The beauty of wedding planning is that you truly have infinite options to make your big day your own. And while many couples opt to plan their wedding in their hometown or the city they reside in, some look to far-off destinations.
Whether you’re looking for incredible seaside or mountain views, historical architecture, or simply hoping to incorporate the element of travel and adventure into your celebration, a destination wedding may be the ideal choice. However, a destination wedding doesn’t always have to mean hours of travel time. From stateside gems spanning from the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest to trans-Atlantic dream spots, we’ve put together the ultimate list.
1. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Hoping for a beach setting with a tropical vibe? Puerto Vallarta, nestled right on the Pacific Coast, offers the option of renting private villas or hosting your nuptials at a hotel for an all-inclusive experience. Either way, your photos will be absolutely stunning.
2. Shiraz, Texas
This is not your typical destination wedding location. However, if you’re in the Southwest and looking for a gorgeous destination without traveling too far, Shiraz is the perfect spot to say “I do” overlooking Texas Hill Country.
3. Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como boasts beautiful scenery in Northern Italy as it borders the foothills of the Alps. Because this spot has become so popular, there are plenty of venue options to choose from, including luxury options right on the lake to charming villas with historic architecture.
4. Joshua Tree, California
Few places in North America offer as distinctive of a landscape as Joshua Tree National Park. Two deserts meet at the park, making it a picturesque locale boasting incredible desert views, rock formations, and the unique shape of the Joshua Tree. Book a venue featuring this dreamy backdrop, or hunt for an Airbnb to accommodate a smaller guest list. Either way, you’ll have the most gorgeous desert wedding photos to look back on.
5. Samui Island, Thailand
What if you could jet off for a private island stay in Thailand? Sounds like an amazing adventure, right? Choosing Samui Island in Thailand will offer just that. This couple tied the knot at Cape Fahn Hotel, which offers a lush, gorgeous setting with water views and 22 private villas for your guests.
6. Sedona, Arizona
For those who love a desert vibe, Sedona can’t be beat. The breathtaking Northern Arizona landscape shows off with tall red rock buttes, dotted with pine trees and agave. And another bonus of this gorgeous spot? You can easily plan a wedding at any time of the year because of its mild climate.
7. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende is known for its architecture and charm, so if that’s what you’re hunting for as your photo backdrop, it’s sure to be the right spot. Incredible pink church towers can be found in the main plaza, while the streets are still lined with beautiful cobblestone. And the best part? There’s plenty of hacienda options to choose from for hosting your destination wedding nuptials.
8. Tuscany, Italy
One of the most romantic destination wedding options? Whisking off to Tuscany. This North-Central region of Italy is known for its cultural heritage, from Renaissance art to historic architecture. Opt for an alfresco option in a rural setting, or embrace the history of the area by tying the knot in an extraordinary cathedral.
9. Marrakech, Morocco
Want to invite your guests to a magical setting? Marrakech is the perfect option for those looking for a boho-desert vibe. Surrounded by desert landscapes, paired with dramatic architecture and intricate patterns, this is one of the most unique options for those hoping to jet off for a destination wedding.
10. Antigua, Guatemala
Located in South-Central Guatemala, Antigua is primed for vibrant wedding photos. The charm of Spanish colonial buildings remains intact, while incredible volcano views surround the city. Tie the knot and then waltz through the historic city or opt for an outdoor location to embrace the magical landscape. Either way, it’s sure to be stunning.
11. Montego Bay, Jamaica
When Jamaica comes to mind, it’s all about the tropics. And if you’re hoping for a beautiful destination surrounded by turquoise-hued water, white sandy beaches, and palm trees, this is it. Multiple resorts offer stunning beach wedding options, or you can opt to hunt for a private Airbnb retreat on the beach. Just be sure they allow weddings!
12. Capri, Italy
Italy’s island of Capri is known for its extraordinary cuisine (including Amalfi lemons!) along with picturesque views. Its jaw-dropping coastline and colorful buildings nestled in the cliffside make for the perfect wedding destination. Couples can find historic churches or venues with seaside views for the ideal spot to tie the knot.
13. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is known for its vibrancy, with a nightlife that never sleeps, not to mention delicious food and wonderful music. If a parade down the streets is what you’re hoping for after you and your partner say “I do,” this is definitely the stateside locale for you. Plus, it’s legal to have a drink in your hand while walking down the street, so a signature cocktail can be incorporated into your parade for even more fun.
14. Scottsdale, Arizona
Want an option in the Southwest that’s not remotely in the desert? Scottsdale boasts gorgeous Southwest architecture, paired with palm trees, cacti, and dramatic mountain views. And the best part? There are plenty of resort options with stunning backdrops to choose from, so finding a venue won’t cause any added stress.
15. Newport, Rhode Island
For those hoping for a coastal destination on the east coast without traveling too far, Newport has plenty to offer. From the magnificent Newport bridge to the plentiful sailboats dotting the water, this is truly a lovely escape for those who love a nautical vibe.
16. Franschhoek, South Africa
When it comes to wine regions, Napa comes to mind. Or, perhaps Burgundy or Bordeaux in France. But Franschhoek, South Africa is quickly rising to the top of the list as well when it comes to breathtaking wine regions. Known as South Africa’s food and wine capital, the region is beaming with vineyard views surrounded by dramatic mountain backdrops for the perfect ceremony location to say “I do.”
17. Seville, Spain
In Spain’s capital city, Seville, you’ll discover breathtaking architecture, including grand Andalusian palaces, epic churches, and beautiful haciendas. Plenty of cobblestone streets remain intact, further boasting this city’s old-world charm.
18. Cancun, Mexico
Nothing compares to the bright turquoise-hued water in Cancun as it’s nestled along the Caribbean sea. And that’s exactly why this city on the Yucatán Peninsula has become so popular. Choose from hundreds of venue options, including all-inclusive resorts, and host your ceremony and reception on the beach with a stunning seaside backdrop.
19. Provence, France
Hoping to jet off to a jaw-dropping chateau nestled in France? Provence is the place to go. Provence is known for its elegance, along with its beautiful vineyards, lavender fields, and olive groves, not to mention remarkable architecture and mountain views. Book a chateau and host an al fresco dinner under romantic string lights for an unforgettable celebration.
20. Pacific City, Oregon
Tucked away on the Oregon Coast, Pacific City is the perfect beach town for a Pacific Northwest wedding. This destination boasts expansive beaches with uniquely carved cliffs and sandstone caves due to its mountainous terrain, offering dramatic backdrops for any couple.
21. Sintra, Portugal
Royal palaces? Historic estates? Romantic architecture? If you’re searching for all of this and more, Sintra, located in Western Portugal, is certainly the spot. This couple said “I do” in an incredible coral-colored chapel before hosting their reception at one of Sintra’s popular destinations, Penha Longa Resort.
22. Cartegena, Colombia
An incredibly vibrant destination? Cartegena, Colombia. The colonial buildings boast plenty of color all nestled amongst expansive seaside views. From the city to the beaches, this tropical locale is perfect for the couple hoping to jet off somewhere bold and beautiful.
23. Uluwatu, Bali
Uluwatu is located on Bali’s most Southwestern tip. With that comes magnificent views of the Indian Ocean, along with the intrigue that limestone cliffs offer. Plan a destination wedding weekend of adventure for your guests, exploring the clifftop lookouts, and don’t forget to pencil in a visit to the Uluwatu temple, an incredible beacon of architecture perched high on a steep cliff.
24. Dubrovnik, Croatia
While Croatia may not be the first locale that comes to mind when destination wedding planning, maybe it should be. Located in Southern Croatia along the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik boasts gorgeous baroque architecture, unique stone walls, and streets paved with limestone. Not to mention the breathtaking seaside views, of course.
25. Suffolk, England
If nothing sounds more charming than a weekend in the English countryside, then Suffolk is the place for you. This picture-perfect area is where history meets elegance, making for the most delightful location to host your nuptials. Choose from gorgeous mansion venues with beautifully manicured grounds to jaw-dropping historic hotels nestled in the countryside.
26. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum has become well-known as an up-and-coming vacation spot, as it’s nestled on the Caribbean. And while it certainly offers remarkable beaches and dreamy seaside views, Tulum is also jam-packed with history. From the ancient Mayan ruins to the mangroves, there’s beauty and history in Tulum no matter where you look.
27. Aspen, Colorado
For those hunting for a mountain getaway, put Aspen at the top of your list. Of course, this ski resort in town is known for its winter sports, but it’s also the most picturesque destination for a wedding, whether you’re hoping for a dreamy winter celebration or hunting for a dramatic mountain backdrop to say “I do.”
28. Pretoria, South Africa
Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of South Africa boasting gorgeous architecture, history, and culture. Pretoria is also well-known for its magical Jacaranda trees, which make the city simply radiate in purple from September to January.
29. Kauai, Hawaii
Want your wedding on island time? Kauai is the perfect fit. This tropical destination is covered with rainforest, paired with magnificent cliffs along the sea. Talk about the best of both worlds for a beautiful destination wedding.
30. Walland, Tennessee
For those looking for classic Southern charm, the area of Walland, Tennessee should be on the list. A quick drive from Knoxville, this locale boasts a number of farm and barn-style wedding venues in the area to host a gorgeous party. Luscious green countryside backdrops, string lights, and mountains in the distance? This is the ideal spot for a quintessential country wedding.
31. East Hampton, New York
For New Yorkers, heading to the Hamptons is classic. And while it’s a gorgeous, nearby option for New Yorkers, it may also make for the perfect location for any east coaster looking for a destination. This locale is dotted with stunning venues, spanning from luxury hotels to picturesque seaside escapes. Or, for those who love a nautical vibe, you can even hunt down a view with a lighthouse standing tall in the background for truly dreamy photos.
32. Limerick, Ireland
While many destination wedding couples opt for beautiful beach vibes, for others, it’s all about living a magical fairytale. And if you’re on the hunt for a spot to fulfill that dream, Ireland is certainly it. Look to Limerick, Ireland where you can literally get married in a castle.