After two years of postponed plans and vows, why not rethink your celebration of love and opt for a destination wedding that allows you to combine your commitment to each other with travel to a romantic and captivating location.
Especially as we emerge from a time of uncertainty and with 2022 predicted to be a busy one on the love scene. Not only will calendars be packed with recently engaged couples booking up venues, but many others will have rescheduled their 2021 and 2020 nuptials for the coming month. This may make finding the right fit for your wedding locally, quite difficult.
As good a reason as any to extend the prospects further afield and consider other truly remarkable places to tie the knot – be it a remote island, desert landscape, exotic city or classic European lake. And it could be for just the two of you exchanging vows and jumping right into your honeymoon, or for a larger group of family and friends sharing in the moment. Either way, a destination wedding is guaranteed to add a memorable and exciting dimension to the celebrations. The idea of sunshine, a warm climate and a wedding that lasts longer than a day is certainly an added attraction.
Irrespective of how grand or simple, a wedding is undeniably a truly special occasion and opt for a luxurious extravaganza in the country of your dreams has never looked better. To offer some guidance, we have curated a selection of the top ten wedding destinations from around the world, ones that will ensure that your occasion is remembered by all in attendance – and for all the right reasons.
Pointers for planning a destination wedding
· Double-check Marriage Legalities in the country, the documentation required and protocols.
· Planning will likely be out of your control and you might consider hiring a wedding planner.
· Consider weather and attire, if you've chosen to take your nuptials on the other side of the world.
· Get the invitations out early! If you’re planning a destination wedding you’ll want to let your family and guests know so that they can do their planning in advance.
· We’d suggest doing all your travel bookings through one portal – such as BusinessClass.com.
· Do your research on everything including the area, culture, transportation and activities.
· An expert wedding planner will help choose the location, and the venue, and navigate the ins and outs of working in a foreign country, legal requirements, and tips/advice.
· Be sure to check for safety and travel bans before asking friends and family to travel across the world.
The BusinessClass.com guide to some of the best destinations where you can enjoy a luxury wedding:
Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives isn’t just a heavenly honeymoon destination, it’s an incredible place to get married in too. You might not be able to have a legal ceremony here, but you can certainly have a blessing under the swaying palms with your bare feet in the sand. A picture-perfect archipelago of 26 atolls that give rise to 1200 low islands and sandbanks that stretch across the equator between the Arabian and Laccadive seas. The Maldives is known for private villas that hang suspended over striking blue waters, bleached white beaches and spectacular sunsets dipping into the horizon. Home to 187 species of coral reef and thousands of colourful fish, sea turtles, whales and dolphins, spending time here is like stepping into an untouched world.
The accommodation is spectacular, and if you dream of lazing in hammocks on your private deck while your butler brings you martinis by boat, then the Maldives is the destination for you. The only difficult decision will be choosing the right island to suit your preferences. All of them offer a kind of laid-on luxury, surrounded by the bluest of scenery that never loses its appeal. There are hundreds of idyllic island resorts to choose from or you could choose one island for your “I dos” and then take a speedboat across the turquoise waters to another for your honeymoon. Impossibly tranquil, a paradise found.
Las Vegas, baby! Undoubtedly, one of the most unique places for an elopement or wedding – and proudly able to facilitate a wedding in under an hour. No small wonder it's known as the ‘Wedding Capital of the World’. An affordable option, here you have countless venue options to choose from, from swanky hotels to the delightfully kitsch chapels dotting the Las Vegas Boulevard. You can even live stream the service to friends and family if you’d rather keep the in-person guest list small. The Entertainment Capital of the World and a 24-hour party house, it will feel like the whole city is celebrating with you. After making your vows, head out to the iconic dancing fountains to pose for your talk-of-the-town photos.
At the Graceland Wedding Chapel, you walk down the aisle with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll crooning in the background, something that can be credited to Elvis marrying Priscilla at the Aladdin Hotel in the 50s. You can even get an Elvis impersonator to officiate over your big moment. Consider the famous Tunnel of LoveDrive Thru or Little White Wedding Chapel, where Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner did. Spontaneity is the theme, and you’ll always have crazy stories to tell your grandchildren one day.
From tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha, Thailand in Southeast Asia is filled with a rich and unique culture. The country’s second-largest island, the ever-popular Ko Samui, lies 35km off Surat Thani and about 700 kilometres south of Bangkok. A postcard-perfect quintessential Thai experience that should be on everybody’s travel wish list. Get married on the beach with stunning sea views and a classic Western wedding ceremony – or traditional Thai wedding ritual. Family-friendly yet seductively inviting, attractions include the impressive Wat Phra Yai, where the famous 15 metre tall smiling golden Buddha statue is found. For the activity enthusiasts joining you, there are plenty of things to fill their day, from excellent scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, paragliding and ocean kayaking.
One of Ko Samui’s most appealing features is the loop road that makes a 50km circuit around the island. It runs through sleepy fisherman villages, coconut tree plantations and past impressive waterfalls, allowing ample of opportunities to stop and take a swim, get something to drink or even indulge in a traditional Thai foot massage as you go. A day trip to the Angthong National Marine Park sailing between the 42 uninhabited islands makes for a perfect day out and will leave you sun-kissed and appreciative of the warm waters and rich marine life. Very much a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and an ideal setting to declare your love for each other.
View more images and find the best rates for The Belmond Napasai, Thailand Ko Samui
The Greek island of Santorini provides the most romantic backdrop for a destination wedding with large clusters of whitewashed homes clinging to the black earth that overlooks the Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades islands, it is instantly recognisable. In the 16th century BC, Santorini was devastated by a volcano that shaped its rugged multi-coloured landscape, which soars out of the sea-drowned caldera. Understandable that it has been immortalised by poets and painters, and more recently by Instagram – thanks to its celebrated light, white and blue colour mix, and picture-perfect sunsets. Fira, the island’s capital, stretches north into villages called Firostefani and Imerovigli, both of which are within easy walking distance. The main track running through them is lined by upmarket hotels and popular restaurant terraces.
These draw most visitors, together with the rather more exclusive village of Oia in Santorini’s north which remains preserved, with colourful roofs topping cubist Greek homes in an endless labyrinth of curving streets. Wrap up your experience in Santorini with some water sports. Whether you are into skiing, wind-kiting, or banana boating. But not before you say ‘I do’ as the setting sun casts glittering rays over your special day.
Italy’s Lake Como is a luxury destination, unlike any other. One with traditional decadence and an authentic, old-school aristocratic class. A unique place full of contrasts that will ensure a phenomenal Italian wedding experience. Found in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, the area is known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe and at the foot of the Alps, provides one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world. Its characteristic shape, reminiscent of an inverted Y, results from the melting of glaciers combined with the erosive action of the ancient Adda river. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate. The entire perimeter of Lake Como is studded with charming villages and towns.
The most popular destinations are definitely Bellagio, Varenna and the city that gives its name to the lake, Como. Boat trips and tours are something that I’d definitely recommend to anyone who wants to experience Lake Como at its best. As far as backdrops for your wedding photos go they don’t get much better than the Italian Lakes. Lake Como is the jewel in the crown of this area of Italy and there are plenty of gorgeous venues right on the lake where you can commit to your love.
A city of romance, mysticism, theatricals and royalty, Marrakesh lends a rose-tinted view to the world and is the ideal destination for adventurous couples seeking to leave behind their reality and escape to this seductive world. One of Morocco's oldest and most captivating cities, the former Imperial metropolis is today a major economic hub that has successfully maintained its Old-World charm. Fondly referred to as the ‘pink city’ due to its buildings – old and new – that have been constructed using red earth found in the surrounding hills. At the heart of Marrakech is the walled medieval medina that dates back to the Berber Empire. Allow yourself to get lost in its maze-like alleys with its heady aromas and many market stores. Savour the sounds of traditional drums on the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square and hear the muezzin's call to prayer at the many mosques.
Possibly one of the most visited sites in the city and the place to fall in love with true Majorelle blue – and again with each other, is the Jardin Marjorelle. A two-and-a-half-acre artist's landscape garden was created by the French Orientalist artist, Jacques Majorelle. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé went on to buy the Jardin Majorelle in 1980, undertaking the restoration of the garden. Next door is the impressive Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, which houses many of his designs, accessories, sketches and a collection of photos during his long and inspired career. An escape into the surrounding Agafay desert is essential – even if only for celebratory photographs. We suggest that couples hire a wedding planner with experience in the area when it comes to the culture, but also the food, vendors, and more.
Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island and independent British Commonwealth nation with great snorkelling and even better surfing, that offers a great location for those looking to be active on their beach honeymoon. It is also a gloriously sunny wedding destination. The tiny island nation features beautiful landscapes and beaches, as well as a variety of historical attractions. Bridgetown, the capital, is rich with historic buildings and Nidhe Israel, a synagogue founded in 1654, is a must-visit. Around the island are botanical gardens, the Harrison’s Cave formation, and 17th-century plantation houses.
Local traditions include taking afternoon tea and serious rum appreciation – with St. Nicholas Abbey Estate, a working sugar cane plantation, rum distillery and museum rolled into one the ideal spot for this. For the ocean lovers, Barbados has a wide variety of marine life, excellent snorkelling and diving the shipwrecks of Carlisle Bay. If you love the idea of a beach wedding combined with your love of adventure – with friends, a Barbados wedding is perfect for you.
No matter what type of wedding you're looking to have, California likely has an option for you. For something a little different, consider heading out to a desert destination like Joshua Tree – especially if the photographic capture of your special occasion matters to you. Between its expansive desert, striking boulder formations and distinctive plant life, Joshua Tree somehow manages to feel like both an alien and typical American landscape. Arguably one of the most beautiful and unique national parks in the country, two distinct deserts—the Mojave and the Colorado—come together there. Located just 45 minutes from Palm Desert, about an hour from Palm Springs, and just under two-and-a-half hours from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree is accessible while still a completely unique Southern California destination where you and your wedding guests can feel like you're in your own private world.
Since it is a desert, you'll want to think about the time of year. There aren’t many venues to choose and it’s more charm and outdoor desert wedding than uber-luxury, but you won’t be disappointed. CapRock is the most popular wedding venue in Joshua Tree. Many people who get married there do so under the giant Joshua Tree. There are also numerous plants, rock formations, and nearby trails.
View more images and find the best rates for The Sacred Sands, Joshua Tree, California
Antigua is an independent Commonwealth country with two namesake islands and several smaller ones. As one of the Caribbean’s premier destinations positioned where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it is known for reef-lined beaches and rainforests. Sun worshippers and beachgoers flock to its warm clear waters and coral reefs ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Home to some of the most romantic resorts in the world, the country is famous for its 365 spectacular beaches – one for each day of the year. Antigua’s shoreline is hugged by 150 kilometres of superb Caribbean coastline. Its English Harbour is a yachting hub and the site of historic Nelson's Dockyard. In the capital, St. John's, the national museum displays indigenous and historic artefacts.
The islands are renowned for their friendly and welcoming people, and most satisfying and dreamily sunny climate. Take your pick of beaches for your nuptials. Antigua's most popular beach, Half Moon Bay, was voted one of the world's ultimate beaches and is now a national park. In addition to its long list of all-inclusive resorts offering wedding packages and planners, Antigua's coast is lined with coconut palms and bordered by warm waters to dip into post-ceremony.
A sun-drenched island in the Indian Ocean with pristine beaches and sumptuous resorts, Mauritius is affectionately referred to as the Star of the Indian Ocean and has long been celebrated for its beautiful landscapes and coastline. Yet this multicultural melange of a nation also offers great biodiversity, exciting flora and fauna, lush golf courses, water sports, mountain trekking and kitesurfing. The island's historic capital Port Louis is known for fine cuisine, pulsating nightlife, Unesco World Heritage Sites and the world's oldest horseracing tracks. There are incredible national parks and the interior soars into dramatic mountain ranges, where tropical forests harbour unique wildlife. The coastline and marine parks can be explored by boat or by diving and snorkelling.
It's not only about the beaches though, although the beaches are superb and if you want to lie on a cabana with a cocktail in hand then Mauritius is the place for it. Many beachfront resorts here tend towards luxuriant glamour, but it is also possible to find under-the-radar, tucked away villas and private residences. Mauritius may be small in size, but it brims with romance. A year-round tropical climate makes it the perfect destination to celebrate your love on the edge of turquoise waters. A dedicated wedding planner will ensure that no detail is overlooked and that your ceremony is as unforgettable as your love.
Read the full BusinessClass.com expert review and find the best rates for The Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita
BusinessClass.com searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers for both flights and accommodation in every wedding destination.