Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina. MONTAUK, NEW YORK
Weddings at this laid-back, 107-room resort at the east end of Long Island are infused with nautical history and classic Americana. The building dates to a 1920s private club, and today its unfussy and aquatic blue-and-white palette, sculptures of clipper ships, and artwork of intricate sailor’s knots on the walls provide plenty of inspiration for wedding decor worthy of a Ralph Lauren ad. The in-house wedding specialists can suggest music, flower, and photography vendors to execute any vision. Marry along the beach at Lake Montauk, with views of the property’s 60-foot lighthouse replica. Receptions get the Gatsby treatment under a tent on the dockside Great Lawn overlooking the marina’s crisp white yachts, or move into the rustic-chic Farmhouse Ballroom, which is anchored by an antique fireplace, beamed ceilings, and white, pickled wood floors. A late-night bonfire on the beach or marshmallow roast at the seaside patio’s fire pit makes the perfect after-party.
Boca Raton Resort & Club. BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
Whether barefoot or black tie, weddings get totally customized at this historic Spanish-influenced South Florida property without having to leave the grounds. The 356 acres yield endless nooks, pathways, and gardens to hold days of celebrations—a nod to the site’s glamorous past as designed by architect Addison Mizner in 1926. Imagine a lobster bake on private white sand at the edge of the Atlantic, dancing in the modern oceanfront Dunes Ballroom, drinks on the inviting waterfront open-air terrace alongside the Yacht Club, or vows around the lushly landscaped outdoor pool terrace of the Spa Palazzo (inspired by the Alhambra Palace). The in-house planner, Boca by Design, takes care of all the ceremony and reception flowers and decor. Wedding menus created by the hotel’s culinary team are customized, whether that means rack of lamb and a gourmet macaroni and cheese station, or a Key lime wedding cake and chic all-white dessert bar.
Ocean House. WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND
Victorian-inspired New England property on 13 oceanfront acres dates to the Civil War, but its modern incarnation includes weddings on a bluff with views of Block Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Cocktails are on a seaside terrace, followed by a farm-to-table dinner inspired by the bounty of the Atlantic Northeast. In-house experts can take care of the cake and state-of-the-art lighting and video presentations. With 49 rooms and 15 suites, there’s plenty of room for a post-wedding brunch on the 650 feet of private, white sand beach or a friendly tournament on the croquet lawn.
Sanderling Resort. OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA
Hosting more than 80 weddings per year, the 16-acre full-service resort on this chain of barrier islands offers views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound. Wedding options abound: a ceremony on a long stretch of sandy beach or on a lawn that channels the ocean air through the surrounding dunes; a post-wedding brunch with a mix of Southern and coastal flavor, plus a bacon bar, seafood station, and Atlantic margaritas. In-house planners will help create a minute-by-minute outline for the wedding day.
Bacara Resort & Spa. SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
The 354-room Bacara boasts 78 oceanfront acres in a rare location perched above the Pacific Ocean—ideal for the 60 or so weddings the resort hosts per year. The on-site creative director (aka “director of pretty”) can arrange special florals for a pre-wedding ladies’ tea on the spa rooftop terrace or send blooms to VIP wedding guests’ rooms, but keep in mind you’ll have to bring in an outside event planner to facilitate the big day. (The resort also can recommend nearby pros.) A seaside ceremony on the lush Ocean Lawn or Miró Lawn offers panoramic views of the bluffs and beaches of California’s Gaviota Coast. Afterward, move to the open-air Ocean Terrace for cocktails, and get cozy near the fireplace. For dinner and dancing, the Bacara Ballroom’s 23-foot-high ceilings, gilt-framed mirrors, and six balconies feel appropriately opulent. An extra-sweet ending: The hotel’s pastry chefs will whip up a one-of-a-kind wedding cake.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina. OAHU, HAWAII
On the western shore of Oahu, the luxe 387-room Ihilani feels like it’s in a world of its own on the 640-acre Ko Olina property. Exchange vows on the Pacific Ocean–facing Lagoon Lawn beneath a bamboo arch surrounded by coconut trees—the resort’s in-house wedding team can coordinate authentic touches like a Hawaiian conch shell blower and maile leis. Move the party under an outdoor tent for a spectacular sunset, or head indoors into a ballroom overlooking salt-water ponds and tropical gardens for a dinner of misoscented black cod, huli-huli duck breast, and lychee-basil sorbet. Welcome guests with a rehearsal dinner of penne mahi mahi at Azul, and then prep for the big day with a lomilomi massage at Ihilani Spa.
Paradisus Palma Real. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Weddings at the sprawling resort (it boasts 554 suites) in Punta Cana are limited to no more than two per day, so each one gets the custom treatment of an exclusive time and location. A dedicated romance concierge (with a U.S. office in Miami, as well as on-site) guides couples through everything from flowers to linens via their expert island vendors. For an intimate rehearsal dinner surrounded by sculptures of romantic red glass hearts, sample the innovative tasting menu at Passion by Martín Berasategui, run by the Michelin-star chef. After exchanging vows at the picturesque poolside wedding gazebo or right on the pristine white beach, party all evening long at a reception under the open-air thatched roof of Gabi Beach—a sleek nod to Miami, with all-white lounges and tables right on the sand. Add a cigar roller, steel drum band, or fireworks to end with a bang.
Cotton House. MUSTIQUE
This charming 17-suite property tucked away on a luxe 4-square-mile island in the Grenadines can host anything from a private party just for two to a reception for as many as 150 guests. (Staff will assist in renting private villas to accommodate everyone.) Don’t worry about the paperwork—with a required two-night stay, Cotton House will arrange a trip to nearby St. Vincent to meet the wedding officiant and take care of legal matters. Marry on Endeavor Beach or in the nearby bamboo church, and then celebrate at the Caribbean-flavored Veranda Restaurant, Beach Café & Bar at the water’s edge, or on a tented oceanfront lawn. The hotel will source the best florist to create a bouquet (try indigenous heliconias, birds of paradise, and cone gingers), and a classical pianist to tickle the ivories during cocktails. Have the in-house caterers prepare the island’s traditional wedding fruit cake infused with rum.
Rosewood Jumby Bay. ANTIGUA
The 300-acre private-island resort off the coast of mainland Antigua (only accessible by ferry) means weddings start with an air of exclusivity. Jumby (which means “playful spirit” in Antiguan) feels polished and opulent, and the staff handles all the details so couples can relax and enjoy—the resort’s wedding coordinator will even accompany couples to apply for a marriage license on nearby St. John. Kick off with a bonfire and candlelit beach barbecue welcome party and feast on fresh grilled fish under the stars, and then hold a sunset ceremony beneath a canopy with unobstructed beach views. After oceanfront cocktails at the resort’s Beach Bar, move into the Spanish Colonial plantation-style Estate House overlooking the sea.
Belmond La Samanna. ST. MARTIN
On a serene stretch of the island’s French side, nothing says joie de vivre like a romantic wedding amid the warm sands and lapping waves of the beachfront island-chic Baie Longue. Fresh off a major renovation, the 83-room hideaway can arrange all the details—gastronomic dinners, reception menus, wedding cake, flowers, a photographer. Reserve the atmospheric La Cave wine cellar for an intimate wine-pairing dinner curated from more than 12,000 bottles. End by lighting up the sky with Les Feux d’Artifice (fireworks), and then retreat for the wedding night to a private villa with its own infinity pool and wrap-around terrace.
Capella Pedregal. CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO
Capella Pedregal has recently been endorsed by celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren (Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore are clients), which means couples marrying at the 96-room, 25-acre beach resort in an exclusive neighborhood near downtown Cabo work directly with Oren and her team for a bespoke wedding that captures the beauty of Baja in everything from invitations to favors. Taking on just one wedding per day to ensure a personal touch, Oren will help pick the perfect color palette for a wedding on the beach or in the open-air lobby facing the ocean, source authentic Mexican musicians and local fabrics for table linens, and dig up indigenous crafts for guests’ welcome bags. A French Laundry–trained executive chef will customize the menu, with options like a Mexican-style seared lobster with corn-vanilla pudding and tres leches cake at the cliffside alfresco El Farallón restaurant.
One&Only Palmilla. LOS CABOS, MEXICO
It’s a fairy tale—brides can arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to the resort’s on-site historic hilltop whitewashed chapel. For something more subdued, say “I do” on the beach or oceanfront lawn in the glow of a dramatic Sea of Cortez sunset. Cocktails are perfect by the infinity-edge pool, as is the lively reception at the hotel’s seaside Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant or the herb garden with scents of jasmine, basil, cilantro, and rosemary perfuming the air. Couples get a dedicated “celebration consultant” to attend to all the logistics, from booking fire dancers to coordinating the documentation necessary to get married in Mexico.
St. Regis Bora Bora. FRENCH POLYNESIA
This is what you imagine when you think of a sexy South Pacific hideaway; in fact, the 100 picture-perfect guest rooms and over-water bungalows were the backdrop for the movie Couples Retreat. If you forget your pearls or have a change of heart about your headpiece, the hotel has a bridal boutique, which includes a hair and makeup area, plus items for the groom and attendants. Partake in a Polynesian wedding ceremony, with the remote island of Tahaa on the horizon. When it comes to the party, couples work with a St. Regis specialist to take care of every detail, from custom flower arrangements and photography to a wedding dinner of local black papio at over-water restaurant Lagoon. But first, get glam in the relaxing Miri Miri Spa by Clarins.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo. LAKE COMO, ITALY
Full of la dolce vita since 1910, the lakefront hotel with sleek updates like a renovated rooftop and a new honeymoon suite is the prime setting for a chic Italian fete. A wedding at the 94-room Art Nouveau–style hotel means elegant views of Bellagio, the Riviera delle Azalee, and the Grigne Mountains. Start with a fun, casual welcome party of wood fire–grilled pies beneath the stars at T Pizza, then bellinis and smooth sax by the floating swimming pool. An open-air wedding reception on the terrace offers views of the sparkling lake over a dinner of delicious saffron risotto and osso buco—then retreat below ground to the cozy stone-walled nooks of the stylish wine bar. Non parlo Italiano? The hotel staff will help put the final touches on flowers, food, or decor. The perfect photo op: an end-of-the-night getaway on Ruy, the hotel’s period Venetian motor launch.
Perivolas. SANTORINI, GREECE
It has all the makings of iconic wedding photos: On a cliff overlooking the caldera at the entrance to the village of Oia, sexy Perivolas fronts a backdrop of the Aegean Sea and the white-walled Greek homes typical of Santorini. A wedding on a terrace at the charming hotel, composed of 17 curved-wall suites (300-year-old restored caves that were originally built as a family home), offers one of the most magical sunsets in the Mediterranean. Be sure to snap a few album-worthy pictures at the infinity pool. A poolside party isn’t complete without mezedes, the traditional small dishes of Greek specialities—or head to the converted wine cellar of the Perivolas restaurant.
Six Senses Yao Noi. THAILAND
Have a small group and really want to get far away? A wedding on this tiny island in Phang Nga Bay (between Phuket and Krabi) is a quick boat ride from nearby Phuket. Or, to really make an impact, arrive via helicopter for glimpses of the dramatic limestone formations and islets. Say “I do” around the majestic infinity pool, and then dine at the Hilltop Reserve private villa overlooking Phang Nga Bay—the resort can prepare a Thai menu of coconut soup and grilled fish in banana leaves, coordinate the perfect toast with Syrah rosé from a local winemaker, or prepare a celebratory mango mousse cake. After loved ones release floating lanterns into the calm water as well wishes for your new marriage, retreat for cocktails to outdoor day-beds at the chill Den bar.