Photo courtesy Jordan Quinn Photography
In collaboration with our friends from Graff
Couples who choose to tie the knot outdoors know why. Then comes the when – which can be difficult to determine for a myriad of reasons (hello, rainy season and conflicting family plans). But it’s the place where this can feel almost impossible as there are incredibly beautiful landscapes and exquisite estates in all fifty states. If you’re looking for inspiration, New Orleans, Napa and Sonoma Valley, and Aspen have all three wedding wishes: good food and a really good time for fifty or five hundred.
New Orleans is a delightfully eccentric, sultry city wrapped in steamy, hot glamor. In other words, for those considering a small wedding with a twist, this is a no-brainer. Among the dozen of unexpected, historic venues – many with lush grounds dotted with Spanish moss – stand out the sculpture gardens of the New Orleans Museum of Art. If you’ve always only wanted a wedding in the courtyard surrounded by tropical vegetation, choose the terrace of the pharmacy museum. The noble guest rooms and the great food at the Peter and Paul Hotel, the Chloe and the recently opened Hotel Saint Vincent will inspire your guests to return to hundreds of times.
No other mountain town marries (ha!) As luxuriously and relaxed as Aspen. While sprawling ranches aren’t exactly hard to find here, we have good reason that T Lazy 7 and Chaparral Ranch are the two best places for an open-air western-style wedding. (Both win bonus points for wild horses, day-long views, and in Chaparral’s case, a lake that reflects the sky in the most breathtaking way.) The sundeck at Little Nell is all earthy elegance – at 11,212 feet – for the couple who want a grand celebration with a view of the summit. Aside from the wedding ceremony, the rehearsal dinner and the second day when you choose your own adventure, you can lean back in Aspen’s classy, rustic atmosphere: oysters and champagne at Clark’s, Betula for a French-inspired dinner and a nightcap at Hotel Jerome .
Napa and Sonoma valleys
The same sirens that lure foodies and oenophiles to Napa and Sonoma – emerald vineyards as far as the eye can see and an ever-growing list of world-class restaurants – make both valleys lofty backdrops for an alfresco ceremony. Scribe and Promontory run the winery as a wedding location with views, pretty terraces and vintages that are worth traveling for. We are excited to see what the newly renovated, romantic, rustic Meadowood has to offer in terms of accommodations and amenities. Oh, and the charter Oak meal you’ve always dreamed of? Promise to do it now with your loved ones before the big day.
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