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40 Stunning Destination Wedding Locations for 2021

Published date: 1st June 2021 | Author: Hollie Bond


Whether you’re dreaming of getting married in sunnier climes, have specific ties to another country, or just fancy getting married somewhere a little more exotic than the UK, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve searched the globe for the very best locations to hold your destination wedding, covering everything from the classic sun-soaked beach wedding locations to romantic cities and countryside idylls. As well as recommending the best countries in the world for destination “I dos” we’ve also got suggestions of the most incredible venues in each place, so your destination wedding planning should be a breeze.

Think about what you want from a destination wedding before you start searching for your venue. Have you already fallen in love with a location or have a special link to a country? Perhaps you’re hoping to use your wedding as a chance to discover somewhere new and create more special memories together?

Unless you know your chosen country or region really well, then you’re going to want some on-the-ground help as it can be hard planning a wedding from far away. If you have friends or family in the location, then you can ask them to assist.

However, the easiest and most stress-free option is to hire a wedding planner. Although they might sound like an expensive luxury, destination wedding planners can actually save you a lot of time and money, in the long run, thanks to their intimate knowledge of the best suppliers and deals, the fact that they can make regular venue visits instead of you jetting out all the time and they can also help with any language issues and make sure that none of your wedding wishes get lost in translation.

Before we tempt you with a whole world’s worth of dreamy destinations for an overseas wedding, we’ve answered some of your most burning destination wedding planning questions…

40 Best Destination Wedding Locations In The World For 2021

Lake Como, Italy

Destination weddings 2021

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 say your “I dos”. And just imagine arriving at your nuptials in James Bond style on a chic speedboat.

Best time of year to book: April – June and September – October

Venue ideas: Grand Hotel Tremezzo and Villa Balbiano

Paris, France

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Where better to spend the most romantic day of your lives than in the City of Love? Paris is the perfect city for an urban destination wedding thanks to its heavenly mixture of stunning backdrops, the ease of getting there by Eurostar and the fabulous French food.

Best time of year to book: April – October

Venue ideas: Shangri-La Paris and L’Hotel

Thailand

Destination weddings 2021

Double up on a destination wedding and a honeymoon by choosing an exotic and sunny location like Thailand. Head to the largest island of Phuket for gorgeous beaches, stunning views and buzzing culture. On the mainland you can get married against a backdrop of lush jungle and temples in the north or have a honeymoon to remember mixing the vibrant capital of Bangkok with a small idyllic island in the south.

Best time of year to book: November – March

Venue ideas: Trisara and Sri Panwa

Croatia

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Croatia’s coastline is exquisite, the weather is heavenly and the towns are packed with historical charm in every direction so it’s a brilliant choice for a destination wedding, whatever vibe you’re going for. The food and wine here is incredible too, so you know whichever venue you choose you and your guests will be wined and dined in indulgent style.

Best time of year to book: March – June and September – October.

Venue ideas: Villa Poropati and Fort George on the Island of Vis

Menorca

destination weddings 2021

This balearic beauty is a wonderful place for a destination wedding – gorgeous unspoiled beaches aplenty, a charming laidback vibe and beautiful venues to rent out for a wedding weekend to remember. We love the idea of hiring out a Menorcan villa and spending a few days celebrating with friends and family under the Spanish sun.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: Sant Joan de Binissaida and Bodegas Binifadet

Spain

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Head south to sunny Spain to get married under the sun. Spain has a huge amount going for it as a wedding destination – amazing cuisine, a fun party vibe and plenty of different vistas to choose from, including gorgeous countryside and a coastline to die for. There are plenty of wedding venues too with glitzy resorts around the town of Marbella to farms and villas in the hills further north.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: This Must Be The Place, Barcelona and Torre de Tramores

New York, USA

Elopement

As city celebrations go they don’t get much more elegant than a Manhattan wedding. There are hundreds of fabulous venues to choose from, from five-star hotels overlooking Central Park to cool industrial warehouses and blank canvas art galleries. And when it comes to backdrops for your photos and ceremony, you’re spoiled for choice with iconic buildings and skyscrapers, the river and the park to choose from.

Best time of year to book: May – October

Venue ideas: New York Public Library and Glasshouses

South Africa

Elopement

If you’re looking for diversity when it comes to a destination wedding location then you can’t go wrong with South Africa, home to game reserves, cosmopolitan cities, a magnificent coastline and acre upon acre of vineyards. The Cape Winelands would be our top choice for a wedding in this country thanks to their romantic natural beauty and the fact that amazing wine is on tap. Cheers!

Best time of year to book: November – March

Venue ideas: Zorgvliet Wine Estate and Babylonstoren

Ireland

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

You might not be guaranteed sun if you choose Ireland for your destination wedding, but you are guaranteed majestic castle venues, romantic wild countryside and a right royal knees-up – this is a nation who knows how to party. If budget allows, takeover your own private stately pile on this Emerald Isle and enjoy a few days of non stop celebrations.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: Adare Manor and Ashford Castle

Portugal

Honeymoon destinationss for 2021

Whatever type of destination wedding you desire you’ll find an option in beautiful Portugal. Vibrant Lisbon has awesome food and beautiful buildings, while further south The Algarve is peppered with stylish resorts overlooking dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches. Inland there are majestic peaks and national parks as well as pretty vineyards.

Best time of year to book: April – October

Venue ideas: The Quinta, Sintra and Anantara Vilamoura

The Maldives

Honeymoons destinations for 2021

The Maldives isn’t just a heavenly honeymoon destination, it’s an incredible place to get married too. You might not be able to have a legal ceremony here, but it’s a wonderful place for a blessing under the swaying palms with your bare feet in the talcum powder sand. 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.

Best time of year to book: November – April

Venue ideas: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, and Baros

Ibiza

Destination weddings 2021

Head down the white aisle on Spain’s white isle. Ibiza is one of the chicest islands in Europe and makes for a wonderful destination wedding location. There are many sides to Ibiza – the famous clubs, tranquil countryside or glitzy beaches – so take your pick depending on your wedding’s vibe.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: Atzaró and Amante

Mauritius

Destination weddings 2021

If you fancy getting married in an Indian Ocean idyll you can’t go wrong with Mauritius. This island has the perfect mix of beautiful beaches, national parks, year round good weather and a fascinating culture. The island has lots of lovely resorts to choose from for a destination wedding and it’s large enough that you could spend your honeymoon exploring here too.

Best time of year to book: May – November

Venue ideas: Château de Labourdonnais and Trou aux Biches Beachcomber

St Lucia

Honeymoons destinations for 2021

From the rugged beauty of the north to the iconic Pitons and white sand beaches of the south – St Lucia is one stunner of a Caribbean island and an excellent choice for a destination wedding to remember. From boutique hotels to sprawling resorts, there are lots of venues to choose from. Extend your stay well beyond the ceremony with a honeymoon in this charming and diverse country too.

Best time of year to book: December – May

Venue ideas: Cap Maison and Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Santorini

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Just imagine how romantic it would be to hold your ceremony with the famous Santorini sunset as your backdrop. This Greek island is a feast for the eyes and senses with delicious food, incredible architecture and that amazing bright blue and sparkling white colour scheme wherever you look. Many venues here are on cliff tops too, so the views are out of this world.

Best time of year to book: April – June and September – October

Venue ideas: Grace Hotel Santorini and Le Ciel

Sri Lanka

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Sri Lanka has it all for a destination wedding. Incredible Unesco World Heritage Sites, miles of beautiful beaches, excellent weather and tropical countryside. Hold your event in one of the atmospheric towns like Galle or Kandy before spending your honeymoon lounging on one of the many beaches.

Best time of year to book: December – April

Venue ideas: Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort and Ceylon Tea Trails

St Barths

Destination weddings 2021

Oh là là, now this is one chic island to say “Je le veux”. St Barthélemy is a glamorous option for a destination wedding, but you might need a fairly big budget to plan your big day here whether you opt for a private villa in the hills or one of the beachfront hotels. Wherever you choose you can be sure it’ll be an elegant and romantic affair.

Best time of year to book: December – April

Venue ideas: Le Sereno and Villa Marie

Morocco

Destination weddings 2021

It’s all about romance in Morocco with its sultry atmosphere, fascinating architecture, buzzing medinas and rooftop restaurants. Hire a private Riad for your wedding or celebrate at one of the luxurious hotels with views of the Atlas Mountains and lap up everything this vibrant country has to offer.

Best time of year to book: March-May and September-November

Venue ideas: The Capaldi Hotel and La Mamounia

Nantucket, USA

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

This tiny island might be expensive but it’s worth the big budget for a wedding that looks and feels like something out of a Ralph Lauren advert. This area is also known for its incredible seafood and beautiful beaches, plus the hotels where you can host your wedding are nothing short of spectacular.

Best time of year to book: April – October

Venue ideas: The Nantucket Hotel and The Wauwinet

Provence, France

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Provence needs little introduction as a romantic location – with its lavender strewn vistas, historic hilltop villages and views of the glamorous coastline in the distance – it is pure destination wedding perfection. There are plenty of fairytale chateaus to rent for the weekend in this part of the world and incredible cuisine and wine is all but guaranteed.

Best time of year to book: April – October

Venue ideas: Baumanière and Chateau de Varenne

Sicily

Destination weddings 2021

This Mediterranean island is an excellent choice of location for a wedding thanks to its balmy climate, heavenly scenery and world famous cuisine. Grand villas and hotels are dotted all over the island and make excellent destinations for an unforgettable wedding.

Best time of year to book: April – October (July and August can be extremely crowded however)

Venue ideas: Villa La Limonaia and Castello Di San Marco

Turkey

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast certainly lives up to its name – the sea is a stunning shade of blue and is a wonderful backdrop for destination weddings. You can stretch your budget quite a long way if you’re savvy in this part of the world and both you and your guests will love exploring the history and culture and natural beauty of this area once the celebrating is over.

Best time of year to book: April – October

Venue ideas: D-Resort Göcek and Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Venice, Italy

Destination weddings 2021

Venice is one of the only places in the world where the real thing is better than any photos you’ve seen. It really does take your breath away the first time you see it. This romantic location is where wow-factor destination weddings are made and there are many incredible venues that are just as stunning as the surroundings.

Best time of year to book: March – May and September – October

Venue ideas: Ca’Sagredo Hotel and JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Oman

Destination weddings 2021

While you can’t technically get married in this Muslim country you can have a stunning celebration following a civil wedding in the UK. And what a place to celebrate! With a gorgeous coastline meeting the burnt red sands of the desert and the Al Hajar mountains in the background it’s a one of a kind country.

Best time of year to book: October – April

Venue ideas: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Hotel and The Chedi Muscat

Bali

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

You’ll fall in love with Bali if you choose it as your wedding location. This country is absolutely magical with its heavenly mix of tropical jungles, spiritual temples, colourful towns and beautiful beaches. Any planning stresses will instantly melt away in this charming country where you can hold a ceremony on the beach and be honeymooning in the rainforest that very same day. And as far as budgets go your money will stretch a long way on this paradise island.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: Four Seasons Sayan and The Legian

New Zealand

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

It’s a long old way to New Zealand, but if you’ve got family connections in this charming country or have a few weeks to spare and a very small guest list then it is possible to choose to get married here. And once you’ve made the journey you’re in for a treat with scenery that looks like a film set (and quite possibly actually is) and unique and breathtakingly beautiful venues.

Best time of year to book: December to March

Venue ideas: Black Barn Vineyards and The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Dubai

Destination weddings 2021

If glamour is top of the wish list at your destination wedding then Dubai should be your country of choice. Everything in this Arab State oozes elegance and luxury and there are so many wow-factor hotels and resorts to choose from. Your guests will love exploring all the sights and attractions too once the wedding is over.

Best time of year to book: October – April

Venue ideas: One & Only Royal Mirage and Al Maha

Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Destination weddings 2021

Rio is arguably the party capital of the world – have you seen the fun they have during carnival? So if you’re a party-loving, dance fanatic couple then it’s a brilliant choice for your destination wedding. Hold your ceremony and reception in Rio before honeymooning in one of the many idyllic parts of this sprawling country – Iguazu Falls, the Amazon Jungle and tropical islands to name but a few.

Best time of year to book: November – March

Venue ideas: Belmond Copacabana Palace and Hotel Santa Teresa

Victoria Falls, Africa

Destination weddings 2021

Looking for a unique and wow-factor backdrop for your big day? Then you can’t go wrong with Africa’s most spectacular waterfall – Vic Falls, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. This area of Africa has it all – natural splendour thanks to the Zambezi River and waterfall, incredible wildlife with safari animals all around and luxury lodges to hold your wedding and then spend your honeymoon at.

Best time of year to book: February – June

Venue ideas: Victoria Falls Safari Club and The Victoria Falls Hotel

Cyprus

Destination weddings 2021

If you like the idea of getting married on an island but don’t want to feel too isolated or make your guests travel for hours to join you, then Cyprus should be top of your locations list. It’s also good if you’re on a tighter budget than most island destination weddings allow as flights are cheap and the country is fairly good value for money. Cyprus has stunning beaches, year round good weather, heavenly Mediterranean food and views for days – there’s a lot to love!

Best time of year to book: Year round

Venue ideas: Anassa and Annabelle

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Elopement

Destination wedding locations don’t get much more romantic than Italy’s Amalfi Coast where candy-coloured villas perch on rugged cliffs that tumble down into azure, yacht-studded seas. The towns of Ravello, Postiano, Amalfi and Sorrento are all heavenly places to say “I do” and this region is particularly well known for its amazing food and wine, so catering for your big day will be a breeze.

Best time of year to book: May – October

Venue ideas: Villa Cimbrone in Ravello and Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento

Barbados

Destination weddings 2021

Your guests will thank you for picking this sunny Caribbean island for your destination wedding! This holiday haven has it all – stunning beaches fringed with swaying palm trees, five-star resorts and ritzy restaurants. And all just an easy eight hour flight away.

Best time of year to book: December – April

Venue ideas: Cobblers Cove and The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Colorado, US

Destination weddings 2021

If you’re looking for rustic charm when it comes to destination weddings then you’d do well to consider the states in central US – Colorado, Wyoming and Montana – where miles of open countryside and mountainous scenery is peppered with super cool ranches. Horse riders or outdoor adventurers will particularly love a wedding and honeymoon here, and rustic doesn’t mean missing out on luxury, because the ranches here are at the top of their game.

Best time of year to book: March – May and September – October

Venue ideas: Dunton Hot Springs and Brush Canyon Ranch

Mexico

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

There’s a lot more to Mexico than you might think. A lot of Brits know about the all-inclusive resorts that line Cancun’s beaches, but other areas to consider for a wedding destination are Tulum with its amazing Mayan ruins and Puerto Vallarta. As well as amazing weather, a Mexican wedding is all about fabulous food, partying into the small hours and having your toes in soft white sand beaches.

Best time of year to book: December – April

Venue ideas: Casa Velas and Hotel Esencia

Australia

Honeymoon destinations for 2021

If you’re heading half way round the world for your wedding then it needs to be a spectacular location and fortunately Australia has these by the bucket load. Anyone getting married here is likely to have family connections or a special link to an area, but if you simply just love the country then our top picks are Queensland, New South Wales and the vineyards near Perth.

Best time of year to book: Year round depending on how hot you like it!

Venue ideas: Cruise Bar Sydney and Margaret River’s Secret Garden

The Alps, France

Destination weddings 2021

Head to the mountains for a wow factor wedding. The beauty of The Alps is that they’re a year round destination with stunning snowy scenes and the chance to ski on your honeymoon in the peak season of winter, and glorious sunshine and green peaks as far as the eye can see in summer. Wedding venues in the Alps range from cosy traditional wooden chalets with roaring log fires to modern masterpiece hotels.

Best time of year to book: year round

Venue ideas: Beau-Ciel Chamonix and La Ferme du Lac Vert

Mallorca

Destination weddings 2021

This island is the perfect mix of buzzing Spanish culture and laidback island life. Take your pick from chic yacht-filled seaside towns like Port d’Andratx or quieter and more chilled beachy areas like Port Soller. For culture and an urban vibe there’s the capital Palma, where you’ll find heavenly roof terraces and town squares for pre-wedding drinks.

Best time of year to book: May – September

Venue ideas: Cap Rocat and Castell Son Claret

Puglia, Italy

Destination weddings 2021

Another entry in the top 40 wedding destinations for Italy and it’s no surprise that Puglia has made the edit with its unique trulli houses (book one for a one of a kind honeymoon experience), rolling countryside and gorgeous beaches. If you want to mix country and coast you won’t find a better spot.

Best time of year to book: May – October

Venue ideas: Borgo Egnazia and Masseria San Domenico

California, USA

Destination weddings 2021

California has it all – luxury hotels and venues, glamorous cities, glorious rolling countryside, an awesome coastline, wonderfully balmy weather and vineyards. So as a destination wedding location it certainly ticks a lot of boxes. Once you’ve said your “I dos” in A Lister style head on a road trip along The Big Sur or check out the vineyards of pretty Napa Valley on honeymoon.

Best time of year to book: May to September

Venue ideas: Auberge du Soleil and Calistoga Ranch

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Destination Wedding?

This is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is because you can spend as little or as much as you want (and can afford!) on a destination wedding. The cost depends on a number of factors, including how many people you invite, the country you choose and the level of luxury you opt for.

If you’re only hosting a one-day wedding then this will be cheaper than having an entire wedding weekend or wedding week, which is very popular at destination dos.

Finally your choice of suppliers like florists, caterers, and entertainment will impact your overall wedding budget in much the same way as at a UK wedding.

Is It Expensive To Have A Destination Wedding?

On average it’s actually cheaper to get married abroad than it is in the UK. This is the case because most couples have much smaller guest lists if they are hosting a destination wedding, so the cost per head is lower.

However, if you’re set on having a large guest list or are opting for five-star luxury all the way, then your destination wedding will be expensive. If you’re looking to keep costs down then look into countries that have a favorable exchange rate or that are generally known for being cheaper.

Amazingly some of the most tropical and expensive-sounding countries regularly come out as being the cheapest places to say your vows. For example, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Malta and Thailand were recently revealed in a survey by Weddings Abroad Guide as the cheapest locations for overseas weddings, while France and Italy were the most expensive.

Should Guests Pay For Themselves At A Destination Wedding?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could pay for all of your guests to come to your destination wedding? Unless you have a bank account the size of Kim Kardashian’s though then this probably isn’t going to be possible.

The good news is that wedding guests will expect to pay for their own travel and accommodation while they attend your wedding, much in the same way they would at a UK event. However, you will be expected to pay for the food, drinks and any other events you invite them to around the wedding day itself.

Remember, some of your friends and family might not be able to fork out for flights and accommodation to attend your wedding. While this might be disappointing, it’s important not to make them feel bad or put pressure on them – destination weddings can cost guests a lot of money and so it’s natural that some people won’t be able to come.

HB

Written by

Hollie Bond

Hollie is a lifestyle journalist with over ten years’ experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Hollie has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques. In her spare time you can find Hollie in a dance studio practising ballet…

Learn more about Hollie Bond

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