Wedding Vows With a View
For some couples, it's all about the venue and the band. For others, it comes down to color schemes and decor. Still others deem the dress to be the most important aspect of wedding-day planning. But when the actual destination is the determining factor for where you say "I do," why not say it someplace where the breathtaking scenery rivals the beauty of the blushing bride. These eight romantic destinations not only provide photo-op-ready vistas, but vow-worthy, once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
This popular attraction was voted one of the most romantic spots in North America by Harlequin Romance, the authority on all things romantic. Dazzle your guests by getting married overlooking this 450-foot suspension bridge in an evergreen forest. The Capilano Suspension Bridge offers year-round indoor and outdoor venues that can accommodate 30 to 700 guests.
CuisinArt Resort & Spa
Anguilla, Lesser Antilles
Emerging as a first-class tourist destination, the quiet Caribbean island of Anguilla boasts 33 miles of beach, international style and diverse culture. At the five-star CuisinArt Resort & Spa, couples take to the pillow-soft beaches of Rendezvous Bay to say "I do" before heading to the resort's signature restaurant, Santorini -- the picture-perfect backdrop for a reception. Intimate wedding parties can book Penthouse 2000 and 2001, which present unspoiled views of azure waters and lush gardens, in addition to exclusive use of the entire third floor.
Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
Outdoorsy types with a flair for style flock to say their vows atop Beaver Creek Mountain at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. Luxurious amenities blend with a cozy ambience including stone fireplaces, soaring beamed ceilings and oversized leather sofas and chairs in the great room. Although this resort showcases the best of Colorado's natural outdoor beauty year-round, it's a top spot for winter weddings. The Mountainside Terrace offers breathtaking views of the surrounding National Forest and can accommodate a ceremony or reception for up to 350 guests.
Auberge du Soleil
When Christina Aguilera tied the knot in late 2005 to music executive Jordan Bratman, she called upon Auberge du Soleilfor her pre-wedding celebration and accommodations. A wedding in wine country is inherently romantic, but the sweeping valley views of vineyards, olive groves and sunsets, not to mention a top-notch culinary and wine program, puts this exclusive resort heads above your average winery affair. Private facilities feature French doors that swing out to stone terraces and panoramic vistas.
Perched atop a 1,000-foot cliff above the Amalfi Coast, five-star fabulous hotel Palazzo Sasso is known around the world. Couples can get hitched in Ravello at their charming City Hall, which is just steps away, before retreating to this 12th-century Italian villa for a reception on the terrace. Tasteful historical and artistic touches, as well as meticulously cared-for gardens contribute to the beauty of this in-demand coastal wedding destination.
Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
The Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris isn't ranked "Top International Hotel" in the Zagat Survey 2007-08 edition without good reason. Situated just off the Champs Elyse and a quick stroll from the Seine, magnificent views of the city's famous sites, royalty-worthy decor, and a sublime staff make for an over-the-top wedding experience. Couples can circumnavigate the 40-day residency requirements for legally binding services by making their vows official at a City Hall ceremony before having the full-blown wedding celebration here.
The Langham Hotel
Melbourne has earned bragging rights for offering world-class urban sophistication, while retaining the charm and hospitality of a smaller European town. Its scenic riverfront location and nearby wine country doesn't hurt either. Marry atop The Langham Hotel at the hotel's event space, Alto. Its 25th-floor rooftop location affords panoramic views of the Yarra River and Melbourne city skyline -- for sunset/evening nuptials, there is no better place to profess your love.
Big Island of Hawaii
Kilauea volcano is said to be Hawaii's most active volcano and thus, a top pick for nature-loving couples looking to get hitched. Ceremonies take place at Kilauea Crater overlooking the dramatic backdrop of the red-hot volcano; suffice it to say photo opportunities are fantastic. There is a wedding-permit fee, as well as park entrance fees to consider. Situated at the edge of crater, the Volcano House also provides wedding services, destination weddings, romantic travel, romantic weddings