CarriageForrest Hills Mountain Resort

The popularity of destination weddings continues to grow, as couples and their loved ones look for memorable ways to say “I Do”. From an eco-friendly ceremony in Taos to the fun of the Virginia Aquarium, here are just a few special places to consider for your clients preparing to a wedding away.

New Mexico Magic
The AAA Four Diamond El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa in Taos makes an ideal location for couples seeking an eco-friendly wedding or honeymoon.

Planning a green wedding at El Monte Sagrado does not involve any extra effort on the couple’s part, for the resort is committed to green practices, from the chef’s use of locally grown and organic produce, to the geothermal system that heats and cools 35 per cent of the resort’s guest rooms and all public places, to the flowers used by the in-house horticulturist, which are grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides. www.elmontesagrado.com.

Georgia On Their Minds
Blessed with natural beauty by way of the Chestatee and Etowah Rivers, the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains, a temperate climate, an entrepreneurially vibrant artisan, shopping and restaurant scene, plus a variety of uniquely appealing bed and breakfasts, country inns and lodges tucked hither and yon, it is not surprising that Dahlonega is known as North Georgia’s wedding capital. An average of five destination weddings heading down the aisle at a Dahlonega venue each weekend from March through November.

Among the favourite venues: Forrest Hills Mountain Resort, perched at the gateway to the Appalachian Trail, which hosts more than 125 weddings a year. The resort offers an onsite wedding coordinator, indoor and outdoor wedding sites, several restaurants, a variety of lodging options for the wedding party and just about every amenity a bride and groom could hope for, including spa services and a horse-drawn carriage for the bride’s grand entrance. www.dahlonega.org.

Island I Do’s
Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa off the coast of South Carolina offers an enchanting setting for a couple’s most romantic day. From the moment the bride- and groom-to-be board the ferry to this secluded island destination, the magic begins.

The resort’s wedding services include world-class catering and menu planning, seated or buffet dinners, cocktail receptions, audiovisual equipment and support, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

The resort itself offers several venue options for a romantic ceremony; or, for a more traditional venue, couples can choose to be married at the First Union African Baptist Church, built in 1881 and restored to seat up to 150 guests. The historic venue welcomes all denominations. www.daufuskieislandresort.com.

Tahoe Adventure
For couples interested in something a little more action-packed than a standard wedding, the Lakefront Wedding Chapel in South Lake Tahoe, located in California’s High Sierra Region, offers Adventure Wedding Packages. These packages provide couples with skiing, hiking, cycling, snowboarding, dog sledding, mountain biking and rock-climbing guided wedding excursions.
www.weddingsinlaketahoe.net.

Lake Tahoe itself, the largest alpine lake in the country, is also an ideal venue with many ceremonies regularly held on yachts and historic paddle wheelers. In Yosemite, the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, built in 1927, offers a grand wedding venue in a grand, mountain setting.

Make A Splash In Virginia Beach
For a truly memorable wedding, consider a ceremony under the sea at the Virginia Aquarium, where guests will delight in petting a stingray and witnessing the antics of the harbour seals, sea turtles, sharks and more. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center makes a truly distinctive venue for weddings and receptions - from an intimate, sit-down dinner for 20 to an elegant reception for 2,000. With nearly 2.7 million litres of aquariums and live animal habitats, more than 300 hands-on exhibits and a 3D IMAX® theatre, the wedding is guaranteed to make a splash. www.virginiaaquarium.com.

To find out more about the Discover America - Canada Committee, attend a meeting or receive the bi-monthly newsletter, contact them by fax at (416) 352-5567, by email at admin@seeamerica.ca or visit www.seeamerica.ca