Destination: I Do
If you’re planning an upcoming wedding, consider holding the nuptials in a romantic destination to create a truly memorable experience for the bride and groom, as well as the guests.
The idea of a destination wedding evokes many images: sunrise ceremonies on the beach, your groomsmen in kilts and your bridesmaids with garlands in their hair listening to the keening call of the bagpipes. Certainly, the romance of saying your vows—for the first time or renewing them—in a gorgeous location is irresistible. But for Jennifer Gillis, wedding coordinator for Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu on the Big Island’s Kona Coast, the truly beautiful part of a destination wedding is what can’t be seen, at least on the surface.
“A destination wedding is more intimate by nature,” says Gillis, who celebrated her own nuptials in Hawaii. “Your guest list is smaller and the whole experience becomes more focused on spending time with friends and family.”
And Gillis, who has been wedding coordinator at the Resort for more than two years, enjoys offering turnkey service to her brides and grooms. Different packages allow couples to create an experience that is personal and reflective of their personalities and passions—from more traditional ceremonies to those that celebrate Hawaiian heritage to a package that honours the land with sustainable practices. The Resort can arrange shuttles for guests, hair and makeup appointments for the wedding party, local florists, and snorkelling tours, among other services.
The result is a wedding that is more about gathering friends and family, enjoying their company and the location free from the concerns that often take precedence and leave the happy couple in a daze, wondering how the time passed so quickly. “You’ve set your budget and you need to decide what you want to get out of it: a big party or lasting memories,” says Gillis. “The cost is the same, but the result is different.”
Ciro Tacinelli, director of marketing at the Resort, agrees, adding, “You give your guests a chance to have a new experience, to learn about a new culture, to fulfill a travel dream.” Tacinelli, who also said his vows in a location far from home, is delighted that his wedding offered such a joyous experience for his guests.
And while Gillis spends months planning weddings for happy couples from all over the world, she also enjoys the occasional spontaneous event: a vow renewal or a spur-of-the-moment wedding. “This opens up opportunities for Four Seasons to make the experience special and all about the couple,” she says.