According to a 2018 survey by the wedding planning site The Knot, nearly one in four American couples who married in 2018 considered their wedding a destination wedding. The majority of those (81 percent) were in one of the mainland states, while 19 percent ventured somewhere more far-flung.
“I think a lot of millennials and couples getting married today are looking to do something unique,” says Lauren Kay, deputy editor of The Knot. “They’re getting married at the same time as their friends and colleagues, and so they want their wedding to stand out and be special.”
As brides and grooms start planning their weddings, Kay expects the following domestic destinations to be popular:
Las Vegas. It’s easy to get to, it’s a breeze to get your marriage license and there are wedding venues and packages for all tastes and budgets.
Charleston, South Carolina. “It’s this lovely city that feels small but has this romance about it,” says Kay. Plus, it’s affordable, the food is excellent, and couples can find unique and historic venue options.
Napa Valley, California. Wine country is perennially popular for its romantic vineyard views, top-notch food and beverage options, and of course, fun tasting experiences for groups.
Hawaii. For beach ceremonies, “it’s just an iconic spot,” says Kay. The islands offer an exotic feel but don’t require a passport. And it’s a great excuse for guests to book an island vacation.
Florida. Couples love the Caribbean feel that the Sunshine State offers, minus the lengthy travel time. Kay expects Sarasota, Miami and Key West to be popular. For couples interested in a cruise wedding, Florida is a great place to start because so many ships set sail there.
For international destination weddings, beaches will be big. “The Caribbean always will top the list,” says Kay. She ticks off the top contenders: the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and, for those wanting something a bit more far-flung, Costa Rica. Mexico continues to be popular — especially Riviera Maya with its access to nightlife, beaches, resorts and cultural attractions like ruins.