For some couples, a destination wedding sounds like absolute heaven. You can get married and enjoy a gorgeous, relaxing vacation? Count me in! But of course, where you go for that relaxing vacation will vary from one couple to the next. Some couples run off to Paris, others to the Cliffs of Moher…but in most cases, the newlyweds will find themselves on a tropical island.
A tropical destination wedding has it all: gorgeous scenery, warm weather, and plenty of beachfront for you and your sweetheart to stroll along. But once you decide on a tropical wedding, which island will you choose? Here are six of the most beautiful (and most popular) island destination wedding locations.
1. Aruba – Guaranteed Beautiful Weather
Aruba is a Dutch island in the southern Caribbean Sea, known for its beauty and temperate climate. The island has famously good (and consistent) weather, which is a huge benefit to couples looking to tie the knot—clear skies and beautiful scenery are basically a guarantee on your special day.
In addition, Aruba has tons for newlyweds and their loved ones to enjoy after the main event. Visit one of the island’s many gorgeous beaches for swimming or sunbathing. Check out some of the quaint Dutch colonial architecture in the capital, Oranjestad. You can even try your hand at scuba diving; Aruba is a great place for wreck diving, so you can see some incredible things under water!
2. Barbados – Victorian Architecture…and a Vibrant Nightlife
Barbados is known for many things: stunning beaches, lots of flying fish, being the birthplace of Rihanna. But this Caribbean island is also a wonderful location for destination weddings with an old school flair. The island features lots of Victorian architecture (it was a British colony for over 300 years); in fact, many former plantation houses now serve as elegant wedding venues.
And Barbados is much more than classic architecture in a tropical setting (although that’s enough to win me over). The island has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of clubs and bars for you and your spouse to explore. If you want to celebrate being young, alive, and in love, Barbados is a great place to do it!
3. St. Lucia – An Adventurer’s Paradise
Let’s say that you and the love of your life aren’t really the “relaxing” type. You don’t want to spend your vacations sipping cocktails on the beach and watching the waves—you want to be out there exploring! Well, there’s an island in the Eastern Caribbean that might be perfect for you: St. Lucia.
St. Lucia is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, with striking peaks over 3,000 feet above sea level. This means that there is plenty of hiking for you and your spouse, not to mention all the other activities you can try around the island (including a drive-in volcano)!
4. Bora Bora – A Romantic Paradise
Now, let’s leave the Caribbean and head over to the south Pacific—and a small island in French Polynesia called Bora Bora. This beautiful island is known as a “romantic paradise” in the region, and once you set eyes on it, you’ll understand why! With its rich blue waters, white sand beaches, and tropical plants everywhere you look, Bora Bora looks like that photo on your computer wallpaper…because it probably is!
Bora Bora also has many secluded beaches, which makes it a great place for an ultra-private destination wedding. If you want to feel like you and your spouse are the only two people in the world (because in each other’s eyes, you are), a Bora Bora destination wedding is the perfect place for you.
5. Maui – A Destination Wedding Locale in the States
Americans, I have good news for you: you can have a destination wedding without even renewing your passport! That’s right, I’m talking about Maui, the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago.
Unlike the more populous Oahu with its thriving nightlife and surfing scenes, Maui is the Hawaiian island for couples who want to get lost in nature. The island has many gorgeous beaches (including a few stretches of black and red sand), scenic biking trails, and clear waters that are great for snorkeling. Maui is also a great option for American newlyweds who want to bring their friends and family along for the wedding (it can be easier for a large group to plan a domestic trip than an international one).
6. Jamaica – The Birthplace of the All-Inclusive Vacation
“…Ooh, I wanna take ya (just kidding).” Like Aruba, Jamaica is also located in the Caribbean, but this island has its own rich and vibrant culture that’s perfect for couples who want to live it up. You can spend your first week as a married couple dancing in reggae clubs, hiking the stunning Blue Mountains—what could be better?
Jamaica is also known as “the birthplace of the all-inclusive,” as it has tons of resort packages that can make planning your vacation a breeze. If you want to have a fun, memorable destination wedding without having to do too much planning, finding a vacation package at a Jamaican hotel might be a great choice.