Destination Wedding: No Plane Ticket Required
See how one couple transformed their love of traveling into a fun and personal theme for their wedding day.
Photos by Leeann Marie Photography
As it turns out, you don’t have to leave the state to have a destination wedding.
Lauren Miller and Andrew Novak have spent their relationship traveling — from their New Year’s Eve getaway in New York City to a celebratory vacation in Hawaii after Lauren graduated from a program to become a physician’s assistant. When it came time to plan their wedding day, a travel theme made perfect sense.
“Andrew and I are both adventurers at heart and love to travel,” Lauren says. “It has been such a wonderful part of our relationship.”
They knew their wedding day on Sept. 19 would be the beginning of their greatest adventure: spending their lives together. See how they integrated their favorite destinations and travel into their reception at the Sen. John Heinz History Center.
The guests at Lauren and Andrew’s wedding were given leather luggage tags to help them “find their destination” — AKA their table assignment. Lauren found the luggage tags on Etsy and had them personalized with quotes: “No road is long with good company” and “let the adventure begin.”
The best part, according to Lauren, is that some of the guests are bringing the luggage tags on their own travels. “I love thinking that a small part of our wedding is traveling around the world with our guests,” she says.
Each table at the reception was named for a destination that was special to the couple. From their college towns to places they’ve traveled, their reception became a worldly affair. “[We] used many of our own vacation photos [on the table settings],” Lauren says. “We tried to make the destination match the group sitting there.”
The most special table setting, though, was the sweetheart table. Before the wedding, Andrew told Lauren he had a special surprise in plan. “He was planning our honeymoon, and I got to find out our honeymoon destination when I got to our sweetheart table,” Lauren says. After they tied the knot, Lauren discovered they would soon set off to sunny Bora Bora.
The couple used the book “Beautiful World” by Lonely Planet as their guest book, encouraging guests to pick a page they loved to leave their message on. The photos themselves were beautiful, but the messages of love and well wishes were even more so. “I love looking through it and dreaming of future travels while reading our guests’ messages,” says Lauren.
The sign post at Lauren and Andrew’s wedding pointed in the direction of the table destinations. Lauren’s dad crafted the post and the arrows, while Lauren’s family helped her and Andrew decorate the signs. “This was one of my favorite wedding projects,” Lauren says.“Wedding planning was such a special time in our lives,” Lauren says. “We both love thinking about the wonderful day and the whole process.”