By Maryann Hammers
Photo courtesy Westin Jekyll Island
Popping the question? Worried about the high cost of weddings? Military members can tie the knot without breaking the bank. We found discounts from 5 to 50 percent on wedding packages at a U.S. Virgin Island beach resort, chic Milwaukee hotels, a lux lakefront inn, a Georgia island, and a picturesque farm. Or take $25 off bridal beauty services for East Coast and New England nuptials.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) offers active duty military members a 50-percent discount on the "Paradise" wedding package. It includes wedding coordinator services, a nondenominational officiant, photography, bouquet and boutonniere, music, a champagne toast and souvenir toasting flutes, and a free night with champagne on your first anniversary. With the discount, the military price is $1,050 (regularly $2,100), plus an 18-percent service charge. Active duty military members who stay four nights or more also get a 30-percent discount on ocean-view rooms (or 20 percent off the all-inclusive rate). Stay five nights or more, and you’ll also get a complimentary sunset cocktail harbor cruise on a catamaran ($110 value). Learn more about the USVI here (and your guests will be glad that no passport is needed to visit). Call (800) 449-1577.
In Milwaukee, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center , InterContinental Milwaukee , and The Pfister Hotel all offer spectacular backdrops, personal wedding planners, and a 25-percent discount on any wedding package to active duty military members — plus a reduced food and beverage spending minimum for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday weddings. Cancellation fees will be waived for receptions that must be canceled or rescheduled due to deployment. Call (414) 390-3802.
The Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva , Wis., offers active duty military members a 20-percent discount on wedding packages and food and beverage items when you tie the knot on a Friday or Sunday. Offer applies to non-holiday weekends only. Depending on the season, the offer might apply on Saturday ceremonies as well. You’ll need to book before Dec. 21, 2017. If you plan to arrive a few days prior to the ceremony or stay a while afterward, military members get a 20-percent discount on overnight rooms, spa services, and resort dining Monday through Thursday (ask for the Heroes Overnight Package). The Abbey is a luxurious 90-acre, full-service, lakefront resort. Learn more about Lake Geneva here. Call (262) 275-1494, and ask about the Heroes Wedding Package.
Dreaming of getting married on a historic island? The beachfront 187-room Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia offers active duty and retired military members 17 percent off wedding packages and event space rentals. Packages include dinner, four hours of premium open bar, a champagne toast, complimentary room upgrades, discounted guestroom rates, and a gift certificate good for your first anniversary. A wedding professional will be provided to assist with planning. Learn more about the state park and coastal haven of Jekyll Island here. You must book by Sept. 30, 2017. Call (912) 319-2842 for details on the military wedding discounts.
Montfair Resort Farm in Virginia is a year-round rustic resort surrounded by farms, orchards, rolling hills, wineries, and vineyards, located just 10 minutes from the Sugar Hollow back entrance of Shenandoah National Park and 30 minutes from Charlottesville. Military members get a 5-percent discount on weddings and a 15-percent discount on accommodations in one- and two-bedroom cottages overlooking a small mountain lake. Call (434) 823-5202.
Blushing Brides is an on-location beauty service that travels up and down the East Coast from Maine to Virginia. Brides (or grooms) who are active duty or reserve military members or veterans get $25 off any hair, makeup, or nails service. Call (978) 763-5204 for information (and don’t forget to mention the discount.)