You’ll always have a love affair with the place you choose for your destination wedding. Our top 10 wedding destinations for 2016 are hand-picked for couples who want to create romantic memories to last a lifetime.
If Mexico is one of the world’s most popular places for weddings away year-in and year-out, it’s for good reason - Mexico’s great weather is a magnet. And, how about a romantic, candlelit dinner for two on a private terrace overlooking the ocean? Understandably, most couples want to extend a Mexican wedding date into a honeymoon to relax at the beach or explore Mayan ruins, so the options for a wedding-plus-honeymoon package (you can bring your own officiant) are plentiful.
The proliferation of all-inclusive resorts on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts (6,000 miles of coastline in all) makes everything super easy. On the east coast, Riviera Maya and Cancún resorts are popular with couples, where nearby Quintana Roo and Tulum are the latest stunners on everyone’s radar. For mountain views and unbeatable sunsets, look at Mexico’s west coast, considered LA’s playground by the jet set. Los Cabos even has exclusive properties from which you can take a boat ride to a private cove to say your vows.
Do you want to say “I Do” on Sydney’s Bondi Beach? Or, explore a nature sanctuary in the rainforest? You could have the ceremony at a luxury resort in Palm Cove and take off for the Great Barrier Reef afterwards. Whether you select a spot in a trendy part of Melbourne or the Gold Coast, once you make it to the world’s largest island, you won’t be in a hurry to leave. So, consider Australia as the perfect wedding and honeymoon combination and stay awhile.
Australia also gets a big tick in the good weather category, coupled with the fact that summer down under is from December to February. You’ll simply need a local celebrant to receive copies of your legal documents at least one month in advance of your wedding day and you’re on your way.
One of the world’s most-visited countries has so intriguing options beyond the more obvious choices of world-class cities like Florence and Rome. From the sun-dappled ancient hilltop villages of Tuscany to the emerald seas dotted with yachts docked at the marinas and resorts of northern Sardinia, Italy has dozens - if not hundreds - of spectacular settings for an unforgettable wedding venue. If you love wonderful food and wine, friendly people and historic settings, you simply cannot go wrong.
Actor George Clooney and his bride, Amal Alamuddin, co-produced their star-studded nuptials in Venice in September 2014. As gleaming mahogany boats churned their way up and down the Grand Canal, the world’s media descended to remind us that this floating city is a breathtakingly beautiful and very special place.
Now that the USA has acted to relax relations with Cuba, 2016 will see increasing numbers of visitors arriving to discover the charms of Old Havana. For Americans, DIY independent travel to Cuba is still not a reality, but travel possibilities are expanding.
Well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture is abundant, the white sand beaches are naturally beautiful, the music and the dancing portray a rich heritage. For couples considering a destination wedding that reflects vintage Cuba, experts advise going as soon as possible before the inevitable process of modernisation begins.
Plan your destination wedding in November through April to benefit from the sunny, dry season.
See our Cuba Wedding Guide to find out more about marriage license requirements, weather, sightseeing and more.
Consider tying the knot in amazing Hong Kong, where they make it easy for brides and grooms to book appointments with the Marriage registration Office online. Unlike the mainland, it is not required for either of the parties to reside in China.
A Hong Kong wedding does require a penchant for spectacular, as this is famously one of the best-looking cityscapes on earth. It’s even more impressive from the top of Victoria Peak or from the deck of the Star Ferry, the world’s most outstanding ferry ride.
And, did someone say food? A Chinese wedding banquet trumps all. Coordinate your stay and your ceremony, as well as your menu and décor, with skilled staff at one of Hong Kong’s many fine hotels and prepare to wow everyone. You’ll find working in English to be a breeze.
Visit our Chinese Wedding Directory to start planning now.
Did you know that the high-speed ferry ride between Uruguay’s UNESCO Heritage Site of Colonia del Sacramento and Buenos Aires takes only one hour? The 17th century former Portuguese outpost of Colonia has old stone houses and cobbled streets with pure white sandy beaches nearby.
Having a much more discreet profile than its big South American neighbours suits the Uruguayans quite well. Actually, the population of 3.5 million are pretty content to keep the destination - and its burgeoning wine production - rather quiet, although they’re very happy to share it with those clever enough to figure out.
Punta del Este is considered the Miami Beach or St. Tropez of Uruguay. Eighty miles from the capital of Montevideo, the beaches rival those in Rio de Janeiro and the upmarket nightlife features restaurants, casinos and nightclubs. If you marry during winter in the Northern Hemisphere and want to escape to summer in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll find temperatures range from 25º to 32º C.
Lovely Cape Town offers African vibes, spectacular white sandy beaches and a beautiful climate. Head there in September or October to see springtime blossom on Table Mountain and watch the whales frolic from your offshore cruise vessel. Or, toast one another with a five-star wedding in the vineyards of an historic wine farm before setting off on an incredible South African safari adventure together.
Average temperatures in Cape Town range from a comfortable 18º C. in winter to 26º C. in summer. Your marriage documentation requirements are hassle-free. Of course, English is the business language and if you’re traveling from Europe, jet lag isn’t a factor.
Perhaps you’ve fallen for Spain on previous trips. If you’re hankering to get back to bustling Barcelona or itching for another trip to the island of Ibiza, getting married in Spain is a wonderful idea. From traditional churches to country houses and from the museums of Madrid to the beaches of Mallorca, Spain has enthralling options for sunny days and exciting nights. Relax and enjoy...it’s the Spanish way of life. Ideal for night owls who plan to party the night away, the Spanish enjoy a mid-afternoon siesta and begin their evenings late.
No matter where you go, you can find great weather, good wine and awesome wedding venues.
For a destination wedding it’s quite difficult to beat the USA for ease of arrangements, variety and value. The real trick is narrowing down the choices, so it’s wise to begin by choosing your preferences from a long list of city, beach, mountain, prairie, vineyard, forest, lake or an oasis in the desert. There’s no question that one or more of the 50 states has whatever you’re looking for. Opt for California to find all of this variety in just one state. Look at San Francisco in spring, wine country in summer, Palm Springs in autumn and Lake Tahoe in winter.
Many American hotels and resorts have experienced wedding planners on staff and a list of preferred vendors who know the property inside and out, a huge bonus when you’re planning the wedding from a distance and don’t have the time or desire to take care of all of the details yourself. If you prefer to take a hands-on approach however, we have every type of wedding vendor you can think of in our USA Wedding Directory.
Our USA Wedding Guide offers lots of suggestions on stand-out landmarks, national parks and cosmopolitan locations. Remember, each state has its own marriage legal requirements.
Turks and Caicos
With average temperatures from 26º to 32º C during 350 sunny days per year, you’re almost guaranteed beautiful weather at this island archipelago in the Atlantic located 550 miles southeast of Florida. Tourism is the number one industry, so when it comes to destination weddings, you can count on suggestions about the best places and recommended officiants, who are required to be local. With 230 miles of white sand beaches leading to calm, clear water, you’ve stumbled upon an intimate secret island paradise for a ceremony on the sand. With a 14-mile-long coral barrier reef, Turks and Caicos is hugely appealing to divers.
Marriage license requirements are uncomplicated. Turks and Caicos is a British Crown Colony where the language is English and the currency is the US dollar.