A destination wedding doesn’t need to be an expensive, clichéd affair. Below, we’ve rounded up eight of the world’s best places to say “I do” – whatever your taste or budget.
1. For a beach wedding: The Resort at Pedregal, Mexico
Though there are countless wedding-worthy beaches all over the world, it’s hard to beat the rugged beauty of the Baja California coast in Mexico.
The Resort at Pedregal, with its secluded beach, soaring cliffs and brilliant sunsets, makes for an especially romantic (and dramatic) beach wedding. Ceremonies take place on the beach itself, or on one of the resort’s sweeping oceanfront terraces. Afterward, receptions are held at El Farallón, a stunning open-air restaurant carved into a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The Resort at Pedregal, Camino del Mar 1, Pedregal, 23455 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico; +1 844-733-7342
READ: 7 luxury vacations in Mexico
2. For a country wedding: Leeds Castle, England
With its moat, drawbridge and picturesque gardens, the historic Leeds Castle is the perfect backdrop for a fairytale wedding in the countryside of England. Think champagne toasts in the drawing room and a lavish ceremony in the grand ballroom, followed by dinner and dancing in King Henry VIII’s 13th-century banquet hall.
Added bonus: Newlyweds and guests can stay the night in one of the castle’s plush period bedrooms (or alternatively, go glamping in the castle vineyards). Be sure to warn your guests that the castle is in Kent, rather than in the northern city of Leeds.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL; 01622 765400
3. For a city wedding: Tribeca Rooftop, New York City
A New York City wedding is bound to be magical, no matter where you have it. But the Tribeca Rooftop, with its jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River, is one of the most romantic and sought-after venues in New York City.
At 18,000 square feet, it’s big enough for 400 guests to dine and dance beneath the stars. It also comes with an indoor space outfitted with a 65-foot-long skylight, so the spectacular views can be enjoyed all year round.
Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, New York, NY 10013; +1 212-625-2600
4. For an intimate wedding: Helena Bay Lodge, New Zealand
If cozy and intimate is the vibe you’re after, you can’t beat Helena Bay Lodge, a new boutique hotel on its own private stretch of coastline in New Zealand. The hotel has just five villas and allows only 10 guests on the property at any given time, trimming any guest list down by default.
Then there’s the blissfully remote location: The hotel is an hour’s drive from the nearest town, hidden amidst 750 wooded acres on the North Island’s secluded northeast coast. If the weather allows, ceremonies can be held on windswept Helena Bay beach, just steps from your villa.
Helena Bay Lodge, 1948 Russell Road, RD4 Hikurangi, 0184, New Zealand; +64 9 433 6006
READ: Rotorua – adventure galore on New Zealand’s North Island
5. For a big wedding: InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam
Sprawled across a lush hillside overlooking a private bay, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is a 197-room resort and an ideal spot for a large destination wedding.
Rooms are spacious and come in a variety of configurations, from traditional couples’ suites to family-friendly villas with multiple bedrooms.
There’s plenty to keep guests occupied pre- and post-ceremony, including two pools, a private beach and a long menu of activities that include lantern-making classes and trips to UNESCO-listed Hoi An. Couples will also appreciate the in-house wedding coordinator and events team, on hand to attend to everything from guests’ needs to the ceremony itself.
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Bai Bac, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Vietnam; +84 236 393 8888
6. For a budget wedding: Hotel Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica
Who says a wedding in paradise has to break the bank? At the Hotel Riu in Montego Bay, wedding packages start at just US $1,700 and include a beach ceremony for up to 20 guests, a wedding coordinator, reception and even a wedding cake.
Room rates are also relatively inexpensive, beginning at US $200 for an all-inclusive three-night stay (all meals and alcoholic beverages included).
As if that weren’t enough reason to get hitched here, the hotel itself is lovely and located on a beautiful white-sand beach, minutes from Montego Bay’s main drag.
Hotel Riu, Mahoe Bay, Ironshore P.O., Montego Bay, Jamaica; +1 876 940 80 10
READ: 12 top all-inclusives in Mexico and the Caribbean
7. For a showstopper wedding: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy
With its over-the-top luxury and postcard-perfect location on Lake Como, the palatial Grand Hotel Tremezzo is the place to throw a celebrity-style showstopper wedding in Italy.
Ceremonies are held in the hotel’s lush lakefront gardens or in the beautiful 17th-century Villa Carlotta, located just a stone’s throw away from the property. Afterward, guests can dine by candlelight at La Terrazza and end the night with dancing and cocktails at the lavish, lakefront L’Escale bar (fireworks optional).
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Via Regina, 8, 22016 Tremezzo CO, Italy; +39 0344 42491
8. For a same-sex wedding: Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs
With its year-round sunshine, dreamy desert landscape and sizeable LGBT+ community, it’s no wonder Palm Springs, California, remains a popular destination for same-sex weddings. And though there are countless venues from which to choose, Korakia Pensione is one of the city’s most romantic.
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The eclectic, Mediterranean-inspired hotel features candlelit walkways, palm-flanked pools and leafy, bougainvillea-filled gardens – perfect for intimate sunset ceremonies. Afterward, couples and guests can retire to stylish, rustic-chic bungalows with views of the San Jacinto mountains.
Korakia Pensione, 257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs, California 92262; +760.864.6411
Krisanne Fordham has written for Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel, Departures and Travel + Leisure. She grew up in Sydney and now splits her time between Umbria, Italy and New York.