Thank you for stopping by. PicturesbyTracy & Michelle McKibben Photography have joined together to photograph destination weddings! We have both been invited to travel internationally, covering all aspects of multi-day destination weddings. We’ll be using this blog to post information about recent updates or news, photography ideas/tips, weekly happy hour with Allure and images and info about our latest destination weddings! Stay tuned:)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Destination Wedding Invitation Giveaway!

Polka Dot Bride is offering one of their lucky readers invitations for their Destination Wedding! Go to their website to see if you can win! Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hilton Hotel Room Giveaway!

If you are planning a Destination Wedding, this is the contest that you need to be jumping all over....and quickly! Thanks to Wedding Chicks Blog, they are have partnered with Hilton Hotels to give away $3,000.00 worth of hotel rooms anywhere in the US (including Hawaii!) This contest does not include anything else but the rooms (sorry, you have to pay for your own wet bar!) You can take as many people with you to your destination wedding and put them up in a very nice Hilton hotel. Check out Wedding Chicks Blog to get all the details. Good luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Make leis for your guests!

If you are having a DW in Hawaii, what better way to celebrate than to make your own leis! You can make them for your bridal party for the day of the wedding and for anyone else that might like one. Here is how to do it:

1. Gather the following items: Lei Needle or sewing needle (stainless steel), thread or fishing line, flowers

2. Choose your flowers (stringing method depends on flower type). The flowers used throughout the island include: Walahe'e Haole (Mock Orange), 'Awapuhi ke'oke'o (White Ginger), 'Ilima (Hibiscus), Kepalo (Bouganvilla), Kiele (Gardenia), Kupalo (Tuberose), Loke (Roses),Male (Stephanotis),'Ohai Ali'i (Poinciana), 'Okika (Orchid), Pikake (Arabian Jasmine) but the most famous is Melia (Plumeria).

3. Decide how you will string them. Depending on the flower, the methods are either straight in a single pattern through the center of each flower, or Circular/Double pattern through the stem of each flower. For this step by step, we will discuss the Plumeria flower lei with a single pattern.

4. Take your needle and thread the eye with thread or fishing line.

5. String each flower directly through the center of the flower. (You will need approximately 50 Plumeria blossoms for a single 40 inch lei.) These are somewhat idiot-proof flowers in that they have holes (tubes) right down the center...perfect for making leis!

6. When you have finished stringing all the flowers, tie off the thread/line and cut off any excess.

7. Add a ribbon if you wish! Now you are ready to present it to whomever you wish to honor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Unique Guestbook for a Destination Wedding

Want a unique way to remember your guests at your wedding? Try this...purchase a map (like these from Vintage Maps) and place it on an easel for your guests to sign. Once you get home you can have the map framed so that you can always remember your guests and your destination wedding location!
Another idea is to gather smooth rocks from a sentimental location (such as your vacation spot at your favorite lake) and ask guests to sign them with paint-style oil markers or enamel-based metallic pens. Once home, place them in a glass cylinder to display.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What to do when in a tricky travel situation

Once again, Real Simple has great advice for travelers. Check out this article to learn how to handle and avoid bad travel situations.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Venetian Wedding

If you have wanted to go to Italy, there is no better time than during the most romantic moment of your life. Get married in beautiful, romantic Venice! What a great way to celebrate love than to be in a city that is just so romantic. With the old architecture, water-filled winding streets, tons of history and beautiful scenery, it would be hard to not feel magical. Getting married in Venice is actually easier than one would think. The city is a wedding-friendly place that will work to make your day the best that it can be.

Whether you want to say your "I Do's" on a gondola, in an ancient Palace or in a beautiful garden,
the wedding professionals in Venice will make it happen. When the wedding is over, make your honeymoon a trip around Italy. You will already be there so it would be ideal to get the full taste of what Italy has to offer. Visit Rome, Florence, Milan, Naples and all the other great places that are there. Just remember.....bring me back some wine from the fabulous wine country!
Thanks to Weddings Italy for the pictures. Check them out for more information about your Venetian Wedding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Travel Checklists

If you do not travel on a regular basis, you may not know about everything that you need to know when going on a trip, especially a trip to another country. A check list will ensure that you are aware of everything that a traveler needs to know before entering another country. Here is a sample checklist found on Real Simple. For a more detailed list go to Art of Travel.

One thing that I have found very helpful for me is to write every single thing down that I put in my suitcase. Even write down the small things like bobby pins, makeup, etc. Then at the end of your trip go through your checklist (more like inventory sheet) of what you brought that way you make sure that you return home with the same things that you left with. There are some people that I know (no names mentioned) that are notorious about leaving their items (or in several cases, items that they have borrowed from me!) everywhere that they go. If you have a checklist of the things that you brought you shouldn't be worried about leaving anything behind.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fun Tropical Drinks

I LOVE these fun drinks! What a great way to start off your cocktail hour for your DW wedding! Make sure that your guests feel like they are some place exotic and theme up your party. Gosh, I could do a whole wedding around the idea of these drinks...
Thanks to the Lazy Bride Blog for this fab idea!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Santorini, Greece

PicturesbyTracy: A recent couples honeymoon in Santorini, Greece.....

We went to Santorini, Greece for our honeymoon. It was absolutely beautiful there! We stayed at the Canavas Oia and stayed in the town of Oia. We wanted to do something special and unique for our first trip as newlyweds and we succeeded! It was the perfect amount of relaxation and exploration! We spent our first two days in Athens, Greece and saw the Parthenon, Olympic Stadium, Lycabettus Hill and all of the other tourist things that you should see while you are there! Then we flew to the Greek Island of Santorini and spent the majority of our time relaxing by the water, eating delicious greek food, and checking out all of the cafes, wineries, marinas and churches!

The people were so friendly and laid back, and every tourist that we met was on their honeymoon! Santorini is known for its beautiful sunsets, elaborate churches, and white buildings with blue roofs and windows. The view looked like it was right from a postcard! I would definitely recommend checking out Santorini, it was a great honeymoon spot.

Congratulations Jen & Matt! Thank you for sharing your experience in Greece on our DW blog!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Make it a Fairytale...get married in a castle!

Every little girl dreams of her "Fairytale" wedding. Why not actually make it come true?! There are castles all over Europe that cater to the wedding industry and the Cinderella Brides. This castle has definitely caught my eye as a fabulous venue for a castle wedding. It is Ashford Castle, located in Ireland. The reasons to visit Ireland are endless, but to spend the most romantic day of your life in an Ireland castle seems just magical. Built in 1228 (that was before America was even discovered! That puts it into perspective of how old it really is) Ashford Castle has offered a myriad of ways to enjoy the hospitality of an Ireland castle. From the imposing exterior one enters a richly decorated interior that speaks of centuries of care and love of fine craftsmanship.
Ashford Castle can accommodate two style of weddings, either a maximum of 40 people or a maximum of 160 people, depending on which part of the castle best fits your needs. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the 350 acre private estate, a nine hole private golf course, the Ashford Equestrian Center, and my favorite part -- the bagpiper welcome when you arrive!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kahala Bridal Showcase - Honolulu, Hawaii

If any of you DW brides have been thinking about getting married in romantic Hawaii, check out this facility - The Kahala Hotel and Resort. As you can see from the pictures above, it is a beautiful property that can accommodate your wedding or special event needs. If this is exactly the kind of place that you have been looking for in Hawaii, you may want to invest in going to their Bridal Showcase that will be at the end of this month. The date is Friday, October 24, 2008 from 5:30pm - 9:30pm. During these times you will be able to tour the property and get all of your Big Day questions answered. With DW it is always good to visit your wedding location at least once before the ceremony so that you are not surprised by anything (good or bad!)
Money Saving Tip - If you are seriously interested in having your DW in Hawaii and think that this venue might meet all of your needs, talk to the resort's Director of Sales and see if they can comp a room for you while you are there visiting their hotel. Most likely they will give you a huge discount or even a free room if they know that you are going to hold your event at their property.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Invitation Sale!

We have 25 Ivory Invitations with Black Organza Ribbon for a REALLY CHEAP PRICE! One of our clients accidentally ordered too many and wants to sale them so that they are not just put in a box and never used.
The sale includes everything that you see above. Here are the details:
-25 Cream Smooth Front Cards with Envelope
-25 Cream Smooth Front Response Cards
-25 Cream Smooth Front Reception Cards
-15 Cream Direction / Map Cards
- 25 Cream Tea Length Menu Cards
- 25 Cream Place Cards
- 3 Black Ribbon Spools (25 yards each)
The asking price for these invitations is $50.00 (that equals out to $2.00 each! That is a GREAT deal!)
These are perfect cards for a smaller wedding (say a Destination Wedding!) The cards are blank, ready for you to print your own wording on them.
Call Natasha at 423-468-0815 or email her at if you would like to know more or to purchase these cards.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Destination Wedding Dream Weekend!

A lot of people have never heard of Mackinac Island but let me tell you, it truly is a gem. Located in Michigan, Mackinac Island is known as the "all natural" theme park of America. To get to the island you must travel by a ferry and once there the transportation is limited to horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. One of the main reasons travelers visit this wonderful island is for the annual Lilac Festival which is held every Spring.

With that said, Mackinac Island would be a wonderful in-country destination wedding. Most of the time people feel that they have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars traveling oversees to have a destination wedding. What they do not realize is that anywhere that they go is considered a destination as long as it isn't the hometown that you live in.

This October 10th - 12th Mackinac Island is holding a Destination Wedding Dream Weekend for any one who is interested in learning more about weddings. They will have a symposium with wedding professionals, ceremony and reception site tours, family events, bridal party events, pub crawls and a lot more. Go to to view all the details.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {New Hotel}

I just received information on a new hotel in breath-taking Bora Bora. If there could be any location in the world that would be the most romantic and beautiful spot, I would have to say it is Bora Bora. After all, the island is known as the most romantic place on Earth.

The new hotel is the Four Seasons Resort and it offers a wide-range of amenities, including wedding packages for those who are going for a Destination Wedding. Contact their wedding specialist for any questions that you may have.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Great Website}

I found a GREAT website for anyone wanting to travel or get married in Greece. I posted a few weeks ago about why Greece is such a fabulous location....and now here is an Everything You Need to Know About Greece guide so you can make sure that you are covered when you travel to the great country.
The website is Greek Travel and the author is an expert on all things Greek. If you have any questions, email him and he will email you back within just a few days.
Just imagine...getting married on the white sandy beaches of the Greek Isles.....just seems like perfection.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Save Some Money!}

I found an article on and thought it was something that all of you destination brides and grooms could benefit from:


1. Give yourself as much time to plan as possible – Booking your flights and hotels as far in advance as possible will save a considerable amount of money for you and your guests. Keep in mind that when you plan a destination wedding, the polite thing to do is to pay the hotel and some meal expenses for your guests. Guests at a destination wedding are typically expected to pay for their own flights, but not much else.

2. Consider getting married in the off-season – Flights, hotels and nearly everything you can imagine will be cheaper this way. Now, I am not telling you to get married on a beach in the middle of winter! If you can time your wedding just before, or just after the area’s peak season, then all of the associated discounts are yours for the taking.

3. Keep your guest list small – Having a destination wedding gives you the perfect excuse to pare down your guest list. After all, not everyone is going to be able to take off work and travel to your wedding – no matter how much they might want to. By keeping your guest list to the bare minimum (i.e. the wedding party, close family, and best friends) you will have the people there that really matter to you and your future spouse, and you will get to spend a lot more time with them before and after the ceremony.

4. Always ask for a group discount – Both hotels and airlines offer excellent group discount rates when you have parties of ten or more. The best way to maximize your money is to combine group rates with early bookings and off-season specials. If you can manage to do all of those things, then you could save as much as 40% off of your total travel costs.

5. Consider getting married at a resort, or on a cruise – Destination resorts and even some cruise ships often keep a wedding planner on staff. The planner they provide to you will already be familiar with the local caterers, bakeries and florists, and they can usually help you save money on every aspect of your dream wedding.

6. Buy a “package deal” – Destination resorts also usually offer pre-planned wedding packages where all you have to do is make a few decisions, and then show up for the big day. The wedding packages range from simple and elegant, to the truly extravagant. If you take some time to research online, and call around, then you should not have any trouble finding a package that fits your needs, and your budget.

7. Give simple favors to your guests – Suntan lotion, local chocolates and specialties, or even a group scuba trip are all nice ways to treat your guests to the local culture and encourage them to have fun – without spending a ton of money.

Don’t be fooled:
Paying for your wedding guest’s food and lodging might seem outrageously expensive, but if you put it in perspective, it’s really not. Consider this:

If you stayed at home, rented a church, and had a large traditional wedding with a sit down reception you could end up paying upwards of $50 - $100 per guest. Getting married locally would encourage everyone you knew to attend, so that $50 to $100 per person could easily turn into $5,000 - $10,000 dollars if you have close to 100 guests.

A destination wedding on the other hand, requires only that you pay for the hotel rooms and several of your guest’s meals. Some resorts will even offer you a free wedding package in exchange for booking your group into their hotel!

If you took ten people to your destination wedding, and paid an average of $500 each, you would still only be out $5,000 on your guests. And you would have a more intimate, romantic setting for everyone involved.

Where ever you choose to have your destination wedding please be sure that you give yourself and your guests enough time to get passports, book flights and take off of work. This will be one of the most special days of your entire life. Careful planning will not only make things run smoother, but will save you a lot of money in the end.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Cute Save the Dates}

I don't think I have ever seen cuter Save the Dates than these! My husband and I love to travel and ALWAYS use luggage tags so we make sure that the bag we are grabbing off of the belt is ours and not Joe Blows. What a great way to set off your Destination Wedding! These tags will get everyone excited for their trip and wedding. I love that you can keep reusing them too...what a perfect gift! Check them out on their website!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Honeymoon: St. Lucia

We went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Sandals Grande and I would highly recommend that to other couples. We have great weather, great service, great food and a great time relaxing in the sun! Tyler and Seth (2 of Greg's groomsmen) got us a canopy tour for our wedding present. I was a little scared and was secretly wishing they just got us a couple's massage, but I was grateful for the gift when we were ziplining through the rain forest :)

When we were on our honeymoon, we saw a couple getting married on the beach - just the 2 of them. They had dinner (or their reception if you want to get technical) in a hut that was directly in front of the hot tub we were sitting in, so we literally had a front row seat to their wedding. A gentleman from the resort was taking pictures, but all of them were posed and he didn't take as many as I thought he should have!! I desperately wanted to take them to the beach for a photo shoot by the water, but Greg said I shouldn't bother them while they were trying to get MARRIED! When they were finished with dinner, I just couldn't help myself and I hopped out of the hot tub before Greg could catch me. Turns out they were very excited to have more pictures from their wedding day and I had a great time "playing Tracy" for 20 minutes. The POINT of my story is that I am so glad you are doing destination weddings...there are lots of brides getting married on beaches that need a professional photographer like YOU to document their day :)

Happy Hour with Allure {Book an agent}

One of the most important things in planning a Destination Wedding is to book a travel agent. If you are not very familiar with your location (and most likely you are not) booking an agent can save you both time and headaches. While American-based travel agencies are great for weddings that take place on American soil, they are typically not what I go with when planning a wedding in another country. If you are wanting to plan a wedding in London, a London-based agent will know much more about the hotels, travel arrangements, construction that is going on, etc. Most agents only are able to travel to places one (if that) time a year and they just can't know everything that you would need to know about the area.
While a wedding planner is a necessity for your wedding, they are not travel agents. Yes, we can assist you with booking venues, etc. but to give you the inside scoop on the location and all of it's secrets, that is a travel agent's job. Travel agents can also give your guests the peace of mind that you want them to have. If Aunt Ida hasn't ever left the country, questions will be racing her mind like, "How do I know if the hotel is nice?", "Will I be safe?", "What is closest store in case of my hose run?" and so on. A good travel agent should know all the answers to these questions, putting Aunt Ida to ease, therefore putting you to ease knowing that your guests are not worried.
To find a good travel agent research those that are in the area that you are going to have your Destination Wedding. Find three agents and contact all of them by phone, email and web form (if they have one on their website) to see how timely they are in getting back to you. This will be the first indication of a good travel agent. Don't be afraid to ask a million questions either. That is what they are there for. It is better to ask them now than end up having a situation that could have been avoided with one little question.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Link from Stephanie Wheeler: Destination Bride

Secrets of a successful destination wedding
Take advantages of resources to make your wedding a spectacular event

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Color Board}

I just love the Tiffany Blue color that is popping up everywhere. It is so light and fun and definitely goes well with a beach wedding! The inspiration for this board came from the middle picture of the bride and groom running through the water.

Thanks to the following for the pictures:,,,,,,,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Win a Honeymoon!}

JW Marriott Las Vegas Sweepstakes!

Have you ever wanted to spend your honeymoon in one of the most fun cities in America???? Well here is your chance to win a fabulous honeymoon to Las Vegas!!! Wine and dine in some of the world-renowned restaurants, try your luck at the tables, get a romantic couples massage and go see a show! It is all there waiting for you...all you have to do is sign up through Destination Weddings Magazine's website.

The prize package includes:

4 nights accommodations in a suite
50-minute Couples Massage at Aquae Sulis Spa
Champagne & Strawberries upon arrival
Breakfast Buffet in Ceres Restaurant each morning
One dinner for 2 in Ceres (Value $150)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Hot Spots to Tie the Knot!}
I found this article on about Hot Spots to Tie the Knot and it caught my attention. Yes, everyone has heard about the grand weddings that Walt Disney World has to offer brides, but what about these other places...have any of you ever thought about doing something like the following? If so then let us know..we would love to hear your ideas!
-Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA)
-Bridal Cave (Camdenton, MO)
-Underground Seattle (Seattle, WA)
-Disney's Fairytale Weddings (Disneyland, Anaheim, CA)
-Burning Man (Black Rock City, NV)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Win a Trip!}

You could win a trip to FABULOUS Chattanooga!!! Just go to Tennessee's Website and enter to win. It is just that easy! Chattanooga really is a wonderful place. There is SO much to do there that you will definitely need to bring good walking shoes! It is right on the river so you have the beautiful view with the mountains surrounding the winding river, parks along the river, a walking bridge that is made just for walkers or bikers that hangs high over the water and lights up beautifully at night, plus much much much more! For a full listing of everything there is to do in Chattanooga, go to Good Luck!

Happy Hour with Allure {Wedding Customs Around the World}

Photo by

I found this article on and found it interesting. I always love to learn about other cultures especially when it comes to their wedding traditions! If you are doing a destination wedding to any of these places, through in some of the local culture to make your wedding special!

India: Hindu weddings include a ritual called saptapadi, a religious rite that traditionally involves the bride and groom taking seven steps around a ceremonial fire. The steps go hand in hand with seven vows, representing nourishment, strength and health, spirituality, happiness, progeny, longevity, and friendship and fidelity. Under Hindu law, the marriage is not legal until the saptapadi is complete.

Mexico: It's customary for the groom to give the bride 13 gold coins, trece monedas de oro, to represent his commitment, trust, and confidence in her. Her acceptance means that she receives his trust and confidence unconditionally, with total dedication and prudence. The coins are then blessed by the priest during the ceremony.

Italy: Food figures big in an Italian wedding — even before the reception begins. At the end of the ceremony, candy-coated almonds, called confetti, meant to represent the sweetness in life, are tied into small bags and tossed to the bride and groom. The bags are also presented to guests as wedding favors.

Sri Lanka: Buddhist weddings take place on beautifully carved wooden platforms called magul poru.

Morocco: Before the wedding, a Moroccan bride has her hands and feet painted with henna tattoos to represent good luck, protection, and the transition from unwed woman to wife.

China: A bride is virtually guaranteed a good hair day for the wedding, since a "good luck woman" (any woman who has a healthy son, husband, or daughter) prepares the bride's hair for the ceremony. The hair is combed four times.

Ireland: A bride sews an ornament in the shape of a horseshoe into her dress for good luck, or she may carry a horseshoe in her bouquet.

Brazil: It's customary for a bride to be fashionably late to her wedding. This helps ensure that the groom will not see her in her wedding dress before the ceremony begins.
Kenya: The day after the "real" wedding, Swahili brides are the focus of a ceremony called kupamba. It's a chance for the bride and other women to show off elaborate dresses and hairstyles.

Kenya: The day after the "real" wedding, Swahili brides are the focus of a ceremony called kupamba. It's a chance for the bride and other women to show off elaborate dresses and hairstyles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Chinese Inspiration Board}

Since the focus has been on China, I thought I would create an board for all of you brides to inspired by :)
Chinese Proverb: Married couples tell each other a thousand things without speech.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Destination Spotlight: China}

With the Olympic games beginning this evening, I thought it was no better time than now to spotlight China as a Destination Wedding location. If you have ever been to China you know that it is not your typical vacation do not go expecting to lounge around on the beach and do nothing. China is romantic, but in a completely different way than someplace like Paris. It has a vast amount of history and culture, and if you let yourself really experience the "true" heritage, it can be a vacation like no other.

With ancient temples, statues, and botanical gardens with exotic flowers, it is the perfect setting for a wedding. You can step back in time (over 5000 years) by visiting these sites, while still being surrounded by new and astounding skyscrapers that seem to go on forever.

The best times to travel to China are around the Chinese New Year (which is in Jan. - Feb. depending on the lunar calendar), May 1st, July - August, and in the Fall (but avoid October 1st, it is a holiday week for China).

近义词 - 近义词 - 近义词
Live - Laugh - Love

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Hour with Allure {Destination Spotlight: Greece}

Normally when people think about a "destination wedding" they think about the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii...all places that are focused mainly around the beach and the ocean. Why not surprise everyone and get married somewhere that has so much more to offer, while still having the beach......GREECE! Greece is a magical place that has so much history, beauty and culture. No, your wedding does not have to match the wedding that was portrayed in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but it can still have the culture just by being surrounded by all things Greek. And just think....that antipasti spread will be evgefstos (delicious!)
To learn more about getting married in Greece, read about the laws Here.
Thanks to,, for the beautiful pictures of Greece!