Destination Wedding Guide: Creating Lifelong Memories

Edited By Nidhi Sood on Apr 29,2024
Bride and Groom at their Destination Wedding

Are you dreaming of a wedding straight out of a fairytale, set against a backdrop of turquoise waters, sandy beaches, or majestic mountains? If so, a destination wedding may be the perfect choice for you. Destination weddings offer couples the opportunity to exchange vows in some of the most breathtaking locations in the world, creating memories that will last a lifetime. In this blog post, we will explore the top destination wedding locations, from exotic beach resorts to enchanted castles and everything in between.

Why Choose a Destination Wedding

Gone are the days of traditional church weddings in your hometown. There are many perks of Destination weddings. It allows couples to step out of their comfort zone and create a truly unique and memorable experience for themselves and their guests. Imagine saying "I do" on a pristine beach in the Caribbean, with the sound of the waves as your soundtrack, or exchanging vows in a charming Tuscany vineyard surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. The possibilities regarding destination weddings are endless; the only limit is your imagination.

Top Destination Wedding Locations

When choosing a destination for your wedding, the options are virtually endless. From tropical paradises like Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Bali to historic cities like Paris, Rome, and Prague, a destination suits every couple's taste and style. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, destinations within the United States, such as Hawaii, California, and Florida, offer stunning backdrops for a fraction of the cost of international locations.

Affordable Destination Weddings

Contrary to popular belief, destination weddings don't have to break the bank. With research and careful planning, couples can find affordable destination wedding packages that include everything from the ceremony venue to catering and decorations.

Affordable Destination Wedding Locations


With its lush jungles and pristine Caribbean waters, Belize offers a picturesque setting for couples seeking affordability. The charming town of Hopkins and other coastal resorts provide options for an affordable yet memorable wedding experience.

  • Wedding Venue Options: Consider luxurious options like Matachica Resort & Spa or San Ignacio Resort Hotel, both offering fantastic amenities for guests. Alternatively, explore the charming town of Hopkins and its happy atmosphere at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef.
  • Best Time to Travel: Plan your wedding during the dry season in January and May. Late November to mid-April experiences the least rainfall, ensuring a sunny and pleasant celebration.

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico, is ideal for couples seeking affordability and natural beauty. With its turquoise waters and sandy beaches, Cozumel provides a stunning backdrop for a budget-friendly wedding celebration.

  • Wedding Venue Options: The InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa is a top choice for couples looking for five-star amenities and a picturesque setting on a budget.
  • Best Time to Travel: Mid-December through Easter is the high season, offering ideal weather conditions for a perfect wedding. 


Cheerful couple of newlyweds hugging near old church wall with windows, Portugal

Portugal stands out as a budget-friendly destination for weddings in Europe. Its rich culture and stunning landscapes offer couples a variety of affordable venues, from historic palaces to seaside villas, ensuring a magical wedding experience without breaking the bank.

  • Wedding Venue Options: Consider the stunning National Palace of Pena for a fairy-tale setting or the municipality of Sintra, which provides UNESCO World Heritage Site charm, with venues like Azenhas do Mar offering unique coastal views.
  • Best Time to Travel: Consider planning your wedding during the off-season months of November to February for quieter celebrations and potentially cost-effective options.

Classic Wedding Destinations

Classic wedding destinations offer timeless elegance and charm, perfect for couples seeking a traditional and romantic atmosphere for their special day.

Florence, Italy

wedding in Florence, Italy

Classic wedding destinations don't get much more romantic than Florence, Italy. With its historic palaces, lush gardens, and picturesque vineyards, couples have many options for a timeless ceremony.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Choose from historic palaces, lush gardens of venues like Villa Cora or Villa Le Fontanelle, or vineyards for a picturesque ceremony.
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September offers warm weather and sunny days, ideal for outdoor celebrations.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Charleston, South Carolina, is the perfect wedding destination for couples seeking classic Southern charm. Explore historic plantations, elegant mansions, and charming churches for a timeless celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Consider venues like Boone Hall Plantation, a picturesque plantation with sweeping oak-lined avenues, or the William Aiken House, a stately mansion with lush gardens and grand ballrooms.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and blooming gardens, perfect for weddings.

Paris, France

Wedding couple in Paris

Paris epitomizes classic romance and elegance, making it an iconic wedding destination. Exchange vows in iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or luxurious chateaus for a truly unforgettable experience.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Exchange vows in iconic Chteau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, a magnificent 17th-century castle with landscaped gardens and opulent interiors, or Shangri-La Hotel Paris, a historic palace overlooking the Seine River.
  • Best Time to Visit: Springtime, particularly April and May, provides blooming flowers and mild weather, creating a romantic ambiance.

Scenic US Wedding Destinations

Scenic US wedding destinations offer breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty, providing the perfect backdrop for a memorable wedding.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona, offers couples a scenic and captivating backdrop for their wedding amidst the stunning red rocks. From cliffside resorts to intimate chapels, there are various venues for a memorable celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Say "I do" amidst the stunning red rocks, with venues ranging from cliffside resorts like L'Auberge de Sedona or Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village for an enchanting wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and vibrant colors, ideal for outdoor ceremonies.

Check out: Top 10 U.S. Rooftop Wedding Venues: Say "I Do" With A View

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

wedding arch in front of Lake Tahoe along the border of California and Nevada

Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, provides couples with breathtaking scenery and various wedding venues. Lake Tahoe offers a picturesque backdrop for a scenic wedding celebration in lakeside resorts, mountain lodges, or beachfront settings.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Choose from venues like The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe or Edgewood Tahoe Resort for a scenic wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer and early fall provide warm weather and clear skies, perfect for outdoor weddings.

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, boasts stunning scenery and charming wedding venues. Historic estates, mountaintop lodges, and picturesque gardens offer couples various options for their special day.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Embrace the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains with venues including historic estates, mountaintop lodges, and picturesque gardens of the Biltmore Estate or The Omni Grove Park Inn for a scenic and elegant wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and stunning foliage, creating a picturesque wedding setting.

Luxury Wedding Destinations

Luxury wedding destinations cater to couples seeking opulence, extravagance, and world-class amenities for their wedding celebration.

Santorini, Greece

wedding setup in the cliffside town of Oia, Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece, is renowned for its luxurious and romantic atmosphere, making it a top choice for couples seeking opulent wedding destinations. Experience luxury with cliffside villas, private chapels, and exclusive resorts overlooking the Aegean Sea for a truly enchanting wedding celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Check out the cliffside villas such as the Canaves Oia Suites or the Katikies Hotel for an unforgettable experience. You can also look for private chapels and exclusive resorts overlooking the Aegean Sea.
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September offers warm weather and clear skies, perfect for luxurious outdoor weddings.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora in French Polynesia epitomizes luxury and extravagance, making it a dream destination for couples seeking a lavish wedding experience. Choose from overwater bungalows, private islands, or luxury resorts surrounded by crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches for a truly indulgent celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Explore the Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora, or the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort for an unparalleled wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: May to October provides dry weather and fewer crowds, ideal for indulgent destination weddings.

Aspen, Colorado, USA

Aspen, Colorado, offers couples a luxurious and picturesque setting for a wedding amidst the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy upscale mountain resorts, private ranches, or exclusive chalets for a lavish Rocky Mountain wedding experience.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Enjoy upscale mountain resorts like The Little Nell or the Aspen Mountain Club for a sophisticated and elegant celebration.
  • Best Time to Visit: These winter wedding venues offer snowy landscapes and cozy ambiance while offering your guests scope for outdoor adventures, like mountain biking and snowboarding. 

Tropical and Beach Wedding Destinations

Tropical and beach wedding destinations offer sun-kissed shores, swaying palm trees, and the soothing sound of waves, creating a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii, epitomizes tropical paradise, making it a dream destination for beach weddings. Choose from beachfront resorts, oceanfront estates, or lush gardens with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean for a romantic and unforgettable ceremony.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Consider venues like the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea or the Gannon's Restaurant for a picture-perfect wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: April to October offers warm weather and calm seas, perfect for beach weddings.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer couples a luxurious and secluded setting for a tropical beach wedding. Experience the epitome of luxury at beachfront resorts, private villas, or secluded coves for an intimate and romantic celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Explore venues like the Grace Bay Club or the Amanyara for an exclusive and intimate tropical wedding.
  • Best Time to Visit: December to April provides dry weather and cool breezes, ideal for beach ceremonies and water activities.


Wedding ceremony on a tropical beach in Maldives

The Maldives offers couples a truly exotic and romantic setting for a beach wedding amidst its turquoise lagoons and coral reefs. Indulge in overwater bungalows, private sandbanks, or exclusive island resorts for a luxurious celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Consider venues like the One&Only Reethi Rah or the Gili Lankanfushi for a breathtaking and memorable wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to April offers dry weather and calm seas, perfect for romantic beach weddings and underwater adventures.

Unique International Wedding Destinations

Unique international wedding destinations offer cultural richness, historical landmarks, and exotic experiences, creating unforgettable memories for couples and their guests.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto offers couples a unique wedding experience amidst its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Discover traditional Japanese gardens, historic temples, or elegant ryokans for a serene and unforgettable wedding celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Discover traditional Japanese gardens and historic temples like the Shunkoin Temple or the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto for an exquisite experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer mild weather and stunning cherry blossoms or colorful foliage.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech captivates couples with its vibrant colors, intricate architecture, and exotic charm, making it a perfect destination for a unique wedding celebration. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of Moroccan riads, palaces, or desert oases for an unforgettable wedding experience.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and intricate architecture of Moroccan riads and palaces such as La Mamounia or the Royal Mansour for a luxurious and enchanting celebration.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) provide pleasant temperatures and cultural festivals, perfect for exploring the city's charm.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia offers couples a magical and unique wedding experience amidst its surreal landscapes and historical sites. Soar above the fairy chimneys in hot air balloons, exchange vows in cave chapels, or celebrate in luxury cave hotels for an unforgettable celebration.

  • Best Wedding Venue Options: Consider venues like the Museum Hotel or the Argos in Cappadocia for a one-of-a-kind wedding experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds, allowing couples to enjoy Cappadocia's surreal landscapes and historical sites.

Tips To Plan Your Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding may seem daunting initially, but with the right mindset and help from experienced professionals, it can be a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Choose a destination that aligns with your vision and budget.
  • Hire a wedding planner experienced in destination weddings to help with logistics.
  • Consider the travel logistics for yourself and your guests, including accommodations and plan transportation for your wedding.
  • Research local marriage requirements and ensure all necessary paperwork is completed.
  • Communicate clearly with your vendors and ensure they have experience with destination weddings.
  • Plan for potential language barriers and cultural differences.
  • Visit the destination beforehand, if possible, to scout venues and meet with vendors.
  • Create a detailed itinerary for your guests to ensure everyone is informed and prepared.
  • Embrace the local culture and incorporate it into your wedding festivities for an authentic experience.
  • Stay flexible and be prepared for unexpected challenges, but trust that everything will come together beautifully with proper planning and organization.
  • If you are planning your wedding on a small budget, opt for all-inclusive packages that take the stress out of planning and provide couples with a hassle-free experience.

How Much Does A Wedding Destination Cost?

The cost of a destination wedding can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the location, the number of guests, the season, and the level of luxury desired. On average, destination weddings can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, with some extravagant weddings exceeding $100,000. Critical expenses include venue rental, accommodations for the couple and guests, travel expenses, wedding attire, vendor fees, wedding catering costs, and additional guest activities or experiences. It's essential to create a budget and prioritize expenses to ensure a memorable and enjoyable destination wedding within your financial means.


Destination weddings are a magical and unforgettable way to celebrate your love and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you exchange vows on a tropical beach, in a charming vineyard, or in a historic castle, the possibilities are endless for destination wedding locations. With the proper planning and mindset, you can create the wedding of your dreams and start your lives together in a truly special way. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready to say "I do" in the destination of your dreams.


How far in advance should I start planning my destination wedding?

It's recommended to start planning your destination wedding at least 12 to 18 months in advance. This allows ample time to research venues, secure vendors, and handle any necessary travel arrangements for you and your guests.

When is the best time to visit my destination wedding location?

You must visit your wedding destination several times before the wedding. Initially, to book the venue and then for a site visit about every three to four months before the wedding date. This ensures familiarity with the location and smooth coordination.

How can I ensure my guests have a positive experience at my destination wedding?

To ensure your guests have a positive experience at your destination wedding, provide detailed information and resources regarding travel arrangements, accommodations, local attractions, and cultural customs. Consider organizing group activities or excursions to foster bonding and create memorable experiences for everyone involved. Additionally, offering assistance and support throughout the planning process can help alleviate any concerns or uncertainties your guests may have.

This content was created by AI

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