Often, when thinking of summer weddings, the mind tends to gravitate towards a lush and tropical destination internationally with picturesque beaches and palm trees. However, not all wedding guests have the bandwidth to travel outside of the United States or have the money to do so. Brittany Sharp, wedding expert and founder of The Sharp Standard (who recently planned Pinky Cole’s fabulously plush and pink wedding), encourages her clients to think outside the box regarding wedding planning to help their guests easily attend their special day. “When I think of summer weddings, choosing a destination venue is best. Planning a wedding during the heart of the summer can sometimes be a drain on your guests, who have saved those summer months for fun vacations. Whether in the States or overseas, I always encourage my summer clients to consider unique locations to say “I Do” that will prevent their guests from leaving their wedding singing the wedding blues,” says Sharp to ESSENCE.
While most guests genuinely want to support the soon-to-be-newlyweds, they could also view the destination wedding as an opportunity to explore a new area of the country or continent they haven’t experienced before. Couples also think more strategically about destination weddings as honeymoon locations after the nuptials to save money and reduce travel time. According to award-winning celebrity event and wedding planners, including Run The World’s Corbin Reid’s New Year’s Eve, gorgeous wedding in Negril Jamaica, Waverly Coleman, many couples are looking into Jamaica, Italy, and Mexico for wedding destinations because they are some of the top honeymoon locations, have diverse sceneries, and can accommodate large groups, or flexible enough for a micro-wedding. “Mexico is incredibly affordable and relatively inexpensive to travel to. A handful of 5-star resorts offer all-inclusive packages for you and your guests, and you can’t beat the weather! A few of my favorite cities are Los Cabos, Mexico City, and Merida. After planning a New Year’s Eve wedding in Negril, I’ve received numerous inquiries about Jamaica. There are pros and cons to this island, one con is that planning a wedding on this island is not cheap, but the weather is gorgeous year-round, the people are generous, and the food is delicious! If you’re leaning towards a micro-wedding, I’d suggest a rental property that can house some of your family or wedding party.”
Coleman continues, “Finally, Italy! After visiting a handful of venues last year, I get it! The villas, museums, gardens, wineries, and Lake Como have the most gorgeous backdrop. This country is extremely romantic.”
So whether you’re looking for a dreamy stateside destination or a romantic international escape for your upcoming nuptials, check out these diverse locations below from Brittany Sharp.
Vizcaya Museum (Miami, Florida)
Miami is always a vibe, so when you add a wedding to the mix, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Vizcaya Museum is ranked as one of the top ten places in the world to get married; it just so happens to be located in Miami. Surrounded by lush landscape with the modern Miami cityscape as a backdrop, this place is a dream destination for any bride as it is jaw-dropping without decor. While the landscape will make all your guests feel like they’ve been swept away to a vacation in Italy, the beautiful water surrounding the museum allows you to have a beautiful ceremony under the large tropical trees and then a sexy ceremony overlooking Biscayne Bay.
Villa Cimbrone (Ravello, Italy)
Now for those who want to exchange nuptials across the pond…Italy is always a staple for destination weddings—specifically Villa Cimbrone. Nestled in the oh-so-popular Amalfi Coast, the villa’s gardens are ranked among some of the most popular in the world. Guests can catch the couple saying “I Do” overlooking the Mediterranean Coast and mingle in the gardens before landing in the dramatic and oh-so-romantic Gothic crypt for an incredible dining experience. With its high ceilings and unbelievable architecture, your guests will not want to leave without taking in the beautiful views of the couple and the stunning reception location. While they will be sad when it’s time to say goodbye to the villa, they can fret not as Villa Cimbrone is located 10-15min from the city center, giving guests various options to enjoy to keep the party going.
Nizuc Resort and Spa (Cancun, Mexico)
Mexico and margaritas, what’s better than that in the summertime? Mexico has been and always will be a top destination wedding location because of its ease and affordability for wedding couples and their guests. While there are several resorts in Cancun, Nizuc is the one! With over 29 acres of exclusive beachfront escape, guests can party at the beach and head to their room to get the wedding ready before seeing the bride and groom head down the aisle. Another plus to Nizuc is the exquisite customer service and top-notch restaurants on site. Couples can explore hosting their reception in one of the dining spaces or on the Terra Nostra Terrace, nestled between a river and a pool. The views from here are perfect during the sunset. Also, perfect the fact that the property is less than a 15-minute drive from the Cancun International Airport.
Little Neil (Aspen, Colorado)
The main characteristic of our top venues for summer destination weddings is the views, and believe me when I say Little Neil does not disappoint. For couples opting for something up high and not along the coast, Little Neil will leave you speechless. With backdrop settings that look like God himself painted the ceremony space for your weddings, couples will have photos that look like true works of art. The wedding deck is a mountain venue unlike anywhere else in Colorado. It couldn’t be any more romantic at 11,212 feet, with sweeping views of the Elk Mountain Range. As guests ride up the gondola, they will be mesmerized by the views, leaving them in even more anticipation of what’s to come for their wedding day!