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Luxury Winter Weddings: Themes and Tips

Couples often choose spring or summer for a chic wedding abroad. But winter is a perfect time for an unusual, truly fabulous wedding. And if you arrange everything correctly – the cold won`t be a problem at all. Here are some tips who to plan a truly wonderful winter wedding.

Best countries for winter weddings

The first thing you need to do is to choose the perfect winter wedding destination. Not all the popular countries look as good in winter as in summer. Start your search from the winter classics. For example, Courchevel – a first-class ski resort in French Alps. Courchevel has both breathtaking landscapes and excellent service, worthy of world celebrities and royal families.

Cozy and luxurious at the same time – Courchevel chalets are ideal for small weddings or as a place to stay for the guests. If you want to have a bigger celebration – in Courchevel`s restaurants you can arrange a reception for around 100-150 guests. Another popular European winter resort – St. Moritz – will be a great place for an exclusive wedding for up to 200 guests. For examplr, wedding can be held in the magnificent halls of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.

If you are dreaming about winter wedding in Europe, you must be sure that the chosen place will look gorgeous in the winter. In most of the European capitals you will never guess beforehand whether there will be snow in the chosen month or no. Without white snow many destinations become pretty faded and gray.

The decor and theme for the winter wedding

Winter wedding can look like an old postcards coming to life or beautiful scenery from the Chronicles of Narnia. Although in winter many locations look like a fairy tail themselves – so do not need any more styling or heavy decorations. All you will need to do is to emphasize the natural beauty of the place and surroundings.

Here are some tips about decoration of your winter wedding – use dry flowers, choose expensive fabrics (for example, velvet) and add some shine with silver or gold details. Winter also is a great chance to make even most luxurious wedding really cozy. Prepare soft, warm blankets for guests or make the fireplace area with a small bar. Don`t forget about the light – candles will fill the winter wedding with a truly fabulous atmosphere.

In winter everything whispers `Christmas`, but still let the wedding remain a separate celebration. Another reason not to mix the winter wedding with other celebrations is difficulties with booking the desired place if the date falls on another holiday. Especially if you are planning a big party abroad and invite more than 100 guests. Many restaurants have their own events during the winter holidays and are unavailable for booking. If you need to plan a wedding on dates of another holiday – for example, Valentine’s Day – start looking for a place in advance (at least 8 months before the wedding date).

Be sure to decorate the outdoor area. Guests will spend most of the time inside, but the outside area should maintain the overall atmosphere of a wedding. Create an outside photo zone, use candles and street illumination or make ice sculptures of the bride and groom. And put a small bar with hot drinks outside – so guests can quickly warm up and keep enjoying winter views.

Winter wedding entertainment

If you are arranging a multiple days wedding abroad, then the ski resort is a perfect place. You can spend couple days skiing, than spend another day in the SPA hotel with a sauna and a hot pool outside, from where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the snow-capped mountain peaks. Weekend with sports and relaxing SPA day will prepare you and your guests for the main event – your wedding.

Another important thing is winter wedding menu. It differs significantly from the summer one. Light snacks and fruits won`t be enough. Create a heavier snack menu and add more meat dishes. Also prepare a separate winter cocktail menu – it must include hot drinks. Come up with special hot cocktails inspired by the favorite tastes of the bride and groom.

Do not forget about small gifts for guests after your fabulous winter wedding. Favors can also be themed – so that they remind of a wedding holiday. Candles and sweets with ginger and cinnamon are great for small gifts. Or buy for everyone knitted scarves or cashmere capes. So guests will be able to warm up during the wedding and keep warm memories for many years after.

Wedding Styles Guide: Popular Wedding Décor Styles for the New Season

While every wedding is unique, certain design trends tend to dominate the wedding world at any given time. Your wedding style may be influenced by popular culture, your heritage or background, fashion, or a passion that you both share. The current top themes honor everything from the world of art to the timeless notion of romance. Looking for inspiration for your luxury wedding? Here are some of the leading wedding décor styles of the season:

Art Deco
The Art Deco wedding theme is characterized by warm colors and strong, angular geometric patterns. This style is an homage to the American Roaring 20’s when Prohibition drove leisure and rule breakers underground. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is often the focus of Art Deco weddings, which feature ornate furnishings, gold accents, rich textiles and decadent table decor.

Minimalism
A stark counterpoint to lavish celebrations, minimalist weddings truly keep things simple. Designers choose a basic palette with clean lines and bold contrast, and add only a few accessories, allowing the venue’s natural beauty to shine. You might see crisp white linens, a solid runner and a monochromatic centerpiece with simple votives to enhance the ambiance. Don’t be fooled, however. Minimalist décor does not equate to lack of quality or style. Quite to the contrary – in exclusive wedding design, premium elements like the highest quality linens, tableware and floral pieces are the markers of a rare and truly special experience.

Romantic
Traditional signs of romance create an ethereal, almost dreamlike setting for many weddings these days. Soft, pale palettes overflowing in florals and subtle lighting are the signature details of romantic weddings. Garden and waterfront settings pair well with the romantic style, although it can be adapted for many different sites, including most exotic wedding venues.

Fine Art
An exciting and eclectic newer wedding theme is a focus on the world of fine art. While variations on this style are as different as individual tastes in art, one more common iteration is the watercolor-inspired palette, which not only appears in floral design, but also across details such as invitations, printed menus, and sometimes even on to floral-print bridesmaid gowns. The visual designs of the fine art wedding are complemented by artisanal menu items, live music and sometimes even live artists capturing the scene in real time in front of guests.

Boho Chic
This bohemian-inspired movement has become one of the most popular wedding styles in luxury event design. Think back to the peace-and-love 1960s and the way that all things natural were en vogue, and you begin to get a feel for Boho Chic. These weddings have recently included “Glamping” tents, oversized cushions in place of chairs, lantern lit-paths into forest-inspired outdoor lounges, and generous arrangements of wildflowers at ceremonies and receptions alike. Wreaths of twisted flowers are often must-have fashion accessories at Boho Chic weddings.

Organic
Awareness isn’t foreign to the wedding world, and the current attention to environment and sustainability has sparked another of the season’s most exciting styles: organic weddings. This style is inspired by nature with earthy palettes and unique textures. Pampas grass and rattan furniture are two of this year’s most prominent organic design elements. They are more versatile than one might imagine, accentuating the décor at beach weddings, garden ceremonies, and luxury destination events.

These are just a few of the most popular wedding design styles of today. There is something out there for every couple, along with a top wedding designer waiting anxiously to bring your vision to life!

Find Inspiration in the Top Royal Weddings of All Time

What’s your royal wedding style? Are you a Kate and William or Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier? As long as there have been monarchies there have been fairytale weddings on a grand scale. If you are captivated by court-worthy celebrations, you may find inspiration for your upcoming fete among these most memorable royal weddings.

Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, April 1956

Considered by many the most famous royal wedding in modern history, the marriage of American actress Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier is an icon among even the best wedding planners in the world. Kelly’s elaborate, high-necked bodice, long sleeves and full skirt is a popular request of seamstresses, even today.

Everything about Princess Grace and Prince Rainier’s wedding was top notch. To achieve their level of luxury, you will need to serve your guests only the best, as in caviar and champagne. Our royal event planner tips include planning multiple wardrobe changes throughout the festivities, and creating a memorable finish, like cutting into your own highly ornate, tiered wedding cake (however live doves escaping as you cut into it are optional).

Princess Noor and Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, August 2003

Among Arab royal weddings, one of the most internationally memorable was the wedding of (then) Princess Noor to Prince Hamzah bin Hussein. While the ceremony was a very intimate and traditional Muslim event, the 500-guest reception that followed was a lavish affair. Contemporary couples might consider emulating the couple’s grand departure from the ceremony in a stylish Rolls Royce or their 7-tiered wedding fruitcake, which the prince cut with his sword.

Kate Middleton and Prince William, April 2011

British super couple Kate Middleton and Prince William’s royal wedding embodied the contemporary intersection of tradition and personalization. Middleton’s style was natural, yet polished as she let her inner beauty shine. Her simple gown featured sleeves of lace and she carried a very sweet, basic bouquet.

Middleton’s fans loved her decision to include only her sister, along with numerous children, in her bridal party. Over time we have seen that people are far more comfortable following her lead and limiting their attendants to only their closest friends and family. A regal departure in a horse drawn carriage was the newlyweds’ escape of choice and is a popular option available to many couples today.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, May 2018

Among the most recent royal weddings, the marriage of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry is most notable. The multicultural luxury wedding events departed from tradition in many ways, but still maintained a thoroughly royal air.

Like Kate before her, Markle opted for simple elegance, wearing a high-necked, unembellished white gown with long sleeves and a simple tiara, the accessory of choice for nearly all royal weddings. While you may not have access to a tiara once worn by Queen Mary, you can get Markle’s look at most bridal fashion boutiques.

The couple selected St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for their ceremony, but invited Meghan’s family Episcopal bishop from Chicago to officiate with the chapel’s clergy. While most of the music during the ceremony was from the hymnal, a gospel choir appeared to sing the contemporary, “Stand by Me.” Blending details from both of your personal backgrounds is a great way to personalize your luxury wedding.

Charlotte Casiraghi (Granddaughter of Princess Grace) and Dimitri Rassam, June 2019

The most recent royal wedding started with a civil ceremony at one of the most exclusive wedding venues in Europe, the Prince’s Palace in Monaco. Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline and Granddaughter of Princess Grace, wed film producer Dimitri Rassam wearing her grandmother’s Cartier diamond necklace.

Casiraghi and Rassam’s religious wedding was held at the Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Pierredon in the South of France with a party that followed at the Villa La Vigie. Throughout their events, the bride and groom reached back into history to find connection with those that came before them, a trend towards personalization that every couple can embrace.

Royal weddings are the stuff of dreams for most of us, but a royal-worthy wedding can easily be yours. Simply entrust your own hopes to the best wedding planner in the world, and perhaps the next royal wedding will look to you for inspiration!

Expanded Meghan Markle Blog

The search is off and Meghan Markle has reportedly appointed her wedding dress designer and chosen the dress for her highly-anticipated royal wedding in England. While it is unlikely that the styles will be revealed until Markle arrives at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19 2018, the rumor mill is working overtime. The top contenders to date?

Ralph & Russo: The Extravagant Show-Stoppers

Australian duo and real life couple, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, are renowned for their extravagant couture designs and have recently launched a ready-to-wear collection. Markle selected a $75,000 Ralph and Russo dress for her engagement session with Prince Harry which became an instant Instagram sensation. Now, according to reports in the Daily Mail, they are rumored to be Markle’s chosen dressmakers.

Kensington Palace is notoriously secretive about all things wedding, so we will have to wait and see!

May 19, 2018 Update – And the Bride Wore…

Givenchy.

While Ralph & Russo made headlines with their feathery engagement dress and the all-but-confirmed rumors of a wedding gown valued at 100,000 British pounds, it was Claire Waight Keller’s white boat-neck creation from the House of Givenchy that turned heads at the Windsor Castle ceremony.

According to the BBC, Markle chose Keller for her “timeless” aesthetic. It does seem fitting that a world-renowned British designer, approved by Kensington Palace, created the masterpiece for this latest royal wedding.

Royal Influence on Destination Weddings

Of course, the wedding world is heavily influenced by celebrity weddings, so it will be interesting to see how Markle’s gown, and the royal wedding itself, influence nuptials well into the 2019 season and beyond.

Will demand for destination weddings in England grow in response? We are already seeing couples changing focus from Caribbean beach weddings to luxury events with a different twist. Great Britain and Europe are hot, up-and-coming markets for couples from all over the world. Meghan and Harry’s fairytale romance, fresh and genuine nature, and international fame will likely entice couples to consider holding their own luxury destination weddings in England.

Destination Wedding Venues in London and Greater England

If you dream of a wedding royal-style, there are so many venue options available in London and throughout England. Historic castles, English country estates with manicured gardens and a variety of contemporary sites offer everything you could possibly want.

Invite your guests to explore one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world between wedding events. They can shop at Harrod’s, catch a Broadway show, watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, or walk the somber halls of the Tower of England. History buffs, party animals and Anglophiles will have more to do than time, and you will enjoy complete relaxation while our expert destination wedding planners create a custom luxury event just for you.

Wedding Venues in Europe

If England appeals, you might also consider hosting a destination wedding in France, Portugal or Italy. Where do you envision your perfect ceremony – a private Italianate villa, a chateau in the Loire Valley, or in a seaside resort on the Mediterranean?

Not sure where to start planning a destination wedding? Our award-winning wedding designers are standing by to offer a hand. Contact us today!

Our Favorite Wedding Destinations in 2018

It’s January, and we are reminiscing fondly about our favorite 2018 wedding destinations. It is always an honor to bring dreams to life, but some events mark our hearts even more indelibly than most. At times, the couple’s story is very compelling, or we are particularly proud of a design, but often what pushes an event over the threshold for us is the incredible destination.

As some of the world’s most recognized bespoke destination wedding planners, we are beyond fortunate to plan events in beautiful locations around the globe. In that spirit, we are sharing some of our favorite wedding destinations from 2018.

Exotic Marrakech

While we are definitely partial to the destination that put us on the map, there is so much about Marrakech to love that we couldn’t possibly leave it off the list. Guests constantly cite Morocco as one of the best destinations for weddings due to the ease of travel, modern amenities, adventurous expeditions, shopping and exquisite local cuisine.

The Moroccan people are welcoming and the sights are divine. Many of our couples extend their weddings into whole weekends full of diverse adventures including camel rides in the Sahara and visits to scenic sites. Marrakech, known as The Jewel of Morocco, is home to a variety of venues including numerous palaces with mirrored fountains and long stretches of marble, the likes of which few lucky visitors ever see, let alone experience as a VIP wedding guest. These are the hidden gems where Cocoon Events’ couples say, “I do.”

It’s no secret that our wedding planners in Morocco love producing bespoke destination weddings in Marrakech.

Weddings in Rome

One of our favorite design challenges is to make the Old World and contemporary style meet in perfect harmony, and weddings in Rome give us the perfect opportunity to exercise our talent. Our wedding planners in Italy find unique locations for events like medieval castles, relaxing villas, modern hotels and walled gardens.

We complement the sites not only with cohesive designs, but also with professional-level live musicians and entertainment. Tenors may serenade before a ceremony, while fire-eaters, illusionists, and traditional dancers keep guests engaged as they enjoy cocktails.

Out of town guests can spend time between wedding events seeing sights they have only read about in history books, or relaxing with a glass of wine and simply watching the people pass by. There is something in this iconic Italian city to appeal to every personality.

Let the Love Flow in Paris

On our must-mention list of favorite destinations from 2018 is Paris, France. While our most recent event in Paris was a birthday fete, the city is perfectly positioned to offer the best weddings in the world.

Parisian venues do more than just house beautiful weddings. They offer a view of historic streets, manicured gardens, the meandering Seine and more. Paris is a delicious contrast of past-meets-present (and even future) between its Old World charm and its position at the leading edge of fashion, cuisine and design. You can push the envelope with a wedding in Paris or honor the traditions of old.

These are just a few of our favorite wedding destinations from 2018. Stay tuned as we will soon share about popular upcoming destinations for 2019!