Marriage equality is becoming the way of the world, and it has LGBTQ couples thinking globally about their wedding plans.
Wedding bells are ringing for same-sex couples around the globe. Now that 26 nations are now pronouncing that “love wins,” many a betrothal is followed by an even more daunting question: Where to get hitched? The world map shows marriage equality dominating the Western Hemisphere and Europe, though countries like South Africa and New Zealand are in the mix too, with Taiwan, Mexico, and several Eastern-European nations expected to join the party soon. Of the wide variety of unforgettable destinations, here are the top spots for international weddings, along with some local tips. (Just be sure to do your homework on each country’s latest marriage laws for foreigners.)
In 2015, Ireland surprised the world by becoming the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote—an achievement befitting the country’s welcoming spirit. Dublin is an ideal city for an LGBTQ-friendly ceremony, with venues for a range of budgets.
It’s famous for design ingenuity and progressive ideals, and since 2009, Sweden has been a top contender for destination weddings when it adopted a gender-neutral marriage law. Stockholm offers fabulous hotels and other cool venue choices.
The newest country to the matrimonial party arrived in late 2017, when Australia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage after a hugely successful public referendum. The challenge now is zeroing in on the perfect spot for a down-under destination wedding. Sydney and Melbourne are obvious choices thanks to their vibrant queer communities and urban glamour.
Argentina was the first Latin American country to establish marriage equality back in 2010. Since then, LGBTQ travelers have fallen for this broad-minded country, especially its capital city. Buenos Aires appeals for its beauty, history, and gastronomy—and since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, an October or November wedding brings fresh blooms and warmth, without the North American spring-wedding craziness.
5. New Brunswick
Canada was an early arrival to the same-sex wedding reception when it instituted marriage equality in 2005. As the fourth country to do so, the famously friendly Canucks have enjoyed a long stretch of destination weddings for all. For a particularly Canadian style, head to the maritime province of New Brunswick to tie the knot.
South America’s largest nation began welcoming homosexual nuptials in 2013, building on a civil-union law instituted in 2004. While the big cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo may seem like obvious choices for celebratory occasions, another, more intimate option awaits. Trancoso is an off-the-radar beach town in Bahia that’s home to two LGBTQ-friendly hotels.
7. Puerto Vallarta
Though civil unions are legal, full marriage equality has not yet arrived across Mexico. But 12 states have legalized it, including Jalisco on the Pacific coast. That makes gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta prime territory for a breezy wedding on the beach, at a posh resort, or at a venue that offers both.
If you’ve always wanted a wedding that’s so far away you may as well stay for an extended honeymoon, Bora Bora may be just the ticket. It’s northwest of Tahiti and part of French Polynesia, so LGBT couples have been getting hitched there since 2013 (under French law).
9. Mexico There are nine gay-friendly destinations in Mexico – Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Huatulco, Veracruz, Mazatlán and Mérida. The Catholic Church does have a conservative influence on Mexico. Yet, Mexico has become broad-minded about sexuality. Gays in Mexico don’t attract discrimination or violence. This has made it a perfect holiday getaway.
Have questions? Want to speak to me to find the perfect destination for your Honeymoon, Destination Wedding or Romance Travel? Please use my contact form below. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, click here. You can also call me at (614) 679-2388 or email [email protected].
10 Tips to Planning a Seamless Destination Wedding
Whether you’ve picked your ideal wedding location or not, here are 10 tips on how to plan your destination wedding miles away from home. Take a few deep breaths! A destination wedding means you’re in for a much more intimate ceremony and honeymoon. But, before you jet off to marry your love, you have some important details to consider as you start planning a destination wedding. If you want to save countless hours and money on planning your wedding, consider hiring me to take care of all the big and little details.
Whether you’re considering on a tropical celebration in the Bahamas, an island fête in Bali, or a romantic getaway in Tuscany, Italy, I’ll help you start deciding on your perfect venue to coordinating every last detail on the big day. Here, are my top tips for how to plan a destination wedding — regardless of where in the world you get hitched.
1. Choose a meaningful location.
Your destination must have all of the resources you need – that tiny beach town where you spent your childhood summers won’t work if it only has one hotel that can’t accommodate all your guests. If you are starting off with a blank slate and have no idea where you choose your location, I will help you with this process.
2. Notify your guests at least 8 months (or years) in advance.
This is one of the most important destination wedding tips. It’s important to give your loved ones have plenty of time to calculate if they can afford the cost of traveling to your ceremony and reception.
3. Embrace the setting to save big.
Slash your décor budget by incorporating local flowers — think olive branches and grape leaves in Tuscany or exotic flowers and plants in the tropics — and serve local specialties at the reception, like conch fritters in the Bahamas or carnitas in Cabo, to cut catering costs. If you hire me as your planner, I will help you offset these costs and choose the best vendors for your budget.
4. Consider your guests.
Try to put everyone in one reasonably affordable hotel. If the price is an issue, find a less expensive spot 10 minutes away — 15 tops. Don’t set your date until you’re sure there’s room availability for everyone. As your travel agent, I can take care of all the flight, transportation and accommodations for your guests.
5. Hire a travel agent.
Work with a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings. This way, instead of spending hours on phone calls trying to overcome a language barrier or making executive decisions about flowers and ceremony site from miles away, you have an expert on hand to take care of it all for you. A travel agent will save your hours of time and money. And did you know that most of their fees come as a commission from the resort? In the age of DIY, your wedding and honeymoon are not something you want to gamble on.
6. Visit in advance.
Ideally, you’d see your venue once before booking and again three to four months before the wedding to finalize details. If a second trip’s not possible, arrive at least five days early to make those decisions and do a hair and makeup trial. Otherwise if this isn’t in your budget, your travel agent will make sure that your venue is perfetly ideal for your wedding.
7. Pick your vendors in person or over Skype.
In advance of your first site visit, set up meetings with the better-known florists and rental companies in your destination. But also ask for referrals from your venue on the ground; you might uncover local talent you didn’t know about. If you don’t want to take the time to research, vet and interview vendors, consider hiring me to take care of this for you.
8. Budget for vendors.
If you decide to bring specialists from home, expect to cover their travel and lodging costs; a clean, safe hotel within 30 minutes of your venue is a must. Negotiate these expenses up front so things don’t get out of control. As your travel agent, I will hire the best local vendors that I know and trust if you don’t want to bring in local vendors.
9. Stuff that suitcase.
I’ve yet to find a destination outside the continental U.S. that has the same quality and selection of rental linens. Shipping overseas is risky and expensive, so I always pack as much as possible into checked luggage.
10. Tailor your wedding dress to the destination.
Breathable fabrics work best in hot, humid locations. Lightweight lace in Mexico is stunning, as is an embellished ball gown at a villa in France.
Did you know that using a professional Romance Travel Specialist can save you money versus booking yourself? Want to speak to me to find the perfect destination for your Honeymoon, Destination Wedding or Romance Travel? If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, click here. You can also call me at (614) 679-2388 or email [email protected].
Have you been dreaming of a romantic, once in a lifetime wedding on an exotic beach but you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the research online and all the little details?
Are you terrified you will make a mistake in choosing the right resort or destination for your wedding and/or honeymoon and don’t want to risk the most important time of your lives to chance?
Have you tried doing this on your own and realize this is too exhausting and taking way too much time?
Not only is a destination wedding unbelievably beautiful, it is less expensive than a traditional wedding at home. Just ask my clients. I have an awesome history of designing the most amazing weddings and/or honeymoons for my clients. I can do the same for you as well.
So here’s the real deal: I know you are dreaming of a wedding on an exotic beach or overlooking the beach. Just picture the sun shining on the gentle waves on the ocean, breathtaking views, warm sand, and the wind blowing gently through your hair, and your friends and family are there to celebrate the love you two have created. Then you are off to the most fabulous honeymoon that you will remember forever. How does that sound? It can be you.
I understand that both of you are extremely busy with your life and work and you are not sure how to get the best deals, how to plan for unexpected details or even how to get your guests to your wedding. And you can’t leave anything to chance because there are no “Do Overs”.
That’s where I come in. It’s my job to work with you to make sure your vision and desires are understood for your wedding and/or honeymoon. With my extensive knowledge of the hotels, resorts, and destinations, I can make this dream a reality.
You can count on my expertise because I have stayed in over 85 hotels/ resorts so I know exactly what to recommend and how to make phenomenal things happen for you. Attention to detail is taken care of so you can relax and enjoy the planning process, stress-free.
When you work with me to design your wedding and/or honeymoon, you are working with a wedding/honeymoon specialist with over 10 years experience which ensures you and your guests will receive detailed and comprehensive guidance for your destination wedding and/or honeymoon plans. Take advantage of my free consultation to get started.