Planning an amazing wedding has been your dream. But you’ve had to wait to make it a reality. With the extra time to think about your big day, maybe you’re considering doing something a little out of the ordinary and holding your wedding at a trending vacation destination befitting such a special occasion.
About a quarter of US couples choose destination weddings every year. It is a unique opportunity to celebrate your love with a select guest list of friends and family who have been with you through it all.
The following locations near and far capture all the joys of an intimate destination wedding. Each offers a setting that can reflect your unique style and venues that can be customized for a ceremony to remember.
For a Mediterranean vibe without the price tag of international travel, the vast and lightly populated northern California region is home to a trendy destination wedding location: the town of Lodi. The character of Lodi exemplifies a rustic feel unique to the American West. It’s also home to award-winning wineries ready to host your big day with affordable accommodations in an idyllic vineyard setting.
Perfect for a modest guest list of 50-150, Lodi is home to luxury hotels and spas for plenty of opportunities for your smaller guest list to enjoy a multi-day stay. Just 30 miles from the state’s capital of Sacramento, guests can take some time to enjoy great food in a nearby city known for its “farm-to-fork” food scene and world-class wines.
If you’re looking for a popular but not crowded warm weather coastal destination to hold your spring or early summer wedding, Lisbon, Portugal is a great choice. Steeped in renaissance- and classical-era architecture, including stone castles and sprawling manors, Lisbon is an unforgettable wedding destination certain to impress guests young and old.
Hold a small ceremony on a hilltop at sundown with a horizon awash in vibrant colors. Or make your special day an enchanting matinee on the property of one of Lisbon’s 16th-century quintas. Stay in Libson for your honeymoon, where many of the resorts incorporate both original and modern architecture into their grounds, making for a charming setting that perfectly complements an intimate fairytale wedding.
The wedding industry in the nation of Iceland bills itself as the place for the couples who are bold and different. Who is to argue with them, with wedding locations featuring active volcanoes, cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches?
Spring and summer are considered the best times to hold weddings in Iceland but those willing to brave the fall and winter can expect some truly evocative wedding photos amid Iceland’s otherworldly sepia and grayscale-drenched landscapes.
Make getting married a tale for the ages by enjoying your honeymoon in Iceland as well. With unspoiled wilderness in nearly every direction and a modern travel industry, you and your beloved can enjoy a romantic escape amid some of the world’s most fascinating natural phenomena.
Perhaps considered among the lesser-known and more “exotic” locations on this list, Fiji has become the choice for more couples who want the tropical destination wedding experience without the price tag.
An island nation in the South Pacific, Fiji has long been seen as a prime honeymooning destination. Known for its incomparable tropical beauty, unique island culture and world-class resorts, Fiji is surely a destination your guest list will find accommodating. If a topical destination wedding is what you’re looking for, you can’t do better than the pristine white sand beaches and emerald coastline of Fiji.
Much of life on Fiji revolves around tourism; residents and resort staff are known for their friendly and accommodating demeanor. Weddings are so popular there that a vibrant wedding planning industry has developed, making it easy to work with expert event planners directly on the island to coordinate your dream ceremony. Many of the resorts offer wedding packages and group rates for an affordable and personalized tropical wedding and honeymoon experience.