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Get Some Wows with Your Vows

 

TURKS AND CAICOS

PEACEFUL AND PRIVATE

Even celebs vie for reservations at Parrot Cay, a 1,000-acre private-island resort in the Turks and Caicos that specializes in weddings for no more than eight guests. Exchange rings at the end of a boardwalk leading to the sea or in a tiki hut overlooking an empty white-sand beach.
POST-VOWS: Start your journey together in one of the resort's canoes-you're a team now-or go deep-sea fishing for wahoo, mahi-mahi, and tuna. Then retire to your airy villa, with a four-poster bed, surrounded by gardens of sea hibiscus and frangipani. Later, take a yoga class for two or splurge on a couple's massage at the Como Shambhala retreat center.
WEDDING PLANNER: To marry in Turks and Caicos, you must submit an application, birth certificates, passports, immigration slips, and affidavits proving that neither groom nor bride has been married (or a copy of the divorce decree).


This article, “Get Some Wows with Your Vows,” appeared in the spring/summer 2005 edition of Outside Traveler.


BAJA

ROMANTIC MEXICAN PARADISE

Whether you want to seal the deal on the beach, atop a white stallion, or on a yacht as the sun sets over the Pacific, Las Ventanas al Paraíso has you covered. This 61-suite Los Cabos resort specializes in all things love, from the spa's bride treatment-a bath, honey wrap, massage, facial, and manicure-to candlelit dinners on the beach.
POST-VOWS: Horseback-ride trails with sea views or take a surf lesson. Rejuvenate with a massage in your suite, with its inlaid pebble headboards and paintings by local artists.
WEDDING PLANNER: In addition to passports and birth certificates, you'll need a blood test to ensure you aren't related.


This article, “Get Some Wows with Your Vows,” appeared in the spring/summer 2005 edition of Outside Traveler.


LAKE MICHIGAN

Great Lakes Grandeur

Say your "I do's" on Lighthouse Point's 13 waterfront acres as the setting sun illuminates the St. Helena Lighthouse, on northern Michigan's Straits of Mackinac. There's only one wedding each weekend-with room for up to 30 guests to stay at Lighthouse Point-so you'll have the inn's pines and cedars, perennial gardens, and expansive lawns all to yourselves.
POST-VOWS: Explore the Sturgeon and Pine rivers by canoe, or bike nearby on car-free Mackinac Island. You and your closest kin will have four cozy cabins, with cedar interiors and rustic wood-and-leather furniture, to return to.
WEDDING PLANNER: A three-day rental of the property costs $6,000. Lighthouse Point can help you arrange catering, flowers, and music.


This article, “Get Some Wows with Your Vows,” appeared in the spring/summer 2005 edition of Outside Traveler.


MAINE

DOWN-HOME NEW ENGLAND

Everything about Blair Hill Inn, an eight-room 1891 mansion-turned-country-inn, feels like home, from the innkeepers' snapdragons to the smoked-shrimp-and-Brie omelette. Get hitched in the gardens in summer, then feast on grilled lobster flown in from the coast in the turn-of-the-century carriage barn.
POST-VOWS: Your married adventure begins in a bountiful region: Kayak Moosehead Lake or Prong Pond, raft the Penobscot or Kennebec rivers, or hike to the summit of 5,268-foot Mount Katahdin, the state's highest point. At the end of the day, you'll find respite in the Jacuzzi, a lake-view rocking chair, or your suite, with a mahogany bed and wood-burning fireplace.
WEDDING PLANNER: Blair Hill Inn's wedding fees vary from $500 to $2,000, for ten to 150 people, and receptions start at $40 per person.


This article, “Get Some Wows with Your Vows,” appeared in the spring/summer 2005 edition of Outside Traveler.


HAWAII

LAND OF LANAI

Blissfully undeveloped Lanai will sweep you and your betrothed ctix with its unrefined beauty. In the central highlands of the rugged 141-square-mile island is the Lodge at Koele, a secluded 102-room hotel. Tie the knot on a lava cliff hundreds of feet above the surf or on a golden beach.
POST-VOWS: Rent a mountain bike on-site and ride seven miles to the Garden of the Gods. Or hoof it on horseback along the Paniolo Trail, which runs through old ranchland that is home to deer, quail, and wild turkeys, not to mention panoramic views. When you return, the luxuries of Koele await you: fresh-squeezed pineapple juice, feather pillows on four-poster beds, and an orchid house to explore.
WEDDING PLANNER: The Lodge at Koele has its own planners, who can arrange everything from the service to the cake.


This article, “Get Some Wows with Your Vows,” appeared in the spring/summer 2005 edition of Outside Traveler.