There are many things to consider when choosing a location for your destination wedding. Certain important questions need to be answered before you commit to a destination. Where are my guests coming from? How many people am I expecting? Is it alright that some of our loved ones won't come due to the location?
If you answered "yes" to the last question, then it's time to start planning your destination wedding.
There are many all-inclusive resorts and five-star hotels that accommodate destination weddings. These places often have packages that make for an easy no-fuss planning experience. However, if you are looking for something unique, you should search further off the beaten path. Here are 10 places to consider if you are looking for more off-the-beaten-path destination wedding locations.
Jaisalmer is one of India’s most memorable tourist destinations, and the Serai is unlike anything your guests will have ever experienced before. The Serai is a luxury caravan camp that will make your guests feel like royalty. This Indian resort boasts 21 1,000 square-foot tents. The entire property can host over 40 guests in all. You can plan activities like a camel safari during the day, and at night, you can dine by lamplight and starlight. Whatever you choose to do, you and your guests will be totally taken care of by the five-star staff at the Serai. This exclusive safari camp offers an all-inclusive package, so once you and your guests arrive, you can leave your worries behind.
Cape Weligama is located in the beachside town of Gale, just two hours south of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. While Sri Lanka is not often seen as a possible destination wedding location, it is certainly worth considering. The South Asian island nation has it all: great food, beaches, history, culture and wildlife. Cape Weligama's location makes it possible to take a number of day trips to see the nature and history of the area for yourself. In all, this luxury resort has 40 guest villas that can accommodate over 80 guests.
Newfoundland - The Fogo Island Inn
For nature seekers and seafood lovers, Fogo Island, off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland, is an ideal destination. Named one of Canada’s best new restaurants, the Fogo Island Inn will provide a memorable setting for you and your guests. The Inn has 29 guest rooms. Each one has a built-in fireplace, so you and your friends can stay warm (and create a romantic atmosphere).
For scenery lovers and adventure seekers, Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand is one of the most-ideal destination wedding locations. This unique vacation venue offers amazing views from all 12 of its suites. You can choose to host an intimate ceremony on the lawn overlooking the lake. This can be followed by a reception in the dining room. Before the actual celebration, you can plan a day of wine tasting for your guests at some of the best wineries in New Zealand. Or, you could choose to spend your wedding eve day zipping around the lake on a quad bike.
Bahia Vik - Uruguay
Bahia Vik is the perfect destination for couples who love nature, amazing wine and a relaxed environment. This estate is located on 10 acres of beachfront dunes on the José Ignacio Peninsula in Uruguay. It is a part of the Vik Retreats Collection. This means that couples and their guests will have access to the other properties in the collection, including the Vik winery and La Susana, a hip oceanfront restaurant. Bahia Vik can accommodate wedding celebrations for up to 200 people. Smaller celebrations are also possible. In all, this venue has 10 suites and 11 multi-bedroom bungalows for overnight guests.
Rancho La Puerta is located just south of the Tecate/San Diego border. This place can best be described as a full service health retreat in an ultra-exclusive setting. For San Diego residents, Rancho La Puerta is a great “destination” location because it is so close to home, but it will make you feel like you are thousands of miles away. Guests here will enjoy local, organic cuisine and wine from Valle De Guadalupe. Your wedding can be celebrated in a romantic garden-like setting. Each casita at Rancho La Puerta is private and individually decorated. The venue offers transportation to and from San Diego, so this is actually an ideal stress-free off-the-beaten-path destination wedding option.
While Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia is, first and foremost, a romantic honeymoon destination, don't let its turquoise water, over-water bungalows and pristine beauty deter you from considering it as a destination wedding venue as well. Song Saa is full of culture and beauty, and it offers a level of privacy and intimacy perfect for a small destination wedding.
Hop on a private plane from Johannesburg and land a short while later on the private air strip at Singita. While most people would never consider a luxury safari camp for their wedding, it actually does offer the perfect combination of adventure, relaxation, comfort and natural beauty. Singita Lebombo has design, style, views, and amazing all-inclusive services. You will not have to plan anything after you arrive. Well... maybe you will need a plan to keep the monkeys from snagging the food during your reception.
Have you ever dreamt of seeing a country through the window of luxury train? How about saying your "I Do" while dining in a railway car with your closest loved ones and friends? South Africa's Blue Train runs a route from Cape Town to Pretoria. It departs in the morning and arrives the next afternoon. The 30 hours on board the Blue Train are filled with food, wine, champagne and five-star service.
Mayoka Lodge is an exclusive boutique hotel on the Honduran Island of Roatan. Offering just seven bedrooms, Mayoka is ideal for elopements and intimate destination weddings. While here, you and your guests can spend the day soaking up the sun and snorkeling in one of the best reef ecosystems in the world. When it is time to party, you can celebrate poolside with delicious cuisine and tropical cocktails.
Tulum - Sanara Tulum
Tulum may not be “off the beaten path” for in-the-know Mexico tourists, travel writers, foodies and honeymooners these days. But Tulum can still be considered a unique destination wedding location. This formerly-secret place on the Mayan Riviera boasts a mile of beachfront property filled with stylish boutique hotels, trendy restaurants and beautiful sands. All the elements are already in place, so it is pretty easy to design a wedding in Tulum. Sanara Tulum is a new boutique hotel that might be the most-stylish venue of all.
Have an off the beaten path destination you think would be ideal for a destination wedding? We want to hear about it....