He just asked, and you said “Yes!” You’ve got the ring – now jump into the destination wedding planning!
First step: Decide where to go. Second step: Choose a date. Third step: Get in touch with us and schedule a consultation with the amazing Fran. She can help you choose the perfect Save the Date cards and destination wedding invitations for your most special day.
To help you with deciding on a destination wedding location, we’ve rounded up a basketful of the best spots around the world eager to host your destination wedding.
Aruba: Breezy Aruba is the sixth most visited island in the Caribbean for a reason
— for starters, it’s located south of the hurricane belt, so there’s no danger of tropical storms threatening your destination wedding. Other draws include its sugar sand beaches, ample nightlife, and multicultural history.
Legal wedding ceremonies must take place inside City Hall on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Then hold a symbolic ceremony anywhere you like. You’ll need copies of your birth certificates with an apostil, passports, two witnesses with passports, and single-status reports.
Belize: With more than 100 offshore islands,
a great barrier reef, untamed jaguar territory and centuries-old caves, Belize has something for every destination wedding couple. Add year-round 80-degree weather, and it’s no wonder more couples get married here every year. Learn more about destination weddings in Belize here.
Receive a Mayan blessing at the ancient site of Xunantunich or Cahal Pech along the Guatemalan border. Or head to other parts of the Cayo region, home to most of the country’s forest reserves, for vows by a waterfall.
You’ll need to stay in the country for three days before applying for a marriage license. Then present proof of citizenship, copies of your passports showing your pictures and date of entry into Belize, and proof of marital status if widowed or divorced, along with the $105 fee. Everything is done in Belize City or Belmopan, and it only takes a day.
Florida: Out of the top 10 domestic destination wedding spots where honeymooners “checked in” on Facebook,
four are in Florida (including Miami and Orlando), and it’s not surprising. Florida’s 825 miles of beaches make it the prime spot for stateside coastal celebrations.
You don’t have to head out to sea to wed on an island, either. Dig your toes into the sugar sands of Siesta Key, or barhop with your guests down Key West’s Duval Street after exchanging vows at a pastel-hued 1920s bungalow.
Tying the knot in the Sunshine State is easy; just arrive within three days of your ceremony. If you take the four-hour Florida premarital course (available online!), the $93.50 fee for the license is reduced by one-third, and there’s no waiting period. Any county can issue a license, and you’ll have to get married before the 60-day expiration date of your license.
Hawaii: Hawaii, a five-hour flight from Los Angeles,
is a no-brainer when it comes to destination weddings. From lava-peeping and stargazing on Hawaii, the Big Island to hiking Kauai’s Napali Coast to restaurant-hopping in Waikiki, Oahu, adventure and romance are easy to come by here. Plus, from late December to early May, you can spot whales without even trying. And where else do you have an excuse to walk down a palm-lined aisle to ukulele music?
Before your Hawaii nuptials, apply for the marriage license online; just make sure you don’t sign it until you meet with your wedding agent. And remember to bring valid IDs. Once that’s out of the way, you’re free to say I do — there’s no waiting period before the marriage can take place. You’ll get your temporary certificate online, and the certified copy is mailed a few weeks later.
The Islands of Tahiti: Only an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles,
another universe awaits: neon-turquoise lagoons, tattooed men in outrigger canoes, the misty jungle peak of Mount Otemanu, sharks and rays gliding under thatched overwater bungalows.
The Islands of Tahiti offers more destination wedding locations that are ethereal and magical that any place else that we can think of in the world.
Recently legalized for citizens of the United States and Canada, the Tahitian marriage process isn’t too complicated; all the logistics can be taken care of in as few as three to five months before touching down. Find a list of the required documents at the Tahitian tourist council. The mayor performs a quick legal ceremony at city hall; then you’re free to say your vows wherever you like.
Bahamas: The Bahamas most famous vacation hub, Nassau, is tops for destination weddings,
thanks to its Versailles Gardens, big-name hotels and wealth of direct flights. But venture beyond the popular cruise port, and you’ll encounter deserted pink-sand beaches in Harbour Island, mysterious blue holes in Andros Island, and unique beach barhopping in the Abacos (all you’ll need is a boat). Read more about hosting your destination wedding in the Bahamas right here.
A day after arrival, apply for a marriage license ($120) at the local administrator’s office. You’ll need passports, birth certificates and evidence of your date of arrival, as well as an official declaration of single status and a divorce decree, if applicable. You can wed once you receive your approved license the day after application. Ask your planner to assist with certification of your documents in advance.
Jamaica: The third-largest Caribbean island,
Jamaica is home to 635 miles of coastline and a host of all-inclusive resorts to villas to host your destination wedding.
Negril has the perfect combo of pristine beach and lively nightlife; energetic Montego Bay is a hotel hub surrounded by a lush landscape and turquoise waters.
Marrying couples must be on the island 24 hours prior to the ceremony with marriage license in hand. Send paperwork, including certified copies of birth certificates, to the Ministry of National Security at least several weeks in advance; most resorts or local wedding planners can assist with this.
Saint Lucia: Blending British and French influences,
Saint Lucia is almost synonymous with its iconic Piton Mountains. But the destination wedding romance extends beyond the twin peaks, from Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and 19,000 acres of rainforest to palm-fringed beaches and the world’s only drive-in volcano. Some of the top resorts are in and around the island’s two main towns (Castries, the capital, and Soufriere at the foot of the Pitons), and most offer onsite planners.
In true Caribbean style, it’s easy to get married in Saint Lucia. There’s no residency period, so you can host your ceremony within 24 hours of arrival as long as you apply for a same-day marriage license and you have all the necessary, original documentation. Same-day licenses are $200 (the regular fee for a marriage license is $125).
U.S. Virgin Islands: As if all the natural eye candy
(sugar white beaches, jungle-cloaked hills, Technicolor reefs) wasn’t enough, the U.S. Virgin Islands boast tremendous convenience — you won’t need passports, language dictionaries or currency converters in these U.S. territories.
Want accessibility, nightlife and shopping? Opt for St. Thomas and its bustling port, Charlotte Amalie. Are you a nature nut? Go for St. John, home to the Virgin Islands National Park. For history and culture, wander Christiansted and Frederiksted, the two main towns bookending St. Croix.
Download the application for a marriage license here. After the Superior Court of the USVI receives a completed and authorized application, there’s an eight-day waiting period. Obtain a certified copy of a divorce decree (if applicable), and specify who’s officiating: If it’s a member of the clergy, the fee is $200 (money order or cash).
We know that planning a destination wedding may seem a bit daunting at the outset. It doesn’t have to be! As we said, we’re here to help. If you need us, don’t hesitate to visit us here. In the meantime, we’ve assembled some amazing mood boards right here.
We’re as thrilled as can be for you, and we know that your special day will truly be your best day ever!