Are you and your soon-to-be spouse looking for an exciting and unique way to tie the knot? Destination weddings can be loads of fun in and of themselves, but many couples are looking for additional ways to spice of their ceremonies. If you’re both the adventurous type, you may be surprised by just how many options you have. There are many venues all over the world that cater to individuals seeking an alternative to traditional weddings. To help you find the perfect experience for you and your lover, here are ten unusual destinations for weddings worth considering.
Albuquerque, New Mexico – Married Midair
As long as a fear of heights isn’t an issue, it may be worth taking a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for your wedding ceremony. Each year, brides and grooms from all over the world attend the International Balloon Fiesta and exchange their vows midair. What could be better than professing your love while soaring in the air together? Keep in mind that your guest list may need to be short, as balloons generally hold up to 12 people at a time.
Juneau, Alaska – A Glacier Gathering
Another unique wedding destination is Juneau, Alaska. Pearson’s Pond, a local inn, can help you plan a wedding that will take place on an actual glacier. Some couples opt to begin their celebration with an Alaskan cruise but, at the very least, you and your party will need to travel by helicopter to the glacier for the ceremony. Remember, it will be cold when you’re standing on ice, even in the summer. Plan your attire accordingly and expect to wear crampons (spiked boots) to keep from slipping on your big day!
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Things Are Heating Up!
Cold and ice not really your thing? Maybe a wedding near an active volcano sounds more appealing. If you’re looking for a way to heat things up between you and your honey, a trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park may be in order. Not only can you get married with lava plumes rising in the background, but you’ll already be at a perfect destination for your honeymoon as well!
Cahal Pech, Belize – Married by a Mayan Shaman
Do you and your spouse-to-be like history? It doesn’t get much more historic than an ancient Mayan site. Consider traveling to Belizel where there are over 600 Mayan locations, many of which welcome weddings. In fact, you can even choose for your ceremony to be officiated by a real Mayan shaman.
Yosemite National Park, California – Beautiful Day, Beautiful View
Yosemite National Park is another wonderful and unique wedding destination. Located in Northern California, you and your guests can enjoy beautiful views of waterfalls, granite cliffs, and forests. It’s perfect for any couple that enjoys the outdoors. There are a number of options to consider, such a ceremony in front of a waterfall, and fun activities including hiking, rock climbing, rafting, and horseback riding.
Hotel de Glace, Quebec – One Ice Chapel, Coming Right Up!
If you’re looking for something even cooler than a wedding on a glacier, consider getting married at Hotel de Glace in Quebec. This ice chapel is sure to impress everyone in attendance. This is another destination that calls for warmer attire, but there’s not much else that tops exchanging vows in a sparkling, crystalline chapel.
Trang, Thailand – Don’t Forget to Hold Your Breath
Prefer your ice melted? You and your spouse-to-be may enjoy getting married under the sea! In Trang, Thailand, there’s an annual event during which numerous couples join in traditional Thai celebrations. After parading through Trang, you can expect to complete your ceremony underwater. Trang isn’t the only underwater wedding destination, however. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, make sure you consider all the options.
Tutbury Castle, United Kingdom – Because Marriage Isn’t Scary Enough
Are you looking for something a little edgier? What about getting married in one of the most haunted castles in the world? If you’re brave enough, you and your lover can take a trip to Burton-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. The Tutbury Castle hosts midnight ceremonies for couples who aren’t afraid of anything, even marriage!
Daintree National Park, Australia – Rain? Try Rainforest!
No one wants rain on their wedding day, especially if the ceremony is to take place outside. Getting married in a rainforest, however, may be the perfect option for you. Daintree National Park is the largest rainforest in Australia and it makes a wonderful backdrop for couples interested in a unique destination wedding. Like Yosemite National Park, you can expect beautiful views, waterfalls, and flowers. The area also boasts lovely beaches.
Treehouse Point, Washington – Because No One Wants to Grow Up
If the two of you are kids at heart, why not tap into that when planning your wedding? And what better way to do that than to get married in a tree house? Issaquah, Washington is home to Treehouse Point, where you can exchange vows in an absolutely stunning forest from the canopy. What’s more, Treehouse Point offers overnight packages, so you, your sweetie, and all your guests can all enjoy being kids again.
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In the United States we have lots of fun and beautiful reception traditions, but some of those don’t hold a candle to the many unique and amazing traditions celebrated in countries all around the world. Want to learn about some of these awesome traditions? Click through our slideshow!
In Guatemala, couples traditionally have a white ceramic bell filled with different grains (a bit like a pinata in that way) set up and ready for the groom’s mother to break as soon as the couple arrives at the reception! This custom is meant to bring positivity and prosperity to the bride and groom!
When it comes to epic reception traditions, Norway might take the cake, literally. In this country it is traditional to serve large, tower-like cakes made of almond cake and icing at wedding receptions. The coolest part of these cakes, which are called kransekake, is that they are made hollow and a wine bottle is placed inside so that it appears to the couple as everyone begins to eat their dessert! We’re not sure how hard this would be to make, but it’s a brilliant idea!
Speaking of traditions that involve food, the karavay bread tradition from Russia is a particularly interesting one. karavay is a sweetbread that can be decorated differently depending on the event (weddings, birthdays, and even funerals occasionally). For weddings, it has two entwined rings that stand for faithfulness and a wreath for prosperity. The fun part about this tradition, though, is what the couple does with the karavay! It is served (usually by their parents) and both members of the brand-new couple try to take the biggest bite they can without using their hands at all. Whoever ends up taking the larger bite is now considered the “head” of the family. Talk about a high stakes dessert!
In Niger, the wedding reception includes a unique kind of dancing: camel dancing! During the reception, it is traditional for there to be a section involving a camel dance outside of the bridal area (yes, with a live camel!) in the desert to the sounds of drums beating.
A super sweet reception tradition that we’ve seen in American ceremonies and receptions is the Filipino tradition of releasing two doves (generally one female and one male) into the air as a symbol for their upcoming marriage to be full of harmony and peace.
Another tradition that we’ve personally seen done in the United States, is the Cuban tradition of the money dance! Although in American we’ve seen it with buckets or small bags, in Cuba is is traditional that anyone who wants to dance with the bride must pin money directly onto her dress first! This is meant to help the sweethearts pay for the wedding celebration itself and their honeymoon as well!
Introverts of the world, listen up! This sounds like a super fun, hilarious game, but it is actually a traditional Venezuelan wedding reception tradition: the couple tries to sneak away from the reception before it’s over without getting busted by any of their guests! It’s considered good luck for the newlyweds to sneak out without getting caught—what’s more, it’s considered good luck for the first guest that figures out that they’re gone, too!
Right after the ceremony, couples in Germany are immediately given a sizeable log and handsaw, and are expected to work together to saw through the log in front of all of the wedding guests. This activity, called baumstamm sägen, is meant to showcase the couple’s ability for strong teamwork and to work together to solve problems—apparently indicative of how they will face obstacles like chores in their married life!
Although not strictly a Romanian tradition, a very popular one in this country is the act of “bride-napping” where friends and wedding attendants figure out a way to stage a faux abduction of the bride, sometimes before the wedding happens, sometimes at the reception. The group then demands the groom pay a “ransom” in order to get his bride back, often a small sum of money, some bottle of alcohol, or, for the romantic types, a public declaration of love for his bride. This tradition is all in good fun, of course, and no brides are harmed in the “bride-napping” process.
It’s tradition in Sweden that, if a member of the couple gets up and leaves the table, everyone is allowed to steal a kiss from whoever remains! So if a groom gets up to go to the restroom or get some more cake, folks will line up for a chance to kiss the bride! (Usually on the cheek, to be fair, but either way it’s all in good fun!)
As you can see, there are many interesting and fun wedding reception traditions that take place around the world—and this is just a very small sampling! If you’re ever invited to a wedding in another country, you should absolutely attend if you can, you may end up learning all about some incredible traditions you’ve never heard of before!
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