12 Unique Wedding Destinations Around the World

If you’re looking for an unexpected locale to host your big day, look no further—below are a dozen of our favorite picks for destination celebrations.

By Maggy Lehmicke

Unique Wedding Destinations Around the World
Photo by La Sultana Hotels

The First Look ✨

Gone are the days when Mexico and the Bahamas were the only options for destination weddings. From Alaska to the Philippines, there are unique spots all over the world that can cater to a wide range of event sizes and styles.

Below are some of our favorite unexpected picks to host your wedding in the coming months (or years):

Juneau, Alaska

Cooler weather not a deal-breaker? Alaska’s capital is tucked in the southeast corner of the state, making it easy to access by boat or plane. In addition to being surrounded by natural beauty, the city also happens to be a foodie destination with options for private food tours and other culinary experiences. The city’s easy access to numerous cruise lines also makes it a great kickoff spot for a one-of-a-kind honeymoon.

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Only about 30 miles east of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is full of wineries, art galleries, and hiking trails. Boutique-lined streets, rolling vineyards, and beautiful Dutch architecture not only make it a great place to visit, but also contribute to its romantic ambiance. Venues are plentiful (particularly when it comes to wine estates), and the surrounding mountains make a great backdrop.

Udaipur, India

Located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, Udaipur is considered India’s most romantic destination. Though lesser-known amongst foreigners, Udaipur is one of India’s more popular wedding destinations, touting opulent palaces, placid lakes, and impressive temples. Extend your trip by scheduling a honeymoon in Goa, Sri Lanka or the Maldives, all of which are reasonably accessible by plane.

Scotland

Another country rife with natural beauty that often flies under the radar, Scotland is gradually making a name for itself as a romantic destination (thank you, “Outlander”). From rustic barns to stately castles, the country’s diverse venues and landscapes make it a great fit for varying festivities. If you’re planning an epic elopement, look no further than Glencoe or the Isle of Skye. What was good enough for Claire and Jamie is definitely good enough for us.

Costa Rica

An alternative to popular but accessible spots such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Jamaica, Costa Rica is the perfect tropical getaway to get hitched. Sandy beaches and dense rainforests with abundant wildlife are just a couple of key pulls. For weddings, Arenal, Guanacaste, and the Osa Peninsula are all great spots to consider, with venues ranging from private villas to beachside resorts and boutique hotels.

Cartagena, Colombia

Much like Havana or New Orleans, this Colombian port city is a fine blend of historic charm and colorful culture with a romantic flair. The old city makes the perfect backdrop for memorable photos, while the nearby Caribbean islands make a dream honeymoon simply a stone’s throw away. Sofitel Santa Clara and Casa Pestagua are a couple of popular venues.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Snow-capped mountains, quaint cottages, and sprawling farmland are just a few examples of what surrounds this popular resort town. Home to lakeside lodges, expansive vineyards, and alpine resorts, there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to finding an epic ceremony location. Hawke’s Bay and Tauranga on the North Island are a couple of wedding-worthy locales with breathtaking venues as well.

Antigua, Guatemala

Not to be confused with the island in the Caribbean—another popular destination wedding spot—this historic Central American city also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 16th Century, Antigua is known for its Spanish-colonial architecture, chocolate making, and volcano tours. The baroque monuments and surrounding natural beauty also make the perfect backdrop for celebrating your big day.

Palawan, Philippines

If Southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia are on your radar, consider the lesser-known island of Palawan in the Philippines instead. Located between the South China and Sulu seas, Palawan is home to more than 6,000 miles of untamed mountains and coastal plains, making it a great fit for those who are dreaming of a romantic, beachfront celebration. The remote nature of the island also makes it feel a little more special.

Glacier National Park, Montana

If you’re inspired to elope or have a small ceremony with only a few loved ones, then the national park route may be an option to consider. Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the numerous options, offering a more rustic ceremony location amongst an untouched natural backdrop. Olympic National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Zion National Park are a few alternatives worth looking into as well.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

If you’re looking for a tropical destination with white sand beaches that’s a little lesser-known than Bali or Phuket, this Vietnamese island is the way to go. Home to noteworthy venues such as the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa and Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, it’s not only an awe-inspiring location, but also fully equipped to host celebrations of all sizes.

Croatia

Home to a rich history, lively culture, and more than 1,200 islands, Croatia is the ideal spot for destination weddings. Split is home to a range of stunning venues, from sandy beaches to historic rooftops and museums. The islands of Vis and Hvar are also great options, as well as the scenic Istrian Peninsula.

Portugal

With an abundance of beachfront properties and historic villas, finding a wedding-worthy venue in Portugal isn’t much of a challenge. Lisbon and Sintra are great for culture buffs who want easy access to the city, while the Algarve and the Douro Valley are great for relaxed celebrations. Though difficult to reach, few places are as breathtaking as the island of Madeira or the Azores, making them great options for more adventurous couples.

San Miguel de Allende, México

Often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the colonial-era city of San Miguel de Allende is both enchanting and full of life. Provincial cobblestone streets, inventive restaurants, and streetside music are just a few characteristics that add to the city’s charm. Oaxaca, Merida and Guadalajara are all great alternatives if you’re looking for the same combination of vibrant history and colorful culture.

Marrakech, Morocco

Full of mosques, palaces, and gardens, this former imperial city is a haven for culture aficionados and history buffs alike. From the rich food scene to the wide range of cultural activities, there are many attributes of Marrakech that make it an ideal wedding destination. El Fenn, The Capaldi Hotel, and La Sultana are a few venue options in and around the city.

As more and more countries begin to open to travel, destination ceremonies are once again growing in popularity. Whether you’re planning a dramatic cliffside elopement or a large, beachside gathering, the international destination options are endless.

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