On your special day, it’s important to have as many factors in place as possible: a guest list that includes your most-loved family and friends, beautiful weather that’ll enhance the mood and atmosphere, and a location everyone will love. Because, as they say in real estate, what matters most is location. Whether you’re planning your wedding or it’s still a twinkle in your eye, we bring you the 10 most special spots on this planet for a destination wedding.
This Dutch Caribbean island lies pleasantly outside of the hurricane belt, giving you gorgeous weather that’s as close to a guarantee you can get. The chances of you getting married on a beautifully warm and sunny day are so good, you don’t even have to be concerned about the date. And with white sand beaches everywhere the eye can see and palm trees swaying as your backdrop, you have breathtaking décor already taken care for you, courtesy of Mother Nature.
America and Mexico have an interesting relationship: they’re completely open and free with each other on a wide variety of issues and topics, and yet strangers on things like immigration. But when it comes to weddings and Americans, Mexicans have their arms wide open, going more than the extra distance to ensure your big day is just how you dreamed it. They’ve got beautiful beaches, yes, and lush rainforests, too, but it’s the friendliness of the locals and their willingness to accept American dollars that makes this place a fantastic spot.
You may have noticed a theme here, of destination wedding spots including beach locales with gorgeous scenery, but it’s hard to top Paradise Island, Bahamas. Looking exactly how it sounds, Paradise Island is so jaw-droppingly stunning, its beauty can’t be captured in photographs. If you feel like carrying over the reception to a yacht on the ocean, the island of Abaco is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Of all the Hawaiian islands, Maui - while not being the most diverse in terms of climate (that distinction belongs to the Big Island, which has 11 out of 13 climates present) — is the perfect mix of non-touristy island experience, gorgeous weather, green and lush scenery, and natural wonder. And of Maui, there’s no place more glorious to get married than Ka’anapali Beach, where the sunsets are probably what inspired the great painters of this world. It’s a bit of a fair hike from Kahului Airport (about 50 minutes), but the beach is so intoxicating, you’ll never want to fly back home.
This small chain of islands is all the way across Dublin in Ireland, just a wee bit southwest of Galway. And once you pick one of four departing points to take a ferry there, be prepared to forget about your car for as long as you’re on the Aran Islands, as there’s no car ferry available. That’s your first hint that this wonderfully majestic piece of the earth is as old-world traditional as they come, with most island residents speaking Gaelic as their first tongue. Before you leave, though, make sure to get a knitted Aran sweater.
Hruba Skala Castle
Where do filmmakers go when they need to shoot picturesque scenes for fairy tale movies? This roughly 800-year-old castle just 35 miles away from Prague, Czech Republic. The castle itself is situated on two massive boulders and rests almost 200 feet above the river Libunka, giving you a vista that will rival you in terms of beauty. The Gothic-styled castle also isn’t the most popular for weddings in the Czech Republic, which means you’ll have less competition and fewer prying eyes.
About 25 miles east of Auckland, New Zealand, this small town of just over 1,000 residents is reputed to be the landing spot of the first New Zealanders over a thousand years ago. Is it true? Nobody’s really sure, but winding coastal roads, abundance of pohutukawa trees and popularity of the Driving Creek Railway will make a wedding in the Coromandel one you’ll remember for the rest of your lives together. Plus, there are miles and miles of pristine beaches and native forests to enjoy both before and after you say your vows.
Way far on the most eastern tip of Canada, in Newfoundland and Labrador, lies the Avalon Peninsula, home to the province’s capital city of St. John’s. It’s also the most populated portion of the province, but with only 262,000 people, it’s hardly likely that you’ll encounter traffic jams and a bustling way of life. Whether you get married with the St. John’s Fort Amherst lighthouse and rows of colorful houses in the background, on the craggy cliffs of Cape Spear or in the peaceful isolation of Witless Bay, a small, close-knit fishing community where the residents’ generosity will amaze you, there’s beautiful and natural scenery here you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on this earth.
Italy is arguably the most romantic country on earth, and Lake Como is a big contributing factor. Anywhere you look, the Grigna Mountains provide a landscape even Michelangelo would be envious of. Whether you get married near a lakeside villa, trek higher up in altitude, take a yacht onto the lake — which is one of Europe’s deepest — or take a ferry to one of the less touristy towns on Lake Como, you’ll immediately understand why it’s the unofficial second home of Hollywood stars.
Nobody likes wedding crashers, but when those uninvited guests are elephants, gazelles, zebras and giraffes, you’ll be having several “pinch me” moments and wondering how you lucked out so incredibly. Kenya’s Maasai Mara, known as “The Greatest Animal Show on Earth”, is one of Africa’s pit stops for its yearly Great Migration. Once you enter the park reserve property, a traditional Maasai warrior will escort you around because of how much wildlife abounds. For a modern twist, take in a balloon safari, which your luxury lodge can easily arrange for you.