Getting married is never easy, especially if you are planning to tie the knot half way across the world. But the idea of spending a holiday with all our beloved family and friends at some place both exotic and so dear to our hearts makes the whole ride a lot more exciting and worthwhile. It took some intense discussions to arrive at our final destination of Naxos, Greece. Not only is Naxos the middle point for our family and friends coming from all 5 continents, to us, it is also Greece at its best: mesmerizing, hospitable and unpretentious. Of course, I can spend hours telling you about what I love about this special Cycladic island, but this blog is dedicated to all the other amazing places where we have stopped on our travel through to say “This could be a great place for a wedding!”
Think Italian medieval town and Twilight, because this is actually where the movie was filmed a few years back. We were on our wine tasting mission for Loic’s birthday in Tuscany when we stumbled upon this little gem. Walking up the hilly cobblestone street and stopping from time to time to have a little taste of the local salami, cheese and wine, we arrived at the Palazzo Comunale at the top of the hill. We actually caught a glimpse of an ongoing wedding reception, thinking how wonderful it must be to get married in such a place rich with history and culture. And of course, the famous Montepulciano red wine.
The High Line, New York City
This is another place where I walked right into a wedding celebration during my visit. And of course it was high tea at 4 o’clock in the afternoon (It was New York, what do you expect?). And it seemed so perfect, with the terrific sunset view along the Hudson, the exciting backdrop of Chelsea and Meat Packing District on the other side, a trumpet musician playing something jazzy, mid summer’s warm sun and cool breezes. This is the place that truly captures the spirit and pulse of the city. And for those of you who is unfamiliar, this is the city’s new project to build a linear park on a section of the elevated former railroad that runs along the Lower West Side. It was my first visit and I fell in love constantly.
This was actually our second option for the wedding, one of the best waters that I’ve ever seen. But more than that, this is where Loic has picked to make the best decision of his adult life (asking me for marriage of course!). This little picturesque village is only accessible by boat or foot, making it even more serene and stunningly beautiful. In the village where it takes only five minutes to walk from one end to the other, yet you still feel so small amidst the magnificent nature, steep, harsh, rocky mountainsides surrounded by the sweet warm turquoise waters. If only the town was bigger to host all our friends and family.
We are the kind of couple that would chose a wedding destination for one amazing restaurant. And this is why we dream of coming back to Leros every time summer rolls around. It was THAT amazing! And the castle nestled on the top of the hill would be the place we hold our ceremony (we actually saw a sunset wedding there one day, a row of Fiat 500 making their way up the hill, so adorable!). Then, drinking wine in the courtyard and making our way to the Mylos restaurant by the water for octopus carpaccio, kataifi cheese roll with honey, lobster linguini and of course, panna cotta for Van Anh!
Gili Meno, Indonesia
We would go back to the Gili islands anytime. Just 2 hours off the coast of Bali but this is completely out of this world. Same scenery, same beautiful waters as Bali, but minus the seven million tourists scrambling the island. We love this little beach bar in Gili Meno, the most peaceful island out of the three, decorated liberally with strings of red corals and white shells. This is where I imagine a barefoot beach wedding to be, in the warm light of sunset, with a pina colada in your hand, followed by a beach BBQ reception and ending the night with dancing around the bonfire. Oh Loic, can we change?
Coron/El Nido, Philippines
The Philippines with thousands stunning islands also holds a very high position on our list. I have posted lengthy article about what an amazing place and how much we love El Nido/Coron. But one of the special places that we fell in love with is a little quirky hotel on the top of a hill overlooking the ocean called Al Faro in Coron. Loic described it better than I ever could, “The benefit of coming to this remote location is that the stress of the normal world simply melts away within an hour after arrival. With its almost Cycladic design, the first impression is that there is a huge amount of attention to detail around the hotel, from the lovely staff, to the fresh hibiscus flowers all over the room, but most importantly to the focus on creating wide open spaces that let everyone enjoy the views and fresh breezes.”There are still many more places we love, Prague, Lisbon, Tulum, Hoi An… but we can only have one wedding so our friends, hope you can make time to visit all our favorite places above… and see you in Naxos!