Are you planning a destination wedding this year? If so, you’re not the only one dreaming of sandy beaches and tropical scenery for your nuptials—25 percent of weddings are destination-based according to TripSavvy.
The first step in making your destination wedding dreams come true is to choosing your location. The good news is: this means an extra vaca to find the perfect spot for your big day. If you’re not sure where you start, check out this list of gorgeous tropical destinations that are sure to live up to all your wedding expectations.
Paget Parish, Bermuda
Bermuda is the perfect destination for Northeasterners who want a shorter travel time because it’s an easy 2-hour flight from major hubs like Boston and NYC. Still, you feel like you’re a world away, partly because Bermuda is still a British Overseas Territory, so you get a different feel here than in other tropical locales. Think: driving on the left side of the road and double-decker buses.
Elbow Beach Resort overlooks the pink sand beaches on the South Shore of the island. For wedding venues, you can choose from multiple sites, whether you want a feet-in-the-sand beachside ceremony or a romantic terrace reception.
Curacao is a gem in the Caribbean island because it’s located just south of the Atlantic hurricane belt. If you visit during hurricane season (June through November), you don’t have to worry about inclement weather ruining your I Do’s. Not to mention, Curacao has year-round sunshine, so you can be flexible with your dates.
The island itself offers a mixture of cute towns, pastel colonial architecture, and stunning beaches. The Hilton has a number of indoor and outdoor venues to choose from, including Sunset Rock, an intimate beach with a picturesque sea-weathered bluff.
3. Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rose Hall is a former palatial estate on the beaches of Montego Bay. The hotel was recently awarded two accolades naming it the best wedding venue in the Caribbean, which is quite a feat considering the Caribbean is the most popular destination wedding location for U.S. weddings, according to Brides.com.
With a fascinating history, Rose Hall offers many options for your ceremony, whether you want to be beachside, next to the ancient ruins of an 18th-century aqueduct or on the grounds of a sprawling restored plantation. Plus, with countless activities and sights to see, you and your guests will have plenty to do.
4. Casa Marina
Key West, Florida
If you want to stay within the U.S., visit the most southern tip: the Florida Keys. Casa Marina, owned by The Waldorf Astoria in Key West, is an historic hotel and resort with the only private beach on the island. The venue is also a multi-year Wedding Wire award winner. Ceremonies can take place in multiple locations, including grand ballrooms that are perfect for an elegant wedding with a large guest list.
Key West also has multiple historical attractions, white-sand beaches, and champion-level golf courses. You can even visit Ernest Hemingway’s former home for a little history.
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
We know what you’re thinking, “Maryland, tropical?” This unique wedding venue, just an hour outside D.C., has a surprisingly beachy feel. The resort sits on the Chesapeake Bay with stunning views, palm trees, and beautiful beaches—so much so, that it will be hard to believe you’re not on an island.
You can get married in several locations on the property, and with a large hotel, guests can stay right on-site. There are also several back-up options, in case of rain—a northeast wedding must
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands are a popular Carribean vacation destination and Secret Harbour Resort is a beautiful, and affordable venue for your tropical wedding. You can get married in the sand with a few different options for a beachy ceremony location.
The resort itself can house and entertain all of your guests with inclusive packages—and, as a U.S. territory, there are no passport is required. While St. Thomas is a small island, there are a plenty of of things to do and see, if you need a break from the romantic secluded beaches and poolside cocktails.
Aransas Pass, Texas
If you want a tropical wedding with southern charm, look no further than Mansion by the Sea. The mansion is location is on an island between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, which is just outside Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast. The venue has a private and subtle beach, colorful gardens, a water-view deck, and indoor options for the ceremony and reception.
While the all-in-one location is convenient for the event, there are no overnight accommodations. Which means you and your guests will have to branch out to the Port Aransas or Corpus Christi area.
Hawaii is a popular vacation and wedding destination, famous for its pristine beaches and array of activities and sights. Haiku Gardens offers a truly unique experience. As a private paradise that’s off-the-beaten-path, you’ll feel like you’re getting married in a far-off jungle. Dinners are catered by their award-winning restaurant Haleiwa Joe’s, which offers classic Hawaii and island fare.
It’s important to note that this is another venue where you’ll have to find off-site accommodations. The good new is this will give you and your guests the opportunity to explore other areas of Oahu.
This wedding venue is a truly unique location for watersport lovers—you can get married under-the-sea, next to a spectacular coral reef. Bride and groom must be dive-certified and for those who want to stay on land, the resort has equally luxurious and tropical options for your nuptials.
Secrets Aura is one of Cozumel’s only adults-only locations, perfect if you want to experience your special day without any little ones running around. With spectacular beaches, crystal blue water, and award-winning restaurants, you won’t be disappointed.
San Diego, CA
Located in densely populated San Diego, Paradise Point is hidden away with a surprisingly large footprint across Mission Bay. The grounds are lush, tropical and private, but offer the benefit of being just minutes away from everything the city of San Diego has to offer. The couple can choose multiple locations for their ceremony, from bayfront lawns and sandy beaches to private lagoons and gardens. Guests can stay on-site or branch out to the many other beachside and bayside resorts in the area, making this perfect for the couple with a large family.
Ready to say ‘I Do’ in a tropical destination?
Destination weddings are the best way to combine your special day with a vacation for both you and your guests. Jet off to one of these tropical locations to the find the perfect destination for the big day.