The cutest campground, a shot ski guest book, and one of the most adorable wedding themes we’ve ever seen — Alex and Mitch, we are obsessed with your day! These two celebrated their marriage “summer camp style” at the Pilgrim Cove Campground in McCall, Idaho. With every creative detail and sweet canoe canoodle captured by the talented Maggie Grace Photography, this day makes us want to grab our knapsacks and head to the nearest campground to relive the glory days! In effortless, boho bride fashion, Alex wore a two-piece Theia dress (pro tip: a two-piece gown is an easy way to make your bridal look interesting and unexpected) and a pony tail made for every outdoor wedding Pinterest board. Get ready for the coolest bar-on-wheels from Whimsical Wagons, floral amazing-ness by Boise at its Best Flowers, and much more from this wedding day Emily Aitken Events planned at Pilgrim Cove Campground!
The most memorable part of the day was the first look. Sharing this moment with each other was so perfect and special. Maggie swept us away from the hustle, bustle and craziness of the day and gave us an incredible moment on the edge of a cliff. We held each other and sipped whiskey out of a flask. It was the perfect way to get ready for our day and remind us why we were there.
With the help of one of the groomsmen, we made a shot ski to be our guestbook.
Advice from the bride: Use a wedding planner or at LEAST a day of coordinator. Emily Aitken from Emily Aitken events did an incredible job making our vision come alive and made the day run so smoothly. I was never going to use a wedding planner because I insisted that was just for “fancy weddings.” Boy was I wrong, Emily made sure that all the details were considered. I swear we wouldn’t even have had water if she wasn’t involved… “Wait, some people might not want beer?”
The most important part of planning our wedding was that we stayed true to ourselves. We are both pretty laid back and really wanted to just have a celebration of love with family and friends. Our venue was a huge part of this. At Pilgrim Cove Campground we were able to celebrate “summer camp style.” We loved the idea that our friends and family could enjoy themselves without having to worry about driving anywhere. We wanted an all-night dance party in the woods, and that is exactly what we got!
We must admit that when we hear the term “destination wedding,” our minds quickly go to the stunning vineyards of Tuscany or the sandy beaches of Tulum. But, the truth is, there are so many cool cities in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that would be ideal for a destination wedding! These cities have it all: unique venues, cool vibes, amazing wedding vendors, and tons of bars/restaurants/sites to keep your guests entertained for the entire wedding weekend — or for you to host a wedding after-party! If you’re looking to throw a destination wedding a little closer to home or in a city you’ve never visited, get ready to be inspired by this list of U.S. destination wedding locations!
Between the amazing food, the live music, and the youthful vibe of the city, Austin has everything you could want for a destination wedding! There are so many venues located in the heart of downtown that would be perfect for your big day. Or, if you’re more country than city, you can drive into the Hill Country (located just outside the city limits) where you’ll find sprawling venues with breathtaking views.
New Orleans is the ultimate party city, which, for some couples, makes it the ultimate wedding destination! Your guests will have a never-ending list of food, bars, and entertainment to enjoy before and after the wedding. The historic charm of the city offers a backdrop for your big day that is both unique and romantic. Plus, the second-line tradition of being escorted through the streets by a brass band is as cool as it gets!
Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern vibes, which is one of the many reasons it’s such a popular wedding destination. The gorgeous weather and desert views probably have a lot to do with it, too! This is the perfect city for couples who want to feel like they’ve stepped into another world and into another era. It’s also perfect for couples who want to be close enough to a city without feeling like they’re confined to a city — it truly is the best of both worlds!
Seattle is one of those cities that a lot of people think of for vacation but doesn’t immediately come to mind for weddings. But we think that needs to change! There are waterfront venues, modern downtown venues, and even island venues within a ferry ride’s distance of the city. Plus you have access to fantastic food and some of the best coffee shops in the country. The possibilities are endless!
Portland is one of the PNW’s dreamiest locations that boasts mild winters and has easy access to forests, mountains, beaches, and skylines. No matter what vibe you want to create for your destination wedding, you’ll find a location and venue to match! Don’t let the high chances of rain that the rest of the PNW experiences scare you. Portland’s summer is warm and dry with low humidity, which makes it ideal for outdoor weddings. But, if you prefer an indoor wedding, the winters are equally beautiful!
Outdoor lovers, this recommendation is for you! Denver averages 300 days of sunshine every year, making it one of the loveliest cities for couples who want to be outside for most — if not all — of their wedding day. As an added bonus, Denver is one of the greenest cities in the country! Located just east of the Rockies, this city would be the perfect home base for your wedding weekend because you can have your ceremony and reception downtown and community-building activities in or around the mountains before and/or after the big day.
If the famously perfect weather in San Diego isn’t enough of a draw, the cool vibes of Balboa Park, the world-renowned zoo, and the incredible harbor should seal the deal. This coastal city has waterfront venues galore for beach-loving couples, cool warehouses and downtown lofts for more modern couples, and even sprawling ranches (with pools!) for couples who want a backyard feel in the heart of the city. If you can dream it, you can find it in sunny San Diego!
Upstate New York is one of the country’s best-kept secrets for destination weddings, until now! This picturesque region features lakes, forests, and panoramic views that are second to none. Ithaca, in particular, sits in the heart of the Finger Lakes district and has the perfect combination of cool college town vibes and rural charm. It’s an ideal setting for couples who want to get married in New York without the hassle (or expense) of getting married in New York City!
Nashville has had our hearts for many years, and it refuses to let go! This vibrant city offers all the southern charm you’d expect in Tennessee with a funky, youthful, and eclectic twist that is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only does this city have one of the best live music scenes in the country, but it has an impressive variety of wedding venues that range from cute and quaint to luxurious and lavish. If you choose Nashville for your destination wedding, you and your guests will be guaranteed an unforgettable good time!
Miami literally has it all: diverse venues, a tropical climate, world-class restaurants, and beaches that are beyond compare. Plus the deeply rooted party culture is second to none! There is something for everyone, which makes it an ideal city for a destination wedding in the U.S. Whether you want a shoe-free beach ceremony, a luxurious country club affair, or a sophisticated estate celebration, Miami is ready and waiting to host your perfect destination wedding!
Which of these cities is your favorite?! Let us know in the comments below! Then head over to our destination wedding etiquette article, which includes 6 must-know tips for planning the perfect destination celebration!
We love a good high school sweetheart story! After years of dating, Ellen and Anthony tied the knot with a traditional, elegant wedding and reception at The Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts! We love how Ellen’s sophisticated look transitions beautifully through every part of the day. Her fabulous floral applique Berta gown and soft waves created by Lume Salon were perfectly fitting for their vibe. We can’t wait for you to see Meredith McCarthy’s floral masterpieces and timeless photographs by Emily Delamater Photography who brilliantly captured every detail these two lovebirds’ romantic day!
The moment that we said “I do” was my favorite part of the day. Anthony and I met in high school and had been together for almost ten years when we got married, so it was an incredible feeling to take that next step and officially become family. We both wrote our own vows and my uncle officiated the wedding, which felt special because he had seen our relationship grow over the years.
We fell in love with The Crane Estate because of the amazing views and how private it felt to have the entire estate just for our guests.
Working with Emily and her husband Matt was wonderful! They both had such calm energy, which helped us relax and feel comfortable with them. We were very lucky to work with all of our vendors, but I would love to give a special shout out to our photographers, videographer, and band! Our band was a huge hit and got everyone out on the dance floor.