10 Reasons to Choose a Destination Wedding

It's stress-free, you can get married at a castle and your photos will be super unique.
 

Feel like a princess at Ashford Castle in Ireland

Choosing a destination wedding means that you can get married at a unique venue in a faraway place that makes for incredible experiences for both you and your guests. Here are a few reasons to start searching for your dream spot.

1. To have a movie-perfect wedding at The Studios at Paramount

The Studios at Paramount, photo by Alexandre Fagundes/iStock

Life may not always look like the movies, but your wedding day can. Whether your cinematic vision takes place on a snowy New York street or recreates the moment when Jack sends Rose’s heart soaring on the deck of the Titanic, you can bring it to life at The Studios at Paramount. With 65 acres of lots and stages to choose from and Hollywood set designs at your disposal, the events staff will help turn your big day into a blockbuster.

paramountstudios.com

2. To wed at an unexpected venue like a lava field or an ice hotel  

Hôtel de Glace, photo by Dany Vachon

From the ancient lava fields of Hawaii Island (a stark lunar landscape that provides a dramatic contrast to crisp wedding whites) to the glistening chapel of Quebec City’s Hôtel de Glace, there are countless settings that can transport you and your guests out of this world. Natural or human-made, if it’s an unusual, unforgettable setting you’re after, the only limit for your destination wedding backdrop is your own imagination.

hoteldeglace-canada.com

3. To leave your wedding planning stress at home

Photo courtesy of Karisma Hotels and Resorts

Many resorts have expert wedding planners on staff, so you can trust all the details to the pros and leave your planning stress at home. At Karisma Hotels and Resorts, which has properties in the Riviera Maya and elsewhere, a signature wedding designer sees to all the little details—right down to personalized notes and sweet treats in your guests’ rooms. And Sandals resorts help couples navigate all the legal requirements of getting married in another country.

karismahotels.comsandals.com

4. To honour runaway brides and grooms of days past at Gretna Green in Scotland

Gretna Green, photo courtesy of gretnagreen.com

Located just north of the England/Scotland border, Gretna Green became the world’s first destination wedding hot spot back in 1754—young couples would flee to this small Scottish village to skirt England’s restrictive marriage laws. Today, the town is still a popular wedding spot, with historic venues that include an old blacksmith’s shop, a 17th-century parish church and an ancient tower surrounded by a beautiful garden.

www.gretnagreen.com

5. To walk down the aisle barefoot

Tulum Beach, photo by Castrum71/Alamy

Getting married on a Caribbean beach can be a strictly barefoot affair if you want it to be. With calm waters and pristine sands that run nearly 20 kilometres, there’s good reason Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, appears on many of the world’s most beautiful beaches lists. Or, if the sea isn’t a dramatic enough backdrop, consider getting married on Riviera Maya’s Tulum Beach, where ancient Mayan ruins stretch right to the shore.

6. To bond with your guests on an excursion

Arizona Party Bike

A destination wedding promises ample quality time with friends and family. Thank them for travelling to your nuptials—and create fun memories for everyone—with an epic pre- or post-wedding excursion. Memorable options include ziplining through a tropical cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica, or pedalling en masse through Scottsdale’s Old Town on a party bike that comes outfitted with a sound system, LED lights and an electric helper motor.

7. To tie the knot with Elvis

Graceland Wedding Chapel

If quirky is your thing, nothing tops the kitsch of getting married by Elvis at a Vegas wedding chapel. With at least 10 different Elvis chapels on and around the Strip, you can personalize your wedding package to include everything from a performance by the King to having Elvis walk the bride down the aisle. One of Vegas’ most famous venues is the Graceland Wedding Chapel, which Elvis Presley himself paid an unexpected visit to back in 1967.

gracelandchapel.com

8. To take part in a real-life fairy tale at Disney or an Irish castle

Ashford Castle

Want to feel like a princess on your wedding day? A Disney wedding, whether at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando or California’s Disneyland Resort, can make those fairy-tale dreams a reality—from arriving in Cinderella’s coach to having the Magic Kingdom all to yourself. If you’re seeking a more authentic storyline, get married in a real castle: Ireland’s Ashford Castle has welcomed real-life royalty and can be booked for up to 160 guests.

disneyweddings.comashfordcastle.com

9. To have unique wedding photos

An underwater wedding photo in Punta Cana, photo by Bruno Messina

Playful and dramatic, underwater photos are a hot photography trend that lends itself well to a wedding in a tropical destination. Hoyo Azul, a swimming cave in Punta Cana, is one particularly striking spot for a shoot. Can’t commit to trashing the dress? Whether your backdrop is one of Hawaii’s towering waterfalls (Waimea Falls on Oahu is a no-hiking-required option) or an iconic urban setting such as London’s Tower Bridge, your photos will be distinct.

10. To drink the local wine in B.C. or California

Great Grape Stomp, photo courtesy of Cantrav Services Inc.

Getting married in wine country means beautiful vistas and the opportunity to enjoy special vintages that may not be available at your local liquor store. A group grape stomp makes for an enjoyable party activity in B.C’s Okanagan (Avalon’s Great Grape Stomp brings the fun anywhere in the region). Or you can celebrate the timelessness of love among aging vintages in The Barrel Room at Carr Winery in Santa Barbara.

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