The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
The rugged natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains makes for a fabulous backdrop when saying I do — as does this luxe 744-room resort, which opened its doors in 1916.
Pamper your pals with golf, tennis and spa services before swapping vows on the lakeside patio and celebrating with a formal reception in the Lake Terrace dining room.
Bonus: You're a quick hop from Denver International Airport (just over an hour by car) and at the perfect starting point for group outings to Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods.
Farm-to-table food: Colorado wild game, fish, lamb and beef feature prominently on wedding menus. One of the hotel's signature reception dishes, Broadmoor Duet, uses only Colorado-sourced ingredients — filet mignon with a haystack mountain and goat-cheese crust, paired with Colorado mountain trout, Palisade peach chutney, Klondike potato pave and Sutcliffe Field Blend red-wine sauce.
Local culture: Combine a day of wine tasting and visiting Pikes Peak (not necessarily in that order) for two very different local perspectives. A stay in Colorado Springs isn't complete without a trip to the scenic 14,110-foot summit aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
Next, sample grapes grown at one of the highest altitudes in the world at Taste of Colorado, located at the entrance of Pikes Place Highway. Wine tasting is complimentary, and the Broadmoor can arrange group transportation.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana
Southern charm, sultry weather, and an exciting food and cocktail culture make New Orleans one of our favorite wedding destinations. In the heart of the French Quarter, you'll find one of the city's most famous addresses: the historic, 570-room Hotel Monteleone, one of only three hotels in the country to boast the designation of Literary Landmark. (Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner have all stayed here.)
The property got a major makeover in 2011 to mark its 125-year anniversary. Say I do in the rooftop Riverview Room, where large windows frame views of the Mississippi River. More formal receptions are commonly held in the Queen Anne Ballroom.
Farm-to-table food: The plentiful bounty of the Gulf region shines at Hotel Monteleone's new restaurant, Criollo. Chef Joseph Maynard has created an ingredient-driven seasonal menu that relies heavily on local seafood such as blue crab, Black Bay oysters and Louisiana crawfish.
Maynard and his staff will work with couples to create an authentic Big Easy experience, whether you want a traditional New Orleans family-style meal or a more formal sit-down affair. Send off your guests the day after with a big Southern buffet brunch.
Local culture: Welcome guests with Sazeracs — a New Orleans-born drink touted as the first cocktail ever — at the hotel's famous Carousel Bar & Lounge (above), home to a working carousel turned bar that revolves as you sip.