If you're beginning to plan a destination wedding, you may already have an idea of the type of dreamy destination where you'd like to exchange your vows, or you may not know where to start. Either way, we are here to help you narrow down the options with a highly curated list of our top five choices for the hottest destination wedding locations in 2023.
Perhaps you picture yourself saying "I do" with a sweeping mountain range in the background, or maybe you're considering a toes-in-the-sand celebration. For those who want a city wedding, we've covered that, too.
Ahead, find our favorite destination wedding ideas for 2023 that may inspire your own marriage celebration. We have a feeling there's something here for every couple!
The Beachfront Wedding: Nantucket
Does it get more charming and elegant than a coastal New England affair on the beach? If you're planning a beachfront wedding and want a beautiful backdrop for your special celebration, you can't go wrong with throwing your wedding bash on the Faraway Island. Located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a timeless destination to celebrate romance. Whether you're planning a large wedding with several hundred guests or an intimate affair, the charm of taking the ferry out to sea and celebrating by the ocean under a blanket of stars (just wait until you see the sky at night!) is just the ticket.
Tips for Planning a Nantucket Wedding
If you're planning a wedding on Nantucket during peak season—between Memorial Day Weekend in May and Labor Day Weekend in September—keep in mind that the island's population swells to over 80,000 people in the summertime, so it may be wise to plan your Nantucket wedding in a shoulder season, like spring or fall, when accommodation, ferry, and flight rates will all be lower, and there will be less congestion on-island.
Where to Stay
The Wauwinet: Equal parts old New England charm and modern elegance, The Wauwinet puts guests at the island's prime location for a romantic celebration. With sweeping views of the bay and ocean (just wait until sunrise and sunset), sumptuous accommodations that feel at once elevated and homey, and an award-winning restaurant on-site, this is the perfect backdrop for both your wedding day and the festivities surrounding the main event.
For the Mountain Views: Montana
With some of the best vistas in the western U.S., a Montana wedding is the perfect location for couples who want to plan a destination wedding with epic mountain views. Whether you envision a black tie affair under a huge tent with the mountains behind you, or you prefer something outdoorsy and lowkey, couples are spoiled for choice when it comes to wedding options in Big Sky Country.
Tips for Planning a Montana Wedding
While Montana does have five international airports, things are very spread out across this large western state. We highly recommend that those attending the wedding rent a car; otherwise it will be difficult to get to and from the airport and explore the beautiful surroundings (which we're sure you'll want to do!).
Where to Stay
The Resort at Paws Up: One of the finest luxury ranches in the U.S., the Resort at Paws Up is basically a private national park—set a whopping 37,000 acres of largely undeveloped land, the property boasts views of the Rocky Mountains and proximity to the striking Blackfoot River. And while the natural surroundings are worth the trip out here alone, the property's offerings, from the low-key luxury accommodations to the epic on-site activities (think fly fishing, cattle driving, horseback riding, and ATV excursions) will ensure that your guests have a lot to do between festivities.
A Cityscape Wedding: Paris
The City of Love (or Ville d'Amour, if you want to begin practicing your French!) will simply never go out of style—especially when it comes to celebrations of love. Romance awaits around every corner in Paris, and your guests will love the excuse to jet off to this beautiful destination.
Tips for Planning a Paris Wedding
As with any city, there are going to be lots of accommodation options—but don't let that fool you; if booking a hotel block, you'll still want to do this very early! Especially during peak travel seasons, hotel rooms will book out fast, so as soon as you know your wedding date, make the necessary arrangements to ensure that your guests will have a place to stay. Also, be sure to check if there are any major events happening in the city around your chosen wedding date, because this may impact hotel availability. Long story short: begin booking everything earlier than you would with a non-city destination.
Where to Stay
La Réserve Paris: Located just off the iconic Champs‑Elysées, guests at La Réserve can expect a highly personalized experience, as well as premiere views of the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon, the Grand Palais, and the Concorde obelisk. It's a distinct departure from the many five-star palatial hotels in the City of Lights. Instead, La Réserve feels more akin to a private mansion in the city, tucked among the trees just steps from the excitement that the city holds in store. You and your guests will have everything at your fingertips while being treated like royalty by the property's incredible staff. The hotel's resident chef, Jérôme Banctel, holds two Michelin stars, and the on-site spa is of particular note (and it's available only to those staying at the hotel, thus making it an ideal refuge from the city).
Rustic Charm: Big Sur
With the Pacific waves crashing against the dramatic coastline, striking mountains in the distance, towering Redwoods, and windswept Cypress trees bending over the ocean, Big Sur couldn't be a more perfect location for a destination wedding that emulates rustic charm. Whether you choose to wed right in the sand or at a local venue, nestled into the Redwoods, the photos will be just as beautiful as the moment you say "I do."
Tips for Planning a Big Sur Wedding
While it may be tempting to have your ceremony right on the beach or an ocean-view cliffside, if you're having a larger wedding, it will make your life a lot easier to host the wedding and ceremony at a venue, and then go to the beach for a long photo session right after the ceremony. Venues will help you organize and take care of logistics—for higher headcounts, this will make coordinating all the guests much easier.
Where to Stay
Ventana Big Sur: The blend of ocean, mountain, and forest is particularly heightened at Ventana Big Sur, a magical resort with just 59 intimate suites that celebrate Big Sur's special natural splendor. Aside from being a breathtaking and revitalizing place to stay, the property is particularly appealing for weddings, as it offers three wedding packages for events with under 40 guests, and buyout packages are available for events with over 40 guests.
The Tropical Getaway: Todos Santos
Sea, sky, and coastal mountains make this tropical destination a must for those who picture marrying in a pretty Mexico location—but one slightly more off-the-beaten path than the nearby vacation hotspots like Cabo. Spend days with your toes in the sand soaking up the sun, wandering through the sweet streets of Todos Santos, and dining on some of the best, freshest cuisine along the Baja California Sur peninsula.
Tips for Planning a Todos Santos Wedding
If you are a U.S. citizen planning your Todos Santos wedding, keep in mind that you will need to make the proper marriage license arrangements well ahead of the wedding date. It's best to work with a destination wedding planner who has expertise with Mexico weddings or coordinate with your venue to ensure that you have all of the correct documentation prepared for your international ceremony.
Where to Stay
Paradero Todos Santos: Paradero considers itself more of a high-design landscaping project with luxury accommodations rather than simply a hotel, and we can see why. The property's architectural elements flow with and blend seamlessly into the striking natural surroundings (arid desert, coastal mountains, nearby beaches), presenting a unique backdrop for the most romantic of events. Whether you just stay at Paradero and choose to get married by the ocean or host your wedding on-site amid the desert-by-the-sea landscape, you and your guests will not soon forget the magic of this gem.
Planning a destination wedding might be a bit more work than hosting a local celebration, but for couples with a deep love for travel, or a shared love for a particular destination, hosting a destination wedding will be truly one of the most unforgettable experiences.