Destination Weddings - My favorite spots

Whether it is bringing your closest friends and family to your favorite summer vacation spot that your family has visiting for generations or planning an intimate getaway in a tropical location, destination weddings are on the rise. Here are a few of my favorites! 

The Breakers Palm Beach

Photo courtsey of The Breakers

Photo courtsey of The Breakers

Photo courtesy of The Breakers

Photo courtesy of The Breakers

I admit I'm a bit biased, I used to work at The Breakers years ago and it still remains one of my favorite places in the world! It's a one-of-a-kind oceanfront resort that boasts the most beautiful ballrooms and venues that I've had the privilege of working in (not to mention a seasoned and talented event team). A few of my favorite spots on the property are the Venetian Ballroom and Ocean Lawn (pictured above). There are also more intimate space that are perfect for smaller weddings. You and your guests wouldn't need to step off property the entirety of your stay. With several fabulous restaurants, a newly renovated spa with ocean views, golf, shopping, pool and beach club!

Montage Palmetto Bluff, SC

Photo courtesy of Palmetto Bluff

Photo courtesy of Palmetto Bluff

Destination weddings based in Low Country are one of the most requested and popular spots for destination weddings and for obvious reasons. Imagine exchanging vows under an ancient moss-laden oak tree while a warm breeze kisses your guests faces and pealing bells ring in the distance. During your cocktail hour your guests sip craft cocktails on a sun splashed veranda overlooking the water before moving to a beautiful sailcloth tent set on the May River Lawn. Sounds like heaven to me!

Montage Palmetto Bluff is situated on the May River in the Lowcountry of South Carolina between Hilton Head Island and Savannah. The luxury resort encompasses an extensive nature preserve, walking trails, marina, restaurants, spa, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Accommodations include spacious cottages, guest rooms, suites and village homes that all pay homage to the region’s rich heritage.

Montage Palmetto Bluff is the perfect location for a wedding weekend as it has several locations for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and celebrations. The charming Sommerset Chapel (pictured above) can accommodate up to 185 guests. You can also opt to host an intimate wedding for 24 of your closest friends and family on the Grace Yacht; a 60-foot vessel historic built in 1913. Host a casual welcome party with an oyster roast with late night s'mores complete with fire pits and then have a completely different experience the following day for your wedding if you prefer a more formal setting for the big day.

The Waldheim, Big Moose Lake NY

Sara Kovel Events Destination Wedding Planner
Sara Kovel Events Destination Wedding Planner

Set in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York The Waldheim is a family owned and operated resort since 1904. The "camp" may be bought out before the summer season begins in June or just after closing in early October. It is perfect for those who want to take over the 17 cottages and spend quality time with their closest friends and family hiking, horseback riding, boating, kayaking and relaxing around a camp fire on the beach. The lake is private so only the homeowners and "camps" on the lake may launch boats which preserves the peaceful nature and spectacular wildlife. Each cottage at the Waldheim has a wood burning fireplace and lake views. While the accommodations are certainly more rustic than the aforementioned resorts, the natural beauty of the surrounding environment and the family atmosphere of taking over the resort for the weekend are perfect for an outdoorsy couple. The badminten lawn may be tented for up to 225 guests and the recently renovated Main dining room can accommodate 90 guests for a rehearsal dinner.  

A few favorite venues...

The first thing most couples begin thinking about once they've announced their engagement is where they'd like to get married. The venue will set the tone for the rest of the planning still to come. Are you drawn to a glamorous venue with impeccable service where you don't have to worry about the weather? Or would you prefer a natural setting under a beautiful tent on the grounds of a historic home? I find the overall design and aesthetic really starts to take hold in my minds eye once I've had a chance to spend some time getting to know a couple and once they've selected a venue for their celebration. Here are a few of my favorite spots!

Photo courtesy of Historic New England

Photo courtesy of Historic New England

Eustis Estate

Set on 80 acres adjacent to the Blue Hills Reservation, Eustis Estate built in 1878. Until recently this breaktaking 19th century "cottage" was a private residence. It's now available to visitors and those who wish to rent the property for private events and weddings. It can accommodate up to 70 guests for a seated dinner (or 100 for a cocktail style reception). The grounds may also be tented for up to 150 guests to accommodate larger soirées.   

Photo by Cheryl Richards

Four Seasons Hotel Boston

The Four Seasons gets everything right! The impeccable service, seasoned event team, delicious food and wonderful location in the Back Bay makes the Four Seasons a perfect spot for couples looking for a classically elegant celebration. The Grand Ballroom can comfortably accommodate up to 250 with a dance floor and the smaller Governor's Room can seat 120 with dancing. For larger event you may reserve the entire second floor and utilize all of the event space which also includes Aujourd'hui (and it's spectacular views of the Public Garden). 

Photo curtosey of Just Right Farm

Photo curtosey of Just Right Farm

Just Right Farm

Set just 30 miles south of Boston in the small town of Plympton, Just Right Farm is surrounded by charming rural beauty. It's a perfect venue for a couple with a discerning palate who, along with their guests, will appreciate the farm to table dining experience. (One sample dish: New England Cod, preserved lemon and olive tapenade on duck egg pasta, local wheat ciabatta. Yum!) The 300 year old farmhouse set on 10 acres can accommodate small, intimate weddings in their Screen House or tented weddings up to 150 guests. Perfect for a venue that feels a bit off the beaten path yet still accessible to downtown Boston. Couples may also stay in the Farmstead Suite which boasts handcrafted furniture made by the owner in their woodworking shed.

Photo courtesy of Chesterwood

Photo courtesy of Chesterwood


Set in the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts, Chesterwood has many unique settings  for wedding ceremonies, receptions and parties from small, intimate gatherings to events of up to 500 guests. Daniel Chester French (the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial) masterfully combined the elegance of his formal Italianate gardens with the natural rural landscape. The panoramic views, perennial gardens, sweeping fields and unique architectural details make for a gracious setting for a celebration. 

Sara Kovel Events Boston Wedding Planner

Harvard Art Museum

The event spaces at Harvard Art Museum offer unique spaces set in downtown Cambridge. 

Calderwood Courtyard

Calderwood Courtyard can accommodate larger celebrations and weddings of up to 200 guests seated (or 400 cocktail reception style). The courtyard is designed in the style of a Roman piazza, with stunning views through grand archways and into the galleries beyond. The courtyard is an enchanting space for celebrating under it's glass roof with a view of the stars or in the glorious light of a sun-soaked day.

Sara Kovel Events Boston Wedding Planner

Adolphus Busch Hall

With the drama of a grand medieval hall, Adolphus Busch Hall can accommodate up to 80 guests for an intimate wedding. Guests will dine amongst medieval and Renaissance sculpture and stonework, part of the Busch-Reisinger Museum’s founding collection. Adolphus Busch Hall also has an adjoining terrace and garden with lush greenery and a peaceful water fountain perfect for cocktail hour and photos.

Sara Kovel Events Harvard Art Museum Wedding

Engage 16! Summit Luxury Wedding Summit

Now that the dust has settled and I'm back to reality (planning spectacular parties, running a business, taking care of three kids, two pets, and recovering from the holidays). I'm finding myself longing for the inspirational and fantastic time I had in Sea Island attending Engage, a luxury wedding business summit. (Plus I'm missing the Georgia weather. Hello 7 degrees yesterday in Boston!) This time around it was held at the beautiful and charming Cloister Sea Island. If you've never been, go now! (Seriously, it's stunning!)

Engage brings together the leaders in the luxury wedding industry which allows for inspiration, the sharing of ideas, the chance to learn from veterans such as Mindy Weiss, Preston Bailey, Bryan Raffanelli, Marcy Blum, Sylvia Weinstock (I could go on and on) and the opportunity to develop partnerships with the best event professionals in the world. The best part though? You put 350 or so event professionals together for 3 days it's a sure bet it's going to be a good time. 

The Lobby at the Cloister Hotel Sea Island Photo by Gigi de Manio

The Lobby at the Cloister Hotel Sea Island

Photo by Gigi de Manio

Inspiration began as soon as we walked through the doors of the Cloister. We were greeted with a gifting suite where attendees were able to choose customized goodies. There were many wonderful ideas for favors, welcome amenities, wedding party gifts. 

The Opening Session included Mindy Weiss and Marcy Blum to just name a few of the talented speakers.

Photo by John Cain Sargent

Photo by John Cain Sargent

Photo by Gigi de Manio

Photo by Gigi de Manio

Photo by Gigi de Manio

Photo by Gigi de Manio

Marcy Blum chatting with the one and only Sylvia Weinstock Photo by Gigi de Manio

Marcy Blum chatting with the one and only Sylvia Weinstock

Photo by Gigi de Manio

The first day would not be complete without some bubbles....

Photos by Jennifer Domenick

Need some inspiration for a Low Country rehearsal dinner? Look no further than our Welcome Party at Rainbow Island. Country life never looked so charming!

Photos by Gigi de Manio, Carla Ten Eyck, Elisha Coleman, Jennifer Domenick, Paul Morse

The speak easy themed after-party convinced me that a Silent Disco isn't as lame as I thought when I first heard of the idea. In fact, it's tons of fun (and a great way around noise ordinances)!! 


Photos by Paul Morse

Day 2 Session. The attention to detail is noticed at every turn!

Photos by John Cain Sargent

We were greeted by none other than the big guy himself at the Coca Cola 1950's Christmas themed break on Day 2. Everyone received an old fashioned bottle of Coke with their name on it! We were also treated to the sounds of The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. So...Much...Fun...!!!!

Next we enjoyed a lovely lunch outdoors under a beautiful tent overlooking the water. Check out the menus below. The custom feather laser cut menus by Two Paper Dolls Design House were out of this world!

Photos by John Cain Sargent & Joel Callaway

That evening we were treated to a dessert party at the Cloister's Beach Club. Simply Irresistible from East Coast Entertainment kept us dancing way later than we should have and the desserts were just as delicious as they were beautiful.

Photos by John Cain Sargent

Our turn down gifts by Gifts for the Good Life at the end of the evening (just in case someone imbibed a bit too much ;)

Oh Hey Charming little Chapel! A perfect spot for one of the breakouts that I attended. The Cloister is best described as charming, elegant and magical. I can't wait to visit again!


And finally, last but not least, the Gala. It was truly spectacular! From the hand-painted dance floor created by Gunner's Daughter and Beachview Event Rentals, the custom slate menus by TPD Designs, to the unbelievable entertainment provided by Elan Artists, it was truly a night to remember! 

Caroline & Steve's Four Seasons Boston Wedding

On a beautiful sunny day in September Caroline & Steve held their ceremony at St. Anne's Church, a short walk from their home in Charlestown. Following the ceremony, their reception was held at the Four Seasons Boston Hotel. The Four Seasons Boston will always be near and dear to my heart. I spent many years working there planning weddings so going back is always such fun; it feels like going home!

 The resplendent September weather, along with the fact that we passed the Bunker Hill Monument on our walk to the church, afforded for some fantastic photographs (it didn't hurt that Caroline is stunning and made a beautiful bride)! There were so many wonderful photos taken by Rebekah Kay Photography I had a hard time narrowing them down for this blog post! Enjoy!

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style

We are honored and excited to announce that we are on Grace Ormonde's Platinum Vendor List!

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style is the luxury wedding source for Fashion, Jewelry, Lifestyle and Travel: Wedding Gowns, Eveningwear, Engagement Rings, Bridal Registry and Home Decor, Destination Weddings and Romantic Honeymoons. 

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Berkshire Wedding Tour Part I

The views of the rolling hills off of the back porch transport you to a long forgotten era where time moved a little slower and peaceful solitude wasn't hard to find. I feel as if my pulse slows and I relax just a little bit more when I'm back in the Berkshires.

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