In the past couple of decades, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) have made tremendous strides to gain not only societal acceptance, but the freedom to marry in the United States as well as in many other countries around the world.
Happy Pride Month!
The LGBTQ community’s growing success in establishing legally recognized unions in countries across the globe is powering a surge in destination weddings, as more couples opt to exchange vows with the added benefit of beginning their wedded bliss at unconventional, but gay-friendly destination weddings.
It’s not hard to find a great destination for a LGBTQ wedding as several international locales have long track records of welcoming members of the community.
So, we decided to pull together a list of LGBTQ-friendly destinations that are not only romantic, but they are ideal locales for couples to exchange their wedding vows. And when you’re ready, you should consider a wedding planner experienced with LGBTQ events to help you plan your dream destination wedding or an exotic honeymoon.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – The Netherlands was a leader in establishing same-sex marriages, when it legalized gay marriage in 2001.
Historic Amsterdam is one of the world’s renowned romantic cities, with languid canals, picturesque parks, candlelit cafes and gabled Dutch architecture. Newly married LGBTQ couples can also party long into the night as Amsterdam features a pulsating nightclub scene, too.
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Argentina’s capital and largest city, Buenos Aires is also the unofficial gay capital of Latin America.
The city’s welcoming culture extends from centrally located neighborhoods like colorful La Boca to the gay-friendly cafes and guesthouses found in San Telmo, Retiro, Barrio Norte and Palermo Viejo.
And for couples who want to learn to tango for a special wedding dance, then a visit to the tango capital of the world is a must! An expert travel agent can arrange your big day around the Queer Tango Festival, usually scheduled every year in late November. And if you miss out on the festival, adventurous couples can find one of several schools in the city, where travelers can learn the famous dance.
Hawaii – Hawaii is always a popular dream vacation destination in LGBTQ travel, and it made the list of top 6 honeymoon destinations chosen by our travel professionals, too!
Its awe-inspiring natural wonders are the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable destination wedding. And Hawaii lawmakers legalized same-sex marriages years ago – before the SCOTUS ruling, giving the local gay-friendly resorts a head start on creating destination wedding packages for LGBTQ couples.
Maui is generally considered the most popular Hawaiian island for LGBTQ travelers.
It offers numerous opportunities for honeymooners to take a guided hike through a lush tropical rainforest to towering waterfalls, where they can wade in secluded pools. Clothing-optional, gay-friendly Little Beach, Highway to Hana and luxe beachfront resorts like the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea are just a few reasons why you’ll want to consider a travel agent and possibly a wedding planner as well for your destination wedding on this idyllic island paradise.
Ireland – LGBTQ couples can take advantage of Ireland’s legalization of same-sex marriage by planning to take their destination wedding to the resplendent Emerald Isle.
Couples can craft a romantic Ireland itinerary featuring romantic lodges and boutique hotels in Killarney and Dublin. Along the way travelers can arrange visits to fabled sites including Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, Torc Waterfall and the Cliffs of Moher.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – This longtime vacation hotspot is located in the Mexico’s Jalisco region, the country’s fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage following Chihuahua, Coahuila and Quintana Roo.
In fact, Jalisco has been recognized as the capital of LGBTQ travel in Mexico for decades. Specifically, Puerto Vallarta hosts an annual LGBTQ Pride Festival with numerous supporters, including the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board.
Puerto Vallarta’s downtown “gayborhood,” the Zona Romantica, features more than 70 businesses targeting LGBTQ consumers. The area is also served by several premium, LGBTQ-friendly hotels and resorts.
Tahiti – Coconut groves, dreamy blue lagoons and bleached-white sands are the hallmarks of Tahiti, the quintessential romantic wedding destination.
With most hotels and resorts well prepared to legally offer same-sex weddings, LGBTQ couples will find an unmistakable atmosphere of welcome and acceptance here.
Couples won’t find a more romantic experience than spending a week in a thatched-roof overwater bungalow with a glass floor to watch colorful tropical fish swimming below. Tahiti’s rae-rae – cross-dressing and transgendered people – are a highly respected and integral part of the restaurant and hotel industries in Tahitian culture.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Vancouver is an especially advantageous locale for destination wedding-bound LGBTQ couples, as the municipality offers easy-to-follow instructions on how to tie the knot locally.
The cosmopolitan city also features Davie Village, a thriving LGBTQ neighborhood that includes trendy restaurants and bars. And Vancouver’s inspiring Canadian Rockies mountain peaks and clear blue waters offer couples a myriad of adventure-themed activities, including hiking, skiing and mountain biking.
We know you’re faced with a ton of choices when it comes to planning a LGBTQ destination wedding. It can get confusing and overwhelming. We want you to know we’re here to help! Get in touch and chat with Fran. She can totally help you make order out of chaos.
We’ve put together a number of curated collections of wedding images over here! You never know where the next great idea is going to come from!
Your day is going to be magical, romantic and altogether memorable … and we couldn’t be happier for you both!