Happy New Year friends! The weeks that follow the holiday season always have Arturo and me longing for a vacation somewhere warm that will give us views of palm trees. I’ve had a serious case of the travel bug lately and recently found myself writing notes on places I’d love to visit with Arturo. It got me thinking, “Why not combine two of our favorite things (travel and photography)?” and then it hit me! I turned my list of places I want to visit to my Destination Wedding Bucket List, which I’m so excited to be sharing today! It ranges from photographing weddings in Hawaii to California to Paris and Rome, and they’re all places that Arturo and I hope to one day photograph couples on the happiest day of their lives!
The Fairmont Orchid - The Big Island, Hawaii
If you’ve read the About section of our website or you follow us on Instagram, you know what a special place Hawaii (specifically the Big Island) holds in our hearts! The Fairmont Orchid is a place that I’ve loved since the first time Arturo and I visited the island together in 2014. It’s a luxurious hotel with stunning views and gorgeous grounds. I always said that if we had decided to do a destination wedding, I would have wanted to celebrate our wedding day at The Fairmont Orchid!
Mount Haleakala - Maui, Hawaii
This wedding ceremony site would definitely be for a more adventurous couple. Imagine exchanging your vows and sharing your first kiss as newlyweds among the clouds as the sun rises at the top of Mount Haleakala on Maui! I remember my mom telling me about her trip to Maui that she took in the 1980s, and all she could talk about was the views of the sunrise she had from the summit of the volcano. What better backdrop for your ceremony photos?!
The last time I was in California was when I was in high school, and I’ve been dying to go back. There are too many beautiful places in California for me to narrow down my list to, but some of them include The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (Sonoma, CA), the Bently Reserve (San Francisco, CA), and the Houdini Estate (Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA).
Horseshoe Bend - Grand Canyon, Page, Arizona
This would be another spot perfect for an adventurous couple who are looking to elope and want some epic wedding photos in the Grand Canyon! Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped incised meander (hence its name) of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona. If you consider having your ceremony and portraits done near sunset, take a minute to imagine the views and color of the sky that would paint the backdrop of your photos!
Omni La Mansión Del Rio - San Antonio, Texas
I last visited San Antonio, Texas when I was in high school. Even though it’s been 12 years since my last trip there, I’ve always thought it would be a gorgeous spot for a wedding, especially along The Riverwalk! The Omni La Mansión Del Rio is a wedding venue that is just that, with a southwest rustic charm.
The Addison - Boca Raton, Florida
Though Florida is probably the place Arturo and I visit most since we both have family members that live in the southern part of the state, we still love it! In the past I’ve mentioned that our favorite wedding venues have beautiful architecture, so I was ecstatic when I recently discovered The Addison in Boca Raton, Florida! It’s a historic estate that was designed in 1926 and boasts old world character and charm.
The Colony Hotel - Palm Beach, Florida
Not far from Boca is the city of Palm Beach, Florida. My dad and stepmom spend time in Florida every winter, so Arturo and I did some exploring of the surrounding areas when visiting them a few years ago. I discovered The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach and instantly fell in love with it’s charm and art deco style! Picture your big day taking place among palm trees and a beautiful soft pink hotel with bright pops of accent colors, and that’s your wedding day at The Colony!
The Plaza - New York, New York
Okay, okay, so I know this wouldn’t technically be a destination wedding for us, but it’s always been a dream of mine to photograph a classic New York City wedding at The Plaza! This wedding venue has timeless architecture and is located in the heart of New York. It’s also right near Central Park, so we can sneak away for a few portraits before heading to your luxurious reception to celebrate your nuptials.
In the last two years, I’ve become enamored with all things Parisian! The fashion, the historic architecture, and the pure elegance of Paris has won over my heart! I don’t speak a lick of French, but luckily Arturo remembers the basics from his high school language class. We all know that the Eiffel Tower would make for an epic backdrop in a few of your wedding day photos!
As a photography major in college I was required to take two art history classes. Though I never cared for either of those courses, I’ve since enjoyed seeing some of the world famous historical works of art in person. When Arturo and I visited Madrid and Barcelona, Spain in early 2017, I was able to see some of the historical palaces and buildings that I’d only ever seen in my history books, some of which dated back to the 1500s. Having the chance to photograph a wedding among the ancient historical locations in Rome is a dream!
Amalfi Coast, Italy
I have only ever seen photos of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, but it looks like absolute perfection! Little towns rich with culture and aqua blue water… what more can you ask for in a location for your destination wedding?!
I know there are countless options for destination weddings, so leave a comment below naming anywhere you think is worthy of checking out!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Shaina Lee Photography is a husband and wife photography team serving Connecticut, New York, Hawaii and beyond. We specialize in timeless, elegant, and romantic weddings while celebrating all couples in love.
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