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Top Southern California Destination Wedding Venues in USA TODAY Travel

Ceremony at Terranea Resort courtesy of Kirsten Manick PhotographyCeremony at Terranea Resort courtesy of Kirsten Manick Photography

We love Southern California for destination weddings; it’s sunny, accessible and home to a slew of amazing venues and vendors. We headed out earlier this summer to scout hotels for USA TODAY Travel, we found it hard to narrow it down to just 10 — but we managed. From an historic inn in Palm Springs built by a mobster to a sprawling contemporary resort perched on the bluff just south of Los Angeles, these 10 hotels were the cream of the crop.
 
 

Globetrotter: Inside Mark Ingram’s Miami

Courtesy of Miami Convention and Visitors BureauCourtesy of Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

When it comes to style, few people have it like the dapper Mark Ingram, owner of Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. This exclusive bridal salon sells gorgeous, high-end gowns from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Inbal Dror and Zuhair Murad.
But Mark has another love beyond fashion: the city of Miami. Mark spends a lot of time there, and since purchasing a condo along the Venetian Causeway in 2010, considers it his second home.  We live in Florida so we know and live this city too. Here are his must-do’s when he heads south,  …

The Coolest Guesthouse in Hudson Valley, NY

Courtesy of Shannon GreerCourtesy of Shannon Greer

One of our favorite things about traveling is the people we meet on the road. We met Shannon Greer at a magazine job, where we traveled from Maine to Puerto Rico doing elaborate wedding photo shoots. You really get to know someone when you work that closely with someone (5 am call times, hectic scouting days), and we fell in love with Shannon’s laid-back demeanor, sense of humor and great style.
So when he said he and his artist partner Charlotta Janssen (who also runs the restaurant Chez Oskar in Brooklyn) were restoring a historic building in NY’s Hudson Valley and  …

Romantic Destination Wedding Resort in South Carolina

Courtesy of Palmetto BluffCourtesy of Palmetto Bluff

Today’s travel pick is from one of our favorite photographers, Donna Von Bruening. She travels the world shooting weddings but specializes in the place she calls home: The South. Here is the romantic resort she frequents in her down time. It’s one our our favorites, too, especially for destination weddings!
“My job as a Savannah-based destination wedding photographer takes to me to finest resorts across the South but one in particular owns my heart: Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC. Not only do I work there often, shooting gorgeous destination weddings, but it’s one of the few places I return to regularly  …

Globetrotter: Brian Worley on Lanai

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at KoeleCourtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele

One of our favorite things to do is talk travel with our globe-trotting pals. Like the wonderful Brian Worley, whose low-key demeanor and huge heart belies the fact that he plans mega-events in Hollywood with his company YourBASH! (Think American Idol, Coachella, polo matches attended by British royals…and yes, weddings!)
One of his fave escapes is Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele  on Lanai, Hawaii. It’s the sister property to Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay; Manele is by the beach and Koele is set in the highlands at 1,600 feet. Here’s why he loves it, in his own  …

Just Back From: New Orleans

Courtyard of romantic Audubon Cottages in New OrleansCourtesy New Orleans Hotel Collection

I recently returned to one of my favorite all-time cities, New Orleans. I went for a dear pal’s post-wedding crawfish boil. The bride and groom eloped to Barbados and even a year later, their wedding was still a great excuse to have 40 friends and family gather for crawfish and beer in the bride’s hometown.
I’ve been to the city a lot over the years, and never get over how magical it is. But this time I made a new hotel discovery: Audubon Cottages, part of the New Orleans Hotel Collection. This collection of 19th-century cottages-turned-hotel got their name from  …