The Best Destination Wedding Locations of 2024-2025

From the Caribbean to Italy, we explored the world for you. Read on for our picks.
the best destination wedding locations around the world the knot spain balearic islands
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Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated Nov 15, 2023

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This isn't another redundant best-of list. Every year, our editors consult with wedding professionals, travel advisors and industry experts, as well as our own data, to determine the best destination wedding locations. The list of options may seem like it's ever-growing given the resplendent beauty of the world and the pace of social media. (Read: yet another Instagram-worthy wedding destination.) With our guidance, though, finding a locale that speaks to you is just one click away. Let's start with the basics of destination wedding planning: you'll want to celebrate somewhere that's equal parts meaningful and logistically feasible, not only for yourselves but also for your guests. You may want to find a unique vacation spot for your inner circle–a place they can boast about for years to come–or you're on the hunt for an affordable and cheap destination wedding destination that provides ease for everyone once they land.

According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, 18% of couples threw a destination wedding in 2022. But let's back up first: Isn't a destination wedding supposed to take place on a Mediterranean cypress-lined estate in Tuscany, Italy, or on a resort in the Bahamas? Sure, but how we define a destination wedding may change your perception. A destination wedding is anything that's held outside of a couple's hometown or where they currently reside. The majority of destination weddings, in fact, are hosted stateside, and to make it easy for you, we've outlined those best US wedding destinations and venues here. Those who threw international destination weddings last year also largely opted to marry close to home: 44% of weddings took place in Mexico, 18% were in the Caribbean and 20% were in Europe, all according to our data. Luxury wedding planner JoAnn Gregoli confirms this and more. "I'm seeing the top locations for destination weddings are Hawaii, Mexico, and Napa Valley, California. They're all still going very strong in the US," says Gregoli. "Newcomers in the US, however, include Maine, Newport, Rhode Island and Arizona. Globally, Italy still holds very strong. However, we are seeing requests for Spain and Greece taking a giant leap."

When a couple narrows down their list of places to get married, often the location is tied to sentiment. Among the 12,000-plus couples surveyed last year, nearly three out of five couples selected a locale because it was "interesting." Contrary to popular belief, only 15% said they would consider their location to be "tropical" while 9% said their wedding was held in a different country. It could be a repeat vacation destination for the family or a special getaway spot for the couple. A chosen destination may also be a bucket list locale or a more affordable option. (The average cost of a domestic destination wedding in 2022 was $36,400, while the average cost of an international destination wedding was $32,100.) Whatever you're prioritizing, we narrowed down our top picks for the best destination wedding locations around the world to help you focus on what matters: a delightful celebration for your loved ones.

In This Article:

The Best Destination Weddings of 2024 - 2025

This year, our top destinations for a wedding were a result of industry trends, research and expertise. The demand is especially high for some of these locations or there is plenty of new development to ensure your guests will feel well cared for. After all, isn't that the goal? Oh–and if you're all set on your destination wedding location, find and research local vendors here.

Editors' Overall Top Pick: French Riviera, France
Best Destination Resort Location: Punta Mita, Mexico
Best Destination for a Beach Wedding: Spain
Best Destination for a Mountain Wedding: The Colorado Rockies, Colorado
Best Destination for a Sustainable Wedding: Costa Rica
Best Destination for an Affordable Wedding: Portugal
Best Destination for an Intimate Wedding: Greece
Best Destination for a Farm or Ranch Wedding: Hudson Valley and the Catskills, New York
Best Destination for a Unique Guest Experience: Marrakesh, Morocco

Affordable Destination Wedding Locations

portugal destination wedding graphic
Graphic: Natalie Romine

Affordable is a relative word to most, but some destinations are more likely to offer favorable rates or lower flight costs than others. The wedding destinations below offer a range of venues and stays, from more affordable hotels to hyper-luxurious properties. Plus, they're easy to access from most major US cities, something your guests will especially appreciate when the winter months arrive up north.


Matachica Resort Belize
Courtesy of Matachica

Jungle to the west and pristine Caribbean waters to the east mark the burgeoning eco-friendly wedding destination of Belize. Home to the sizeable Belize Barrier Reef, weddings can go two ways in this Central American country: couples can exchange vows within the lush and dense jungle or enjoy a reception in one of the country's many oceanfront resorts dotting the coastline. In Belize, there's something for every type of to-be-wed and guest.

Best time to travel to Belize: The optimal time to visit Belize, according to experts, falls between the months of January to May. Late November through mid-April is considered the dry season. The rainy season, beginning June through October is marked by intense and intermittent storms.

Destination wedding venue ideas: A luxury wedding at Matachica Resort & Spa or San Ignacio Resort Hotel will keep your guests happy. We also recommend a visit to The Lodge at Jaguar Reef in Hopkins, known as one of the happiest towns in the country. Kate Middleton and Prince William also stayed at two out of three of these hotels during their Caribbean tour, giving them the royal seal of approval.

Cozumel, Mexico

cozumel wedding destination

Off the Yucatan Peninsula, this peaceful island in the Caribbean is framed by one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, surrounded by turquoise waters and home to wildlife-filled nature reserves, perfect for outdoorsy couples looking for serenity (read: away from the tourist crowds) to tie the knot. Expect lush grounds and pristine swaths of sand, plus a range of resorts (including many all-inclusive options) with impeccable service and on-site wedding planners and vendors to help you plan your perfect party. Nature-loving couples and their guests will love Cozumel's Chankanaab National Park, where you can check out a lagoon, botanical gardens and a replica of a Mayan village, and find incredible snorkeling. When the more laid-back guests tire of sipping cocktails and sunning themselves on the beach, they can hit up the shops and restaurants of downtown San Miguel.

Best time to travel to Cozumel: The high season begins in mid-December and typically lasts through Easter, with the rainy season running from May through mid-October. Although temps may only top out at 90 degrees during the summer, the humidity can make it uncomfortably hot. And beware of spring-break crowds in March and April.

Destination wedding venue ideas: The five-star InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa, an IHG Hotel, is one of the best bets for couples who want to marry in Cozumel.


jamaica destination wedding locations
Getty Images

There's a reason glamorous globe-trotters call it home (Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, from his seaside abode here). Jamaica is an ideal destination wedding location because it offers much more than just beaches and palm trees. It's steeped in culture: reggae, Rastafarianism, indigenous spices and a fun-loving, laid-back atmosphere. The site of many all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica can be one of the most affordable of the Caribbean islands on which to wed, but it has super-luxe options too, including private villas that come with their own chefs, and housekeeping staff and security. The resorts of Montego Bay offer the ultimate in service and convenience; the cliffs and beaches of Negril are great for intimate sunset ceremonies; and the gardens and waterfalls of Ocho Rios provide gorgeous backdrops.

Best time to travel to Jamaica: Nothing beats the stretch from December through early March in Jamaica. Couples marrying at larger resorts may want to avoid March and April (also known as spring-break season), as well as the hurricane season from June through October.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Jamaica is home to utterly romantic venues, including the overwater chapel at Sandals South Coast and the exclusive views at the luxurious Half Moon Resort.


sintra seaside town "Azenhas do Mar is a seaside town in the municipality of Sintra, Portugal. The name means Watermills of the Sea and derives from a once-powerful stream that moved the watermills as it made its way to the sea. It is a Mediterranean-looking village with white houses tumbling down to the Atlantic"
Henrique Feliciano Photography / Getty Images

A European country known for its low cost of living, Portugal is an exceptional destination for couples who want their guests to experience culture, a unique environment and affordability. It's considerably more accessible than its Iberian neighbor Spain while still offering world-class fine dining options. Visitors will experience sweeping Medieval castles and fortresses, renowned ceramics and sightseeing spots like the Azores and Algarve.

Best time to travel to Portugal: Summer to fall is the most popular time to see the country as the Atlantic warms up, as do local establishments. November to February, however, is considered off-season and prices reflect that. Couples looking for a quieter, solely theirs weekend getaway should consider an off-season destination wedding, followed by a flight to the Canary Islands for their minimoon.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Those in search of a fairy-tale setting may want to book their wedding at the lemon-hued National Palace of Pena (or Pena Palace). For an immersive experience, book a wedding in the municipality of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Couples can enjoy a minimoon at Azenhas do Mar after the event too.

The US Virgin Islands

Caribbean wedding destination: St. Thomas and St. John

Along with Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands is considered one of the most hassle-free places to have a Caribbean destination wedding. Direct flights are frequent to St. Thomas (with St. John a short ferry ride away). Plus, airfare is usually competitive and the US dollar is the official currency. St. Thomas can sometimes feel a bit crowded since it's a main stop on the itineraries of many cruise lines, and it's quite developed for the Caribbean. But it's nonetheless brimming over with natural beauty. St. John, while a bit harder to reach, is more rugged, unspoiled and higher-end, with fewer big resorts. Active guests will be in heaven: St. John is known for its plentiful and easily accessible snorkeling sites, as well as its national parks. In St. Thomas, suggest that guests visit the capital city of Charlotte Amalie to see historical sites such as Fort Christian and for tons and tons of duty-free shopping.

Best time to travel to the USVI: Tourist season goes mid-December through mid-April, but temperature highs are in the mid-80s and lows are in the 70s year-round if you want to steer clear of the crowds. Just avoid hurricane season, which runs from June through November.

Puerto Rico

Caribbean wedding destination: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's got all the assets of the other Caribbean islands—gorgeous beaches, friendly locals, plush resorts—plus one big one that sets it apart: It's a US territory. That means you and your guests will have few, if any, of the hassles associated with travel abroad. You won't need to go through customs, cell phone service is excellent and most people speak English. Puerto Rico offers a blend of both traditional beachy relaxation and unique cultural and historic sights (which non-beachgoing guests will appreciate).

Best time to travel to Puerto Rico: As with the rest of the Caribbean region, beware of hurricane season, which lasts from June through November.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Couples will appreciate the oceanfront views and the historic architecture of the Condado Vanderbilt. For an extravagant splurge, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, arguably the swankiest hotel on the island, awaits both you and your guests.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico wedding destination: Riviera Maya

This coastal stretch of the Yucatan Peninsula along the Mexican Caribbean mixes ancient Mayan ruins with palm-fringed beaches to give your wedding a real tropical feel. Farther north, seemingly carved out of the jungle, Cancun sits at the tip of the peninsula, twinkling with big resorts and a boisterous nightlife. Choose a property in Cancun's hopping Hotel Zone, book an entire boutique hotel or go for a hacienda-style wedding in a Mayan village near one of the ancient archaeological sites. The ruins of the ancient Mayan empire in seaside Tulum provide a stunning backdrop. For a slower-paced setting, try Playa del Carmen, which displays an authentic rustic charm and is home to some gorgeous beaches. And there's no shortage of natural settings here, either: Say "I do" in a lush, tropical garden, in a beautiful eco-park or among the cenotes, or freshwater pools, the Riviera Maya is famous for. Of course, couples should be mindful of the activity along the coast and consult with their on-site coordinators and guests to highlight safety.

Best time to travel to the Riviera Maya: Winter months offer the best weather but are crowded, with sunny, 80-degree days from mid-December through Easter. Avoid spring-break season, late February through March. April and May are traditionally slower months, and the weather's still good. Rain is heaviest in June and October, with hurricanes possible through November. Humidity is uncomfortably high in the summer.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Home to the world's most-beloved all-inclusives, the region is teeming with luxury options (at both affordable and higher price points). We recommend scoping out the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort or its sister property, The Conrad Tulum. Couples will also find exceptional service (read: your guests or demanding uncle) at the Rosewood Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Excellence Riviera Cancun.

Classic Wedding Destinations

The most popular destinations in the world and the US are reinterpreted as classic spots for weddings. From a gorgeous, sun-soaked ceremony in Tuscany to a dreamy castle reception in Ireland, couples and guests can easily access most of these destinations (plus, make the most of their time celebrating).

Charleston, South Carolina

charleston south carolina
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This charming Southern city is especially lively during peak wedding season when it's hard to miss first-look sessions in the South of Broad neighborhood nearing the peninsula. Since Charleston is situated on the Atlantic, oceanfront weddings against sandy dunes are as common as ballroom weddings in unique venues. The vendors here are also well-experienced, meaning you and your partner will be in the best care.

Best time to travel to Charleston: Summer in Charleston is hot. In fact, it isn't suggested to throw an outdoor wedding in the city unless you offer cooling remedies for guests. The optimal time to throw a wedding is when the climate is mild and pleasant, from March to May or from September to November.

Destination wedding venue ideas: We listed Charleston as one of the top destination wedding locations in the US, including The Dewberry.


Ashford Castle collage of tea sandwiches tea time cocktails and a castle painting
Ashford Castle

If the words "fairy tale" define your idea of a wedding, get thee and thine (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves!) to Ireland. Sleepy mist, green rolling hills, oceanside cliffs, seaside villages, lush gardens, grand castles and country estates await. The combination of symbolic traditions, the genuine hospitality of the locals, and the natural beauty of this richly romantic country make it a memorable spot for destination weddings. Dramatic settings for your walk down the aisle abound, from breathtaking cliffs and Tudor-style churches to the manicured splendor of a 12th-century castle. Meanwhile, the mix of culture, museums, tea rooms, falconry and clay shooting activities, pubs and golf courses will keep guests busy between wedding events.

Best time to travel to Ireland: Couples who want to throw an outdoor wedding should strive for the summer months between late May through September. Starting in October, the weather cools down and rain begins to mist through for a romantic chill in the fall air. However, this part of the world is renowned for its holiday celebrations and there is nothing quite like the Christmas spirit in Ireland. Some accommodations close from October through March, especially in west and northwest Ireland, though prices and crowds tend to be lower then. And we probably don't need to tell you this, but St. Patrick's Day is kind of a big deal around there, so you may want to avoid that entire week.

Destination wedding venue ideas: A famous golfer decided to marry at the 12th century Ashford Castle in 2017, since skyrocketing demand for destination weddings at the historic Cong property, and rightfully so. The service is exceptional at Ashford, once owned by the Guinness Family, making the sprawling estate near Galway one of the most coveted destination wedding venues in all of Europe. Another celebrity-beloved option in Ireland includes Carton House, A Fairmont Hotel located in Kildare near Dublin.

London, England

london england river photo
Getty Images

This cosmopolitan global city is a top wedding destination solely for its historic and unique architecture, incredible fine dining scene and modern hotels. What differentiates London, however, is the city is home to some of the world's most innovative and top vendors. Couples know the service will be impeccable from start to finish. It's also easily accessible from the East Coast, where guests and couples can arrive in six hours or less. Some to-be-weds will choose to host their opening festivities in London, like the welcome party, then they'll venture to the picturesque English countryside for the actual wedding ceremony.

Best time to travel to London: The best time of year to marry in London is between April and September. For couples who want to fill their photos with the aromatic beauty of wisteria, the best time to schedule a wedding is between late April to May. Of course, all couples are suggested to have a backup plan for inclement weather.

Destination wedding venue ideas: We trust our colleagues at Hitched UK to share the best London wedding venues, which is why we recommend The NoMad London at Convent Garden or the iconic Temperate House (the world's largest glasshouse) at Kew Gardens.

Miami, Florida

The faena hotel pool miami beach destination wedding
Todd Eberle for the Faena Hotel

Between the sunny weather and beautiful beaches, Miami is a great alternative to the Caribbean or Mexico, especially if you're looking to stay within the US. Besides its picturesque sands, Miami is known for its vibrant art scene and unique architecture, which will add character to your wedding photos. The city is also an international hub with a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene, meaning wedding caterers cover all taste preferences and your guests will be party-happy.

Best time to travel to Miami: High season is December through April. The summer months are also beautiful and less expensive (although it can be very hot!). Couples should keep hurricane season in mind (officially June through November). You may also want to steer clear of February and March, when popular venues risk being overrun with partying college kids.

Destination wedding venue ideas: The region is teeming with both restaurant and resort options for a destination wedding. One of the most coveted options is Vizcaya Museum & Gardens or The Villa Casa Casuarina (previously known as the Versace Mansion). For a true destination resort gathering, consider hosting all your events at The Faena Hotel Miami Beach or Eden Roc Miami Beach.

New York, New York

US wedding destination New York City, New York

The "city that never sleeps" offers plenty to get your guests excited to make the trip: museums and galleries, four-star restaurants, crazy-fun nightlife, and block after block of shopping, as well as classic tourist attractions, like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Times Square. And when it comes to wedding planning resources, there's no shortage either; you'll have innumerable caterers, florists, photographers and bands to choose from though wedding costs will correlate when you're hiring top vendors in the world. Another plus? With taxis and Ubers on every block, it's super-easy for guests to get around.

Best time to travel to New York: Any month can be a good time for a New York wedding. Most of the city's main attractions are indoors, so it doesn't matter much what the weather is like. That said, summers here, especially during July and August, can be uncomfortably hot and humid. The city gets extremely crowded during the holiday season, but your guests may love the chance to catch the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show, ice skate in Central Park, and browse the decked-out department stores.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Where to begin with a New York destination wedding? There is nothing more romantic than exchanging vows before your loved ones as you're suspended above Central Park and the iconic Manhattan skyline. Popular venues include the New York Public Library, The Foundry in Long Island City and Wave Hill in the Bronx. Of course, a hotel ceremony and reception exudes an exclusive allure and glamorous touch to the City That Never Sleeps.

New Orleans, Louisiana

new orleans skyline pretty colors
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The home of Cafe du Monde also shares an illustrious history of weddings. The architecture, charm, culture and food in New Orleans all influence one of the most in-demand destinations in the country. Couples seeking a beautiful garden reception or grand ballroom wedding should consider this Southern destination–for the fare and the fun.

Best time to travel to New Orleans: Summers are hot in New Orleans so expect humidity if you plan to exchange vows at the height of hurricane season. Locals will say the best time to visit the city is between February and May, though couples should be aware of Mardi Gras celebrations and revelry. If you prefer a calm destination wedding, the ideal time to throw your nuptials is between December to January.

Find your kind of venue

From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

Paris, France

paris france eiffel tower flowers photo
Getty Images

The most romantic city in the world is just the place for a destination wedding. The city is teeming with luxury and boutique hotels conducive to weddings, as well as gardens and museums with storied pasts. Versailles, of course, is a short distance away for those who need an additional dose of opulence. Plus, Parisian wedding photos are guaranteed to be beautiful, especially if the wedding suite has views of the Tour Eiffel in the backdrop. Couples and guests will often start their wedding weekends in the City of Lights and venture to the French Riviera (which tops our list this year) for much-needed rest and relaxation post-nuptials.

Best time to travel to Paris: The neighborhoods lining the Seine are especially pleasant during the spring and fall months when the weather is mild and the air is crisp. Summers can be hot and packed with tourists, while winters are brisk. Also, you may want to avoid hosting a destination wedding in Paris in Summer 2024 due to the Olympics, as well as just about any Paris or Couture Fashion Week. The city will be booked and busy (and prices reflect that too).

Destination wedding venue ideas: The City of Love is the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Storybook settings include the Shangri-La Paris for its views of the Eiffel Tower and the Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme, once home to Ernest Hemingway.

Rome, Italy

Europe wedding destination: Rome, Italy

In the Eternal City, old-world culture mixes with a modern, energetic metropolis and historic attractions for a truly unique affair. With more artistic monuments than just about any other city in the world, Rome offers the ultimate wedding photo op. It contains as many perfect backdrops for romance as it does churches and ancient ruins—many, of course, are one and the same—from a centuries-old cobblestoned piazza to a baroque palace or even a rustic castle or villa just outside town. Plus, you'll have access to world-class wine, not to mention a selection of authentic Italian fare to serve your guests.

Best time to travel to Rome: The best times are April through June, and September and October. In the fall, temperatures are cooler, and the city is lively but still manageable. July and August can be unbearably hot (and expensive), and most Italians go on vacation in August, so many shops, hotels and restaurants may be closed.

Destination wedding venue ideas: With more than 900 churches and heaping amounts of historic villas (Medici, Aurelia, Miani, Appia Antica) scattered throughout the city, Rome isn't exactly scarce when it comes to world-class wedding venues. For couples who want to host a weekend affair with one base location, the Hotel de Russie and The St. Regis Rome are luxury options to consider.


balearic islands destination wedding ibiza
David Navarro Azurmendi / Getty Images

It's a surprise Spain wasn't previously on the list of the best wedding destinations. The country is home to world-class art cities like Barcelona and Madrid, where couples can easily host wedding weekend events in hip cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels. The Iberian Peninsula, including its territories, is surrounded by either the Mediterranean or the Atlantic, so a tropical or beachfront wedding is well recommended. A bit more unusual—unique, even—Spain's Canary Islands is a geographically diverse archipelago that's home to low-key luxury resorts and spectacular natural sights. Its more refined cousin, the Balearic Islands, is home to world-famous destinations like Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera, and, the bohemian party island of Ibiza. Keep an eye on Catalonia's Costa Brava, which is emerging as quite the trendy destination wedding location too.

Best time to travel to Spain: If you're planning to throw a wedding in a city, then couples will enjoy the year-round benefits of having lauded museums, hotels and restaurants at their fingertips. The best time, arguably, for a wedding in the Balearic Islands is the height of summer between the months of May through October. The water and weather is pleasant, though August may attract more crowds than usual. Finally, the Canary Islands are pleasant year-round but expect prices to skyrocket in the winter.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Spain is home to some of the top hotels in not only Europe but the rest of the world. These include the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona and the Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid for destination weddings and events. Expect the best service, gorgeous event spaces, and hip neighborhood spots for guests to savor. In the Balearic or Canary Islands, couples may want to consider a wedding at the top-rated Torralbenc in Menorca, 7Pines Resort in Ibiza, or the Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque Resort in Tenerife and Secrets Bahia Real and Spa in Fuerteventura.

Tuscany, Italy

Europe wedding destination: Tuscany, Italy

Set along central Italy's west coast, Tuscany's green valleys, rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and 15th-century art and architecture are what wedding dreams are made of. For a rustic, romantic affair, the wine estates and castles of central Tuscany can't be beaten. And a laid-back vibe will help your guests feel right at ease—this part of Italy is all about il dolce far niente, or "the sweet art of idleness." Indulge your guests with amazing cuisine and wines—you'll find some of Europe's best here. So incorporate these local specialties into your menu: olive oil, mushrooms (such as porcini and truffles), roasted meats and salami, sheep's milk cheeses (such as pecorino and ricotta), and out-of-this-world wines.

Best time to travel to Tuscany: May, September and October are the best times weather-wise. July and August are the hottest and most humid times of year, but tourism swells from May through September, so pick your battles.

Scenic US Wedding Destinations

The US is home to numerous jaw-dropping destinations. Nature lovers flock to the arid conditions and terrain of the West Coast, while mountains, streams and breathtaking landscapes dot the Rockies. There's beauty all across the country and these destinations are particularly conducive to dreamy weddings.


cathedral rock sedona arizona destination wedding
Robert Loe / Getty Images

Retreat to Arizona's arid climate, saguaro cacti, canyons and rocky terrain, and dazzling sunsets. The southern region of Arizona between Phoenix and the Mexican border offers a natural and rugged rendition of the Southwest landscape for a unique setting for your "I dos." The lowkey luxury of Scottsdale is another option for couples who want their guests to feel as if they're on another planet. On the weekend lineup for your friends and family: catching a glimpse of a roadrunner while hiking through canyons, learning about the wonderful culture, and reveling in all that this awe-inspiring destination wedding location has to offer. It's heaven for active couples and guests who love dramatic landscapes.

Best time to travel to Arizona: Arizona's weather is generally warm year-round, and most days are bright and sunny. Temperatures regularly climb into the 90s (and above) in the summer, with June and July accounting for the largest number of very hot days.

The Colorado Rockies, Colorado

the little nell destination wedding locations
Photographer: James x Schulze,Venue: The Little Nell

This Rocky Mountain town possesses the perfect mix of natural beauty, local charm and posh amenities. In addition to luxe mountain lodges, you'll find elegant ballrooms and trendy restaurant spaces to host your wedding events. (Numerous East Coast chefs and mixologists do residencies during ski season.) Between Aspen, Vail and Crested Butte, Colorado's gorgeous mountains and valleys will thrill any outdoors enthusiast, while its ample selection of high-end shops and swanky establishments can keep indoorsy types more than entertained.

Best time to travel to Colorado: While many couples choose to get married between late November and early March to create a winter-wonderland wedding, keep in mind that summer and fall are also gorgeous (and less crowded) times of year here.

Central Coast, California

big sur destination wedding photo of sea and mountains and pacific coast highway on a pretty day

A scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway will solidify Central Coast California as an earthy and natural destination wedding option. From Pebble Beach to Jurassic Big Sur, the rugged, lush coastline of the region is arguably among the most beautiful places on the planet. Mornings consist of a fairytale-like fog that settles from the hulking Coastal Redwoods set against the roaring Pacific. The lack of WiFi simply adds a divine element to any nature lover's wedding.

Best time to travel to California: Like most of California, early fall and late spring are the ideal seasons to marry across the region. Availability will be tight during certain months, so consult with your venue of choice on optimal conditions to marry. California is, after all, incredibly geographically diverse between inland and coastal regions.

The Grand Circle, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah

antelope canyon arizona grand circle
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The spirit of the desert awaits against pristine night skies and breathtaking rock formations in the Grand Circle. Named for its concentration of 10 National Parks, the Grand Circle spans the states of Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Characteristically, a destination wedding in this region is for nature lovers. For couples who want to wow-worthy outdoor wedding photos, the buzzed-about Amangiri awaits with pristine stone-and-concrete structure against welcoming fireplaces and open terraces.

Best time to travel to the Grand Circle: The sun beats down in summers, so the best time to wed in the region falls in the spring and fall seasons. Your guests will enjoy the beauty of the region without worrying about stifling conditions.

Hudson Valley and the Catskills, New York

US wedding destination Lake Placid, New York

In the heart of upstate New York exist alpine villages with loads of activities and attractions—and snowcapped settings backed with mountain vistas. Leave the glitz at home and choose a venue from among the cozy rustic-chic resorts, chic boutique hotels (on Main Streets in Hudson or New Paltz) and luxe lakeside lodges. Guests will appreciate an outdoor fall ceremony surrounded by some of the country's most stunning foliage—and couples can get an even better view of the changing leaves by saying "I do" in a hot-air balloon. Imagine those wedding photos. During the summer months, the Catskills up to Ithaca boast thousands of lakes (popular choices are Saranac Lake, Mirror Lake and, of course, Lake Placid), plus mountain streams and waterfalls that come to life in the spring.

Best time to travel to the Hudson Valley: Naturally, a winter resort area will be busy during the winter months, but if you want a "white" wedding, try March to April when it's less crowded but there's still lingering snow. In the fall, the changing foliage usually peaks in early October, so book your wedding date near then. Spring is beautiful, but have a backup plan for rain. Summer is idyllic as you can host outdoor events and pool parties for a robust destination wedding weekend.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

US wedding destination Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The majestic Tetons offer a breathtaking background for your nuptials (and the sunsets here simply can't be beaten for romantic wedding pics and ceremonies), but you'll also find rustic ranches and a Wild West vibe in Jackson Hole if a Western theme (think: cowboy boots and hay-bale benches) is more your style. Your guests can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, fly-fishing, and checking out the local shops, museums and bars in town. This is one of the best destination weddings for couples who love the outdoors and want to keep costs reasonable.

Best time to travel to Jackson Hole: The summer and early fall are beautiful in Jackson Hole, but late spring and fall can be unpredictable. Winter weddings are gorgeous here, but keep in mind: A big storm could make it difficult, or even impossible, for your guests to get there.

Kauai, Hawaii

US wedding destination Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai is known as the "Garden Isle" for its incredibly lush tropical landscape and is perfect for those looking for a more secluded spot to tie the knot. It remains the least developed of the four main islands, and life here tends to move at a slower pace. Although Kauai's Mount Waialeale is considered the wettest spot on earth (it receives an average of more than 400 inches of rainfall per year), the island's southern coast is perpetually sunny, making it ideal for weddings. Guests can surf, hike or take a helicopter tour.

Best time to travel to Kauai: Anytime—temperatures year-round are in the 70s and 80s during the day. The dry season runs from May through October, but even in winter, rain showers are short and mild. If you're looking to save a little cash, avoid winter and early spring when tourists flock to Kauai and its neighboring islands.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

US wedding destination Mackinac Island, Michigan

This quaint, car-free island (that's right, no cars!), set between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas near where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet, is full of charm, starting with the fact that you'll need to rent a bike or hire a horse and buggy to get around (both great ways to transport you and your guests). Mackinac Island, which itself is a National Historic Landmark, is known for its frozen-in-time Victorian vibe, but the architectural style of its buildings (like the Grand Hotel) actually spans three centuries. Couples have their pick of venue, from a turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival-style waterfront hotel to historic forts and Victorian-era mansions, cottages and churches. In the fall, the changing leaves make an incredible backdrop for an outdoor ceremony (think: a gazebo set in a clearing surrounded by maple, birch and elm trees).

Best time to travel to Mackinac Island: Mackinac Island is packed with families during the summer, and snowy, icy roads and closed hotels complicate the winter low season. May and October are the best bets for deals, so it depends on whether you want your nuptials backed by spring's blooming lilacs or the amazing fall foliage.


US Wedding destination Bar Harbor, Maine

Surrounded by rugged coasts, dark-blue waters and golden-sand beaches (aka the perfect romantic backdrop), Maine's breathtaking waterfront might easily be mistaken for the Mediterranean, were it not for its iconic lighthouses (and more convenient locale). You'll get all the sophistication and style, though. Like Europe's southern coast, the town of Bar Harbor is the epitome of seaside chic, only with a distinctly American flair to incorporate into your day (think: fresh lobster, clambakes and blueberry pie). Your guests will have fun checking out Acadia National Park, which surrounds Bar Harbor on the east side of Mount Desert Island, in addition to bike riding, whale watching, kayaking, and taking a dip in the ocean.

Best time to travel to Maine: Summer is when Maine attracts the most visitors, especially in July and August, when the weather is warmest. To avoid peak prices and crowds, consider a September wedding when the crisp fall weather begins to light up the foliage.

Oahu, Hawaii

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The liveliest of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu is more densely populated than the others, and it's the one tourists often visit. Honolulu, the island's most famous city, is located here, as is Waikiki, home of the main entertainment district and a hopping nightlife scene. But Oahu is still packed with lots of natural beauty and native culture. It's also the most convenient island for a destination wedding because it has the biggest airport and the most frequent direct flights from the mainland.

Best time to travel to Oahu: Anytime—year-round, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s during the day. Dry season runs May through October, but even in winter, rain showers are short and mild. If you're looking to catch whale season, book a wedding from mid-December through mid-May.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

US wedding destination Outer Banks, North Carolina

With 130 miles of open, unspoiled beach, the Outer Banks region, a string of barrier islands covering nearly half the North Carolina coast, will make you feel as if you're in your own private retreat for your wedding. (Case in point: It's one of the few places in the US where you can still view wild horses.) Say your vows on the beaches of historic Nags Head, Kitty Hawk or Hatteras Island; in a beautiful garden on picturesque Roanoke Island; or on the grounds of a large oceanfront beach home or a stunning Art Nouveau mansion in Corolla. For a truly iconic setting, opt for a statuesque lighthouse or rustic ocean pier setting.

Best time to travel to the Outer Banks: The weather is best in summer, June especially, but traffic is crazy (there are only two bridges leading onto the islands) and prices are high. In spring, temperatures are unpredictable, but the beach is still pristine. Fall is hurricane season but offers incredible orange-and-red sunsets, and winter, while the most affordable time, takes additional planning because many businesses close for the season.

Park City, Utah

US wedding destination Park City, Utah
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Park City offers the European sophistication and majestic peaks that the Alps are known for—without the passport requirements. Thanks to a new crop of ritzy resorts, the former mining town has turned into a top destination for nuptials. But Park City has something going for it that other mountain destinations don't: It's located just 40 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport, making it a great option for winter weddings. Plus, it's home to three world-class ski resorts, all with dedicated teams to help put together your dream wedding.

Best time to travel to Park City: Ski season starts in early December and lasts into mid-April, but the summer and fall are gems and provide plenty for guests to do, including hiking, fly-fishing and mountain biking. May can be dreary and rainy as the snow starts to melt, while the weather in late October and November can be dicey—it could be 80 degrees one day and snowing the next.

San Francisco, California

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If you're looking for an urban setting that offers more in terms of scenery than just a concrete jungle, head to northern California's big city where you'll discover one of the best places for a destination wedding. The city is urban without being overwhelming, combining big-time sophistication with the laid-back, dressed-down attitude of the rest of the West Coast, making it one of the top US cities to tie the knot in. San Francisco wins the hearts of brides- and grooms-to-be for many reasons: Hills rise and drop everywhere you look; huge parks share space with skyscrapers and ornate, bay-windowed Victorian homes; cable cars rattle over the streets; and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge are everywhere from within the city as well as the water, which surrounds San Francisco on three sides. Plus, foodies will love the assortment of fresh, local ingredients and world-class fare that make designing a memorable menu for your reception a breeze.

Best time to travel to San Francisco: San Francisco averages about 65 degrees year-round, meaning anytime is the right time, though expect the city's famous fog in the summer. Whenever you go, make sure to tell guests to dress in layers—when the sun sets, they'll need that pashmina or cardigan.

Southern California

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Malibu, Los Angeles and San Diego are all considered part of Southern California, and this heavenly strip along the coastline of the state offers a vast wealth of wedding resources (and coveted natural lighting). Home to arguably several of the most iconic properties in the US (and celebrity homes), Southern California events are coveted for many reasons, making it one of the top destination wedding locations in the US.

Best time to travel to Southern California: Sunny Southern California is home to the finest year-round weather in the country. Couples will want to be aware of particularly inclement climate conditions during the summers. Winters are accompanied by dips in temperature in the evenings too. Fall is often the best time of year to marry in the state due to stabilized and moderate weather.

Sea Island, Georgia

US Wedding destination Sea Island, Georgia

With its turquoise waters and pristine beaches, Sea Island feels like the Caribbean, only without all the tourists cramping your wedding style—the island's only visitors are guests of its two resorts. And the oceanfront setting on five miles of private beach couldn't be a more beautiful spot to exchange vows. In addition to world-class fare and amenities, this tiny Georgian retreat has plenty of activities for your guests to enjoy, including golf, tennis, horseback riding, boating, fishing, spa-going and more.

Best time to travel to Sea Island: The best times to go are in the late spring and summer, and in early fall. June, on the other hand, marks the start of the hurricane season.

Washington, D.C., and Wine Country, Virginia

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Nestled along the Potomac River, the country's capital is home to dozens of hotels and luxury properties, including massive ballrooms known for hosting foreign dignitaries and charitable events. Just a 2-hour drive from Capitol Hill, however, is Virginia Wine Country, where couples can host pretty vineyard weddings and sweeping outdoor receptions (with plenty of vino, at that).

Best time to travel to Washington, D.C.: Fall is perhaps the most predictable time to exchange vows in this region for good weather and sun. Spring is arguably the prettiest due to DC's condensed cluster of cherry blossoms. Summers are typically hot and humid while winters are chilly and snow is expected. Depending on your vision, a D.C. or NoVA region destination wedding can take place in any season.

Luxury and Celebrity Wedding Destinations

french riviera wedding destination location best
Graphic: Natalie Romine

There's a reason why so many celebs choose to marry at these destinations. Ultra luxurious and oftentimes private, these destination wedding locations provide a full-service experience with views to match. Most venues and properties will offer five-star service against immaculate backdrops, along with vendors who orchestrate swoon-worthy weddings.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Europe wedding destination: Amalfi Coast, Italy

When the backdrop for your wedding is a citrus grove that overlooks Italy's jaw-dropping Amalfi Coast, great wedding pictures take care of themselves. The Amalfi Drive is one of the most scenic stretches of the Italian coastline, consisting of a winding cliff-top road offering dramatic views of the sea. Your guests will certainly enjoy the food and surroundings, so there's no need to stress over the menu or decor. They'll also rave about the itinerary. Filled with one-of-a-kind experiences, like a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, a boat trip through the Blue Grotto off Capri, or a walk through the ancient, narrow streets of Naples's Old Spacca Quarter, a destination getaway to the Amalfi Coast will make for an unforgettable wedding weekend.

Best time to travel to the Amalfi Coast: April through June, and September and October are the best times to explore Italy, with mild temperatures and smaller crowds. August can get hot, and it's the month when most Italians go on vacation, so many shops, hotels and restaurants may be closed. Winters stay on the warmer side, with temps averaging around 50 degrees.

French Riviera, France

french riviera wedding destination location best
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Also known as the Côte d'Azur, the French Riviera is home to some of the world's most glamorous summer destinations, including Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Saint-Tropez. Not to mention, the region is easily accessible from Paris, Marseilles, Nice, or Monaco. A pleasant road trip for guests once they land (and yes, a car is recommended as part of the Provincial experience), they can enjoy everything from trendy beach clubs to historic wineries. It's a dream destination for honeymooners and destination wedding guests, alike.

Best time to travel to the French Riviera: Arguably, the summer months are peak season in the South of France and most of the Mediterranean. But don't sleep on the spring or fall months as they are considered shoulder seasons and considerably quieter.

Destination wedding venue ideas: The French Riviera is also home to famed wedding venues and dreamy château estates (think: Château Forge du Roy, Airelles Bastide de Gordes, Hotel du-Cap Eden Roc and the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat). A oui and a win.


Calilo Resorts chapel wedding love
Calilo Resorts

The location scouts behind rom-coms like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia! certainly knew what they were doing: a wedding in Greece is a destination affair for all attendees. The beauty of the Greek islands (the Cyclades, Dodecanese, the Argo-Saronic and the North Aegean) create a pretty foundation for your nuptials. The local hospitality, food and history offer an unparalleled experience for guests.

Best time to travel to Greece: The Greek islands are arguably at their finest from June through September, when the Aegean warms up and seaside villages spring to life. While the most popular islands (Santorini, Mykonos and family-friendly Naxos) will likely be crowded and at peak prices, couples should consider throwing a wedding on nearby destinations as ferries make inter-island travel easily accessible.

Destination wedding venue ideas: A hotel that actually has messages of love throughout its grounds, Calilo (which stands for "Create the Life You Love") is just the place for couples who want to give their guests a true peek into the charm and authentic flavors of Ios. The property's owners also run multiple venues with inspiring views and artwork, like Pathos Club & Restaurant and a refurbished Greek church.

Los Cabos, Mexico

Mexico wedding destination: Los Cabos

Fun in the surf and sun is what Los Cabos—which stretches from the town of Cabo San Lucas to the west over to San Jose del Cabo to the east, along the southernmost coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula—is all about. In between the two is the Corridor, a 20-mile string of cozy hotels, championship golf courses, winding horse trails and white-sand beaches. Lively Cabo San Lucas draws plenty of celebrities, meaning there's no shortage of uber-exclusive beach clubs and villas, plus plenty of fuss-free all-inclusive options. Finding a venue and accommodations for your guests will be a breeze. You can also take a boat ride to a private beach or cove to say your vows. If you're looking for something a little different, enter your beach ceremony by horse or make the release of baby sea turtles part of your wedding program. Cabo San Lucas is also home to the region's iconic giant rock arch at Land's End, where the deep-blue waters of the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez meet for some spectacular waves.

Best time to travel to Cabo: Winter months have the best weather, but are crowded, with sunny, 70-degree days from mid-December through Easter. Try April and May, traditionally slower months when the weather's still good. Avoid spring-break season, which runs from late February through March. Though summer offers the best prices, humidity is uncomfortably high then. Rain is heaviest in June and October, with hurricanes possible through November.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Cabo is one of the most popular destinations for US travelers. The entire region is home to massive developments of luxury property (just one binge of Season 7 of Selling Sunset will explain why). Some standout, celebrity-frequented hotels include One&Only Palmilla, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, and The Cape, A Thompson Hotel.

Maui, Hawaii

kapalua maui coastline the ritz carlton maui hawaii

Many visitors think of Maui as the most romantic Hawaiian island, perhaps because it's brimming with waterfalls and the guaranteed rainbow sighting (or several). Guests will enjoy hitting the links along the "Golf Coast," and surfers (or aspiring ones) will find some of the world's most famous waves in the region. Of course, snorkeling, kayaking, and indulging in all the activities you'd expect from a tropical paradise, are here as well. Maui's beaches are considered to be among the best anywhere, so it's home to top resorts and properties. The luxurious rugged coastline of Kapalua and the calm waters of Wailea Beach offer exclusive experiences per venue and property. Resorts along Kaanapali Beach offer full-service packages too, with some of the best whale and turtle watching in all of Maui. (Editor's note: At the time of writing, Maui is still recovering from a devastating wildfire that ravaged West Maui in August 2023. Please consult with your venue and event staff to coordinate timing for your visits and wedding dates.)

Best time to travel to Maui: Anytime—year-round, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s during the day. The dry season runs from May through October, but even in winter, rain showers are short and mild. If you're looking to save a little cash, avoid winter and early spring.

Destination wedding venue ideas: The future looks bright for 2024 couples who want to exchange vows in Wailea, Kapalua and Ka'anapali. The best resorts for a destination wedding in Maui include The Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Ka'anapali, as well as its northern neighbor, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. Couples shouldn't sleep on local restaurants and establishments too for all their pre-wedding events. Show your guests why Maui is one of the most stunning places for romance in the world.

Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, California

US wedding destination Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, California

Wine Country USA is filled with stunning landscapes—rolling hills, lush valleys and impeccable vineyards (aka the perfect romantic backdrop for your nuptials). Of course, the abundance of amazing wines produced here, and the world-class restaurants with dishes worthy of accompanying them, will certainly make treating your guests a breeze. And given the sheer number of vineyards and charming inns, resorts and spas surrounding them, you'll also have plenty of options for venues and accommodations.

Best time to travel to Napa and Sonoma: Summer and October are the best times to visit the region. September can be beautiful, but you may have problems with availability, and rates will be at their peak because it's harvest season. Even though you're in California, temperatures can drop at night (think: mid-50s in the summer), so be sure your guests know to bring sweaters and wraps for the evenings.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

US wedding destination Nantucket, Massachusetts

Dubbed the "Gray Lady" because it's often covered in a blanket of fog, Nantucket and its windswept moors, rugged beaches and rose-covered trellises are quintessential New England. You can feel Nantucket's nautical history with every step you take along its cobblestoned streets, and strict building codes keep all houses draped in weathered shingles, so you'll get an authentic feel. It's a destination wedding idea worth considering for couples who want a romantic, low-key wedding full of New England charm. You'll find plenty of inspiration, from the ocean and beaches to the lobsters and clambakes.

Best time to travel to Nantucket: Summer is the warmest and busiest—and most popular—time. To avoid crowds, consider the shoulder months (May and September), when temps are still comfortable, the scenery is gorgeous and rates are slightly cheaper. New England winters are notoriously freezing, and storms come quickly, which could cause major transportation problems; plus, much of the island shuts down for the winter months.

Newport, Rhode Island

rhode island newport
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Newport offers the perfect mix of New England charm and old-fashioned glamour. This seaside community was the playground of the fabulously wealthy at the turn of the last century when captains of industry from Boston and New York built huge mansions on Newport's cliffs (that now make gorgeous venues) meant to rival the castles of Europe. Today, Newport is still a favorite summer destination of the well-heeled, and it offers a plethora of activities—from sailing to high-end shopping—for wedding guests young and old.

Best time to travel to Newport: Like most of the Atlantic coast, Newport is warmest (and busiest) during the summer months, when the highs average near 80 degrees. But the shoulder seasons (May and September) are beautiful times to visit as well, with temps still in the 60s and 70s. For a few days each August, the Newport Jazz Festival fills the town with musicians and music lovers, which means you and your guests will have lots of great music to listen to, but the town will be more crowded than usual.

Palm Beach, Florida

palm beach sunset photo destination wedding
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Palm Beach is a destination wedding spot for couples who want a timeless, near-vintage, oceanfront aesthetic, harkening back to the days of socialites sunbathing at Villa Artemis. Renowned for iconic venues like The Breakers and The Colony, Palm Beach has hosted numerous celeb weddings, including Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello's 2015 nuptials, as well as Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn Beckham's 2022 wedding. Many to-be-weds have naturally turned to sunny Palm Beach to host their nuptials for the simple sunshine and leisurely culture that permeates the region.

Best time to travel to Palm Beach: It's no wonder northern dwellers flock down to this South Florida town when the weather becomes unbearably cold. Palm Beach is pleasant year-round, but the best time of year to host a wedding is during the spring and fall.

Punta Mita, Mexico

punta mita wedding
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The destination of Punta Mita in Nayarit, located along Mexico's Central Pacific Coast, has become somewhat of a buzzword among the luxury-inclined set of travelers from the US and around the world. An easy flight into Puerto Vallarta and a scenic drive along the Banderas Bay leads to the sublime peninsula of Punta de Mita. Punta Mita is an even more exclusive, private community within the destination. With 1,500 acres of options in the area, couples and guests will have much to explore.

Best time to travel to Punta Mita: The ideal time to visit is during the winter months from December through May when chances of rainfall are slim. Shoulder season is also growing in popularity.

Destination wedding venue ideas: The luxury enclave is home to five-star resorts like The Conrad Punta de Mita, Four Seasons Punta Mita, and many more options.

Tropical and Beach Wedding Destinations


Caribbean wedding destination: Anguilla

Tiny Anguilla, just 16 miles long and three miles wide, is one of the most exclusive spots in the Caribbean, and it's peppered with upscale resorts, four-star restaurants, unspoiled scenery and pristine white beaches (no cruise ships, high-rises or casinos allowed). You won't get a direct flight from the States (you'll have to take a boat from St. Martin), but we promise you and your guests will consider the destination well worth the extra travel time. As a bonus, native Anguillans are known for their hospitality, and the island is one of the region's safest. It's also known for its delicious food (some of the best in the Caribbean), so you can rest assured your guests will be well fed. Any Anguillan agenda should include swimming, snorkeling and savoring the chance to wear shoes as infrequently as possible (barefoot ceremony, much?), but guests who are less beach-focused will enjoy exploring the island's archaeological and cultural sites.

Best time to travel to Anguilla: While you should take note of hurricane season, which runs from June through November, temperatures are perfectly pleasant (highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 70s) year-round.


Caribbean wedding destination: Antigua

Take your pick from over 300 super-fine sandy beaches for your nuptials. Antigua's most popular beach, Half Moon Bay, was voted one of the world's ultimate beaches and is now a national park. However, Dickenson Bay (a beach on the northwest coast) is also home to hotels, restaurants and water sports facilities. In addition to its long list of all-inclusive resorts offering wedding packages and planners, Antigua's coast is lined with coconut palms and bordered by warm cerulean waters (aka an idyllic ceremony backdrop). For something a little less developed, check out the beaches of the south and southwest coasts. Antigua is also known for its seafood, so you and your guests can enjoy a delicious postwedding dinner.

Best time to travel to Antigua: If you're looking to save some cash, it's best to travel to Antigua during the off-season, which is May to November. The rates are lower, and the weather hovers around 80 degrees (though there is a slight hurricane threat). Looking to avoid rain entirely? Aim for a date between December and April—but prepare for higher costs and more crowds.


aruba renaissance island flamingos world famous

The island of Aruba has earned its stellar reputation as the best weather destination across the Caribbean, thereby making it the safest option for couples who want a destination wedding, year-round. Since the island is located outside of the hurricane belt, to-be-weds and guests won't need to worry about pivoting their plans in the event of an unexpected weather-related disruption. The diverse island is also convenient to US residents as direct flights are available nationwide, US dollars are accepted widely, and English and Dutch are primary languages. Aruba is also home to a Ritz-Carlton, as well as multiple Marriott properties, with each venue boasting its own vendor team and possible upgrades, making planning exceptionally seamless for those prepping from a distance. The restaurant options are fun and unique too–perfect for rehearsal dinners and farewell brunches (or sails for those who want to board luxury boats for day trips on the high seas).

Best time to travel to Aruba: One of the only wedding destinations to boast year-round idyllic weather conditions, Aruba offers year-round dates to couples so there's technically no bad time to marry on the island.

The Bahamas

atlantis paradise island bahamas destination wedding
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This collection of 700 islands has something for every taste. Most guests will fly into Nassau and stay on Paradise Island, two of the most visited and activity-packed destinations. The Bahamas, though, is home to more remote areas; Harbor Island and the Exumas tend to feel more laid-back. And since the Bahamas is just a 35-minute plane trip from Florida, it's an easy journey for guests and makes for a great excuse to spend a few extra days vacationing, scuba diving around Andros Island (the third-largest barrier reef in the world), strolling the white-sand beaches, touring the historic homes of Nassau, and sipping Goombay Smashes (hint: a great signature cocktail).

Best time to travel to The Bahamas: The high season lasts from mid-December to mid-April, while summers are sleepier. Shoulder seasons have increasingly grown in popularity. Although hurricanes are infrequent, they can occur, so it's best to avoid the area from June through October.

Destination wedding venue ideas: Enjoy complete privacy by renting your own island for a ceremony, or host hundreds of your favorite people at a mega-resort like the acclaimed Atlantis Paradise Island. The latter really feels as though you've landed in an underwater kingdom depending on where you're located in The Royal, which recently marked its 25th anniversary. Couples and guests will have zero reason to leave: the resort is home to multiple acclaimed restaurants, including the Caribbean's first-ever Shake Shack, celeb-beloved Nobu Bahamas and foodie heaven Paranza, the property's newest addition by top chef Michael White.


Caribbean wedding destination: Bermuda

Though geographically removed from the Caribbean, Bermuda shares many of the same traits as those beachy, beautiful islands. So if you love the idea of a Caribbean destination wedding but also want something formal and elegant, consider Bermuda. It's famous for tranquil pink-sand beaches, iconic pastel-hued houses and proper British history. (PS: The island has no standalone casinos and few fast-food restaurants.) But perhaps its biggest selling point is that it takes just a couple of hours to fly there from the East Coast, and flights are often cheaper than those to Caribbean destinations. Guests can spend days teeing off on one of the country's eight golf courses, visiting the botanical garden or scuba diving among reefs and shipwrecks.

Best time to travel to Bermuda: Only 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda's weather resembles that of the coastal US more than it does that of the Caribbean islands to the south. May through early September brings ideal weather, but summer temps typically hover around 85 degrees and stay around 70 in the winter. Although hurricanes are infrequent, they can occur, so be aware of any warnings from June through November.

Cayman Islands

Caribbean wedding destination: Cayman Islands

Discerning couples who want more than a destination-wedding-in-a-box head to the Cayman Islands for the ultimate in hospitality and tropical romance. Whether you choose to marry at a smaller resort or a five-star hotel, this destination has the resources to cater to every couple's personal style and guest list size. Not to mention the backdrop is absolutely gorgeous (think: tranquil turquoise waters and sugary white-sand beaches dotted with palm and pine trees). All three islands are home to a wealth of wedding venues and pros, so there's little need to bring your own pros. Your guests will have plenty of options for how to spend their downtime, including swimming, snorkeling and visiting historic George Town, where sparkling jewelry retailers abound. Keep in mind: There's no live/outdoor music allowed on the island on Sundays, which means if you're saying "I do" beneath a tent on the beach or poolside on a Saturday, your band or DJ must wrap it up by midnight.

Best time to travel to the Cayman Islands: The high season begins the week before Christmas and goes through April, so you'll deal with crowds then. Avoid hurricane season, which is May to November.

Costa Rica

Far-Flung wedding destination: Costa Rica

With two breathtaking coasts only a short plane ride away from each other—one on the Pacific, the other on the Caribbean—Costa Rica is the perfect destination for couples who are looking for an unspoiled tropical background for their nuptials but don't want to sacrifice their modern urban tastes. In fact, this small country truly has something for every couple, which is why it makes our list of best places for a destination wedding. Treat your guests to amazing mountaintop views during an outdoor ceremony or reception, or for a truly standout affair, you can even get married on the edge of a volcano! If you're dreaming of a beach bash, how do sun-baked stretches of white sand sound? Though deforestation once threatened the country's dense rain forests, several nature preserves, biological reserves and national parks have been established to protect the landscape, and they're now some of the most naturally stunning places to say "I do" (think: waterfall wedding). Ecotourism is very popular here, making less traditional but equally luxurious eco-lodges and rainforest bungalows another desirable (and romantic) option for couples who want to throw a green wedding.

Best time to travel to Costa Rica: You'll want to schedule your wedding during the dry season, from late December through April, except on the Caribbean coast, where it rains throughout the year (the Pacific coast is drier). The temperature and humidity vary with altitude but are much higher along the coasts.

The Island of Hawaiʻi, Hawaii

US wedding destination: The Big Island, Hawaii

The Island of Hawaiʻi is the largest island in the chain and offers incredibly diverse topography. In fact, 11 of the world's 13 climatic zones can be found on the island (there's even snow on top of the highest mountains!). The landscape varies dramatically as you travel around the perimeter, so you'll have your choice of backdrops: The Kona coast to the west has a lunar-like landscape, while the north and east coasts are wet and super-lush. There's plenty for guests to do too, from exploring the rainforest region to going horseback riding, snorkeling or just lazing on the beach. You won't have to go anywhere for a dream honeymoon. These are just some of the reasons we consider this spot on our list of best destination wedding locations.

Best time to travel to Hawai'i: Anytime—year-round, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s during the day. Dry season runs May through October, but even in winter, rain showers are short and mild. If you're looking to save a little cash, avoid winter through early spring, when tourist season is in full swing.

The Florida Keys

US wedding destination Florida Keys

This 110-mile chain of islands offers a laid-back tropical island setting with all the allure of the Caribbean at a domestic price -- and a more convenient location for guests. The Keys have a distinct old-Florida vibe, meaning wildlife and nature abound (you may even spot an indigenous deer swimming from key to key as you exchange vows), and since the islands are surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, there's no shortage of white-sand beaches. Try Key Largo for an underwater ceremony, a low-key beach bungalow or dolphin-assisted "I dos" on Islamorada, or one of the historic homes and gardens on Key West, one of the southernmost points in the US. Or go for a luxe offshore private island resort accessible only by boat; you can also just get married on the vessel (choose from sailboats, tall ships, glass-bottom boats and yachts).

Best time to travel to the Florida Keys: High season is December to April, so you may want to try summer when things are more affordable (and less crowded)—but it will be hot. Though hurricane season runs from June to November, you should be okay if you avoid the more risky fall months.


Caribbean wedding destination: Nevis

Nature lovers, this is your island. Known as the "Queen of the Caribbees," Nevis has a high-end, posh pedigree and is home to some of the Caribbean's best-preserved beaches, rain forests and reefs. You'll also find world-class resorts and a more private atmosphere for your wedding. And you won't have to worry about your guests having fun—from exploring the rain forest and climbing to the top of Nevis Peak (3,232 feet tall) to horseback riding and chilling on the pristine sand, they'll have plenty of activities to choose from.

Best time to travel to Nevis: Nevis maintains temperatures averaging between 72 and 87 degrees year-round. Be aware of hurricane season, though, which lasts from June through November.

Turks and Caicos

Caribbean wedding destination: Turks and Caicos

Less developed and more upscale than much of the Caribbean, this collection of 40 islands, eight of which are inhabited, has an intimate feel. Many of the islands are surrounded by a natural reef, making the turquoise waters just offshore clean, calm and full of sea life, and the perfect backdrop for a beach ceremony. And sunsets over Grace Bay are unforgettable (sunset ceremony, hint, hint). The islands are also relatively easy to reach, since you can fly direct from a number of US cities to Providenciales, the main island—a plus for guests. Snorkeling and scuba diving are great options to suggest, since Turks and Caicos has some of the best underwater sightseeing around. Historic Cockburn Town on Grand Turk is also worth a visit for history buffs, and whale and bird watching are two other popular activities.

Best time to travel to Turks & Caicos: The climate is sunny and dry, with highs between 80 and 84 degrees from November to May. But during the summer and early fall, daytime highs range from 85 to 90 degrees, sometimes reaching the mid-90s in late summer, and hurricane season also runs from June through November, so that's not prime wedding time.

Unique Wedding Destinations

Though common wedding destinations for the international population, the locales listed below are unique choices for US-based couples. Most luxury wedding vendors are familiar with these spots, however, and prepared to welcome the services of well-traveled to-be-weds, who feel called to venture to such parts of the world. "The surprising newcomers for international wedding destinations are Marrakesh and Africa," says Gregoli. "They're now being requested at a rapid pace. People want something more exotic and memorable so they are thinking outside the box."


Far-Flung wedding destination: Australia

Besides it being full of unbelievably friendly (and active) folks, there are a host of reasons to consider staging your nuptials in Australia. The land down under features gorgeous landscapes, from urban cities to the rugged outback and the unforgettable Great Barrier Reef, as well as upscale eateries influenced by Europe, Asia and homegrown spicing. And the local wines are world-class, so wow your guests by serving an Australian Shiraz or chardonnay (or both!). There's plenty for adventurous guests all over the continent, from scuba diving, snorkeling and white-water rafting to trekking through the outback and checking out the Great Barrier Reef. For guests who prefer their adventures a bit more contained (read: Grandma and your five-year-old niece), Australia boasts several amazing zoos, plus Kangaroo Island for wildlife viewing.

Best time to travel to Australia: The climate tends to be balmy and without extremes year-round, since most cities are on oceans, but during Australia's summer (December to March), some areas can be very hot. Be sure to remind guests to pack sunscreen, sunglasses and rain protection no matter when you plan to wed.

Dubai, UAE

dubai burj al arab beautiful persian gulf views
Dubai Tourism

A futuristic, luxury-centric city situated along the Persian Gulf, Dubai is one of seven kingdoms located in the United Arab Emirates, and arguably the most modern. Renowned for world-class shopping, bucket-list experiences and its breathtaking skyscrapers (with views to match), the "City of Gold" offers equally luxe events. Given the city and surrounding desert's geographical diversity, couples can take their pick from outdoor festivities in the desert under the Arabian sky to large-scale gatherings within the high-end resorts of Jumeirah Beach. For those who want to fully embrace the theme of the city, a wedding in the gilded ballroom of the iconic Burj-Al-Arab (coined one of the few seven-star properties in the world) is the perfect fit.

Best time to travel to Dubai: The months of September to April are ideal for a Dubai wedding since the weather isn't as extreme as experienced in the summer months. Keep in mind that May through August are peak heat seasons, but the cost of resorts will drop–as will the crowds.


Far-Flung wedding destination: Fiji

About 300 islands in the South Pacific make up this alluring tropical paradise. Known for its friendly people, lush foliage and rich sea life, Fiji is the ideal destination for couples seeking castaway tranquility, exotic culture and unspoiled beaches for their nuptials. Called the "Soft Coral Capital of the World" by Jean-Michel Cousteau, Fiji is the perfect spot for your nature-loving guests, who can feed sharks and explore sunken ships and a World War II aircraft. But there's also terrain to suit every adventurer: Guests can trek the Sigatoka sand dunes, scale the vertical face of Joske's Thumb, hike the Mount Korobaba Range, tee off on palm-studded golf courses by the sea or go white-water rafting down the Wainikoroiluva River.

Best time to travel to Fiji: The best weather is during Fiji's dry season (called "Fiji Winter"), from May to October. Yearly festivals (including the Hindu Holi, or Festival of Colors, in February/March and Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, in October/November) could mean exciting celebrations for your guests to experience...but also crowds of tourists to compete with.

Loire Valley, France

Europe wedding destination: Loire Valley, France

Just two hours outside the world's most romantic city (yep, we're talking about Paris) and its international airport (that would be Charles de Gaulle) is the chateau-rich and rolling Loire Valley, cherished for its castles, historic villages, charming people, wines and food. So basically, you've got everything you need for a dream destination wedding. You and your guests can also enjoy the country life: Go for a wine-tasting tour, pay a visit to the Chateau d'Ussé,—said to be the setting of the French fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty" in the village of Rigny-Ussé—or take a taste (or two) of the beloved tarte tatin (upside-down apple tart), which also makes a great dessert alternative.

Best time to travel to the Loire Valley: Your best bets are April through June, and September through early November. While the weather is mild year-round, the rainy season varies by region and runs from mid-November through February. Don't book your nuptials for July and August unless you want to deal with huge crowds.

Marrakesh, Morocco

marrakesh morocco wedding destination honeymoons travel beautiful courtyard with black and white tiles
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When considering far-flung wedding destinations, one of the top contenders is none other than the medieval and imperial City of Marrakesh. Even the most well-traveled of guests will be fascinated by the magic of Marrakesh, which is home to numerous luxury properties including an Aman resort and the illustrious five-star Royal Mansour. The architecture alone is an incredible storytelling opportunity for couples and wedding designers. Photographers will be pleased with the natural photography options, scouting everywhere from sun-soaked stone alcoves to beautiful deserts.

Best time to travel to Marrakesh: Summer in Marrakesh, much like Dubai, is unbearably and insufferably hot. To avoid having to be indoors at all times, couples should consider spring and fall weddings when the chances of rain are low and the weather is moderate to Western standards.

New Zealand

Far-Flung wedding destination: New Zealand

Leave behind bustling crowds that flock to closer beach destinations for the more remote landscapes of New Zealand. Water lovers will appreciate the miles of golden beaches, while landlubbers can admire the country's pristine forests—and both make for a memorable backdrop for your wedding. Our pick for special spots to get hitched: Great Barrier Island, with its more rugged landscape, frequent wildlife sightings and secluded hot springs; the snowcapped Southern Alps for stunning views, including waterside canyons; and one of the many offshore islands, such as Waiheke Island, known for their vineyards and olive groves.

Best time to travel to New Zealand: Most areas of the country have generally mild temperatures and many hours of sunshine, with daily average temps ranging from the low 50s to upper 60s. Like Australia, New Zealand's seasons are the opposite of those in the US, so the warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest are June, July and August.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

san miguel de allende mexico destination wedding skyline
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For old-world charm and romance (think: narrow cobblestone streets, red stucco walls and Spanish Colonial–style architecture) with a mountaintop backdrop and year-round sunny temps, you won't have to ask your guests to travel very far. Located outside Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende is Mexico's newest hot spot, but this historic town dating back to the 1500s, is far from new. In fact, you'll find more historic buildings and monuments than modern mega-resorts in this provincial town brimming with culture. With its gardens, centuries-old chapels and churches, and Spanish-style courtyards, plus an array of boutique hotels that define understated elegance, charming ceremony and reception spots abound in this nearly 500-year-old town. And you won't have to worry about entertaining your guests between events—the local galleries, restaurants, shopping, spas and numerous festivals that take place throughout the year will keep them plenty busy.

Best time to travel to San Miguel de Allende: The spring is one of the best times of year, because the temperatures are moderate, the flowers (azaleas and dogwood trees) are in full bloom, and the colors of the foliage make for a picture-perfect setting.

South Africa

Far-Flung wedding destination: South Africa

South Africa has been called "a world in one country," and it's easy to see why: Towering mountains rise over a vibrant and trendy Cape Town; ostrich-dotted grasslands stretch to connect quaint villages; monkey-filled forests line the deserted beaches of Natal; and the Stellenbosch wine route tucks vast vineyards into lush, fertile valleys. Then, of course, there are the lions (and giraffes and crocodiles...). South Africa's stunning landscapes, wildlife preserves and pristine beaches along the 2,174 miles of coast and rolling vineyards have made it an ideal vacation—and exotic destination wedding— spot. So it's the perfect locale for adventurous couples to throw a unique wedding for guests willing to make the trek.

Best time to travel to South Africa: Summer (December to February) is ideal for beach bashes, while winter (June to August) is best for game viewing if you want to give guests a wild treat. Average temperatures in Cape Town range from 64 degrees in winter to 80 in summer, so you're pretty safe year-round, but other regions can reach as high as 95 in the summer months.


Far-Flung wedding destination: Tahiti

There's a reason why French painter Paul Gauguin set his most famous works in Tahiti, the island is known worldwide for its picturesque landscape packed with palms, fragrant vanilla farms, vivid blooms and postcard-worthy rain forests. And there's an even better reason why it makes the far-flung list: It gets relatively few tourists (more people visit Hawaii in 10 days than visit Tahiti in a year!). So you and your guests will enjoy great service and crowd-free beaches. Guests should tour the capital city of Papeete and hit the Marche du Papeete (central market) for black pearls, carvings, shells, vanilla, coffee and perfumes, or make their way to popular spots like Papenoo, Punaauia and Paea for surfing. And for a fun welcome activity, treat guests to a Polynesian show with traditional music and twirling flaming torches.

Best time to travel to Tahiti: The dry season runs from May to October, but evenings can be cool, so remind your guests to pack wraps and sweaters for the evening.


thailand destination wedding location
Ratnakorn Piyasirisorostj / Getty Images

There's a reason why locals commonly describe this Southeast Asian kingdom as sanuk, or "fun." From the ornate palaces to the rich coral reefs and other wildlife—not to mention the tasty cuisine—guests will be thrilled to have an excuse to visit this exotic gem. For an exciting urban experience rivaling the pace of New York City, suggest that guests stop in Bangkok en route to your chosen wedding locale. The huge metropolis consists of kitschy souvenir shops, dance clubs, the must-see Grand Palace and the notorious red-light district. For nature lovers, northwestern Thailand is where it's at, but the beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters and luxe resorts of destinations like Phuket (the largest and poshest island) and Koh Samui are why couples make the long trek to Thailand to get hitched.

Best time to travel to Thailand: November to January is the official "dry and cool" season, but heat and humidity are always present. Summer (from February to May) is the warmest, while the rainy season lasts from June to September, and you'll get cooler temps from November to February.

Udaipur, India

udaipur india wedding destination at dusk so beautiful with the lake
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The romantic "City of Lakes" doubles as one of the most coveted wedding destinations in Rajasthan. In fact, the city's colorful architecture, vibrant culture and wellness-oriented atmosphere are ideal for couples who want a unique wedding experience.

Best time to travel to Udaipur: Some will argue the best months to host a destination wedding in Udaipur fall between September to March, but to be extra mindful about conditions, couples will want to book between November to February. How's that for proposal season?

Destination wedding venue ideas: With its palaces, five-star hotels (including the Taj Lake Palace) and the purple hills of the Aravalli Range, Udaipur makes for incredibly romantic experiences for couples.

Commonly Asked Questions When Deciding On the Best Wedding Destination

Now that we've given you our best destination wedding ideas, it's time to start planning your destination wedding. That begins with sitting down with your partner and determining your wedding budget. Those numbers will help you decide which of our best destination wedding locations are affordable. Next, create your guest list. Traveling to a destination wedding is a big ask, so consider carefully who will make the cut. Also, the size of your guest list will affect the costs of your wedding. Keeping it just friends and family is a good way to save.

Finally, begin searching for vendors at your wedding location, starting with a wedding planner. Since you don't live near the location, your wedding planner is going to be a crucial asset in helping you choose the right wedding venue and the other vendors you'll need to make your wedding day perfect.

Is there a best time to throw my destination wedding?

This depends on the destination of choice and seasonality. Your budget is also a consideration as some destination wedding venues and hotels across Italy, France, the Caribbean, and parts of the US price dynamically with seasonality. Let's say you want to throw an Amalfi Coast at the height of summer when the weather is favorable and the blissful Mediterranean provides respite against the scorching Italian sun. June to August is also when families from around the world want to overwhelmingly experience la dolce vita. Where a buyout is concerned, you'll have to ensure your budget is adequate enough to cover the entire resort, then communicate this to your loved ones. (Some storied properties in Sorrento or Positano go for $2,000 a night.)

The timing matters too. Your friends and family must be enthusiastic about a destination getaway for, say, a New Year's Eve wedding (which is arguably one of the best moves you can make for a holiday reception). However, they may not want to give up their Thanksgiving weekend to attend a wedding in, say, Chile.

When should I visit my destination wedding location?

There's a difference between Pinterest wedding shots and the reality of wedding venues. (Logistics is an entire operation.) Expect to visit the location several times before the wedding. You'll go once to book the venue, and again, to do a site visit about 100 days to four months before the wedding date. It's why we recommend relying on a professional planner who knows the ins and outs of the destination and your venue–see our point below.

Should I use a destination wedding planner?

A destination wedding planner, especially if you're planning to marry in a foreign country that uses different currencies, languages and culture codes, is highly recommended. These wedding professionals not only live within these regions or are super well-versed in these destinations. Like travel agents, a destination wedding planner has also built relationships with key vendors within the area of choice, making your dream day come to life without a hitch. This will, in turn, ease the planning process for you ten-fold. Explore local vendors in your region here.

What are the best destination wedding venues in the US?

As 90% of destination weddings are held stateside, there are so many options for couples who get their pick between beach, mountain, desert, canyon, resort, cabin, cottage, ranch, farm and ballroom weddings. (We know, that was a lot, but it proves our point that the US is teeming with incredible venues no matter your location.)

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