You’ve dreamed about this since you were a little girl – the perfect wedding dress, the perfect bridal ceremony, all tied together by the scenic backdrop of an exotic destination. What could be better than combining the grandest affair of your life with a gorgeous destination wedding location?
With an increase in weddings after the pandemic, couples everywhere are taking advantage of relaxed travel guidelines. Given this change in bridal trends, choosing and booking the best location for your destination wedding is essential for timely planning.
However, not to fret! From a clear sand beach in the Caribbean, to an elegant romance in the endless hills of Tuscany, brides have a wide range of options.
Thus, our stylists and experts at Anomalie have wrapped up the top destinations for brides, along with destination wedding planning tips and what to wear for your destination wedding.
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1. Destination Wedding: Greece
Cerulean waters, rugged mountains, and seemingly endless coastline make Greece a fairy tale destination for weddings of any season. In addition, traditional Greek food is a must-try! Greece is also generally known for being more affordable than other European countries, which makes it a frequent destination for wedding ceremonies.
Your wedding guests will surely appreciate the wide dearth of activities and things to visit. We particularly recommend the beaches of Crete, Milos, and Mykonos.
If you’re still not convinced, we’ve curated bride stories with destination weddings in Greece. Anomalie bride Kelly had her dream wedding in Santorini, well-known for its white-washed buildings atop steep cliffs.
Kelly designed a flowing, strapless lace wedding dress with a low back. We absolutely loved the shots of her wedding dress accented against Santorini’s sapphire seas! Read more on her story here.
On the other hand, Anomalie bride Stephanie chose the destination of Corfu, Greece, embracing her Greek roots. Known for its lush greenery, Corfu is a romantic Greek island in the Ionian sea.
To match her destination location, Stephanie designed a wedding dress with detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves! The mid-length train was made of lightweight material perfect for Grecian summers.
2. Destination Wedding: New Zealand
While New Zealand may be a hotspot for adrenaline junkies, many brides love New Zealand for its snow capped mountains and surreal natural views! The summer months of December through March boast cool temperatures perfect for an outdoor wedding.
For the bride looking to divulge from tropical destinations, New Zealand has various venues for lakeside, forest, or mountain top weddings. Couples can even hold their wedding ceremonies with glacial icebergs in the background!
Anomalie bride Kayla experienced firsthand the wonders of a destination wedding in New Zealand. Choosing to create an off-the-shoulder fit-and-flare, Kayla made her dress specifically designed to accommodate for movement for a thrilling helicopter ride!
3. Destination Wedding: Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a popular destination for weddings due to its lower cost. With its rainforests and tropical beaches, Costa Rica is a perfect spot for beach weddings.
Mid-December through April is a dry season in Costa Rica, which is otherwise inundated with rainy weather. This period of time allows for lots of time under the sun and constant temperatures around the 70s.
Wedding guests will also find Costa Rica an excellent vacation spot with national parks, beaches, and rain forests to explore. Couples and guests who love the outdoors and beaches will adore this destination wedding.
For example, Anomalie bride Paige got married in Costa Rica in the springtime! To combat the heat for her beach wedding, Paige designed a sheer nude illusion wedding dress with delicate floral lace and beading.
4. Destination Wedding: Italy
Because Italy is well known for its rich culture, nature, and food, it is an ideal spot for a destination wedding. Wedding guests will find plenty of famous spots to explore, and the couple can get an early start to their honeymoon.
From hills to picturesque cities to coastlines, Italy is a great destination for outdoor weddings. Wedding photos for destination weddings in Italy always look breathtaking.
However, couples should keep in mind the timing of their destination wedding. Summer months in June and July are extremely hot and humid, which is less than preferable for an outdoor wedding. November through March are generally what’s considered the off-season in Italy, with less tourists.
In terms of picking an exact location, the Amalfi Coast, Rome, and Venice have more expensive venues. Tuscany is a region within Italy with less expensive venues.
In addition, brides are welcome to wear any variety of styles to match their venues. Whether outdoor or indoor, near water or on country sides, a destination wedding in Italy will prove to be a momentous occasion!
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5. Destination Wedding: Las Vegas
A destination wedding in Las Vegas isn’t for the faint of heart! With the end of the pandemic, the boom of weddings in Las Vegas is returning. In June, 340 couples were married every day in Las Vegas.
With its extent of venues and entertainment, Las Vegas can definitely accommodate and match the wedding theme of your choosing. In addition, unlike international destinations, there is less hassle with local marriage requirements – couples are issued a marriage license the same day a couple applies.
Guests will also find plenty to do. Shopping, nightlife, and attending shows are great options. Though Las Vegas is a great location to consider, couples should be mindful of the warm summer months, making outdoor weddings less viable.
For a more casual and modern affair in Las Vegas, brides can even wear short wedding dresses.
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6. Destination Wedding: France
Hailed as one of the most romantic places in the world, France is a destination brides should consider for an international wedding. French venues such as chateaus, villas on countryside, and hotels to host your destination wedding.
Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Isla Fisher, and Kiera Knightley had destination weddings in France. Recently, Issa Rae had her destination wedding in the South of France, which is a popular spot.
Couples will find spring a good time for their weddings in France, as the weather is more pleasant with smaller crowds.
However, couples should be aware that non-citizens of France are unable to legally be married in France. Couples should therefore hold a civil ceremony in their native countries before their destination wedding.
Regarding the actual ceremony in France, couples should choose a venue outside of Paris to accommodate large parties of more than a hundred, as the City of Light has very few event spaces. France has many other lovely places outside of the city, such as within Normandy.
For brides looking to match the French aesthetic, brides often opt for a chic and stylish wedding dress. Simplicity in beading and lace, along with silk, are used to capture this look.
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7. Destination Wedding: Hawaii
With lush greenery, crystal clear seas, and natural wonders, Hawaii is a lovely location right here in the United States. Couples can plan a Hawaiian wedding for any season of the year, as the chain of islands experiences consistently mild weather.
Brides who opt for a destination wedding in Hawaii may choose to wear lightweight sheath dresses or dresses with floral laces to match the location’s ambiance.
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However, once you’ve picked the dress and general location, you still have to decide which island to have your wedding ceremony.
Oahu, home of Hawaii’s capital, is the most vibrant spot for shopping, nightlife, and food. The island is always bustling with activities, and guests will find many opportunities to explore Oahu’s beautiful hikes and beaches. There is no shortage of resorts or wedding packages here!
On the other hand, the Big Island is a serene option and averages cheaper lodging options for guests. Hawaii’s largest island is a much quieter vacation spot for the nature-loving couple. Wedding guests will be pleased to find a plethora of activities, such as snorkeling, zip lining, and visiting active volcanoes.
Other island options include Maui and Kauai, which are well-known for their beaches and views and are less crowded than Oahu. Couples should keep in mind that Maui can be on the pricier side.
Overall, Hawaii offers a host of destination wedding spots for a dreamy beach wedding.
Now that you’ve picked out the destination for your wedding, read below for tips to help with planning!
When should my destination wedding happen?
Couples should keep in mind peak travel times and holiday seasons to actively avoid these busy times. They should also pay attention to weather conditions, as some areas are too warm and humid for outdoor weddings in the summer.
What do I need to tell my wedding guests?
Couples should provide earlier notice with invitations for a destination wedding compared to a domestic wedding. Guests will appreciate this as well as housing suggestions at various price points. This allows guests to properly prepare for the occasion.It may also be useful for guests to have a medium in which they can communicate with each other about travel plans, accommodations, and dates. Facebook pages and group chats can help facilitate this conversation!
What destination wedding ceremony etiquette should I be aware of?
Usually, destination weddings do not require guests to bring gifts, as the trip itself can sometimes be expensive. In addition, couples should also keep in mind that a destination wedding will likely be smaller and more intimate, as not everyone can attend weddings in far-flung destinations. However, couples will find that destination weddings will allow for more time with their guests due to the nature of the trip.
How do I ensure the destination wedding goes smoothly?
Check local marriage requirements. Some couples may opt for an initial civil ceremony with a recognized officiant and marriage license back home before their destination wedding ceremonies. For example, American citizens are unable to legally marry in France because they are not French citizens.
What wedding dress do I wear to a destination wedding?
The location of your destination wedding will largely influence the theme and formality of your wedding. Often, destination weddings in far-flung locations are more intimate, and brides may opt for simpler dresses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear a grand princess ball gown, elegant A-line, or sultry mermaid silhouette!
Brides are welcome to wear any silhouette for their destination weddings, though they should be mindful of the season and temperature of the destination. Beach weddings in places such as the Caribbean require lighter weight dresses made of crepe or silk. Consequently, the bride will not pick up sand and produce drag when walking down the beach.
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How do I travel with my wedding dress?
No bride wants wrinkles in her one-of-a-kind wedding dress for her big day. From wrapping the dress to using carry-on to using a steamer for last minute touches, there are a few steps to keep in mind so that your wedding goes smoothly. Read this blog post for a comprehensive guide to travelling with your wedding dress for a destination wedding.
Where do I purchase a wedding dress for my destination wedding?
A bride’s wedding dress should be just as special as she is and as special as her destination. Various designers such as Lazaro, Pnina Tornai, Hayley Paige, and Maggie Sottero are well-known for their dresses and are often sold at bridal boutiques. These dresses range from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000, depending on factors such as beading, design, and material.
However, if you are a bride with different sizing and design requests, custom is a great option. Plus size brides, petite brides, and tall brides are able to find their sizing at Anomalie. Anomalie’s FitCommit Guarantee can help confirm sizing for these brides without making any concessions to their favorite design elements. For example, brides can even create black wedding dresses or colored wedding dresses! Detachable overskirts are also an option to create directly for your custom wedding dress.
If you’re looking for more information about purchasing a dress, read this post.
Can’t find the perfect wedding dress for your destination wedding? Anomalie has worked with thousands of brides to create dresses to their unique style and measurements for under $2,000. Get started here with a free sketch and fabric samples.