This Couple's Traveling Receptions Give 'Destination Wedding' a Whole New Meaning
Why limit yourself to just one party when you can have 12?
Since the night Greg and Lucie Dils met at a hotel piano bar in Jamaica, they've spent countless hours on airplanes in the name of love.
After departing from their respective beach vacations, they kept in touch via email for 40 days until they could reunite in Belize—and that was just the beginning.
“A few weeks later she visited me in Iowa, then we went to Dubai together,” Greg told Travel+Leisure of Lucie. “We had a long-distance relationship for seven months, but we always tried to meet up at least every other week, whether it was in New York where Lucie lived or Iowa where I live, or somewhere else in the country or the world.”
Considering the relationship's jet-setting foundation, it's not too surprising that when it came time for marriage, the Dils struggled to narrow it down to one knot-tying destination. So they decided to go the unconventional route and take their wedding on the road.
Related: Destination Weddings
After a perfectly picturesque, Polynesian ceremony at Le Méridien Bora Bora, the overwater bungalow venue of their dreams, the newlyweds continued the celebrations with nine—yes, nine—more ceremonies across the United States with family and friends.
“We knew that picking one location was always going to be a challenge, and even if we could have a single reception in the U.S., there would be so many guests between all our extended friends and family that we would only have a few moments with each guest,” Greg told T+L.
And though they've hosted parties in seven states so far (and have two more to go), Greg says they're actually saving money—and friendships.
“Once we looked into the cost of a big reception, we quickly realized that we could travel to our guests instead, spend much less money, and have much more quality time with all of them,” he said. “Our loved ones were very happy with the idea. Many were disappointed they could not attend the wedding, but once they heard our plans and that they would have more time with us, they were quite receptive.”
Related: Bora Bora Travel Guide
Each of the Dils' mini-receptions has been different, ranging from six guests to 60, some taking place in restaurants or bars, and others in loved ones' homes.
“We kept some of the traditional elements of a reception in each of them–such as a wedding cake, a toast, flower decorations, and souvenirs for guests to take home,” Greg said.
Next, they'll celebrate in Colorado in March, and then in Virginia Beach.
In effect, the Dils have turned their marriage into a year-long honeymoon, but they say it's just part of their normal life: “We work so well together at planning and organizing in general that it’s second nature for us to work together and make these celebrations so special.”
And if this globetrotting love story has you dreaming of a destination wedding (or 12) of your own, Greg has some advice.
“At the end of the day your wedding day should be your most special day together, so you deserve to have the ceremony and location and everything else that you’ve always dreamed about, that is perfect for the two of you,” he said. “If you can envision it, it will happen.”