Top 10 wedding destinations around the world
A barefoot beach blessing or the Big Apple? Our wedding experts have travelled across the globe to find the best destinations for getting married abroad. Here are 10 of their favourites, from Central Park in autumn to Saint Lucia’s free five-star ceremonies.
Mauritius wedding: one ceremony a day
There is something about Mauritius. Yes, there are beautiful beaches, amazing all-inclusive hotels and striking national parks, but it goes beyond that. This charming island has a very warm, welcoming and personal feel – three ingredients for a truly special wedding. It’s not too costly to legally marry in Mauritius, and each resort in our collection will only host one wedding per day, so you can expect outstanding service. Rustic-chic Zilwa Attitude has a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ vibe and you can get married on a breathtaking uninhabited island here. Then there’s the five-star Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa – ideal for a small wedding. If you’re planning a really intimate ceremony, you can say your vows in your own private pool villa, or walk down the aisle on the resort’s romantic beach jetty.
Saint Lucia wedding: get hitched for free
Free isn’t a word you hear often when it comes to weddings, but we know of the best free weddings in the Caribbean. Saint Lucia is a natural stunner and one of the most romantic places on Earth. If you’re planning a small party or an intimate wedding with just the two of you, we recommend Rendezvous. It’s a boutique five-star hotel that’s exclusively for couples. Stay for seven nights here and your ceremony will be complimentary, and in the location of your choice. You could walk down a beautiful conch shell aisle on a private white sand island, or say your vows under a rustic bamboo canopy in the resort’s wild green gardens. The icing on the cake? Charming touches like a couple’s massage and breakfast in bed for your first morning as a married couple are included. Alternatively, if you have a slightly bigger budget, ask us about the wow-factor Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, where you can get married overlooking the World Heritage-listed Piton mountains.
Saint Lucia has also been voted the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination eight times at the World Travel Awards, so stay a little longer and twin your big day with a tailor-made honeymoon, crafted by one of our Caribbean experts. There is so much more to discover and lots of unique activities you can experience together – from zip-lining through the rainforest to soaking in a soothing hot mud bath at a ‘drive-in volcano’.
Maldives wedding: an island blessing
Style, simplicity and satin-white sands. The Maldives is a photogenic beauty. You can’t legally tie the knot in the Maldives, but wedding blessings here are equally special. You’ll just need to organise the legal bit back home, before you jet off to paradise to say your official ‘I dos’. It’s a special destination to renew your vows, too. Kuramathi Maldives has a spellbinding mile-long sandbank for a sunset ceremony, and the island’s three-day package includes an exclusive wedding coordinator, pre- and post-wedding spa treatments, and an in-villa breakfast the next morning. You could add local experiences like Maldivian dancing or palm tree planting at Cinnamon Dhonveli, or follow your ceremony with a sunset cruise at Velassaru, sipping Champagne as you sail the pastel-blue lagoon on a traditional dhoni.
Antigua wedding: a family favourite
Antigua is a family wedding crowd-pleaser and a top choice if you plan to get married with toddlers and teens in tow. The beautiful Blue Waters Resort & Spa is great for children, with an excellent kids’ club and crèche – but the focus here remains strictly on romance. Its three packages are free, premium or platinum, which has a big list of inclusions such as photography, a bridal spa package, sunset Champagne experience and a steel band for the ceremony. Your wedding at Blue Waters will also be the only one at the resort that day, a rare perk in the Caribbean, so you can expect attentive and personalised service throughout.
Italy wedding: a ceremony close to home
Italy takes romance very seriously. Its fairytale architecture, rugged coastlines and dramatic clifftop views were made for weddings. And then there’s the food. If Italy’s world-famous cuisine is the draw for you and your fiancé, we know a local Italian trattoria for an authentic (and delicious) reception. Italy’s also closer to home, so it’s ideal if you want a bigger celebration with all of your family and friends with you. And the flight only takes a couple of hours, so you’ll have the freedom to visit before the wedding to venue hop and get a feel for what you want – be it a medieval town hall on the Amalfi Coast or an intimate villa edging Lake Como.
Sri Lanka wedding: make your ceremony part of an adventure
In Sri Lanka you can watch wild elephants roam in gorgeous national parks, pick your own tea in emerald-green plantations, and get married on a caramel-sand beach fringed by lush jungle. Make the most of your time here and stay on after your wedding for a tailor-made private car and driver holiday. Exploring Sri Lanka with your own personal driver-guide is an affordable, flexible and luxurious way to discover this enchanting island – or you could pair your Sri Lanka wedding with a five-star honeymoon in the Maldives. The flight takes less than two hours, and we have a collection of ultra-romantic islands reserved exclusively for Kuoni guests in the UK.
Seychelles wedding: expect world-class luxury
Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life, so it’s a great excuse to go all out on luxury. The Seychelles’s tiny islands are scattered like little gems across the Indian Ocean. Here, granite rocks tower over flour-soft sand, turtles swim below silky blue waves, and one of the world’s rarest palm trees grows from the forest floor. It’s pure paradise, and a knockout setting for your dream beach wedding. The five-star Banyan Tree Seychelles has a dramatic location on a hilltop, with views over one of the most astounding beaches in the world. The vibe here is very exclusive. You can get married in your own five-star villa or on a private beach, and our weddings team will take care of everything, from your bridal room to get ready in, to tropical flower decorations. We love the added luxuries at Constance Lémuria, which include a free spa ritual, Champagne in your suite, and a candle-lit flower bath for two.
Thailand wedding: have a Buddhist-style ceremony
Tie the knot with a twist and book a one-of-a-kind Buddhist monk’s blessing. A magnificent setting for this is Khao Lak’s boutique hideaway The Sarojin. Your wedding here will be tailored to your every whim, and you’ll get to choose from a handful of jaw-dropping locations. You could say your vows under an ancient Fiscus tree, on the white sands of a secluded seven mile beach, or by a glittering jungle waterfall. Your Buddhist-style ceremony might involve traditions from chanting monks to the lighting of candles. If you love the sound of getting married in Thailand, your first stop will be a few days in its vibrant capital Bangkok to sort out the legal paperwork. While you’re there, don’t miss the incredible street food on Khao San Road, and the city’s lively night markets, Grand Palace and temples.
Barbados wedding: book a beach ceremony on a budget
Friendly locals, sizzling seafood, reggae beats and rum, Barbados weddings have real charm (and they’re excellent value). As soon as you arrive on this charismatic island, you’ll feel your shoulders relax and any pre-wedding stresses wash away with the first sip of an ice-cold rum punch. The simple and affordable Sugar & Spice package at boho-chic Sugar Bay comes with all the key ingredients for an incredible beach ceremony, from the decorations to the wedding cake. We’ll put you in touch with your personal wedding coordinator, who’ll take care of all the arrangements while you sip cocktails at the swim-up bar or indulge in a pre-wedding facial at the spa. If you’re after an alternative beach wedding, at Ocean Two Resort you can get married at sunset on the glamorous Panorama Rooftop Deck. The backdrop for your wedding snaps will be the dazzling turquoise waters of Oistins Bay.
New York wedding: your big day in the Big Apple
Feel the crunch of scarlet red and gold leaves under your heels as you walk down the aisle in an autumnal Central Park. Say your vows in the park’s Conservatory Garden when the trees turn pink in spring, or wed at the top of the Rockefeller Centre where the backdrop for your photos will be the legendary New York City skyline. You can go as quirky or traditional as you like here. We’ll provide you with a personalised wedding pack, a wedding specialist to help with all the finer details, and can add extra touches like bouquets, photography, and an iconic yellow New York taxi to take you to the ceremony in style.
Our dedicated weddings team will make sure your special day is even better than you’d imagined it, taking care of every last detail, from the legal documentation to the cake. Order our Weddings brochure for ideas and inspiration, talk to one of our wedding experts for advice, or book an appointment in your local Kuoni store to start planning.
This feature was published on 23 January 2020. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Wedding inclusions may vary and change without notification, so talk to your Personal Travel Expert to confirm the price and inclusions at the time of booking. Feature by Maisie Johnson.