The 9 Best Destination Wedding Locations Around the World
There are two things that make a destination wedding perfect: a fantastic partner and a location that both the couple and their guests will love. So, where in the world to start looking? Well, we’ll leave finding the partner to you. But when it comes to the destination, we’ve got some ideas which—in addition to being both scenic and romantic—will add just a touch of FOMO to everyone on the guest list.
Winter in Aspen is a wonderland for sure, but summertime in the Rocky Mountain ski resort town is just as dramatic. So whether you’re a snow-bunny or an alpine meadow–gazer, there’s never a bad time to head for the mountains. In this deceptively small town, you’ll find a wealth of both luxury and modest venues to choose from, but whatever the price point, they all offer up the same stirring peaks (and possibly a passing celebrity) as the backdrop. Keeping guests entertained during the off-hours is a snap, too, as Aspen is packed with plenty of outdoorsy things to do year-round, from snow-based activities and gondola rides to historical walking tours and hiking and biking trails.
It’s hard to resist the lure of the Instagrammable Amalfi Coast, with its ancient castles and mansions-turned-modern hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals that cling to jagged cliffs overlooking the ocean. So, don’t. Send out the invites and watch your friends and family flock to this bucket list location, which offers up visual drama almost beyond compare, as well as plenty of things to do before and after the ceremony. Best of all, you really can’t beat the wine and seafood offerings of this coastal destination—no, really; don’t skip the unrivaled Italian cuisine.
Napa Valley, CA
Who would turn down a trip to the Napa Valley? No one we know, thanks to its rolling hills, neat lines of vineyards stretching out to the horizon, and roughly 260 days of sunshine a year. Plus, as far as destination weddings go, it’s easy to get to—just a 1.5-hour drive from San Francisco—and is home to numerous luxury resorts, 80+ wedding venues, and 400 wineries. After the celebration, which will undoubtedly include a few glasses of a fine local vintage, guests can head to the wellness mecca of nearby Calistoga for a soak in one of its famed hot springs. Cheers to that.
Many couples dream of an idyllic beach wedding, and Bali doesn’t disappoint. Picture the scene: you’re gazing into one other’s eyes, saying “I do” at the water’s edge, as the sun melts into the sea. There’s not a dry eye in the house. Afterwards, host your reception on the sand or, perhaps, at a shoes-optional resort, before heading off to explore the island on a multi-day tour. Just keep in mind that there is some paperwork required to get wed in Bali, so build in a little extra time to pull this all off—and consider getting support from a local planner.
Belize combines sun, sand, palm trees, Mayan ruins, and lush jungles, so why not make it the starting point for a beautiful life together? Oh, and it’s one of the few places in the world where getting married at a Mayan ruin is even allowed. (Just think of the pictures.) Beach-loving couples will want to stick to the Caribbean coastline but you can also head inland to get hitched in the jungle, where you’ll find secluded venues and eco-lodges, rivers, waterfalls, and even a zipline or two. From rustic to luxurious, budget-friendly Belize has a spot to suit practically every couple’s specifications.
New Orleans, LA
Food, music, non-stop nightlife. Put them all together and you get New Orleans, which—for couples with a festive streak—all but guarantees a bon temps wedding. After exchanging vows, add some “second line” revelers (parasols and elaborate hats, anyone?) to lead the wedding parade from the ceremony to the reception. Or, hire a few elaborately costumed, befeathered, and bejeweled Mardi Gras dancers to add even more exuberance to a very special day. Whichever way you slice it, if it’s a party you’re after, the Big Easy is certainly the place to make it happen.
There are hundreds of reasons to get married in Puerto Vallarta, but the spectacular sunsets rank pretty highly. (And the year-round warm weather, as well as decently short and direct flights from many US cities, isn’t half bad either.) Once you’re in town, don’t skip the fantastic Mexican food, very fine tequila and mezcal, and an impressive selection of cliffside and oceanfront hotels that are perfect for one-stop ceremonies and receptions. Then, after the big day, bid everyone farewell and enjoy an awesome honeymoon filled with snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. Lounging in a hammock is optional, but encouraged.
If you’re searching for a side of fabulous with your vows, look no further than St. Bart’s. A playground for the well-to-do—yet surprisingly laid-back and low-key (all the beaches are public)—it’s the unofficial glamor capital of the Caribbean, popular with everyone from globetrotting celebs to well-heeled civilians and packed with high-end boutiques. And when it comes to dream weddings, this volcanic island is small but mighty—choose between exclusive oceanside luxury resorts, cliffside villas facing the sea, flower-filled garden venues, and tiny beachfront guest houses.
What can be said about Paris other than “yes” and “the tickets are booked?” The City of Light is a can’t-say-no destination wedding option, particularly for couples who are drawn to art, culture, and style in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Granted, in a country that’s no stranger to bureaucracy, you’ll need to get your paperwork in order. But it’s worth the effort to be able to tie the knot on a Parisian rooftop, at a church dating back to the reign of Charlemagne, or at an under-the-radar art museum. The best time to make those vows? April through October.