Choosing the perfect destination for your dream wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming. As a wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of capturing beautiful celebrations in some of the most stunning locations around the world. In this blog post, I’ll share my insights on the top 10 destination wedding locations for 2023, offering inspiration and guidance for your own special day. Each destination will be explored in detail, highlighting its unique charm and appeal. Remember, the perfect location for your wedding should reflect your personal style, budget, and the needs of your guests.
Santorini, a picturesque island in the Aegean Sea, is known for its stunning sunsets, caldera views, and iconic blue-domed churches. A Santorini destination wedding promises an unforgettable experience, with the island’s whitewashed buildings and azure waters providing a breathtaking backdrop for your celebrations.
Popular venues for a Santorini wedding include cliffside terraces with caldera views, such as Le Ciel or Santo Winery, and luxury resorts like Andronis Luxury Suites or Canaves Oia. As you plan your Santorini wedding, consider incorporating local elements like Greek cuisine, wine, and entertainment to create an authentic experience for your guests.
During your stay, explore the charming towns of Oia and Fira, take a sunset cruise around the caldera, or visit the ancient ruins of Akrotiri. With its dramatic landscapes and romantic ambiance, Santorini is one of the world’s premiere destination wedding locations.
Paris, the City of Love, is synonymous with romance, making it an ideal destination for your wedding. With its iconic landmarks, world-class cuisine, and timeless elegance, a Paris wedding destination offers a truly unforgettable experience for you and your guests.
Choose from a range of stunning venues, including historic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, luxurious hotels such as the Ritz Paris or Le Bristol, and elegant chateaus like Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte or Chateau de Versailles. In addition to your wedding celebrations, consider organizing a wine tasting in the nearby Champagne region, a Seine River cruise, or a group tour of the city’s famous museums and galleries.
A Parisian wedding is an opportunity to embrace the city’s rich culture and history. Incorporate elements of French cuisine, fashion, and art into your celebration, and be sure to capture your special moments in front of iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, or the Louvre.
Bali, known as the Island of the Gods, offers a truly enchanting setting for your destination wedding. With its lush tropical landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture, a Bali destination wedding promises an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.
Popular venues for a Bali wedding include beachfront resorts like The Mulia or Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, clifftop villas like Khayangan Estate or The Edge, and lush jungle retreats such as The Hanging Gardens of Bali or The Royal Pita Maha. As you plan your Bali wedding, consider incorporating local elements like Balinese cuisine, traditional music and dance, and floral decorations to create an authentic experience.
During your stay, explore the island’s rich cultural heritage, visiting ancient temples like Uluwatu or Tanah Lot, or experience the vibrant nightlife in Seminyak or Kuta. Enjoy the natural beauty of Bali by visiting the rice terraces in Ubud, taking a sunrise trek up Mount Batur, or snorkeling and diving off the coast of Nusa Penida.
Tulum, a bohemian paradise on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, is an ideal destination for couples seeking a laid-back, beachfront wedding. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and lush jungle, a Tulum destination wedding offers a beautiful, natural setting for your special day.
Choose from a variety of unique venues, such as beachfront boutique hotels like Nest Tulum or Casa Malca, eco-chic resorts such as Azulik or Papaya Playa Project, or even private beach clubs like Akiin Beach Club or Zorba Tulum. As you plan your Tulum wedding, consider incorporating local elements like Mexican cuisine, live music, and colorful decorations to create a festive atmosphere.
In addition to your wedding celebrations, your guests can enjoy a range of activities in Tulum, including exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, visiting the stunning cenotes, or simply relaxing on the beautiful beaches. Tulum’s vibrant, bohemian atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty make it a truly unforgettable destination for your wedding.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site along Italy’s southern coastline, is renowned for its dramatic cliffs, picturesque towns, and world-class cuisine. An Amalfi Coast wedding destination offers a magical, romantic setting for your special day, with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea serving as a stunning backdrop.
As one of Italies top destination wedding locations, you can select from a variety of venues, including luxury hotels like Belmond Hotel Caruso or Le Sirenuse, historic villas such as Villa Cimbrone or Villa Eva, and charming restaurants like La Tagliata or Ristorante Torre Normanna. When planning your Amalfi Coast wedding, consider incorporating local elements like Italian cuisine, wine, and music to create an authentic experience.
During your stay, explore the charming towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, take a boat trip along the coast to the island of Capri, or visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, the Amalfi Coast is a dream destination for your wedding.
Maui, known as the Valley Isle, is a tropical paradise in the Hawaiian archipelago that offers a diverse range of landscapes, from pristine beaches and lush rainforests to volcanic peaks. A Maui destination wedding provides an idyllic, romantic setting for your special day, surrounded by the island’s natural beauty.
Choose from a variety of venues, including beachfront resorts like Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea or Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, oceanfront estates like Olowalu Plantation House or Sugar Beach Events, and botanical gardens like Maui Tropical Plantation or Haiku Mill. As you plan your Maui wedding, consider incorporating elements of Hawaiian culture, such as traditional music, dance, and cuisine, to create a truly memorable experience.
During your stay, explore Maui’s diverse landscapes, including the Road to Hana, Haleakala National Park, and the historic town of Lahaina. Enjoy water activities like snorkeling, surfing, and whale watching, or simply relax on the island’s beautiful beaches. With its breathtaking scenery and rich cultural heritage, Maui is a perfect destination for your wedding.
Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, located in the heart of the Italian Lakes region, is known for its stunning landscapes, historic villas, and luxurious resorts. A Lake Como wedding destination offers an elegant, romantic setting for your special day, with the tranquil waters of the lake and the surrounding mountains providing a picturesque backdrop.
Select from a variety of venues, including historic villas like Villa Balbiano or Villa del Balbianello, luxury hotels such as Grand Hotel Tremezzo or Villa d’Este, and charming restaurants like La Terrazza or Il Gatto Nero. When planning your Lake Como wedding, consider incorporating local elements like Italian cuisine, wine, and music to create an authentic and unforgettable experience.
During your stay, explore the charming lakeside towns of Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio, take a boat tour of the lake, or visit the stunning gardens of Villa Carlotta or Villa Melzi. For those seeking adventure, the surrounding mountains offer hiking, biking, and breathtaking views of the lake. With its captivating beauty and timeless elegance, Lake Como is a dream destination for your wedding.
The Maldives, an archipelago of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, is known for its crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, and luxurious overwater villas. A Maldives destination wedding offers an idyllic, romantic setting for your special day, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the islands.
Choose from a range of stunning venues, including luxury resorts like Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru or Gili Lankanf ushi Resort, private islands like Velaa Private Island or Coco Prive, and overwater chapels such as Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas or Hurawalhi Island Resort. As you plan your Maldives wedding, consider incorporating elements of the local culture, such as traditional music, dance, and cuisine, to create a truly memorable experience.
During your stay, indulge in the Maldives’ natural beauty by snorkeling or diving among vibrant coral reefs, exploring the pristine beaches, or simply relaxing in your overwater villa. For an extra touch of luxury, treat yourself and your guests to a spa day or a private yacht cruise around the islands. With its unparalleled beauty and serene atmosphere, the Maldives is the perfect destination for your dream wedding.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa’s picturesque coastal city, offers a unique and diverse setting for your destination wedding. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, a Cape Town destination wedding promises an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.
Choose from a variety of venues, including oceanfront estates like The Twelve Apostles Hotel or Tintswalo Atlantic, vineyard settings such as Groot Constantia or Vrede en Lust, and unique locations like Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden or Zeitz MOCAA. As you plan your Cape Town wedding, consider incorporating elements of South African culture, such as traditional music, dance, and cuisine, to create an authentic experience.
During your stay, explore the many attractions Cape Town has to offer, including Table Mountain, the Cape Winelands, Robben Island, and the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood. With its diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and world-class cuisine, Cape Town is an exceptional destination for your wedding.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, located on New Zealand’s South Island, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, adventure activities, and world-class wine. A Queenstown destination wedding offers a dramatic, romantic setting for your special day, surrounded by the natural beauty of the region.
Select from a range of unique venues, including mountaintop locations like Skyline Queenstown or The Remarkables, lakeside settings such as Matakauri Lodge or Jack’s Point, and vineyard venues like Peregrine Winery or Amisfield. As you plan your Queenstown wedding, consider incorporating elements of New Zealand culture, such as Maori traditions, local cuisine, and wine, to create an unforgettable experience.
During your stay, take advantage of the many activities Queenstown has to offer, including bungee jumping, skydiving, hiking, and wine tasting. Explore the nearby Fiordland National Park, home to the famous Milford Sound, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning landscapes that surround you. With its incredible natural beauty and adventurous spirit, Queenstown is a dream destination for your wedding.
In conclusion, choosing the perfect destination for your wedding is a personal and exciting journey. From the pristine beaches of the Maldives to the dramatic landscapes of Queenstown, each location offers its own unique charm and unforgettable experiences. As you explore these top 10 destination wedding locations for 2023, consider the scenery, culture, and activities that resonate with you and your partner, ensuring your dream wedding becomes a reality. Whichever destination you choose, the memories created on your special day will be cherished for a lifetime.