Are you thinking about having a destination wedding? It’s not for everyone, but it’s a great option for those looking for a little adventure. I’ve traveled with several couples, and it’s a totally different experience but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Let’s chat about a few things to consider before booking a destination wedding and my favorite venues.
A Few Considerations
Before planning a destination wedding, consider these few things.
Every destination in the world has on and off seasons that impact pricing and other wedding details.
|Higher costs||Lower costs|
|More crowds||Less crowded|
|Better weather||Potential for rain, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. depending on the location|
Most destination weddings have fewer attendees due to the cost of traveling and staying at a usually expensive resort. Some resorts may include guest fees in the wedding package, but not all. Consider that you may have a smaller wedding party when having a destination wedding.
Some resorts will cover wedding expenses if you stay there for your honeymoon. That’s a great deal, and I’ve seen many couples do it! Just make sure to tell your guests when you’re ready for them to leave the resort to have some privacy ?
Top 10 Destination Wedding Locations
There are so many amazing places to get married! I want to share them with you in case you’re considering a destination wedding. Let’s get into it!
Jamaica is actually one of the most affordable destination wedding locations. Don’t worry; you can opt for super-luxury resorts and villas if that’s your style. But if you’re looking to stick to a budget and still have a destination wedding, Jamaica is a great place to look into!
Antigua is known for its 365 white sand beaches. It’s on the pricier side, but the scenery and beautiful backdrop are worth it. It’s a popular yachting destination and has many high-end all-inclusive resorts that are perfect for fancy weddings!
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is another tropical destination, but it actually has other geographical features that make it the perfect place for any couple. Choose to get married on the beach, a mountaintop, or even the edge of a volcano! You can also stick around and experience:
- Rain forests
- Biological reserves
- National parks
4. Los Cabos
Los Cabos has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for ultra-luxury or budget-friendly. There are a ton of resorts along the coastline so finding a venue will be a breeze. A few unique things that Los Cabos offers in wedding packages are riding in on a horse or booking a private beach or cove to get married. The opportunities are endless!
5. Tucson, Arizona
Not every destination wedding needs to be international! Tucson offers a beautifully unique landscape that I personally love taking photos of. Tucson also has a rich culture and history that is apparent anywhere you go. If that’s your jam, you should look into Tucson!
6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a great location for couples looking for a mix of city life and history. There are so many locations you can choose from in San Francisco. Who can deny the beauty of the Golden Gate bridge? It’s actually not too far from Sonoma Valley, too, so you can also get a taste of local wineries if that’s something you’re into!
7. Maui, Hawaii
Ah, the classic Maui. It’s one of the most popular destination wedding locations in the world because of the gorgeous beaches, tropical landscape, and year-round nice weather. There’s also a ton to do on the island for you and your guests, such as:
- Water sports (kayaking, surfing, snorkeling)
- Hiking (waterfalls, rainforests, volcanoes)
- Relaxing at the beach
- Shopping in town
8. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is the perfect place for outdoorsy and adventurous couples! With beautiful mountain ranges and aspen trees, it’s an outdoor paradise. The best time to go is in the fall when the aspen leaves are changing colors. You’ll have a backdrop of yellow, red, and orange-colored trees, along with snow-capped mountains.
9. Sonoma Valley, California
Did someone say wine? Sonoma Valley is very close to Napa Valley, and both are famous for the rolling hills of vineyards. In my experience, couples love choosing vineyards as their wedding venue because of the scenery and privacy. You can book out an entire vineyard and resort if you want to! For all my wine lovers out there, Sonoma Valley should be a strong consideration.
10. New York City
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the famous NYC! New York is the ultimate city destination, but it also has amazing parks and lakes that make great wedding locations. Although every season is crowded in the Big Apple, you can find hidden gems of privacy for your wedding day.
These are some of the best destination wedding locations on my wish list. My couples have enjoyed their experiences and have created memories that will last a lifetime. I think one of the main reasons destination weddings are so popular is that you have a location you can go back to for vacations with family and friends and remember your special day. You can’t always do that with local venues. If you’re interested in researching a destination wedding, I recommend these ten locations!
I’m ready to travel anywhere with you! If a destination wedding is something you’ve always dreamed of, I’m prepared to help make that happen for you. Just fill out this form to get started. I can’t wait to see where your love takes you!
About Harry McLaughlin Photography
I take pride in creating a fun environment and connecting with vendors so that everything can run smoothly on your big day. I’ll be with you every step of the way. From engagement shoots to day-of photos, you can rest easy knowing I’ll give you the photos you’ve always dreamed of. When you book with me, you’ll get a custom experience unlike any other. Let’s create special moments together! Fill out this form to get started.