This year marks our 10-year Anniversary. A rather fantastic 10 years and of course with many more to come. Through this time we have also travelled fairly extensively, and yet few destinations we visited could compare to that of our wedding destination having celebrated our marriage on the idyllic island of Bali in Indonesia. A destination admittedly chosen by convenience, as we already planned to be there. But it was also the perfect destination for both ourselves and our family/friends with its scenic attractions, rich cultural heritage, and of course diverse tropical wildlife. We even returned recently to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Bali (2018).
Anyway, if we did have the opportunity to do it all again, and if money was not an option, would we still choose to wed in Bali? I guess so, but this may just be nostalgia talking. So were we to marry again, or renew our nuptials, and Bali was not in the cards? Here are 10 of the best destinations to celebrate a destination wedding. From a nearer wedding in Mykonos to flying all the way out to the luxurious islands of the Maldives.
1. The Maldives
While better known as a honeymoon destination, the Maldives also makes the perfect backdrop to more intimate destination wedding ceremonies. Aside from its breathtaking natural beauty, The Maldives offers a wide range of options for the perfect wedding, such as a beach wedding, a ceremony on a private island or on a luxury yacht. Fancy an underwater wedding ceremony? The Maldives is also well known for its high-end resorts, world-class spas and private villas, and it just makes for an unforgettable getaway for everyone.
2. Maui, Hawaii
Wedding destinations don’t really come more tropical than Hawaii with many stunning venues offering views of the ocean, mountains, or even lush tropical gardens. Maui’s warm climate and beautiful beaches make it a perfect destination for a beach wedding with all the beach activities such as snorkelling, and surfing, and it’s just a great destination for more adventurous couples. Additionally, the island has a rich cultural heritage and is home to many traditional Hawaiian wedding venues and services. Maui also hosts a variety of luxury resorts, spas, and fine dining options for a bit of pampering in between.
3. Mykonos, Greece
Known for its stunning beaches, picturesque white-washed buildings, and vibrant nightlife, Mykonos would be up there with the best destination wedding options, yet it’s still relatively nearby here in Europe. The island also offers a variety of venues for ceremonies and receptions, from traditional Greek churches to luxurious beach resorts. Then there is the Mediterranean temperate and climate and it’s a destination guests will find hard to turn down (it’s not so easy to reach the Seychelles, Japan etc.)
4. Venice, Italy
Somewhat cliche but Venice, with its winding canals, historic architecture and charming gondolas, will forever be one of the most romantic and picturesque backdrops for a destination wedding. Venice also offers a variety of beautiful venues such as palaces, museums, and private gardens, and as a city known for its fine food and wine, it is also an ideal destination for food lovers (like us). Then there is the romance of the city with boat rides, visiting art galleries and museums, and just taking a stroll through Venice’s charming streets.
5. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Inspired by my sister’s wedding at Kruger National Park. Weddings don’t come quite as exciting and adventurous as on safari with stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and luxury accommodation. South Africa also offers a variety of activities such as hot air balloon rides, boat cruises and wine tasting that can make your wedding an unforgettable experience (similar can also be found in other surrounding African safari destinations.
While better known as a honeymoon destination, Seychelles also makes for the perfect wedding destination. A tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation. The perfect backdrop to any occasion the island archipelago also offers a range of venues and settings for ceremonies, from beachfront resorts to private islands. With the warm weather and unmatched natural beauty and idyllic location, it also makes for a dream location for guests planning to travel for the occasion. I know I’d be there.
7. Phuket, Thailand
While Thailand is well known for its many idyllic islands, the resort island of Phuket makes for a popular yet affordable destination wedding that is also easy to reach by direct flights. There are also lots of luxurious resorts at a similar price to what you pay at a Travel Lodge back home in the UK. We visit a lot. Phuket also offers a range of venues for ceremonies, from traditional Thai temples to private beachside locations, as well as surrounding islands as the Gateway to the Andaman (Khao Yao Yai our recommendation). Not to mention the amazing food of Thailand.
8. Jaipur, India
Avoiding the beaches of Goa and the cliche of Agra and the Taj Mahal (not a chance), Jaipur otherwise ticks the boxes for an Indian destination wedding. Known as the “Pink City,” Jaipur is rich with cultural heritage, beautiful palaces and Havelis, and vibrant colours. The city also offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity, and it is well-connected making it easily accessible for guests to attend.
9. The Alps, Switzerland
This would likely be Fanfan’s favourite as a regular destination for our own travels excited by the rather majestic settings of the Swiss Alps. Couples can exchange vows in front of majestic mountain ranges, glistening glaciers, and serene lakes. The alps also offer a variety of venues, from traditional chalets to luxury resorts. In addition, the Swiss alps are a popular winter sports destination and offer activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, making it a great location for a winter wedding.
10. Honshu, Japan
while I love Japan more as a travel destination, I can also see its potential as a wedding destination, as it’s been the backdrop to some of the most romantic getaways in our travels. Japan also offers a wide range of wedding venues, from traditional Japanese gardens and temples and some of the popular venues include Shinto shrines, Japanese castles, and museums. Then there are the traditional wedding customs, such as Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies, which can make for a truly authentic and memorable experience. Not to forget the amazing Japanese cuisine.