If the lyrical sing-song tune of “The Wedding March” and the feel of blush-colored taffeta makes you cringe, then be warned: Wedding season is upon us. Soon monogrammed stationary will be filling your mailbox, cordially inviting you to happy couples’ nuptials. Who’s next to say “I do,” your brother, best friend or maybe … you?
Wedding season doesn’t have to look like a horror flick. Destination nuptials offer invitees the opportunity to travel the world, while celebrating the love of their nearest and dearest. No guest will gripe about a ceremony set in these insanely romantic and exotic destinations:
ShutterstockGulf Coast, Fla., U.S. |
When Aunt Mary refuses to fly, but you still have dreams of your big day beachside, the Gulf Coast comes to the rescue. Make a road trip out of it and drive to Florida’s eastern coast. Here the small towns are bursting with Southern charm, the sand’s as white as sugar and rolling dunes meet the edges of the lapping aquamarine waves. Guests will love it for the beauty and convenience, bride and groom will adore for the secluded seaside ceremony. During the low season here, you can almost guarantee the beach will be yours and yours alone.
Aruba | Aruba’s not one to rain on your parade, or wedding day. A ceremony with guaranteed sun is a dream come true for blushing brides (and guests whom have flown in from around the world to be here). With a location below the hurricane belt, Aruba offers the lowest amount of rainfall of any Caribbean island.
Couple that fact with miles of beaches, windswept vistas and plenty of all-inclusive resorts, Aruba is an easy decision to make. Wedding planning here is an (island) breeze, the destination just over a four hour flight from New York City. Fill the itinerary for your guests with hiking the natural wonders, water sports, dancing into the night and betting at the high-dollar casinos. A memorable wedding is one thing that isn’t a gamble here.
ShutterstockCozumel, Mexico |
Cozumel has become one of the most iconic Mexican getaways to get married in, and for good reason. It retains its authentic Mexican roots, not giving way to the waves of tourists the country sees every year. Here coastal roads lead the way to Mayan ruins and to quiet spots of solitude away from crowds.
Found just off the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is peaceful paradise with its teal waters and lush nature reserves. Diving and snorkeling are the main reasons tourists add Cozumel to their itinerary, but getting hitched here is a pretty good one too.
ShutterstockJackson Hole, Wyo., U.S. |
Trade the beaches for the Tetons. Weddings don’t get much more majestic than Jackson Hole. Brides and grooms searching for a more rustic appeal to their big day land on Jackson Hole for a romantic take on the Wild West.
The adventurous couple and their crew will feel at home here, participating in the variety of outdoor activities including fishing, hiking, horseback riding and the world-famous skiing. Jackson Hole does things high class, also offering museums, boutiques and bars for those invitees who would rather take a break from nature.
Ambergris Caye, Belize | Ambergris isn’t nicknamed La Isla Bonita (The Beautiful Island) for nothing. The area has all the makings of a tropical paradise; sunshine, fruity cocktails and fiery sunsets being the norm. Scuba diving here is second to none. OK, maybe one. Belize is prime territory of underwater explorers, sheltered by the world’s second-longest barrier reef. Rays, turtles and sharks inhabit the waters and greet you. Back on dry land, a seaside wedding is an absolute must with the jungle and Mayan ruins behind.
Napa and Sonoma Valley, Calif., U.S. | Wine Country makes for the ultimate wedding reception. Any other open bar is put to shame when you have locally made and world-renowned wines to offer. For this fact alone, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing guests to fly out for your vineyard nuptials. It’s a romantic destination with stunning landscapes, and not to mention the best culinary scene outside of San Francisco. Everything here pairs well with a great glass of vino.
If you dream of Paris (but not the plane tickets), Montreal gives a French ambiance that’s far more accessible and will have guests saying “ooh la la.” It gives a taste of historic European flairs within a realm of new world designs, offering an array of ceremony backgrounds from the 18th century district of Old Montreal to the shimmering windows of high rises downtown. For locals and visiting brides and grooms alike however, the crème de la crème is Basilique Notre-Dame.
Basilique Notre-Dame is Montreal’s most famous landmark, with its dramatic architecture and impressive interiors. Stained glass windows stretch across the façade, offering a heavenly glow during ceremonies.
For guests whom are a little less concerned with who catches the bouquet, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained in Montreal. The city doesn’t kid around when it comes to food, offering a mix of the best French pastries, English pubs, local lamb and food markets where you can wander to your stomach’s content. Once you’ve had your fill, dive into this culture capital’s bevy of festivals, fine arts and music.
Are you a more traditional bride or groom? Then check out The Most Famously Beautiful Churches in the World to Get Married In.
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