My son's girlfriend was on the line from Las Vegas, where the twosome had gone for a vacation.
"What's new?" my wife asked.
"My last name," the young woman said. "We've eloped!"
Well . . . that's one way to have a wedding away from home, with or without Elvis in attendance, but others might prefer a more elaborate event in an exotic location, with family and friends attending. For them, a sampling:
SuperClubs will give the loving couple a free wedding with a minimum three-night stay at one of its all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Curaçao, or Brazil. Included are the marriage license, minister fees (except in the Dominican Republic), a wedding planner, recorded music, witnesses if needed, champagne or sparkling cider, a decorated wedding area, the cake, the bouquet and boutonniere, a candlelight dinner for bride and groom, and a continental breakfast in bed the morning after the wedding. There are government and administration fees of $200-$650; these are waived on stays of seven nights or longer. Wedding add-ons are available at extra cost.
Visit superclubs.com/activities/wedding.asp or call 877-GO-SUPER (467-8737).
The $850 Ultimate Wedding Package at the Crystal Cove hotel in Barbados features a wedding arch; marriage license and registration; services of a magistrate- priest- minister; the bouquet and boutonniere; the presence of a best man, maid of honor and/or witnesses if required; one bottle of champagne; a wedding cake for up to eight people, an in-room champagne breakfast the morning after the wedding, a candlelight dinner for two; a complimentary room upgrade if available; and a gift.
Call 800-467-4519 or visit crystalcovehotelbarbados.com.
If you're seeking a truly unusual wedding, you could exchange vows underwater. Fiesta Americana Cozumel Dive Resort has four wedding packages focused on underwater weddings in the Belizean Reef , the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Costs range from $850 to $3,200 and include a judge, decorations, and corsages. Other wedding items are extra, but if you're not concerned about costs, the $3,200 Luxury Underwater Wedding package features accommodation in a Tropical Casita Suite for seven nights, a buffet breakfast daily, dinner for two, a private scuba diving boat, a bride and groom tank, belt, and weight, plus other amenities in and out of the water.
Call 800-FIESTA-1 (343-7821). For resort information, visit fiestamericana.com.
And that brings us to the honeymoon. Here are just three possibilities:
At Treasure Beach Hotel in Barbados , 14 suites that cost $750 in winter are $265 in spring, summer, and fall -- a savings of nearly 55 percent. A Honeymoon Package can be booked in conjunction with any of the resort's 34 suites for $790 a week. The newlyweds get limousines from and to the airport, welcome drinks, orchids and champagne, a catamaran cruise with lunch and drinks, a massage for him and her and, when available, an upgrade to a more luxurious suite, and a rental car for one day (guests pay for gas, insurance, and a local driver's license).
Visit treasurebeachhotel.com or call 246-432-1346.
African Travel Inc., which has been operating safaris since 1976, has a Southern Wildlife & Roses package geared to honeymooners or those celebrating an anniversary. The trip includes four nights in a five-star hotel in Cape Town with sparkling wine and a dozen roses, a spa treatment, a romantic dinner and private sightseeing, plus three nights on a deluxe safari. Available through November, the trip begins at $3,895 per person with air fare extra.
Visit africantravel.com or call 800-421-8907.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki includes a daily room service full American breakfast for two in its Romance Package, which also includes a bottle of wine and cheese plate on arrival. Rates start at $416 a night. (The offer is also available at the Sheraton Waikiki, Moana Surfrider, and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani at varying rates.)
Call 866-716-8140 and ask for rate plan RPKGWEB or visit royal-hawaiian.com.
Visit flyglobespan.com or call 617-379-0888.
Come June 29, the Delta Connection will begin nonstop flights from Logan to Prince Edward Island, expanding access to the island's beaches, unique scenery, shows and concerts, golf courses, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and canoeing, biking and hiking, seal watching, kiddie attractions, harness racing, Anne of Green Gables shows and sites, top restaurants (plus the island's fabled lobster suppers), and, oh yes, its potato museum. The 1 3/4-hour flights, on a 50-seat jet, begin at about $390, including tax. The service will be available through Sept. 16.
Visit delta.com or call 800-221-1212.
From mid-June until October, Azores Express will offer the only daily service to the Azores and mainland Portugal from Boston and Providence. The Azores are Europe's closest point to the United States, a chain of nine islands with volcanic mountains, seaside villages, black sand beaches, and geysers. Prices for the roughly 4-hour flights to either destination will be $580-$846. These will be the only direct flights to Lisbon from Boston.
Call 800-762-9995 or visit azores-express.com.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.