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Destination Wedding Hotels

Hotels Equipped to Hold a Destination Wedding

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Smart brides and grooms who decide to make their wedding a destination soiree choose hotels that are experienced in hosting such events. In planning a destination wedding, there are enough factors that have the potential to go haywire (like a vendor who screws up or doesn't show) and are beyond your control (like the weather) that it's wise to go with hotels that are tried-and-true. These are among them.

1. JW Marriott, Las Vegas, Nevada

© JW Marriott Las Vegas.
Yes, you can be married by an Elvis impersonator or sail The Venetian’s canals to the amusement of gondola-gawking tourists. But you don’t have to. Vegas continues to build out and go upscale.

Twenty miles from the Strip and a refuge from the madness, the lushly landscaped JW Marriott holds about 125 weddings a year and its outdoor events are set against the dramatic backdrop of Red Rock Canyon. In-house wedding planners can help stage the rehearsal dinner and recommend settings suitable for groups ranging in size from 25 to 800.

The resort is near eleven golf courses, has a huge swimming pool edged with private cabanas, its own casino, and bridal treatments are a specialty of the spa. A free shuttle runs to the Strip.

2. Westin Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, Florida

© Westin Diplomat Hotel.
Experience counts in a destination wedding venue, and the Diplomat has hosted about 100 weddings a year since it opened in 2001.

A towering presence located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports, it’s a quick flight from New York and the 998 guest rooms can accommodate the largest wedding parties.

Extensive beach, ballroom, restaurant, suite, and poolside venues provide ceremony location choices. For one customized wedding, planners erected a Lucite bridge spanning the infinity-edge pool; it became the couple’s aisle and sunset over the Atlantic was their backdrop. A mile inland, the Diplomat Golf Resort & Spa sister property is reachable by free shuttle and can be used for a rehearsal dinner or bought out for a smaller wedding.

3. The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Canada

© Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
The first North American city to conduct legal gay weddings for citizens and non-residents, Toronto is reachable by train and plane. Its Fairmont Royal York plays host to couples in formal ballrooms that can seat up to 700. Venues for intimate weddings with 20 to 100 guests include warmly lit, oak-paneled salons.

Sun-worshipers who wed in summer can lead guests across the harbor via ferry to Toronto Islands. There’s a family-friendly amusement park on the center island and a legal nude beach at Hanlan’s Point on the tip. Capping the festivities, weekenders can savor a beach picnic or Sunday brunch back at the hotel.

4. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica

© Half Moon Resort.
A team of on-site planners (fee) aids couples in conceiving wedding ceremonies that can take place in a beach gazebo, on a terrace overlooking the water, in a stately pavilion, and on the sandy shore itself.

Reception and rehearsal-dinner options run the gamut: a meal by candlelight, informal Jamaican-style beach barbecue, lavish buffet, and dinner at a former sugar plantation are all possible.

Half Moon’s dolphin lagoon, equestrian stable, 51 swimming pools, golf course, and spa provide outlets for wedding groups to frolic.

Perfect for intimate destination weddings, Half Moon’s four to seven bedroom Royal Villas can become the setting for the ultimate house party. Each one provides a pool, cook, maid, and complete privacy.

5. Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship

Norwegian Dawn NYC
© NCL.
A floating hotel home ported in New York City, Norwegian Gem sails roundtrip to Florida and the Caribbean. (Find out about other USA cruise ports.)

Guests can board for a few hours to attend a ceremony in its wedding chapel, then disembark — or sail with the couple. Weddings are arranged by an outside vendor, The Wedding Experience. Gem also calls at a private Caribbean island where couples can marry on the beach. Among the ship’s dozen restaurants are two with private rooms for rehearsals and receptions.

Balcony cabins are nice, but there’s also a luxury option: Top-deck villas come with three bedrooms, a butler, private pool, hot tub, and dining area with retractable roof since ships, like marriage, can encounter squalls.

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  5. Top Hotels for a Destination Wedding

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