7 Hottest Destinations for LGBTQ+ Weddings of 2018

Find out where in the world other couples are getting married.
by Elena Donovan Mauer
Wedding at the beach
Shayna Marie Photography

For LGTBQ+ couples planning their weddings from afar, finding a welcoming destination that offers all the amenities and entertainment they want for them and their guests is key.

“A number-one priority is to make sure both the destination and venue are LGBTQ+ friendly in general,” says Maddie Kane, senior marketing manager for DestinationWeddings.com. Planning your event in a country where same-sex marriage is legally recognized is essential if you want a legal ceremony. Even if a symbolic ceremony is okay with you, you want a wedding staff and community that will be accepting and supporting of your union.

“Resorts which are LGBTQ+ friendly are ones that are either TAG Approved, members of the IGLTA (The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association), show support to the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), or overall simply perform symbolic and/or civil same-sex wedding ceremonies on property,” says Kane.

Beyond that, you’ll want to go to a destination and resort that meet your personal preferences. “We’re finding many LGBTQ+ couples are looking for their destination wedding to be ultra-personalized, so choosing a destination and resort venue that offers customizable wedding packages is high on their priority list,” says Kane. “Another priority for LGBTQ+ couples is making sure the guest experience is unforgettable, especially since their loved ones are traveling so far for their weddinbig. Destinations with lots of diversity in regards to activity and entertainment make for great picks.”

These are the destinations most traveled by LGBTQ+ couples and their wedding guests to date in 2018, according to DestinationWeddings.com.

1. Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Getty Images

Riviera Maya tops the list of Mexican destinations because it has “the most diverse variety of LGBTQ+ friendly resorts,” says Kane, including the Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar hotels. Riviera Maya is easy to get to, since it’s so close to the Cancun International Airport, but offers a more secluded experience for wedding groups than popular Cancun does. 

Same-sex weddings are legal in Mexico—but note that there’s quite a bit of paperwork that requires advance planning to make it official for any couple.

2. Dominican Republic 

Dominican Republic
Benjamin Voros/Unsplash

La Romana, Punta Cana and Samana are all popular Dominican Republic locales to host a destination wedding. The DR offers beautiful white sand beaches, fun water sports and other activities that appeal to guests. Here, a LGBTQ+ wedding is a symbolic ceremony, since same-sex marriage isn’t recognized in the DR at this time.

3. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta
Courtesy of Hard Rock

“Very popular amongst LGBTQ+ travelers,” Puerto Vallarta “has been known to be one of the most friendly LGBTQ+ destinations for quite some time now,” says Kane. Not only are same-sex weddings are legal, but many local restaurants and resorts, such as the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Gwelcome and cater to LGBTQ+ travelers.

4. Cancun, Mexico

Cancun
Getty Images

Cancun offers a bustling resort scene that’ll appeal to guests that love to socialize, snorkel and relax on the beach. There’s also “ease of access for many family and friends to get to from anywhere in the country,” says out Kane. Put simply: Cancun is a crowd-pleaser.

5. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas
Courtesy of Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa

Cabo is considered a luxurious beach destination full of amenities and activities. Wedding guests who love water sports and spas will love it alike. Check out Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa, which is TAG Approved.

6. Aruba

Aruba
Courtesy of Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

With clear-water beaches and a predictably warm and sunny climate, Aruba is “one happy island.” In fact, it was the first Caribbean island to allow same-sex civil partnerships, says Kane. TAG Approved resorts include the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino.

7. Cozumel, Mexico

Mexico Ruins
Josh Hammond/Unsplash

If you plan a destination wedding in Cozumel, there’ll be plenty for active guests to do, including scuba diving, visits to dolphin sanctuaries and tours of Mayan ruins. Secrets Aura Cozumel boasts TAG Approved status.

To get started planning your destination wedding, head to DestinationWeddings.com—wedding specialists there can help you through the process of choosing a destination and venue that’s perfect for your wedding. They’re also trained and up-to-date on same-sex wedding requirements and other LGBTQ+ needs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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