waterfront wedding

Destination Weddings: Spotlight on the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica

Sarah Glick, our wedding planner, recently had the pleasure of visiting the tropical Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica. The resort is brand new and it definitely shows! Guests can choose to relax in the sun at one of the two gorgeous infinity pools (one of which is adults only) or at the hotel's black sand beach. One of the most impressive services the resort offers is a sunset shuttle. As the resort is East-facing allowing only for sunrise views, they offer a complimentary shuttle to a nearby hotel for guests who would also like to enjoy the sunset. This service shows how meticulously every detail of the resort's guests' stays has been through through.

For the active traveler, the resort has an array of watersports, all of which are complimentary. Feeling more adventurous? There is everything from zip lining to horseback riding all within 20 minutes of the resort. The Andaz also features three restaurants the highlight being Chao Pescao, Small Plates & Bar. The menu features Latin-inspired fare, a cocktail list written by the in-house mixologist and live music on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The mixologist is also available for private or group classes!

With such fabulous attention to detail, the Andaz Papagayo would play host to an absolutely stunning wedding. The resort features an array of venues including a private garden and three open-air restaurants overlooking the water. In the case of a buyout of the resort, you can even have the ceremony in the lobby, which features a runway-style aisle! This resort is a truly spectacular venue for anyone considering a destination wedding. To read more about their venues, services, and menus click here.

Pool, Restaurant, Lobby

Guest Suite, Private Balcony, Luxury Spa Relaxing Pool, Beach Sand Writing

Thank you to the Andaz Papagayo for the beautiful pictures and wonderful experience!


Why In-house Destination Venue Coordinators Love Us

Riviera Maya Wedding, Destination Wedding, Beachfront Wedding

A big question we receive from prospective clients is "My venue offers an on-site wedding coordinator, so do I really need a wedding planner, too?" The short answer, which most on-site venue coordinators would agree with, is "Yes!". Why? The long answer is twofold:

1) A planner from NYC knows what your expectations are from all standpoints - a service perspective (example: a full open bar is standard in Manhattan and so is having table-side entree choice, whereas these things won't be standard at hotels outside NYC), a formalities perspective (the different cultural or religious requirements, or what is traditional for speeches, etc.), and even down to a granular perspective like the general style of music that you'd expect. Having someone who understands 100% what you expect from the get-go is key to pulling off a successful destination wedding. In-house venue coordinators are typically grateful to have a liaison to communicate these needs and wants clearly, resulting in less stress and frustration for both parties.
2) the venue's expertise lies in running stellar food and beverage service, not necessarily running all of the specifics of a wedding. Having a wedding planner from outside the resort allows them to focus on what they do best -- food and beverage -- whereas we focus on the rest...design, decor and all of the other details means that we have our "aces in their places" and you get the wedding you dream of with less stress and more fun.
Thinking of having a Destination Wedding?
Have a look at our Destination Wedding Gallery here!

A Brilliant Wedding: Deidre and Ramón

Working with Deidre and Ramón on their special day was truly a pleasure.  The happy couple tied the knot on a perfectly sunny day in early September at The River Café in Brooklyn, an intimate venue that provides some of the most breathtaking views of Manhattan.  Deidre and Ramón creatively incorporated the location, Brooklyn, into their wedding in various ways.  Guests were given welcome bags with a map of Brooklyn printed on them and the couple's guestbook was an antique map of Brooklyn.  Deidre looked radiant as she walked down the aisle to the classic "Trumpet Voluntary in D" by Jeremiah Clarke during her riverside ceremony and the newly married couple exited their ceremony to sounds of "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles.  Congratulations, Deidre and Ramón!

Welcome Bags

Wedding Details

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Waterfront Reception

Thanks to Angelica Glass for the amazing photos.

A Brilliant Wedding: Claudia and Adrian

Claudia and Adrian are both from the United States, but it wasn't until they traveled halfway across the world to work in Hong Kong that they met and fell in love.  The couple decided to get married at the gorgeous waterfront Mondrian hotel in South Beach during an outdoor terrace ceremony in front of their immediate family.  The breathtaking view was the perfect setting for their intimate and breezy wedding.  Congratulations Claudia and Adrian! Thanks to Joseph Casal for the beautiful photos.

Beachfront Wedding Ceremony

Miami Wedding Bouquet

Reception Details

Beach Wedding Couple

Saint Martin Destination Wedding

Rising temperatures aren’t the only indicator that summer is quickly approaching; as the weather becomes nicer the number of weddings exponentially multiplies, and destination wedding inquiries are no exception.  I was lucky enough to visit the impressive resort La Samanna on the island of St. Martin in the French West Indies on a press trip (tough job I have, right?).  It was my first visit to the island and I absolutely fell in love with it.  It's the ideal location for a destination wedding - a place where Caribbean culture fuses perfectly with European influence.

La Samanna expertly combines the elegant style of the French with the relaxing vibe of a Caribbean island.  From oceanview suites with breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters to private villas and gourmet restaurants, La Samanna is truly the luxury resort of the island.

When it comes to a dream destination wedding, La Samanna’s options are endless.  Start by having a "meet the parents" dinner with a private wine tasting led by the resort's sommelier in La Cave, the only wine cellar in the Caribbean.  For your rehearsal dinner, invite your guests to your private villa for a seafood barbecue overlooking the cliffs, or an organize a buy-out of one of the local French restaurants to get a taste of the island flair. Interested in having a bachelor or bachelorette party the week of the wedding?  The Dutch side of the island is just minutes away with lively casinos, beach bars and nightclubs.

For your wedding ceremony, their private stretch of beach is downright breathtaking.  The soft, white sand and stunning sea provide the perfect backdrop for the couple looking for an out-of-this-world beach venue.  If you have your heart set on a beachfront wedding but aren’t fond of sand stuck between your toes, the resort has the ideal setting for that - a pristine courtyard that overlooks the sea with a soft carpet of green grass.  It gives you the feel of a beach wedding without the nuisance of lingering sand. Dinner and dancing options range from the fun beachfront deck to the tropical pool area, to even a tented reception high on the cliffs in the backyard of your private villa!

The resort offers a host of other fabulous activities and amenities.  From a rejuvenating spa treatment with the finest French products to chartering a private boat, a beach day complete with a private palapa stocked with a tropical buffet and an open bar. La Samanna is truly an idyllic destination wedding location.

Dreaming of a wedding like this?  Contact us at sarah@brillianteventplanning.com or 347.201.2496.

La Samanna Destination Wedding Ceremony

Destination Wedding Sint Maarten

Photos via Alex Photo.

A Brilliant Destination Wedding: Newport, Rhode Island

I was lucky enough to visit Forty 1° North, a hotel and marina resort located in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island as part of a recent press trip. It's the perfect getaway for couples searching for a wedding location that's like the Hamptons, but not the Hamptons.  A quick, relaxing train ride - free of the chaos of airport security and terrible traffic snarls - to Newport and you're at the perfect waterfront destination wedding location in flash. The vibe of this resort mixes the caliber of a New York City wedding - a sophisticated setting and impeccable food & service - with the backdrop of charming Newport. It is posh, yet totally approachable. The boutique hotel is located right on the marina and has 24 rooms and suites, as well as 2 lofts and 2 cottages. Each room has its own Dr. Seuss book, for a touch of whimsy, and Malin + Goetz amenities to make sure you are properly pampered.

When it comes to wedding venue locations, Forty 1° North has both indoor and outdoor space, including the waterfront marina and two restaurants with totally distinct vibes. Whether you use their in-house sommelier for rehearsal dinners in the private dining room, their roundtable bar for a beer tasting, the library for a welcome cocktail reception or your ceremony in the open-air seafront reception area, it's perfect for a summer evening wedding or a cozy, intimate winter nuptials!

During my stay, I was lucky enough to experience a boat ride around the harbor with a luxury picnic of lobster rolls, caviar and perfectly chilled rosé - a super chic alternative to the typical rehearsal dinner.  We also were treated to a cooking class cooking class with their classically trained head chef, where we made an inventive, but surprisingly easy, Thai soup!  A fun way to do a group activity for foodie brides and their ladies, or foodie grooms and their entourage.

Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough to tempt you, their Lavender Crème Brulee is out of this world!

Dreaming of a wedding like this? Contact us today at 917.974.4729 or sarah@brillianteventplanning.com

Newport Luxury Hotel Amenities

Forty 1 North Guest Rooms

Newport Hotel Marina

Sophisticated Newport Bar and Restaurant

Newport Outdoor Wedding

Newport Wedding Contemporary

Newport Elegant Wedding

Marina Restaurant Fine Dining Newport

Photos courtesy of Forty 1° North,  Meghan Sepe Weddings, Couture Parties and Connerton Photography.