These Wedding Destinations Are Straight Out of a Fairytale
Let’s be honest. The best part of getting married is having an excuse to splurge on an extravagant honeymoon. But taking a long flight after a night of celebrating can be annoying. The solution is simple: have a destination wedding.
Yes, the logistics may be a bit more complicated, but the end result will be a truly magical wedding in an unbelievably gorgeous location. Plus, at the end of the reception, you’ll be ready to start your honeymoon without needing to travel any further. (As a bonus, you have an excuse to not invite that third cousin your mom insists should be there.)
If you’re stressed about finding the perfect place for your big day, here are the top ten wedding destinations in the world.
Recommended venue:Garza Blanca Resort Los Cabos
Beautiful Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific beaches. Colorful small towns. Some of the best food in the world and a culture that knows how to party. Is it a surprise to anyone that Mexico would be a top wedding destination? We certainly think not.
This incredible country is also a short plane ride away from the U.S. and is pretty affordable, making it possible to have your dream wedding without having to give up other dreams, like owning a home or someday being able to retire.
*Destinations and rankings come from Money.co’s “Wedding Trends” report and reflect an increase in search volume.
Recommended venue:Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort
As the fifth-largest country in the world, Brazil offers infinite possibilities for wedding locations and styles.
Want something reclusive and quiet? There are a million and one places like that along the long coastline or within the Amazon. But if you prefer a raucous party in a loud city, Brazil also has plenty of that.
Brazil is known for its food and party scene, so you're guaranteed an amazing time in a beautiful setting.
Recommended venue:The Capaldi Hotel
Morocco is a land of contrasts, where the arid land is complemented by a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It's also an incredibly romantic wedding destination, with maze-like medinas, entire towns painted blue and palatial riads.
Marrakech is a popular location. It has five-star hotels, world-class food and a privileged view of the Atlas Mountains.
Recommended venue:Half Moon Resort
Astonishing Jamaica is undoubtedly one of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean. This makes it an idyllic destination for your dream wedding.
The beach is usually the preferred place for ceremonies and honeymoons, but you also have the option of enjoying the island's mountains, tropical forests, waterfalls and caves.
Recommended venue:The Tongsai Bay Hotel
If you want a destination wedding in a dreamy destination that won't leave you in debt, Thailand is the place to go.
This Southeast Asian country is affordable and has it all — beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs, mountains covered by tropical jungles, busy modern cities and some of the best food you'll ever have.
All your guests will be happy to have an excuse to visit the country, and you'll be happy to have your wedding and honeymoon there!
Recommended venue:Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Kenya is one of the most frequented destinations in Africa, and it's not difficult to see why. The country has modern cities, savannas, lakes, canyons, mountains and beaches on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Safari weddings are incredibly popular, particularly in Masaai Mara National Park, the site of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
But you can also do an urban wedding, or a quiet beach ceremony.
Recommended venue:Gremio Palace
While Portugal is enjoying more time in the spotlight, you still won't find the oppressive crowds of other European countries with long coastlines (we're looking at you Spain, Italy and Greece).
The nation is cheap and friendly, and enjoys good weather and some amazing seafood. Oh, it's also breathtakingly beautiful.
All of these factors make it perfect for a destination wedding in a palace, a centuries-old church or a quiet beach.
2. South Africa (Tie)
Recommended venue:Avianto Hotel
South Africa has every type of wedding location you could want. Vineyards, safari camps, imposing mountains and quiet beaches.
With a combination of all of these, Cape Town is by far the country's most frequented destination — for weddings and otherwise.
But the large country has many other places where you can tie the knot with a surreally beautiful backdrop.
2. Italy (Tie)
Recommended venue:Palazzo Gori Pannilini
Italy, one of the most romantic countries on the entire planet, ties for second place as a top wedding destination. Your choices for postcard-perfect medieval villages, small fishing towns, vineyards and villas are almost endless.
We'll help you out by pointing to Tuscany as a destination that stands out, even within Italy. Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast and Sardinia are also prime destination wedding spots.
But let's be honest. You could throw a dart at the map of Italy and still end up in this paradise.
Recommended venue:Chengeta Safari Lodge
Zimbabwe is a somewhat surprising winner of the top spot for coveted destination weddings — not because it doesn't deserve it, but because it's usually an underrated country.
You won't have access to the beach, but you'll be able to plan a wedding in (or at least an excursion to) the majestic Victoria Falls.
Cruising along or staying on the mighty Zambezi River is also possible, as is having a safari wedding where you can enjoy the amenities of modern life while staying deep within nature preserves.