Choosing to have a destination wedding is exciting and stressful.
Choosing to have a destination wedding as a same-sex couple is exciting, stressful, and downright confusing. At Invitations by R Squared, we help with lots of the questions that come up for same-sex couples. Where is it legal and where is it illegal for you to be wed? And once you have a location, which venues will even allow same-sex couples to hold ceremonies?
Then you two choose a date, and the questions about Save the Date cards, wedding invitations, and all the elements of a destination wedding stationery suite start rolling.
But first, WHERE are some of the best places for a LGBTQ couple to tie the knot?
Invitations by R Squared reached out to our community of same-sex brides and grooms, destination wedding planning professionals, and masters in their trade of finding the most exotic and amazing wedding locales, for a rundown of the most stunning wedding destinations that are also gay-friendly.
Here is what we found:
Cap Rocat (Mallorca, Spain)
Calling all history buffs! Known for its unique architecture and natural environment, this venue is blended into the most secluded area in the bay of Palma de Mallorca.
There is something so magical about marrying at a place so massive in stature and historical in significance. Spain has legislation in place that ensures all same-sex couples can have a legally binding civil ceremony if one of them is registered as resident. If neither are residents one could choose to hold a blessing ceremony following your binding marriage in your home country.
Domus Civita (Civita di Bagnoregio, Lazio, Italy)
Not just your everyday 14th century medieval home perched atop a volcanic plateau with underground caves and a Roman water cistern below. It’s casual! The estate was purchased in a decrepit state in 2011 by architect Patrizio Fradiani and his partner.
This private retreat looks as though it came straight out of one of Indiana Jones’ adventures, an almost mirage-looking miracle. Make sure to pack your sunglasses as the gold glinting off the tufa rocks surrounding the town and the silver inlaid in the basalt streets may overwhelm with its opulence. One of the most notable and beautiful places on Earth, it’s a place to get lost in. Did we mention the indoor cave pool?
San Giorgio Hotel (Mykonos, Greece)
It’s rumored that Jackie Onassis put Mykonos on the map as one of the chicest islands to travel to. The gay community followed back in the ’70s when her and her entourage frequented the island.
The idea behind this wonderfully whitewashed and bohemian beachfront hotel is bringing like-minded people together in a laid-back atmosphere. The hotel is designed to encourage interaction among guests and with easy access to both the world-class beaches, pool and the actual design of the hotel as well as the gay friendly nightlife of Mykonos, this is a marvelous marriage destination. Gay weddings are not legally recognized in Greece.
Couples choosing to marry in Greece will also need to legally get married in another country. Mykonos is one of the “Big 4” gay summer resort destinations in Europe.
Rayavadee KRabi (Krabi, Thailand)
If you want to make it here, you’ll have to travel to the outskirts of Krabi Marine National Park, surrounded by tropical wildlife and coconut groves. Word to the wise – Rayavadee is only accessible by boat!
This five-star beachfront resort has every luxurious amenity you could imagine: the topper? It sure will be a wonderful wedding day at they’re gorgeous limestone grotto: fancy lingo for ‘cave venue on the beach.’ Thailand has not legalized same-sex marriage, yet wedding ceremonies often take place here under Buddhist law.
Matakauri Lodge (Queenstown, New Zealand)
This is a five-star lakeside lodge in New Zealand and it’s a dreamland every season of the year — what more do you need? This lodge has hosted royalty and billionaires – the Owner’s Cottage is listed as one of the finest suites in the world.
Besides the magnificent mountain views, your personal concierge will assist you in planning your perfect party as well as arranging your group’s activities for the week (end) in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. New Zealand was the first Asia-Pacific nation to legalize gay marriage, making it the 13th country in the world to do so.
Experimental Beach Ibiza (Ibiza, Spain)>/h2>
The waterfront bar and lounge opened its doors onto the sands of southern Ibiza’s Ses Salinas in May of 2013. With endless days of sunshine and beautiful beaches, this oceanfront oasis beckons for any and all bohemian beach babes to bust their best dance moves and do up their “I-do’s” under a sweet Spanish sunset.
Spain has recently passed legislation that ensures all same-sex couples can have a legally binding civil ceremony if one of them is registered as resident. If neither are residents one could choose to hold a blessing ceremony following a binding marriage in your home country.
Capri Tiberio Palace (Capri, Italy)
This hotel on the Mediterranean is not so much a hotel, but a 19th Century palace. This picture-perfect Italian postcard palace is an eclectic gathering place for bon vivants, glamorous globetrotters & the crème de la crème of the upper crust of any orientation.
Gilded lobbies, jellyfish installation and an indoor-pool & spa complete this chic Capri hideaway. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Italy, but that shouldn’t deter a couple looking to wed in this luxe land. A civil union in the couple’s home state should take care of the legality, and Italy is quickly becoming a hotspot for performing LGBT commitment ceremonies.
Fregate Island Private (Fregate Island Private, Seychelles)
Not satisfied with a simple hotel takeover? How about your own private island? Talk about a serious commitment ceremony. Step one: Invite everyone you know. Step two: commence party.
You can rent the entire island, located in a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, or stay in one of the private residences (Banyan Tree Estate) — either way you guys are ON AN ISLAND.
Seychelles does not recognize same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions, though many venues here host same-sex ceremonies and honeymoons — just be sure to legalize your marriage back home.
Estancia Vik (Jose Ignacio, Uruguay)
The acres upon acres of this sprawling estate provide Uruguay’s traditional ranch experience, yet you’ll be just minutes from beautiful beaches and surfing. Pulse-pounding parties, polo, perfect playas and panoramas make this South American province positively paradisiacal will still providing a traditional ranch experience.
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Uruguay in 2013.
Drake Devonshire (Ontario, Canada)
Take a short trip from to Ontario and you’ll never look at farmhouses the same again. We thought we knew Canadian cool… then we found the Drake Devonshire.
Delight in the decor that deserves every accolade it’s received. Takeover all eleven stylishly appointed rooms (and 2 suites) and revel in how ridiculously cool you guys will be just by staying here.
Country wedding or corporate retreat, it’s nothing short of rad. With venues spanning from a lakeside deck and lawn to an enclosed A-frame dining room and a glass box for professional pow-wows, the ‘Drake by the Lake’ is one of our favorite intimate inns of all-time. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada as of 2005 with the Civil Marriage Act.
There’s a lot that is going to go into planning your event. We know that, and we’re here to help. Schedule a consultation with Fran, and get some of your questions answered. In the meantime, to help keep you inspired, the team has put together these mood boards.
Your destination wedding is going to be amazing, magical, and altogether memorable. The perfect way to celebrate your journey together!