Flights booked, passport in hand, anticipation building… I love the thrill of luxury destination weddings! They’re a beautiful opportunity for you and your loved ones to experience a gorgeous location and celebrate your love somewhere completely new.
The best destination wedding locations offer immense natural beauty, authentic cultural connections, and delicious food and wine. But if you’re considering an elopement or destination wedding, it can be hard to narrow down your search.
As an editorial photographer, I’ve had the privilege of shooting in some of the best destination wedding locations around the globe (and have even more left on my Bucket List)! To inspire you to start dreaming, I’ve put together a top 10 list of the most unique destination wedding locations in the world:
1. Bali, Indonesia
I have to be honest – I think some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the world are in Bali! From deep jungle to serene beaches, there’s just something so magical about this part of the Indonesian archipelago. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches for an outdoor ceremony, and you can easily rent a private villa, with your own chef, to enjoy an intimate celebration with close friends.
A warm, tropical breeze; a dip in the ocean; plenty of adventure, activities, and history – your guests will love the idea of a week in Bali too.
If you want to get off the beaten path, some of the world’s most secluded destination wedding venues can be found in Morocco. The sweeping beauty of the Sahara is nothing if not romantic and the Bedouin culture and hospitality is unlike anywhere else.
There are plenty of stunning wedding locations in Morocco, including the Four Seasons in Casablanca, the Taj Villa in Marrakech, or Camp Adounia, if you love the idea of luxury glamping under the stars.
3. Paris, France
One of the most beautiful wedding destinations has to be Paris! It’s not called the City of Love for nothing. Slow River Seine cruises, cozy boulangeries, and the la Tour Eiffel itself – Paris just oozes romance. There’s no shortage of five-star hotels, reception venues, or restaurants that are ideal for weddings.
If you prefer a slower pace of life, venture over to the South of France. Areas like Nice, Aix-en-Provence, and the French Riviera offer sunshine, yachting, and delicious cuisine. Plus, the dramatic coastline is ideal for wedding photography, especially in spring.
If you’re wondering which is the best country for a destination wedding, it’s hard to look past Italy! Everyone loves it, and nowhere in the world offers better food or wine. I love the beauty of Lake Como, in the country’s north. With sparkling blue water and plenty of cute hillside towns dotted around the lake, it’s like something out of a glossy travel magazine.
Or, if you head further south, both Tuscany and Florence are spectacular regions, known for their serene, rolling hills and considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. You can have your pick of luxury villas, especially in Lucca, Chianti, and Siena.
5. Kyoto, Japan
You might not think of Kyoto as a wedding destination, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. From manicured gardens to tea rooms and temples, Kyoto is an intriguing blend of traditional and modern.
If you’re looking for small destination wedding ideas, bring your closest family to Japan for a few days at the glamorous Kitayama Geihinkan, a villa with both its own private chapel and pool. Then celebrate with a Japanese tea ceremony or dinner at one of the city’s many Michelin-star restaurants.
Red dirt, blue skies, dramatic coastlines and incredible wildlife – there’s nowhere quite like Australia for unique destination wedding ideas!
From the haunting beauty of the Great Ocean Road to the cool, artistic vibes of Melbourne, the state of Victoria in particular makes for a wonderful wedding destination. In the city, you’ll find plenty of incredible reception venues like the romantic Rupert on Rupert or fun and funky Altar Electric. Or, just outside the city in the Yarra Valley, couples can enjoy some of Australia’s best wineries – many of which cater to weddings.
In this region, I really like the Stones of the Yarra Valley. With a cute, minimalist chapel, a historic rustic barn, and incredible food and drink, it offers a subtle yet luxurious aesthetic that your guests will love.
7. London or Yorkshire, UK
Imagine toasting your love with all of your friends in a historic pub in London or Yorkshire! The UK is such a romantic destination, with ancient cobblestones, grand castles, and lots of cozy B&Bs.
If you’re dreaming of hosting your actual wedding ceremony in a castle, you’re in luck! In Yorkshire, in England’s north, you can rent gorgeous properties like Ripley or Belvoir Castle, which feel like you’re stepping into a real-life Downton Abbey.
London might be known for a bit of a drizzle, but rain and overcast days can actually make for beautifully dramatic lighting for your wedding photos.
8. Canyon Point, Utah
If you want to stay within the US, Canyon Point, in southern Utah, will take your breath away. It’s home to Amangiri, or “Peaceful Mountain”, and this resort is a minimalist’s dream. The clean lines and neutral hues are designed to complement the natural surroundings of the Colorado Plateau.
This destination is ideal for couples looking for a spacious yet intimate wedding in the desert, where you and your guests can celebrate in peace, free from the distractions of the modern world.
9. Oregon Coast, Oregon
Live and breathe the outdoors? If boating, hiking, or sailing are hobbies you love as a couple, the Oregon Coast can be an ideal wedding destination. Tie the knot barefoot in the sand, rent a luxury Airbnb for all of your friends, or arrange a private whale-watching excursion – there’s so much to love about the natural beauty of Oregon.
The famous Haystack rock makes Cannon Beach one of my favorite places for a beach wedding, or check out Cathedral Park, which is a beautifully unique outdoor chapel (and bridge!). Or, outside Portland, Ainsworth House and Gardens is a historic property that does great wedding packages.
10. Big Sur or Palm Springs, California
The California coastline, with its jagged cliffs and pleasant weather, is a top choice for a West Coast wedding. I’d suggest Big Sur for a California wedding as it’s one of the most beautiful stretches of undeveloped coastline not only in the state, but in the entire US. You’ll find plenty of coastal or garden landscapes with the most unbelievable views.
As an alternative, head inland to Palm Springs, a stylish town set in the Sonoran Desert. It might be popular with celebs, but I love the town’s mid-century-modern architecture, giving couples some of the best wedding photo locations just about anywhere.
If you’re interested in finding out how a destination wedding could work for your personality, interests, and wedding photography, I’d love to hear from you! I believe in personal, meaningful wedding and engagement photography as a way of telling your story and showcasing your unique love.