Not sure where to get married? Well new data from the Community Well-Being Index may help you select a few prime destinations. Gallup surveyed 354,473 people to build the Well-Being Index in partnership with health and wellness organization Healthways. In 2015 and 2016 they ranked 189 communities by physical, emotional, financial, community and social health and recently published a list of the happiest and healthiest cities in the U.S.
In unsurprising news, the top three on the list—Naples, Florida, Barnstable, Massachusetts, and Santa Cruz, California—are all near the ocean, which is great because that can make for a very nice wedding location. Plus, you will be surrounded by the happiest of locals, which always makes a wedding even better. The Naples area also claimed the top spot in this same poll conducted in 2014 to 2015. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii, and Hilton-Head Island Bluffton-Beaufort, South Carolina, also made the top 10. Many of BRIDES' top wedding venues for 2017 also are in scenic beachside towns. Here is the full list of the happiest and healthiest cities in the U.S.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that an ocean wedding is the only way to go. Though studies show that living near the ocean has a calming effect on many people and can contribute significantly to a healthy lifestyle, non water-adjacent metropolitan areas can also be very happy and healthy, according to the survey.
Charlottesville, Virginia, El Paso, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado also all landed in the top 10. These highly-ranked inland communities had residents who reported a strong sense of purpose and felt a strong connection to their communities. Boulder can also make for a great and quite scenic proposal story like this one. When people are invested in improving their community, they feel motivated to get out of bed each day, Healthways president Karissa Price said. "It isn't just about physical health or income—there is a larger need to feel connected," she says. In 18 of the 25 happiest cities, at least 75.0% of residents believe their home is ideal for their family.
As for places you may want avoid having your wedding, cities in the Southeastern U.S. and industrial Midwest were generally ranked lower in well-being, partly due to health problems including higher smoking and obesity rates. But again, you can still find beautiful wedding venues everywhere! For the record, here's a complete list of the top 10 lowest well-being communities.