How To Plan An International Destination Wedding That’s Much Closer To Home

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

With international travel bands due to COVID-19, couples all over the United States are forced to keep their weddings local, including their, originally planned, destination celebrations. The good news is, you don’t have to skip on the jaw-dropping, exotic feelings that come from an international destination wedding location! That’s right, a destination wedding at home.

The planning and design team at Indigo Event Design gets wildly creative as they beautifully demonstrate how you can plan an international destination wedding that’s *safely* much closer to home! With a strong cultural foundation, exotic florals and avant garde details, this editorial will have you doing a double (maybe even triple) take.

Between the stunning photography from Carlos Hernandez and utopia-like Chinese Garden setting, you will not believe this is all set in Portland, Oregon. Are you an international destination wedding at-home believer, yet?! Just keep scrolling…

Tip No. 1: Get Creative with your Venue Choice

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

First, imagine the international destination you were hoping for. Consider what drew you to that spot. Perhaps the sense of tranquility, exotic environment, or a draw to your cultural roots? Secondly, select a local venue based off of those feelings, and environmental factors. Finally, don’t be afraid to look outside of the box of typical wedding venues! Think cultural centers, museums, and gardens.

When looking at this setting, would you believe that the hustle of downtown Portland is nearby? The gardens, koi pond, and stunning Chinese architecture transform those big city feels to a tranquil oasis. These types of transformative cultural treasures can be found all over the US!

vintage invitation

Set the tone early. To plan a wedding that has all the excitement of a destination wedding, set the tone from the beginning! Infuse your invitations with elements of your ‘destination’ spot. Stick with subtle tones, pictures and symbols that can be placed in your invitations. In this wedding stationery, by Olumis Calligraphy, the Chinese symbol of double happiness is used.

wedding fan

Tip No. 2: Make A Statement With Fashion

Amsale Dress

If you want to wear a wedding dress that gives a nod to your destination or cultural roots, stay away from anything resembling a costume. Go for a dress made at your destination locale, or by someone who has lived there! So smitten with this contemporary, form-fitting Amsale gown.

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

orchid hair piece

There are countless hair accessories that can transform your outfit. We’re OBSESSED with this modern floral spin on a traditional Chinese style hairpiece/headdress. Selva Floral blows the lid off of exotic florals with these creative designs. Looking for the classic hairpiece style? Scroll on, love.

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

Consider the color, symbols, and traditions customary to your culture’s bridal attire. It’s important to realize that in China it’s customary to wear at least one red dress. Red represents happiness and vigor, and is considered a symbol of good fortune. This bridal look is from Poshmark.

flower hair piece

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

Tip No. 3: Focus on the Details

tassel napkins

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

When trying to plan an international destination wedding at home, pay attention to even the smallest details. You’re trying to create a total experience for your guests, not just something pretty. Even the napkins draw guests into ancient Chinese landscape. To demonstrate this intention, you see these napkins made of vintage Chinese embroidered silk. Specialty event rentals are from The Party Place.

white wedding cake

Talk about details! You may not see it at first glance. However, if you look closer you can even spot Koi fish. These fish are important in Chinese tradition. Koi fish are hidden among the rice paper designs on this wedding cake by Cake Nouveau PDX. If your destination wedding at home cake looks like this, you’re golden!

Tip No. 4: Stay Away From Cliché

Destination Wedding in Your Hometown

When trying to have an international destination wedding in your hometown, steer clear of creating an overly-themed wedding. If you want to have a high-end wedding without being kitsch, infuse elements of your destination that gives an exotic feel without being literal. Make sure every piece of decor is used with intentionality!

Moving Pictures gives us moving international destination wedding at-home ideas with this video. Reference it often :)

Until we can all safely travel, there’s no shame in obsessing over a destination wedding game!

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photography: Carlos Hernandez Photo // venue name: Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, Oregon, USA // event design: Indigo Event Design // planning: Indigo Event Design // florals: Selva Floral // wedding dress: Amsale // hairpiece: Erica Elizabeth Designs // hair stylist: Shelby Renee xoxo // makeup artist: Shelby Renee xoxo // videography: Moving Pictures // paper goods: Olumis Calligraphy // cake: Cake Nouveau PDX // specialty rentals: The Party Place // models: Lili Tao and Margaret Alba // wedding submission services: Published + Pretty