{Pictured above:Area Lakes and Rivers}

There are destination weddings, and then there are destination weddings. Some bridal couples, for example, want to go out of the country. And then there are those who want to go to a place beyond time, where a bride may arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to a palace of her choosing, for a ceremony in which vows may be said against a view that’s not just picture perfect but magnificent.

“…in the midst of fertile cotton land, created the nation’s highest concentration of millionaires…”

Of course, what makes Natchez a wondrous wedding location is also what makes it one of the nation’s premier travel destinations. Those horse-drawn carriages? Available to everyone, a beguiling way to tour block after block of historic mansions, homes, and churches, hundreds of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places, nearly a dozen open daily for tours. And during the twice yearly Pilgrimage, doors open across the city in a celebration that stretches over weeks and includes live music and theatrical events.

In antebellum times Natchez’ location on the Mississippi River, in the midst of fertile cotton land, created the nation’s highest concentration of millionaires (the gentlemen who left behind all the beautiful architecture). But Natchez’ history goes deeper, as deep as the Mississippi River that drew the Natchez Indian tribes here beginning around 700 AD. Today, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians offers a fascinating archeological exploration of the Tribe’s principal ceremonial center. You will also want to take part in a more modern ceremony—the toast—when you tour the Old South Winery and taste their flavorsome Muscadine vintages.

Natchez culture, you see, is more than beautiful homes. The Natchez Museum of African Art and Heritage and the Rhythm Night Club Museum share the triumphs and tragedies and rich history of African-Americans in Natchez, while multiple markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail will add another important dimension to your understanding of the vital blues genre.

Another trail you’ll want to take is the Natchez Trail pedestrian path winding throughout historic downtown and along River bluffs, where you’ll also find Bluff Park and a spectacular River panorama awaiting.

Bluff Park is a prime spot to pop the question, or just take in the view. Because whatever your marital state or desires, when it comes to visiting Natchez, frankly, my dear, you’ll want to say “I do.”