Planning a wedding is hard enough in your own home town, but pulling off an event out of town is a true challenge. You barely know your own way around, and now you have dozens if not hundreds of people to account for. But the perks of a destination wedding (and planning one) truly outweigh the negative elements – you experience the romance and mystique of another location while having a wedding/honeymoon/getaway all at the same time.
Many couples choose certain locales because they cater specifically to destination weddings and hosting numerous guests; they are the places that everyone on your list wants to go to and may not have had a chance before, but now have an iron-clad reason to make the trek. Here are the most popular spots for destination weddings – as well as what you can do while you’re there! (Just remember to choose a locale that suits you both; if you love water, a beach wedding is best, but if you would rather have a more rustic affair, opt for the mountains!)
Five of the Best Destination Wedding Planning Picks
- Italy: There’s nothing more romantic than Italian destination weddings. Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan – you name it; this is the ultimate getaway for many couples and their families. But going overseas also has a lot of challenges. As part of your destination wedding planning, you’ll have to ensure that all guests have or acquire a passport well in advance, and you’ll be responsible for finding suitable accommodations and transportation to and from the events. Your guests will want to do a little sightseeing while in town, so creating a list of places to visit and how to get there is a must. Fortunately, there are many destination wedding planning specialists who cater to foreign couples, so use their abilities fully. And the true perk of destination weddings: you can honeymoon right where you got married!
- Hawaii: This tropical island is a mecca for couples who want a relaxed beach wedding with little fuss. And hundreds of thousands of couples flock here to celebrate their nuptials Hawaiian-style. Many airports in the U.S. have direct flights to Honolulu, but if you decide to get married on another island, your guests can easily catch a flight the same or next day, giving them time to explore. And whether you choose to have an impromptu, informal affair or a giant, tropical bash, there are many knowledgeable destination wedding planning companies that can help you decide where to have your event, what to serve, where to spend your honeymoon, and much more.
- The Bahamas: One of the top destination wedding locations, the Bahamas truly evokes the Caribbean spirit in more ways than one. If all of your guests are U.S. citizens, then you’re in the clear (though, based on recent legislation, you are required to have a valid passport to enter). Citizens of other countries are advised to check entry requirements before booking tickets, and you can make it easier on your guests if they are flying from another country by verifying the requirements beforehand. Many couples choose to have their destination weddings take place among the centuries-old cathedrals or fortresses or at the famed city harbor in Nassau. And once the wedding is over, you and your guests can experience the best seafood, golfing, shopping, and casinos available!
- Napa Valley: For couples who love wine and/or the idea of getting married in a vineyard, Napa Valley is a great choice for destination weddings. Proximity to the big city – San Francisco and all of its unique sights – and the pastoral beauty of countless vineyards lure thousands of couples here each year to tie the knot with the help of a destination wedding planning specialist. From Spring to Winter, the change in seasons provides a new and different look to the Napa Valley countryside. Some wineries even host on site and have event planners at your disposal who specialize in destination weddings! And what would be more fun than touring the Wine Country on The Napa Valley Wine Train for your honeymoon?
- Lake Tahoe: For many years, the scenic charms of Lake Tahoe have routinely been voted one of the top spots for destination weddings. And it’s no wonder why this vibrant city appeals to so many different people. There’s biking, hiking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, and skiing, all right there for you and your guests to enjoy. If you choose a wedding resort, which not only takes care of the accommodations for you and your guests, you’ll be provided with a dedicated destination wedding planning guide who will see to all of the details.
Destination Weddings: a Break from the Norm
Many couples think these weddings are an outrageous expenditure. While this belief is true in some instances, you’re actually saving yourself from many hassles. Wherever you choose to have your ceremony and reception, you’ll be matched with event planners skilled at making sure that the tiniest aspects of destination weddings flow smoothly. And, you’ll also have your honeymoon built in to the cost. The best part you ask?…experiencing a brand new place with your family, friends, and loved ones.