Destination weddings are immensely popular. And it’s not hard to see why! A destination wedding lets you get married in a gorgeous location, offering excitement, wonderful backdrops for photos, and perhaps even better weather and adds a real sense of glitz and glamor to your big day.
So if you are dreaming of tying the knot somewhere special and are searching for inspiration, look no further! This is a list of some of the most magical spots for destination weddings, catering for all tastes, whether that means leaving California to Mexico on a cruise, or a remote forest glade halfway up a mountain.
And don’t forget, a destination wedding doesn’t have to mean packing your bags and going abroad! There are a couple of amazing options for stunning destinations a little closer to home as well.
With golden sand as soft as sugar, stunning blue water, and a gentle breeze drifting through the palms at your back, it’s easy to see why Antigua is one of the most popular destination wedding spots in the world. There is a load of charming boutique hotels and luxury resorts too, so your every whim can be taken care of. Thanks to the laid-back atmosphere and warm, friendly welcome, the Caribbean in general and Antigua, in particular, are huge favorites when it comes to choosing a destination wedding venue.
The beautiful island of Cozumel lies just a few miles off the coast of the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s remarkable Yucatan peninsula. It is Mexico’s only Caribbean island, surrounded by glittering turquoise waters and one of the largest coral reefs in the world. The combination of wild natural beauty and exquisite luxury found in the resorts and boutique hotels on the island, as well as the ancient mystery of the Mayan history that remains in this wonderful part of the world, make it a fantastic place for a destination wedding. You can tie the knot on the beach, in the remarkable, magical surrounds of a cenote, or even in a ruined ex-convent – the choice is yours. Once the ceremony is done you can enjoy the pristine beaches, snorkel or dive the stunning coral reefs, or just indulge in a little retail therapy in San Miguel de Cozumel, the island’s main (and only) town.
Bermuda offers a load of the best things that Caribbean destinations have to offer – incredible climate, warm waters, amazing beaches – but it also comes with a few extra benefits all of its own. For starters, it has an incredibly elegant and sophisticated atmosphere – perhaps thanks to its proper British history and heritage, which makes it an incredibly chic place for a wedding. The beaches are something else as well, with remarkable pink sands making for truly iconic wedding photos. Just to add to the mix, the beautiful pastel-colored architecture of the towns and villages is just divine and makes it a genuinely magical place to get hitched. And of course, perhaps the biggest selling point is that it is only a couple of hours’ flight from the East Coast! What more could you want from a wedding destination?
Another exotic spot that offers all the joys of a more far-flung location but much closer and with all the comforts of home is Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a charming, beautiful town full of spectacular architecture and a genuinely wonderful vibe, while the locals are friendly, warm, and welcoming. The beaches around Puerto Rico are truly stunning (check out the bioluminescence at Mosquito Bay!), while the weather is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean. Best of all, it’s a US territory, so not only is transport easy, but you won’t even need your passport, and your cell phone plan will still work! A destination wedding in Puerto Rico offers all the delights of a tropical paradise with none of the administrative complexity – you don’t even have to worry about sorting out whether your marriage license will be valid back home!
The Loire Valley, France
The Loire Valley in France is just a couple of hours away from Paris, the official city of love and one of the most romantic places on earth. It is a blissfully beautiful spot for an old-world wedding, full of rolling hills covered in vineyards, fairytale chateaux, charming little medieval villages, and some of the best wines in the world. Pretty much everything you could ask and hope for in a dream destination wedding location! Tie the knot in the shadow of a centuries-old castle, drift down the river on a barge, or add in a wine-tasting tour before the main event – anything goes in this picturesque corner of the world. Plus, take advantage of the joys of French cuisine and get local caterers to prepare the food – you’ll have a wedding breakfast that will be the talk of your social circle for years to come!
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
For a lush jungle escape complete with eye-catching beautiful beaches and a pristine tropical backdrop, Tamarindo in Costa Rica is a wonderful far-flung destination for the wedding of your dreams. Costa Rica is also one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world if being green is high on your priority list! Getting to Tamarindo might be a little daunting – most international flights fly into the capital, San Juan, which is some way away. But with a little extra digging, you might be able to fly into Liberia, in Guanacaste province itself, which is only a stone’s throw away! Delta, American, Alaska Air, and Jet Blue are just a few of the US-based airlines that service this excellent part of the world.
Sea Bright, New Jersey
If the prospect of adding a tricky-to-get-to exotic destination to your wedding planning work fills you with dread, don’t panic. There are loads of amazing destination wedding locations and venues much closer to home…right on your doorstep, even! You don’t even have to sacrifice the beach and ocean views if you choose the right one. Windows on the Water in Sea Bright in New Jersey offers a private beach for the ceremony itself (the only private beach in the area), as well as the stunningly elegant and sophisticated Empress Ballroom for the reception, with glorious views out across the wild Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of excellent hotels and accommodation options in Sea Bright itself, which makes this a wonderful choice for couples planning a larger affair. If you looking for other venues in. North Jersey, you can visit them virtually on our wedding venue directory page
Amalfi Coast, Italy
For classic romance and high culture, nothing beats the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Think stunning cliff-top towns, hundreds of hidden bays, and food and drink that will blow your mind. Italy’s Amalfi Coast is one of the most picturesque coastlines in the world and makes for an unforgettable destination to tie the knot. Getting married in Italy as a foreigner does come with some speed bumps – there are a number of bureaucratic hoops to jump through, and you’ll need to be ok with a Catholic wedding ceremony! – but the intense romance of this amazing part of the world more than makes up for it.
Big Island, Hawaii
A little closer to home yet still exotic and glamorous, Big Island, Hawaii offers the best of both worlds. Your guests won’t need their passports to join you for your big day, but you won’t have to miss out on the glory of a sun-drenched beach wedding either! Hawaii is a wonderful destination wedding choice for alternative, adventure-loving couples, as you can throw in a spot of jungle trekking or catch some sunrise waves before or after the big event itself! It’s like the honeymoon starts as soon as you say ‘I do’!
Hamburg, New Jersey
Not all destination weddings have to be beach-themed, of course. If you are after something a little more pastoral and backcountry-esque, then have a think about Hamburg in New Jersey. Set amidst the glorious Sussex Skylands mountains, the Adirondack-style landscape is the perfect framing for couples who love something a little more rugged. There are resorts, hotels, and ranches aplenty that offer amazing wedding experiences, like the Crystal Springs Resort and Spa with its underground aquarium, Biosphere Tropical Pool Complex, and full-service spa equipped with sauna and steam rooms. Your guests will love exploring the surrounding countryside, maybe indulging in some wine tasting or taking in a quick round of golf before the big event! There’s even a ski resort for the most adventurous guests…or the happy couple themselves!
Bar Harbor, Maine
Finally, for couples looking for an alternative vibe, Bar Harbor in Maine offers breathtakingly beautiful views, classic New England sophistication and style, and a series of iconic lighthouses that add a wonderfully rustic touch to any wedding photograph! It is the epitome of seaside chic, elegance, and sophistication, but with that distinctive American touch that makes it all feel right. New England can be chilly for much of the year, so a Maine wedding is best planned in the summer months, to really take advantage of the gorgeous natural beauty it is so famous for!