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A destination wedding is really the Holy Grail of weddings. And for good reason. Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life with the most important people, so you might as well do it in a destination that’s of equal importance.At the top of your destination wedding lists is probably the Caribbean, which is also at the top of everyone else’s list, since it’s often considered the wedding destination. Below you’ll find five wedding destinations around the world that offer an alternative to the token Caribbean destination wedding.
Hawaii has all of the perks of a Caribbean vacation, but with none of the worries, most notably the absence of hurricanes and passport control. While Maui and Kauai are often thought of as the most romantic islands, Hawaii, the Big Island, lets you properly spread out and get the privacy and serenity you want, but don’t always get from the other islands since it’s so much larger. Get married with your toes in the sand on the Kohala Coast at the Fairmont Orchid or for something even more non-traditional, share your vows horseback in the uplands of Waimea.
Few places in the U.S. offer the beautiful year-round weather and tropical feel that comes with the Florida Keys. A wedding in the Florida Keys can range from a grandiose resort wedding, such as what you’ll find at some of the Key West hotels, like the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, to something more intimate, such as a waterfront wedding at the Key Largo Lighthouse. Just remember that like the Caribbean, the Florida Keys are prone to hurricanes during the summer months.
Great Italian food, world-class wine, and pristine views; the Amalfi Coast really sells itself. This is your iconic Europe wedding, with wedding venues that can range from a Capri beach club to a villa atop the cliffs at the Villa Eva in Ravello to terraced gardens perched above the Amalfi Coast at the Belmond Hotel Caruso. Just remember that if you’re planning a summer wedding, that’s when everyone else is visiting the Amalfi Coast, too. Plan accordingly. Go big or go home, right?
What’s great about Costa Rica is that it affords all of the benefits of Latin America (culture, scenery, and customs) but without the concerns (such as safety and health) that come from other Latin America countries. The Gulf of Papagayo makes for a great wedding destination because it feels so secluded, yet is a short drive from resort beach towns like Playa Hermosa and Coco. It features a number of luxury hotels with wedding venues, including the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo and the Four Seasons.
If you’re looking for an amazing destination, but want to stray away from the beach, central France is just as picturesque and magical. Paris may be the “City of Love,” but why not combine the city of love with the “Garden of France,” just a couple hours from Paris and lined with vineyards and castles. A UNESO World Heritage site, the Loire Valley captures the romance and allure of a wedding in France, but with a countryside backdrop. Many of the castles and vineyards double as wedding venues, making it all seem very fairytale-like, which is only appropriate since the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty, Château d’Ussé, is located in the Loire Valley. Plan on a late spring or early fall wedding if you want to beat the crowds.