You might have dreamt of walking down the aisle with an entourage of your nearest and dearest in tow. However, lockdown has increased social anxiety for a lot of people and put limitations on what wedding ceremonies can look like. As such, assembling your bridal party for the day of your dreams might pose some challenges—particularly if a destination wedding is in the cards.
Fret not, however, because here are 12 fun and fresh alternative bridal party ideas to make your destination wedding feel like one big party and a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony that’s all yours.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
Have Icelandic Horses Join Your "Bridle" Party
For a one-of-a-kind wedding, opt for a "Mane of Honor" and a "Best Mane" by saying “I do” at the epic land of fire and ice with Iceland’s treasured horses. The Icelandic horse is a symbol of national pride and joy. There’s an official Icelandic horse naming committee and an annual holiday in their honor. The secluded South Iceland Hotel Ranga will help you exchange vows with a candlelit cave ceremony, a waterfall wedding, or an outdoor local affair with the island's adored creatures joining your “bridle party.”
Best Wishes With the Fishes in Bonaire
Swap out the peer pressure for air pressure with an underwater wedding in the protected, pristine waters of Bonaire. This Caribbean island is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world for diving because of the colorful coral composition and the hundreds of tropical fish residing there. You can hobnob with sergeant majors, frogfish, sharpnose puffer, schools of blue tangs, and beloved sea turtles.
Buddy Dive Resort specializes in underwater weddings in these colorful turquoise waters. The underwater nuptials package includes a wedding ceremony at Buddy’s Reef, Champagne, dive equipment for the couple, and an underwater video along with support and witnesses if required. The entire coastline of Bonaire is a protected marine sanctuary making a subaquatic ceremony here even more precious.
Paddle Down the Aisle at W Punta De Mita
Couples who love to surf and are looking for a unique and private way to tie the knot should look no further than Punta de Mita, one of Mexico’s best surf breaks. Check into chic beach resort W Punta de Mita, grab a board and your significant other and head out to the Pacific Ocean. You’ll get to paddle down the aisle and wed to the sound of crashing waves with the water watching over you.
When you’re not practicing your hang-ten as newlyweds, unwind at the resort’s AWAY spa with locally-inspired treatments, bask in the sun at the two beachfront pools, walk the vibrant Camino Huichol that’s made of 700,000 mosaic tiles, or dine at Mesa1, an ultra-exclusive alfresco private chef’s dinner under the stars that offers just one nightly seating.
Exchange Vows Atop Gros Piton With your Jade Mountain Hiking Butler as a Witness
On the mango-shaped island of Saint Lucia, you can push the boat out and get married on top of one of the UNESCO World Heritage status Piton Mountains. Jade Mountain resort is a fabulous wedding venue where couples can choose their own special location. Options include a waterfall, a coral reef, and the stunning Gros Piton.
The hilltop hotel is known for its spectacular three-walled, open-air sanctuaries with private infinity pools, mesmerizing views of the Caribbean, and 24-hour butlers known as Major Domos. The resort added a Hiking Butler service whereby the Major Domos accompany guests as they ascend the Gros Piton. Adventurous couples looking to escape the crowds can get married there with their Jade Mountain Hiking Butler as a witness. You’ll then be perfectly situated for a honeymoon right after getting married in Saint Lucia with access to golden beaches, volcano dives, rum tours, jazz music festivals, and countless corners for romance to flourish.
Invite Puerto Rico’s Pleneros to Join Your “I Do Crew”
With over 300 miles of beauteous coastline, Puerto Rico is an idyllic destination for a sun-kissed beach wedding. If you have the pleasure of lodging at San Juan’s oceanfront La Concha Resort, a “dinner and show” wedding ceremony is on the menu with entertainment from salsa dancers, comedians, pleneros (typical Puerto Rican dancers), and batucadas with cabezudos, which are large cartoon-like, paper-mâché heads. Together, this is the most lively “I do crew” on this side of the Caribbean.
Court Coatis, Iguanas and Herons in Mérida
Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana is an 18th-century henequen hacienda located in the historical Mexican city of Mérida, which has twice been voted the American Capital of Culture by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals (IBOCC). Couples opting to get married here can spend the day taking photos and cavorting with animals in Suite 319. This unconventional room is inhabited by your new friends: iguanas, squirrels, herons, and anteaters that all roam freely. You might also encounter the Toh, a rare singing bird, which according to Mayan legend, guides explorers to find freshwater cenotes (natural sinkholes). Most impressive of all? The band of 60 coatis that call the hacienda home.
Pop Champagne With Your Pup at W Fort Lauderdale
Pop champagne with your pup at a destination wedding at W Fort Lauderdale, which offers a dog package including doggie champagne (and a real bottle for people, too!). The hotel’s "Dogs Are A Girl’s Best Friend" package comes with a chilled bottle of prosecco for the bride while your furry friend enjoys a bottle of Pet Winery's dog-friendly champagne. Your unforgettable stay also includes a Sweet Treat Swag Bag to satisfy both of your taste buds with Barking Bacon Dog Ice Cream for them and a variety of sweet treats for you.
Tie Something Blue Into Your Ceremony in Guatemala
Couples who picked up crafts and gardening over the pandemic will enjoy lodging at the brand new Villa Bokeh, situated in the lush outskirts of Antigua, Guatemala. The luxury, seven-room hacienda’s décor is inspired by Guatemala’s rich and colorful textile culture. Couples may experience this vibrant textile culture with the local fabric company Luna Zorro, which hosts tie-dying workshops with a twist—only fresh flowers from their garden are used for dye! This intimate activity is a fun way to create flower tie-dye accents and fabrics to bring the “something blue” tradition into your wedding with a local artisan.
Let the Steel Band Lend a Hand in the Bahamas
Baha Mar is the Bahamas resort destination in Nassau comprised of SLS Baha Mar, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, and Rosewood Baha Mar. The latter offers the opportunity to dance the night away with a steelpan drum band and a spirited Junkanoo rush out. Steelpan music is the soul of the Caribbean, and Junkanoo is a joyous Bahamian celebration with colorful costumes and exuberant dancers and it’s the perfect addition to your warm-weather Bahamas wedding.
Get Hitched With the Cast of Atomic Saloon in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is synonymous with unconventional weddings. For a truly once-in-a-lifetime ceremony, the Atomic Saloon will marry couples inside their sold-out production show at The Venetian Resort. The ceremony is performed by the eccentric, over-the-top Reverent Peabody. He stars in the show alongside a hilarious cast of rowdy misfits including aerialists, pole dancers, an acrobatic mayor with the most famous abs in the world, a swashbuckling outlaw who strips while flying, and much more. These are not your average wedding wingmen!
Have a "Flamingle" at Orlando’s Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove in Orlando is an all-inclusive day resort and a tropical paradise where guests can interact with dolphins, snorkel with rays, giggle with playful otters, and pose with flamingos. Turn your wedding into a "Flamingle Mingle" and feel like part of the flamboyance while feeding the beautiful birds one-on-one from the sandy shore before wading together in the cool reef waters.
Get Musical in Mexico’s Home of the Mariachis
Set on a sandy strip between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is a fairytale wedding destination. Here you can have a band of mariachis stand in as your bridal party while providing the music for your wedding. After all, they’re already dressed to the nines and will fit into your photos fantastically. Puerto Vallarta is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco where mariachis originated. The word mariachi is also believed to stem from the French word for marriage making them a fortuitous addition to your wedding day.
At the Marriott, you can have your celebration on the Jetty, a picturesque aisle surrounded by water, or on a white sand beach with Puerto Vallarta’s world-famous cotton candy sunsets offering the perfect backdrop.