el portal sedona, arizona
WHY WE CHOSE IT: At El Portal Sedona, the owners open both their hotel and their home to couples tying the knot at this boutique property in Arizona, located only two hours from the Grand Canyon.
The 12-room inn is an architectural delight, from the windows framed in over 200-year-old recycled wood to the hand-sculptured adobe walls. Couples can choose an intimate outdoor wedding in the private courtyard with grapevines intertwined with lights and a backdrop of red rocks, or opt for a chapel ceremony in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. For a larger wedding that still captures this quiet, Southwest feel, couples can hold the ceremony at the owners’ home on the Segner Ranch Country Estate, accommodating up to 100 people, with a site fee of $2,500.
El Portal Sedona is also an ideal place for couples looking to buy out a property and have full range of the inn, which can hold 24-plus guests. Couples can book the Asscher Wedding package and decide how they’d like to customize their wedding, with anything from a backyard BBQ to a fabulous 5-course dinner at a reception for up to 35 guests. The couple will also have hands-on assistance since the package includes wedding design and coordination. Asscher Wedding prices vary, but nightly rates range from $179 in The Adobe to $279 in The Governor’s Suite.
(800) 313-0017 or elportalsedona.com
inn on biltmore estate, north carolina
WHY WE CHOSE IT: A glamorous setting with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Need we say more?
This glamorous and renowned estate was a good enough venue for Cornelia Vanderbilt’s wedding in 1924, and since then it has not lost any of its charm, remaining a top location for weddings.
The Knot magazine has even chosen the Biltmore as one of the best wedding venues for the past two years. Set on an 8,000-acre property in Asheville, the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate—the only accommodation on the estate—is located above the Biltmore Winery featuring sweeping mountain views, with 201 guestrooms and nine suites.
The inn offers three wedding venues with magnificent views over the estate, including the outdoor Vista, the Vanderbilt Room and the Gallery, perfect for pre-meal receptions. This is just the start: The estate itself offers plenty of other venue options, from the outdoor Diana at Biltmore—the newest venue seating up to 460 guests at dinner or a ceremony for a tented event—to the stable courtyards, and gardens around the castle, ideal for groups of about 50.
While this is an ideal location for a large Southern wedding—and who wouldn’t want to say “I do” in front of 500 of their closest friends and family at this iconic estate—your client can also opt for a cozy affair with the property’s Intimate Wedding & Vow Renewal package for up to six guests, starting at $2,000. This simple but to-the-point package outfits the couple with everything they need for a wedding—an outdoor ceremony, single-tier cake and Biltmore Estate champagne. For a Cinderella-style wedding, your client can even arrange a horse-drawn carriage ride. The facility fee is $2,800 and weekend room rates start at $359.
(866) 336-1245 or biltmore.com/stay/inn
the st. regis bal harbour, florida
WHY WE CHOSE IT: Whether couples want to capture the destination wedding feel with an oceanside wedding, or are looking for something more traditional, The St. Regis Bal Harbour offers a wide range of choices to suit any type of bride’s wishes, catering to parties from 25 to 300 guests.
Opened just last year, this hotspot on the Miami Beach hotel scene hosts at least one wedding a week in high season. Couples can say “I do” al fresco under the stars with the Atlantic Ocean waves playing as background music, or go glam in the Astor Ballroom, which holds up to 250 guests and can be divided into five sections.
In the signature ceremony venue, the Ocean Palm Court, overlooking the water, guests will see why oceanview weddings are so popular in Miami. And since food is a main attraction at the reception, your clients will appreciate the use of local, artisanal and organic ingredients in the cuisine prepared by the hotel’s executive chef.
Couples choose this destination for a reason: The brand name alone screams timeless elegance, not to mention the other countless ways to lap in luxury, from the Jean-Georges-inspired J&G Grill to the Remede Spa. The hotel also partners with Neiman Marcus at the Bal Harbour Shops across the street, stocking guests’ closets full of goodies, as well as offering fittings for bridal parties. Rates start at $479, and $689 in high season.
(305) 993-3300 or stregisbalharbour.com
little river inn, california
WHY WE CHOSE IT: What better place for your clients to plan a destination wedding than on the coast of northern California with rugged seaside cliffs as the backdrop?
At the Victorian-style Little River Inn, couples will have their pick of venues, as well as onsite amenities—from the day spa and 18-hole golf course to the forest trails and beaches—without ever having to leave the property; although if they are up for a drive, the charming town of Mendochino and Van Damme State Park are close by.
The location, set among the California redwoods on the Mendochino Coast, is just one reason why the inn appeals to couples.
“Couples choose to marry at Little River Inn for many reasons, although our view probably tops the list,” says Cally Dym, fifth-generation innkeeper at Little River Inn. “Ceremony sites vary from a secluded private garden to a take-your-breath-away cliff edge overlooking the sea.”
For the utmost in privacy with stunning vista views, we recommend booking the stand-alone Mallory House for the ceremony, just a short drive along the coast on the edge of the bluffs. While Mallory House can hold up to 200, the main dining room at the inn can also accommodate a party of up to 80, with views of the gardens. Nightly rates for Van Damme South, Brackenwood, Alice Abbott and Margaret Bullard guestrooms, located on the ocean bluff, start at $335.
(888) INN-LOVE or littleriverinn.com
aria, las vegas
WHY WE CHOSE IT: New onsite chapel, several wedding packages, unique wedding venues, and a honeymoon getaway in an ARIA Sky Suite—what more could a couple in love ask for?
While the options on the Strip seem endless, you’re going to want to tell your clients to skip the Elvis impersonators at the 24-hour, drive-through chapels, because resorts like ARIA makes it easy for your clients to tie the knot. It offers everything from top-end venue selections, including the new onsite chapel, to fab suites, incredible dining options and nonstop nightlife.
Adding to the seamless wedding preparations, ARIA offers a few packages for your clients to choose from depending on their budget; packages come with chapel time, but if the couple prefers a private poolside ceremony or their wedding held in the Chihuly Gallery with a live pianist, ARIA can arrange that, too. But let’s start with the basics, so you can help your clients build from there. The Fantasy package, priced at $2,100 Friday through Saturday, makes wedding planning seem like a piece of cake from 1.5 hours of chapel time to the bride’s bouquet; champagne and flutes; photography time; a wedding consultant to assist with the planning; and even a live Internet broadcasting of the wedding ceremony (for friends who couldn’t make their way to Vegas).
Faith is not left out here at ARIA either, with the option for a Jewish celebration, priced at $10,500 Friday through Saturday, complete with two wedding consultants, chapel time with a rabbi and a chuppah, and after the ceremony, a 2-night stay in an ARIA Sky Suite with $350 spa and salon credit. Nothing like getting pampered in Vegas after all the traditional wedding festivities wind down!
(866) 359-7757 or arialasvegas.com
Archived related articles (available on recommend.com/magazine/issue-archive):
Enchanting Nuptials, American-Style (June 2012)