Which Wedding Destination Is Right for You? One Real Bride Weighs In

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, Real Weddings
Ashlan Gorse Destination Wedding

Photos: Courtesy of Ashlan Gorse

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it's not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Over the next few weeks guest blogger Ashlan Gorse, entertainment journalist, will share her romantic engagement story, planning a wedding without a wedding planner, and choosing a destination wedding.

Where to get married?

I'm a Southern girl who grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended college at UNC Chapel Hill. My fiancé, Philippe, grew up all over the place (Pacific Palisades, Florida, Connecticut, and France to name a few places he's called home!) and went to university in Scotland. Our families and friends live all over the globe, so as we began planning our wedding, we faced one huge dilemma: Where should we get married?

As much as I love my home state of North Carolina, I left after graduating in 2002, and my parents recently sold my childhood home and moved to Georgia. Philippe doesn't have any ties to anyone in the Tarheel state, and I realized that I didn't really have them anymore, either. So, we crossed that option off of our list.

Philippe has a place in Washington, D.C., and that's where my sister lives with her husband and two kids, but I don't have any pull to the city itself. Then Washington D.C., got crossed off the list, too.

The next option we considered was California. Philippe spent a bit of time in Los Angeles when he was growing up, and I have been happily living here for more than six years. But I couldn't think of where I actually wanted to get married. Hotels seemed too impersonal to me (and having random people walk through your reception? No thanks. And while I thought it would be super cool to get married someplace like the Zoo or Griffith Park, in reality it would be a logistics nightmare! When I really thought about it, the only place that I loved was Malibu Rocky Oaks Vineyard. It's so gorgeous, and makes you feel like you're atop your own mountain in the French countryside.

Which brought us to France! Why not? The country has true sentimental appeal to both of us — after all, we got engaged in Paris and have traveled to France together every year since we started dating. And Philippe grew up summering there, hence his impeccable French accent.

But could we pull it off? The idea of planning an-out-of-the-country wedding immediately gave me heart palpitations, but the idea of a destination wedding sounded so, so romantic! After a lot of talking and a lot of Googling, we decided to be true to our adventurous personalities and take the French plunge. How did it turn out? You'll just have to wait and see!

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