stunning and memorable.

  • Alexandra Raphiel

    I’ve always thought that I’d want my wedding to be in a place that means something to me. I’m from a suburb of New Orleans, so no matter where I live at that moment, I’d want to return because it means something to me. Do what will make you happy! Get married where you two feel in your hearts is the best place, and the rest will work itself out! Your loved ones will go where you go! This is the one day that’s all about you and the love of you your life. Do what’s best for you two, and everything will fall into place โค๏ธ?โค๏ธ Much luck and happiness to you!

  • Ciro

    ISTANBUL, TURKEY.?? Istanbul is a place where it connects Europe & Middle East. I think it’d be very meaningful. Take a look at CIRAGAN PALACE ?

  • Ciro

    It’d be very meaningful to get married in Istanbul where it connects people & culture of Europe & Middle East. ?? TURKEY is definetly THE PLACE for you ?

  • Ciro

    Just take a look at CIRAGAN PALACE ??

  • Natiiii

    The best time to get married would be spring or summer ๐Ÿ™‚ In my opinion, would be on the beach to get married at the place where both of you are feeling well ; )

  • Taleen Leo

    Pick what represents you two the most. My husband and I got married in August and we chose an outdoor ceremony with mountains as the backdrop. We’re both outdoorsy people(love hiking) and thought it showcased our personalities the best. On another note, Style me pretty has a wedding shoot featured @ Malibu Rocky Oaks which looks absolutely stunning ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Geo Rafa

    It would be selfish if i say Greece just because I would love somehow to meet you,but no i’m not gonna say that!I would suggest a place that you and Brooks want to go!It’s your day!It doesn’t matter how far away or how close you are from home,as long as you’re with people that you love and they love you back!You can make you’re fairytale wedding anywhere you want even in a place that everybody else would say “no it’s not right for a wedding!”.Do what YOU TWO WANT to do and in the end and you will not regret it! ^_^

    PS sorry for my bad English!

  • Kenny B

    Get married in a desert! There’s some excellent spots in California. I’ve only seen a handful of desert ceremonies and they are always stunning. It’s something both ethereal and unique.

  • I just got engaged this summer and we were looking at Scotland since that is where my family is from and it would be so romantic, like a fairy tale! However, the logistics and cost for everyone was just too much…so we settled on the mountains next fall in Asheville, NC. Close enough so everyone can travel there, but still destination (we live in Ohio) ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s all about what YOU two want and what you picture as your perfect day!! xx

  • Jean Adams Caddy

    I’d pick where you are the most comfortable and know the people/vendors you will need to rely on to make your special day what you want it to be. Also, for your out-of-town guests, it needs to be somewhere that has good transportation and accommodations available.

  • Maria Colombi

    If you feel like it, I really suggest you to get married in Italy (my beautiful country)… You can find some amazing and romantic places!

  • Meka

    God is the third person in your marriage. As long as you are in a church and with the man you love, any city/state/country will guaranteed be the right choice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ooshanna Abeyratne

    If you are leaning towards a destination wedding… Come to Sri Lanka ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marilyn Roberson

    If you all are in DC (where I live/work) – its very easy to fly to Turks & Caicos (I have been there 5 times), and I know you have enjoyed a past trip there yourself – one of the best spots for weddings in the world! They have great planners, cake designers, photographers, florists, makeup artists, everything you need for an amazing celebration. You could even do it at Parrot Cay, the private island resort just off of Provo, where Donna Karan and Christie Brinkley have their homes – very hard for paparazzi to crash! On the shore at sunset, the photos would be stunning! BTW, your dogs would just need medical certificates and they can enter the country, no quarantine issues, if you want them to be there for your special day!!! Congrats and Go Caps!

  • Ashlea Coski

    Santa Barbara Area is a great choice for wedding venue location. There are many different options for venues ranging from wineries in the San Ynez Valley (Sunstone Winery), to beach weddings (Butterfly Beach), With loved ones spread out through the US and Europe this is a great location not just for a wedding but also a reunion. The Bacara is a great place to stay.

    If you are looking at having activities with family and friends the week prior to your wedding there are many activities in the area. For adventurers hiking, surfing, stand up paddle boarding (Blueline Surf), and kayaking (free Kayak tours on Fridays at Refugio State Beach 9am). Beautiful Golf courses (Sandpiper Golf Club), Wineries (Zaca Mesa Winery, Sunstone Winery), Solvang is a cute Danish town tucked away in the valley about 35 miles from Santa Barbara heading up the coast. Still my favorite coastline.

    If you donโ€™t have a wedding coordinator yet Davia (http://davialee.com) is a great choice. She has done many weddings through out the years and is a Santa Barbara native. Best of luck with planning and remember to enjoy it!

    The best time of year for Santa Barbara is Spring time (March-May) and late summer (August-October).

    Also if you are interested in using old mahogany church pews for your wedding our family has several.
    (ashlea.coski@gmail.com)

  • Christina

    My husband and I are pretty quiet people. So, we had a fairly small wedding (about 100 guests) and then spent our money on the honeymoon instead. I don’t regret it at all. It is totally up to you, Julianne. Just do what is most meaningful to you and Brooks. That being said, I do think a winter wedding would be gorgeous, but I love snow. There is something so magical about it to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sharon Solis

    I live in Santa Barbara and I got married last year. My original dream was to get married in LA library. I have so many great memories in the beautiful, historical building. It has beautiful cathedral-like spaces and it was a childhood treasure. I looked into the costs and logistics and it wasn’t going to work. Dream crushed.. or so I thought. I started looking locally and logistically, it made so much sense to do it in my city. I really didn’t know at the time that my city was a destination wedding location either.. Although, I had a wedding coordinator but my husband and I were very involved in the planning. We made many visits (during our lunch hour..and a half) with the caterer, venue, vendors to determine our needs. You may need to consider how involved you want to be in the planning process, how nitty gritty or how hands-off you would like to be. See how much time you can invest and go from there..

  • Courtney Addison

    We got married on the Tennessee River in our hometown of Chattanooga (my husband proposed on his family’s boat). It was a beautiful Fall day. He lived in Alabama while I was doing most of the planning in TN. I planned it in 4 months. I found that once I gave myself a deadline, it was easy to make decisions and move on to the next thing quickly. I also saw some really beautiful weddings while visiting New Orleans last month, one in a quaint little courtyard, one in front of the Cathedral, and one late at night where the new bride and groom were dancing in the street with their friends and family behind them and a band playing to send them off. My best advice would be not to try to please everyone. Make it a celebration and do something fun with the ones you love! If you just want to enjoy being engaged and love to plan things, then take your time. It’s over so fast!

  • Nancy Hamill

    Where to get married is a personal decision. One made, of course, by the bride and groom. That said, with family scattered from here in Canada thru US and Euro, wherever you decide will require travel for family. Far be it for me to say…although you are asking for opinions…go with LA. Your home base. Destination weddings require parents and grandparents and elder family to put themselves out of “comfort zones”. And while this day is about you and B…you must consider whom you are inviting.

    You want your wedding to be a time of happiness and a very chill, relaxed vibe. You and B know what’s best for your guests and ultimately the both of you. Shanti. Shanti.

  • Frank Wynerth Summers III

    I am from pretty far away in terms of experience. But I think it’s nice if a couple picks a destination to pick one where they have generous friends and relatives or extensive contacts( like Disney corporation?) In the hospitality industry. That way you can really be sure that the people who go will have a nice safe time. My sister had a nice big wedding in Mexico but my family has about twenty bedrooms there and a lot more friends and contacts. I think that makes a big difference.

    Sometimes small and close can be beautiful and huge and formal near the most people can be too. Otherwise keep the destination small and accept that you will really hurt feelings of a few people who like you a lot. Knowing that you can make it a small hurt.

  • Charlotte Ballinger

    Pick somewhere special to you 2, somewhere that holds a special memory for you.

  • Virginia Moreno

    I did a destination wedding in Playa Del Carmen. It was beautiful and they took care of everything. I did forget to bring my makeup though. That was a nightmare at first, but then I remembered who I was marrying and he could care less! It was the best day of my life!

  • Danielle Elizabeth Guthrie

    Go somewhere warm and tropical! I recommend somewhere with an all inclusive resort or a cruise. And don’t forget to hire me as your photographer! ๐Ÿ™‚ my Instagram is @danielleelizabethinc

  • Katie Schaefer

    Destination weddings are a great idea! Both of my sisters were married out of state, not exactly a “destination wedding”, but they were places that my family was not familiar with. My mom did a great job helping them plan. Some of the things that she found helpful was searching for venues that were flexible and could provide all of the services that the wedding would possibly need: food, set-up help, close to hotel/motel, etc..! My mom also planned out a theme for both weddings, an Irish theme was my favorite. They had the wedding in an small Irish town called Weston. There was an underground pub, Irish bed and breakfast, Jameson whiskey at the reception, celtic music and so much more! It was simple, unique and absolutely beautiful! I think the most important thing to remember is just to create and intimate setting where everyone can relax and de-stress! This will make an enjoyable evening wherever you may be!

  • Hanna Sparks

    I think when it comes to location it’s important to remember that it’s a day for YOU and your fiance! Choose the place that you both love to be. If your home together is in LA then your family would probably love to come there. It would also give both families the opportunity to see your new home! Good luck with the decision.

  • JulesLokey

    If you are trying to stay in California, I would recommend going to
    Sonoma, in the heart of wine country. It is a charming small town and
    the vineyard views are so beautiful! I think it is about a 7 hour drive
    from LA… a little bit far but definitely worth it! Congrats Julianne!
    I’m sure the wedding will be amazing no matter where you decide to
    celebrate! Follow your heart on this one…… its your special day!

  • Hanri Human

    Hallo Jules! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m a destination wedding photographer and I think Thailand is the perfect place to get married.
    Private beach. Golden sunsets. Tropical & romantic!
    Good luck with the planning! Great adventures await! Xxx

    Hanri Human ( http://www.hanrihuman.com )

  • Rebecca Lagares

    I’ve always dreamed of a sort of barn-style wedding, or maybe not a barn, but you know, somewhere rustic where the ceremony can be in a beautiful little garden of eden with lots of flowers and natural beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diane Phipps Shell

    Bora Bora

  • Lauren Michelle

    I got engaged in April was was thinking about the same thing. People immediately told me what they wanted out of the day. After a lot of thought, we decided that we are going to elope in St. Lucia. I actually found a deal where if we stay on an all-inclusive basis the wedding is free! I know you don’t have to worry about getting a free wedding, but we realized the beginning of the rest of our lives together shouldn’t be stressful, so we did what was best for us. Good luck and have fun planning!

  • Andrea Granados

    you should choose a place that has a meaning for the two of you! maybe where you two met, where you got your first date or where you got engaged. Kisses from Latin America!

  • Lindsey

    I got married in my hometown so I don’t know much about traveling logistics, but even living just 10 minutes from the church I got married I was so in a rush to get there and making sure I had my bridesmaids gifts the morning of that I forgot my wedding dress at my house! Thank goodness for family who could go get it for me while I was doing hair and makeup.

  • Jitka

    I’m from Czech Republic and my cousin’s wedding was in Poland, so our whole family including our grandma had to spend two days on a 800km long ride into another country where we didn’t know their language, but it was totally worth it. Their wedding was two-days celebration in a wonderfull small castle called Sieniawa and every moment there was magical.. It was a little expensive for us and we were really tired after that weekend, but we were excited. So just follow your heart, choose a place that you love and your familly will come to supoort you and see your best day ๐Ÿ™‚ Make a list of what you need to have with you and leave some worries on your friends and bridesmaids ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Amanda

    Villa Cimbrone in Ravello Italy! It’s on the Amalfi Coast but at the top of the mountain so the views are GORGEOUS!! It’s secluded and has so many different types of gardens to take beautiful photographs. It’s very romantic. Honestly even if you don’t do your wedding there you really should check it out because Ravello is a must see!

    Good luck!

  • Katherine and David

    We had similar issues when we got married this last October! We are both Canadians but our guest were coming from coast to coast and our best man from London, UK!

    We picked a venue close to Montreal, where David and I both lived, bc it was easier to plan this way. The venue does make a difference sometimes – but honestly your guests will be happy just to see you and Brooks happy! The venue creates the ambiance but you create the night and all the memories! If you want you can have a look at our photograph’s blog about this topic … Wedding Destination! http://www.ashleymacphee.com/blog/category/dave-kat-a-beautiful-mont-tremblant-wedding

    Happy planning xoxoxox

  • Alaster

    I agree with Tracey. As for me our wedding was in Dominican Republic and I liked it. The Sun, the beach, the sea…it was my dream. We cooked great wedding dinner by ourselves, and rent one house for all of us. Also we found 2 great photographers in Dominican Republic (btw their site if you’re interested http://www.pinkfilm.org, they’re very talented). Our wedding was great and all people who we wanted to see were there