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If you are planning a trip to Cancun-Riviera Maya, this is not only a fantastic hotel, but to participate in this extravaganza, will certainly provide memories to last a lifetime.  I have stayed at this property and its other ‘sister’ properties, and they certainly know how to do it right.





El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort, by Karisma Selected as Official Host Hotel of the 2013 Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival


Gourmet Inclusive Resort to Host Festival’s 30+ World Renowned Chefs, Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstrations, and Wine Tasting Events


MIAMI (July 18, 2012)—El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma, Mexico’s premier, Gourmet Inclusive beachfront resorts in the Riviera Maya, today announced that El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort, by Karisma has been selected as official host hotel of the 2013 Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival (CRMWFF).  Recognized by the CRMWFF for its superior culinary commitment, El Dorado Royale will host celebrity chefs, notables and VIPs as well as the Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstrations and a series of wine tastings during the event, taking place March 14-17, 2013.


“We are thrilled to name El Dorado Royale host hotel of next year’s Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival,” said David Amar, founder of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival.  “The resort, which affords guests the best in food and service as a part of its Gourmet Inclusive vacations, aligns perfectly with our commitment to provide an unforgettable gastronomic experience.  Not only does El Dorado Royale offer gourmet a la carte meals, premium wine selections, sommeliers at every restaurant, chef’s tables and 24 hour service, it is also home to the destination’s largest Greenhouse, a 100,000 square-foot facility that impresses locals, discerning gourmands, and world-class chefs alike.”


The 2013 Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival will build off last year’s wonderfully successful fete, which showcased 30 of the best chefs in the Americas and attracted more than 3,000 guests.  As a part of the 2012 event, Azul Sensatori Hotel – a sister property of El Dorado Royale – hosted VIPs and top sponsors at Le Chique for a one-of-a-kind 12-course “Author’s Dinner.”  Created by Chef Jonatan Gomez Luna, one of Ferran Adrià’s disciples who develops his own creative cuisine using local ingredients, the “Author’s Dinner” beautifully exemplifies the elevated experience offered with any Gourmet Inclusive vacation.


This a sampling of events at this year’s Festival will include: Networking Lunch, Star Chefs Panel: The Future of Cuisine, Star Chefs the Americas Tribute Dinner, A Taste of Europe: Gala

Dinner Tribute to Massimo Bottura, Celebrity Chef Yacht Cruise and exclusive lunch cooked for 50 VIPs by Chef Massimo Bottura, the American Express Gourmet Tasting Village to delight guest’s palate with signature dishes from the 20 best restaurants of Cancun & Riviera Maya plus gourmet foods, wines, spirits, family fun cooking classes and entertainment, and a Closing Fiesta celebrating Mexico’s culinary contributions to the world.


Jeroen Hanlo, vice president of food & beverage for El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma, brought to life the renowned Gourmet Inclusive concept and is credited with incorporating this world-class event into the overall culinary vision at El Dorado Royale.


Hanlo said, “This is what the Gourmet Inclusive concept is all about: having the finest gastronomic experiences brought to you by the leaders of the world of food and wine.  Our culinary team is thrilled to be part of these world-class experiences, which you can taste even after the event throughout our properties.”


El Dorado Royale, as host hotel, will present the hugely popular wine tasting events, taking place four times daily on Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15.  Catering to an affluent audience of aficionados, each seminar will spotlight a notable wine and/or spirits label and offer insights from key influencers.  On the following days, El Dorado Royale will turn its focus to cuisine, hosting the Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstrations, a series of nine fan-favorite events featuring one to four chefs at a time, which will include exciting team competitions with 20 star chefs such as Avant-Garde

Chef Massimo Bottura.


“We are delighted to be chosen as host hotel of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival,” said Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales & marketing for Premier Worldwide Marketing, the worldwide representative of El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels.  “The Gourmet Inclusive experience at El Dorado Royale will be an ideal complement to this gourmet extravaganza.  We invite discerning travelers, chefs, sommeliers, and industry influencers to celebrate with us in March and in the months leading up to this spectacular event when we present one-of-a-kind culinary programs in anticipation of the Festival.”


Located beachfront in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma, is an adults-only Gourmet Inclusive property offering exceptional food and service.  El Dorado Royale features seven Gourmet Inclusive restaurants, including a “culinary theater” where dishes are prepared in one of five open kitchens.  The resort also boasts 15 bars and lounges serving premium alcoholic beverages, including bar specializing in martinis, bars with swings, beach bars, and nine swim-up bars.


El Dorado Royale is home to a 100,000-square-feet Greenhouse, the Riviera Maya’s only facility of this magnitude as well.  A part of its overall commitment to sustainability, the Greenhouse, which celebrated its first harvest in August 2009, produces 120 tons of crops and provides fresh produce to its collection of eight sister properties within the El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma collections.  What’s more, the Greenhouse supplies herbs and vegetables to three high-profile neighboring resorts that consider its produce the freshest in the region.  Now in its sixth harvest, the greenhouse grows a variety of hydroponic vegetables and herbs, including cucumbers, bell peppers, chilies, basil, and mint.  Guests are invited to taste the Greenhouse’s fresh vegetables and herbs and participate in interactive tours and cooking seminars.


With the Gourmet Inclusive experience, El Dorado Royale offers indulgent pampering with unparalleled personal services such as champagne and smoothie check-ins, full-service concierge, 24-hour room service, world-class chefs, gourmet cuisine served a la carte and sommeliers who suggest perfect pairings from private label wine sections.


Guests can enjoy up to 35 percent off regular rates of $227 per person, for travel until December 22, 2012 with the Summer Splash promotion.  Booking code SSP.   Hotel reservations can be booked through a GI Vacation Consultant, or by calling  1-866-527-4762, or by visiting www.karismahotels.com.


For more information about El Dorado Royale’s culinary programs and CRMWFF packages, visit www.karismahotels.com.  For more information about the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, visit www.crmfest.com.


About El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma

El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma are a premier hotel collection operating properties throughout the Riviera Maya, Mexico, where guests savor a Gourmet Inclusive experience that fosters togetherness. Karisma’s growing portfolio is comprised of El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma; El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma; El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma; and El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort, by Karisma; Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma; Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma; Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma; and Azul Villa Carola by Karisma.  Properties have been honored with the industry’s top accolades including, Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top 100 Hotels in the World,” Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List,” Forbes’ “Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels,” Travel Weekly’s “Readers Choice Awards,” “Green Hotel/Resort,” and “Best Loyalty Program”; TUI Travel PLC’s “Hotel of the Year,” “Gold Medal,” and “Green Medal”, TripAdvisor® Traveler’s Choice “Best Hotels for Romance,” and AAA’s “Four Diamond Award.”  Karisma has received worldwide recognition for its creative approach to hospitality management and product innovations including resorts with swim-up suites, Infinity balcony pools, beach butlers and cash-free transactions. Premier Worldwide Marketing is the exclusive worldwide sales and marketing representative for Karisma Hotels & Resorts.  www.karismahotels.com



Media contacts:  Jenn Wade, Alexandra McClure, Courtney Finley, Danielle Mayer, or Brittany Pass at Glodow Nead Communications,  415.394.6500alexandra@glodownead.com.


THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Memories of a Lifetime

It is a sincere pleasure and delight to bring you these wonderful offerings from the British Virgin Islands.  A destination that set the bar on all things romance.  As the promotion says, it is 60 Islands – One unforgettable Experience and as one who have spent an enormous amount of time in this destination, you really have to see it to believe.




~ Couple to exchange vows in romantic wedding at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall in wedding organised by CTO and MarryCaribbean.com  ~


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (14 May, 2012)  For John Gordon Andre Millard and Tricialouise Gurley, a Caribbean wedding has been a fantasy. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Marry Caribbean (www.marrycaribbean.com) are about to take the couple – whose first meeting was virtual – from the land of make-believe and turn their fantasy into reality.

Millard, from Montreal, Canada, and Gurley, from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, will say “I do” in a “live” romantic Caribbean Wedding during Caribbean Week in New York next month. The two, who met on the internet dating site, www.eharmony.com in July 2011, were selected after a contest promoted onwww.MarryCaribbean.com, the internet’s most complete listing of Caribbean destination wedding and honeymoon resources.   Couples were required to write an essay about how they met and why the Caribbean was their dream honeymoon destination.

“Getting married is both a goal and a dream that John and I are looking forward to, and the thought of spending our honeymoon in the Caribbean is a fantasy we share at the moment,” Ms. Gurley wrote. “I am hoping  you would see fit to choose me as this year’s candidate so that John and I can fulfill our dream of happily ever after.”

For the two, “happily ever after” begins when they exchange vows in a live Caribbean wedding at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday 6 June. Thousands of New Yorkers and visitors to the “Big Apple” are expected to witness the ceremony – the romantic element of the Caribbean Travel and Cultural Fair, Wedding & Vacation Mart organized by the CTO’s New York office. The wedding is also being planned by Marry Caribbean.

“Ms. Guyley and Mr. Millard are in love, they are excited, and they are looking forward to this event.  The exuberance, the graciousness, the excitement, the many thanks were punctuated by screams of delight when they received the good news,” said Jacqueline Johnson, the president and CEO of Global Bridal Group (www.GlobalBridalGroup.com), the parent company of  http://www.MarryCaribbean.com.

The vows will be administered by Judge Sam Walker, while the Master of Ceremonies will be Mar Jennings, the lifestyle expert, author and Fox TV host.

The Caribbean Wedding is being supported by:

1888MyTuxes.com                                                                –  Tuxedo for the Groom

Steve Lang, CEO, Mon Cheri, LLC                               –   Gown for the bride

Abena Amory-Powell                                                        –  Soloist by St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Anguilla Tourist Board                                                    –  Officiant (Judge Sam Walker)

Brenda O’Neal of This Ring Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Agency

British Virgin Islands                                                      –  Flowers  

Hermian Fraser                                                                  –  Make up & hair

Jamaica Tourist Board                                                  –  Anniversary trip (Jewels Dunns River Resort & Spa

                                                                                                           Spa/Island routes Lovers Rock Catamaran Cruise)

 Marry Caribbean/CaribbeanWeddingAssociation      – Day of wedding activities/gifts

GrayCliff Hotel & Restaurant                                 – Cigars/Gift Basket

St. Kitts                                                                                – Honeymoon & Cake (Marriott Hotel & American Airlines)

Curacao                                                                              –  Photographer


The wedding ceremony begins at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, 6 June, 2011, however, the Fair runs from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

For more information on the Caribbean Wedding, the Caribbean Travel and Cultural Fair, Wedding and Vacation Mart, or for the full Caribbean Week in New York programme, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com.

Caribbean Week in New York is sponsored by: Anguilla, Barbados,  Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Islands, Cititech Solutions, David Williams Funeral Home, Fine Fare Supermarket (233rd Street, Bronx) Global Bridal Group/MarryCaribbean.com, Golden Krust, Grace Foods, Invest Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, The Wall Street Journal, and World Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization 

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 member governments and a myriad of private sector entities.

The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people.  The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics, information technology and sustainable tourism development.  The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3200, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail:ctony@caribtourism.com; CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: ctolondon@caribtourism.com; CTO Headquarters is located at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St, Michael, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: ctobarbados@caribtourism.com. For more information, please visit www.caribbeantravel.com or www.onecaribbean.orgGet the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.









It is a sincere pleasure to bring up-to-date information to you the newly engaged couple or those wishing to go on a romantic jaunt to the Caribbean.

To make your ‘Special Day’ one without hassles, I do take on the responsibility of recommending from time to time the very best in the industry.  I highly recommend  “GLAMOUR DESTINATION MANAGEMENT”.   They are true professionals and go the extra mile to not only provide extraordinary service, but make sure your every wish (legal ones) is granted.

The Director, Ms. Myrtle Dwyer – speaks several languages (English, Spanish, German, French & Italian) so whatever your language needs, you will be understood.  When it comes to Romance and providing elegant services – she and her staff are top notch.  After all, she has spent most of her career at 5 star hotels serving and working with Royalty, ‘Old Money, New Money, Superstars and just ordinary customers like myself…and all are important to her.

For this very important occasion, you want the best, you should demand the best and I have no doubt that this company will deliver the best in Caribbean planning and tours.

For more information on this extraordinary Caribbean Company, see below:

Love is In the Air with Glamour

At Glamour Destination Management its all about Romance…..from popping the question on a gently floating bamboo raft while being serenaded by the Raftsman…….the boys’ last bash…. A bachelor party or the girls’ last frolic before the big day …… A rehearsal dinner aboard a Catamaran …..the Wedding at a luxurious estate manor…. A blissful honeymoon retreat on the south coast of Jamaica or reliving the moments…..An anniversary celebration – Glamour Destination Weddings does it all. All the frills from accommodation, transportation, décor and design, gifts, excursions and more are taken into consideration. Glamour Destination Management at YOUR service!
Raft of Love
Celebrate on the high seas
The “Big Day”
Intimate Honeymoon Retreats
Glamour Honeymoon
Cayman Islands – Jamaica – Turks & Caicos
www.glamourdmc.comTelephone: 876-953-3810  Fax: 876-953-3740     

Take the hassle out of travel today – Ask about our private transfers and tours for your valued clients atconcierge@glamourdmc.com


Join Our Mailing List!


Congratulations to all engaged couples!  This information is to bring to your attention the different options available, when planning a  destination wedding or honeymoon.  All this information and more can be found on http://www.Cunard.com

Whether it is a cruise or a land based wedding or honeymoon, the options are numerous.  Do not hesitate to post your questions or comments.
“Few settings compare to a magnificent Cunard ocean liner for timeless romance. Playing host to love stories throughout the ages – from royalty to movie stars. Cunard is now delighted to welcome couples wishing to celebrate an unforgettable wedding day.

To offer you a uniquely memorable wedding day, we have created a Cunard Wedding package, which includes all of the items shown below. To personalise your special day, you may also choose from a host of additional Finishing Touches.

Cunard Wedding package includes:


~ Elegant Wedding Ceremony Venue
~ Romantic Ceremony at Sea conducted by the Captain
~ Two fresh floral arrangements for the ceremonial room
~ Bridal Posy (a choice of roses, lilies or an exotic arrangement)
~ Bridegrooms Boutonniere (a choice of rose, lily or exotic arrangement)
~ One tier 8″ Wedding Cake (a choice of vanilla or chocolate sponge)
~ Traditional wedding music
~ Commemorative Wedding Certificate
~ Commemorative Printed Wedding Menu
~ Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne
~ Bride & Groom’s Champagne Breakfast in Bed
~ Wedding Invitations and Thank You Cards for your voyage guests
~ Services of Your On Board Wedding Coordinator
~ White Star Bellmen to escort Bride to ceremonial room
~ Pressing Service for Bridal outfits
~ Priority Check-In and Luggage Delivery
~ Priority Embarkation and Disembarkation for the bridal couple

Please refer to the Cunard Weddings Brochure below for more information and full Terms and Conditions.

 Price and Booking:

Wedding Package: $2,500

License Fees: $575
Additional Marriage Certificates: $50 (Pre-Voyage Certificate)/ $65 (Post-voyage Certificate)

Cunard Weddings Brochure



For more information and details of wedding ceremony venues, ceremony times, reception venues and finishing touches please refer to the Cunard Weddings brochure, link below.

 Download the Cunard Weddings Brochure here 



Cunard Weddings Photography Brochure

For details on wedding photography and videography services please click here.


For further information or to establish availability for your preferred Wedding day, please call our dedicated Cunard Wedding Planners   +1 800 728 6273      . Alternatively you can complete the booking form below and return it by email to  customerservice@cunard.com. We will then contact you to confirm arrangements.

Download a Cunard Wedding booking form here


Please find below a sample Wedding Certificate issued by the Registrar General in Hamilton, Bermuda. Also below is a sample Apostille (certified) document which Cunard can request from the Registrar General (for a small additional charge) so that guests may, if required, apply for a certificate of recognition, or similar, in their home country.

Sample Wedding Certificate

Sample Apostille Document

 Terms and Conditions:

Please see the Weddings brochure for up to date Terms and Conditions. In order to organize a Wedding ceremony aboard our vessels, we require three months notice.”









I must confess that I love the United States Virgin Islands.  For those who are not familiar with this destination – it should be definitely on your ‘bucket’ list.  There are three Islands, and I will give a very, very brief overview of all three.  However for more information visit: http://www.visitusvi.com

St.Thomas:  The shopping mecca of the Caribbean.  To me there is nothing like Main Street or the Waterfront – the display of jewelry, perfume, and everything in between.  Great prices, great food and a good mix of hotels from the elegant to the casual – something for every budget.

St. Croix: Less populated, more land mass but another fabulous island.  Calm gentle waters, mountains, history, this island has it all.  A very diverse grouping of hotels – in every price range.  Great golfing for those who are so inclined.

St.John: Two thirds of this seriously romantic island is a National Park.  The view, the fauna/flowers and some of the most spectacular beaches in the world.  This island should be on your ‘to do’ list.  From St.Thomas a very short trip on the ferry.

My favorite! I love all three as they are very different.  Much to see and do, lots to shop for at fabulous prices, some of the best beaches and crystal clear water – you will ever find in the Caribbean.

For your wedding: you do not need a passport and you can get married almost immediately.  Anyone of the major hotels can pull this together for you in no time.  There are also lots of independent wedding services providers who are some of the best in the bridal industry.

Recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Lorena Leonard – the The Romance & Special Events Director at the famed Bolongo Bay Beach resort located on St. Thomas. Contact info. – Email: lleonard@bolongobay.com – phone (340)693-2618 - http://www.bolongobay.com.   To say she is passionate about the business of weddings, is truly an understatement.  She worries about every detail, she fixes and attends to all details, anticipating any problems and solving it before you notice.

Upon arrival at the Bolongo Bay Resort, Lorena makes it a priority to greet all her arriving engaged couples.  You are never left to wonder where is my wedding planner – and what is the next step.  She knows your flight information, she calculates when you should arrive at the hotel, and she is there to personally welcome you.  And that is where the service  begins.

Once you check in at this very laid back resort, you can leave your suite and stroll the beach, but I am sure you will most likely end your evening at the famous Iggies Beach Bar and Grill.  This is the gathering place for everyone, including the locals.  The spareribs are great, the drinks – just right and you can sit outside on the many comfort zones that are strategically placed on the brilliant white sand, or simply sit at the covered outdoor restaurant and tap your feet to the pulsating music.  You may want to finish the evening/night with a karaoke rendition of your favorite song/s.

Lorena will greet you again the next day to go over the wedding package that you have chosen, (many price point packages are offered) and to show you location of the event, and all details.  She is truly passionate about your special day and will move heavens and earth to make sure you are satisfied.  Most popular locales – sunset at the beach: getting married on a catamaran or whatever you both can dream up.  Satisfaction is the end result – and it is delivered!

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort prides itself on being a family owned property known for its service – hence the high repeat guests.  Honestly, at this resort you really feel like you are home.  Everyone treats you like family and you lack nothing, and of course they consider themselves the most entertaining resort in the Caribbean.  



I love to travel, but most important, the opportunity to find islands/countries that are geared to romance and be able to tell you all about them.

Let me congratulate you once again on your engagement, and if you are looking to celebrate your love in a Caribbean Destination, MarryCaribbean.com is designed to help you make this as easy as possible.

Once such destination is none other than Puerto Rico.  The streets of old San Juan with its cobblestone walkway, and charming old world homes, is one of the most romantic spots you can find.  I just love this destination.

Take a walk between the walled cities and see the brightly colored homes and shops lining the street and see history come alive.  You would not believe you are in Puerto Rico!  The restaurants are unbelievable good.  Do stop in at the famous Hotel El Convento, a former Carmelite Convent built three and a half centuries ago.  And just right across the street is the famous Catholic Church.  Learn to make Mfongo at the local restaurant.

The hotel selections are diverse also, you can find large hotels to  small boutiques.  Whatever you choose, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time. With over 13,000 hotel rooms across the island, you should have no trouble finding the right one.  If you do, just send me a quick email.

I stayed at the lovely Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino.  It is a good vantage point to cover the San Juan area and it offers all the amenities, including gambling.  The hotel has been renovated and the lobby and rooms are quite lovely.

Shopping in Puerto Rico is legendary.  Most of the high end stores here in the United States have shopping outlets in Old San Juan.  From Coach to Ralph Lauren, shopping here should be a must on your list.

To simplify life and make it all easier for you: Contact ‘GetShopped PR” and they will take you around to the sights and wonders of this fabulous destination. TEL:1-787-381-2861 or www.getshoppedpr.com.  They are knowledgeable, gracious and fun.  Excellent, excellent guides.

Do remember, you do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico, and getting married there is a breeze.  Check out ‘legal requirements’ on the ‘home page’ of MarryCaribbean.  If you are just celebrating your honeymoon,  your choice of visiting Puerto Rico is a good one.  Lots of night life, casino, beach, history, shopping…but do remember, it is all about Romance.



Saw this article in the New York Times, written by Guy Trebay and it does offer some valuable information in the selection and wearing of a tuxedo.

Published: February 22, 2012
THIS Sunday, scores of men — some celebrated actors, others appendages to famous glamour-pusses — will expose themselves to the scrutiny of the world and, more alarmingly, Joan Rivers as they stride the red carpet at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Most are likely to be clad in what is surely among the more foolproof dress uniforms ever devised: the tuxedo. Yet few will manage to get it right. Why is that?

“Men take advantage of their advantages in general,” Fran Lebowitz, the humorist and herself a tuxedo wearer, said recently. “But not with this.”

Despite being given what Ms. Lebowitz termed “this perfect thing to wear,” both stars and arm-pieces are certain to commit sartorial blunders at the Academy Awards. They will wear their pants too long and puddled on their shoes, as Brad Pitt did at the recent Screen Actors Guild awards. They will wear businesslike four-in-hand tie knots, as men like Robert De Niro routinely do, and not the requisite bow tie. They will turn up in suits that fit as though borrowed from Dad, or in shirts with wing collars best left to maîtres d’hôtel, or in colors that make them look like Steve Van Zandt.

“That whole black shirt thing is terrible,” said the designer John Varvatos. “When you’re talking about these kinds of awards shows, with the elegance of most of the women, the men should be a counterpoint to that.”

Often enough these men display their “renegade” natures by adding loopy improvisations: sneakers or Samuel L. Jackson frock coats or open-necked shirts.

They will monkey around in some way with monkey-suit perfection — unless, that is, they happen to be George Clooney. Mr. Clooney always looks Rat Pack immaculate.

He has, of course, an obvious advantage.

“George has an easy and understated elegance about him,” said Giorgio Armani, who has dressed the actor for years. “He wears the clothes rather than the clothes wearing him.”

In truth, though, Mr. Clooney’s many advantages tend to be shared by members of his demographic, male movie stars: men who are generally rich and handsome and able, at a snap of their fingers, to command free clothes from the best designers in the world. “For a movie star to look pathetic, it takes a lot,” Ms. Lebowitz said. Perhaps Brad Pitt is not the clotheshorse one might wish, she added. “But anyone can tell him those pants don’t fit.”

Why no one does is one of the enduring problems of black-tie dressing, a dilemma unquestionably rooted in fear. American men, it is generally agreed, are alarmed by clothes and shopping. And no article of clothing spooks guys more than the form of suiting first popularized by Griswold Lorillard and a group of 19th-century swells in the swank upstate New York enclave of Tuxedo Park.

What began as a modernizing alternative to the tailcoats that were the standard evening wear of the time eventually became the default attire at proms, weddings and bar mitzvahs and any other occasion that called for an element of formality.

“Men’s tailoring comes from uniforms,” the designer Tom Ford said last week by telephone from London. “And all uniforms look pretty great.”

As the word itself suggests, the language of uniforms varies little, and that in and of itself should be a boon to the average man.

“It’s so easy and you don’t have to think about it,” Mr. Ford said. “Yet there’s almost this fear.”

Like most phobias, he suggested, this one begins in ignorance, or rather on a vanishing body of sartorial lore.

“I sound like an old man, but we’ve lost manners,” Mr. Ford said. “I didn’t grow up in wealthy family. We were a middle-class American family. But we knew the rules. We knew that an afternoon wedding was a daytime suit, that black shoes were worn with blue suits and brown shoes with gray.”

A classic tuxedo is simply a suit of black or midnight-blue wool with a lapel of satin or grosgrain, the collar preferably peaked to distinguish it from the notch style favored for business wear.

Typically a tuxedo is worn with trousers banded at the outer seam with a single braid of silk or satin, a black silk bow tie that matches the lapel facing, black dress socks of silk or fine wool and black dress shoes. Vests or else the cummerbund that originated in the military dress uniform of British India (and that is always worn with the pleats facing up) are traditional accessories to formal wear, although these elements have lately fallen out of use.

That’s it. “You can break the rules, of course,” said Mr. Ford, who routinely does in designing suits favored by stars like Colin Firth and, until recently, Brad Pitt, notable for their Gatsby-esque acres of lapel.

And that is fine because, for experts, tuxedo design is a game of themes and variations.

“I’m not sure there are any rules about what you can and cannot wear with tailoring,” said Christopher Bailey, the chief creative officer of Burberry. “But I always feel that suits that give you a silhouette with clean details, defined lines and strict shoulders give more of a sense of confidence without trying too hard.”

While the handsome Burberry Prorsum tuxedos Mr. Bailey designs (shown to crisp James Bond effect in an advertising campaign featuring the British actor Eddie Redmayne) look singularly unfussy, terms like strict shoulders and sharp silhouette are guaranteed to strike terror into the heart of the average consumer.

It doesn’t have to be that way, said Tom Kalenderian, the executive vice president for merchandising at Barneys New York and a men’s wear expert. “It’s still a suit,” he said. “It’s not a coat of armor or a metal garment to take you into battle. It’s not an evening gown.”

For Michael Hainey, the deputy editor of GQ magazine, fit is where most American men go wrong when buying evening clothes or suits for everyday wear.

“There’s something with American men where they think their clothes should fit like an SUV,” he said. “They think, ‘I’m a big guy so I have to have big clothes.’ Close to the body does not mean uncomfortable.” Look at Jackie Gleason or LeBron James, Mr. Hainey suggested, for a quick tutorial on the advantages a snug fit provides even oversize guys.

“Your tailor is your best friend,” he said, and it should probably be remembered that the formal-wear departments of most department stores still employ the services of those undervalued pros.

“What’s weird is that guys spend all this time within the culture of the gym, getting toned, fit bodies, and then they wear suit coats that are two sizes too big,” Mr. Hainey said.

For Mr. Hainey, who wore a Thom Browne tuxedo to his wedding last year, looking great in evening clothes is a matter of getting the basics right — a simple black suit with a grosgrain notch collar, a point collar white shirt, a tie neither too fat nor too thin and a well-buffed pair of black calf shoes — and of never, ever renting.

“That’s the equivalent of wearing a bowling shoe,” he said.

CASA de CAMPO – Paradise Revisited!

Recently had the opportunity to visit the breathtaking Casa de Campo Resort at La Romana in the Dominican Republic.    There is a very good reason why their tag line is “The Caribbean’s most complete Resort”.  It is breathtaking!  But I am jumping ahead of myself.

The easiest way to get to LaRomana is by JetBlue and within 15 minutes of landing at the airport, you are in paradise – excuse me: Casa de Campo.  Here you will find some of the best trained, friendliest, professional and gracious staff.  Checking in was a breeze and once you show your driver’s license and documentation, you are presented with the keys to your own golf cart.  Does not yet sound impressive?  Wait until you start to whiz around the property in the most fabulous weather on your own private golf cart.

You are then taken to your room – and some room.  The layout is fantastic..large room, king size bed, sheets and bedding of the highest quality:  and with an early morning flight you would just want to order some lunch and sit on your private terrace overlooking the vast golf course and contemplate life.  The room is stocked with all amenities, and no little bathroom to share with your partner.  Everything is beautifully laid out and very, very clean.

You do not have to be a golfer to enjoy this paradise, however if you are a golfer, I am sure you are familiar with the ‘Teeth of the Dog” course.  They say it is one of the most difficult and rewarding courses.  Since I do not play golf, I have to take my husband’s word for it.   There is so much to make your Caribbean dream a reality – whether you are there for a golf trip (some of the best courses in the Caribbean), a destination wedding, honeymoon, romantic jaunt or just simple relaxation, there is something for everyone.

You wake up to the most gorgeous sunrise in the morning, get in your private golf cart (always parked outside your room) and then take off to enjoy the most sumptuous breakfast.  The buffet, if that is what you wish, cannot be classified as the same buffet that is served at some hotels.  The array of quality food is tantalizing – and far exceed one’s expectations.  Of course you dine with some of the best views as a backdrop.

There is so much to do at this property that I could write a book on this.  From horseback riding, to skeet shooting, to the lovely beach and shopping at the world famous Altos de Chavon. Altos de Chavon is a village within La Romana where everything from groceries to jewelry can be bought.  There is also the San Stanislaus Church where Catholic ceremonies can be performed.  Everything is designed to look ‘old world’ – cobblestone streets, stone buildings and of course the view.  I was totally captivated by a view from every angle.

Planning a destination wedding here at this property, is a breeze.  You have some of the best creative minds and wedding experts to help you with this very important lifestage event.  Every celebration is different, and you will feel as if you are the only couple on earth being attended to.  You can be as elegant as you would like, or if you just want to have a big party, that too can be accomplished.  Every detail will be taken care of and absolutely stress free.

If you are taking children or young people with you, there is something to keep them focused.  They can learn to make pottery, be a part of the famous artist colony, horseback riding, donkey polo, or just hang out at the beach.









In addition to staying at the hotel, there are private villas available for rental.  Just make sure you book through Casa de Campo in order to get all hotel services.

To book a destination wedding please contact:


Betty Medina, Wedding Specialist

Tel:1-809-523-8734 or 786-866-8031