June 18, 2024

The Most Beautiful Destination Wedding Locations in the U.S.

A bride and groom pose in an outdoor setting with the bride standing and the groom sitting on a gray couch. They are surrounded by a dry grassy field with a dense forest and a snow-capped mountain in the background.

One thing you won’t have to worry about is finding incredible locations for destination weddings in the United States. In fact, the diversity of destinations available is so vast that different parts of the country often feel like completely different worlds. While planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful, having a whole country to choose from can make it even more overwhelming. As a wedding photographer fortunate enough to have traveled extensively across this beautiful nation, I want to share some of my insights to help ease your wedding planning process. Here is a carefully curated list of the places I recommend for destination weddings in the United States.


Best Locations For Destination Weddings in the U.S.

Planning the perfect destination wedding in the US is an exciting journey, offering a plethora of stunning locations, each with its own unique charm. Whether you envision a serene beach wedding, a vibrant city wedding, or a tranquil mountain wedding, the US has it all. This guide will help you navigate through some of the most enchanting wedding destinations, tips for hiring a photographer, the role of social media in planning, and essential travel tips for your big day.

  • A tour through top wedding destinations in the US
  • Expert advice on location scouting
  • Tips for hiring the perfect wedding photographer
  • How to utilize social media in your planning
  • Travel tips for a stress-free journey

Table of Contents

  1. Paradise in Hawaii: Maui Beach Wedding
  2. Florida: Sun-Kissed Ceremonies
  3. California Dreaming: From Wine Country to Coastal Bliss
  4. Colorado: A Mountain Wedding to Remember
  5. New York: The Epitome of City Weddings
  6. The Southern Charm of Charleston, SC
  7. Savannah’s Historic Beauty
  8. Alaska: The Frontier of Love


Paradise in Hawaii: Maui Beach Wedding

Maui’s scenery is nothing short of spectacular. With over 30 miles of pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes, it’s no wonder Maui is a top choice for destination weddings in the US. Imagine saying your vows with the backdrop of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, or surrounded by the island’s verdant greenery and cascading waterfalls. Whether you prefer a beachfront ceremony or a garden setting, Maui’s diverse landscapes provide endless possibilities for stunning wedding photos.

Haleakala National Park

One of Maui’s most iconic natural landmarks, Haleakala National Park, offers a truly unique wedding venue. The park’s summit, known as the “House of the Sun,” rises over 10,000 feet above sea level, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the island. Imagine exchanging vows at sunrise, with the first light of day illuminating the vast volcanic landscape below. The serene and otherworldly beauty of Haleakala creates a dramatic and unforgettable setting for your wedding.

Luxurious Wedding Venues

Maui is home to some of the most luxurious wedding venues in the US, offering top-notch amenities and services to ensure your big day is perfect. Here are two standout venues that exemplify the island’s charm and elegance.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

An outdoor wedding ceremony setup with wooden chairs arranged on a lush green lawn, facing a beautifully decorated floral arch. The setting is framed by tall palm trees, with the ocean and distant mountains providing a breathtaking natural backdrop.

Located on Maui’s northwest shore, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is an epitome of luxury and elegance. This five-star resort offers a variety of stunning venues, from beachfront lawns to elegant ballrooms. The Kapalua Cliff House, perched above the ocean, provides a breathtaking and intimate setting for smaller ceremonies. The resort’s dedicated wedding planners work tirelessly to ensure every detail is perfect, from the exquisite catering to the personalized décor. With its lush gardens, pristine beaches, and world-class service, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is an ideal choice for a luxurious destination wedding.

Olowalu Plantation House

An outdoor wedding reception set up by the sea, featuring long wooden tables with white table settings and greenery decorations. String lights are hung overhead, and guests are seen mingling near a large tree, with the ocean and a clear sky providing a stunning backdrop.

For couples seeking a venue with historic charm and tropical elegance, Olowalu Plantation House is a perfect choice. Situated on Maui’s western shore, this historic estate offers a picturesque setting with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The expansive lawn, lined with swaying palm trees and lush gardens, provides a romantic and serene atmosphere for your ceremony and reception. The plantation house itself exudes old-world charm, offering a blend of classic architecture and modern amenities. With its breathtaking sunsets and tranquil ambiance, Olowalu Plantation House is one of Maui’s most sought-after wedding venues.

Despite its remote and exotic feel, Maui is easily accessible from the mainland US, with numerous direct flights available from major cities. This makes it a convenient choice for destination weddings in the US, ensuring that your friends and family can join you in celebrating your special day without the hassle of long and complicated travel arrangements.

Maui’s stunning natural beauty, luxurious wedding venues, and rich cultural experiences make it the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a beachfront ceremony, a garden setting, or a historic venue, Maui offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, Maui provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

Plan your wedding for Oahu’s off-season (mid-September to the end of November; February – May).

Hawaii Wedding Packages


Florida: Sun-Kissed Ceremonies

When planning a destination wedding in the US, Miami, FL, stands out as an exceptional choice. Known for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and luxurious venues, Miami offers everything you need to make your special day unforgettable. Here’s why Miami should be at the top of your list for a destination wedding.

Stunning Beaches and Beautiful Weather

Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches and year-round sunshine, making it an ideal location for an outdoor wedding. Imagine exchanging vows with the backdrop of turquoise waters and white sand beneath your feet. The scenic beauty of Miami’s coastline, combined with its tropical climate, ensures perfect weather almost any time of the year. This picturesque setting provides endless opportunities for stunning wedding photos and memorable ceremonies.

The Biltmore Hotel

An elegant indoor wedding reception featuring long tables decorated with tall floral arrangements and lit candles. The warm lighting and luxurious gold chairs create a sophisticated and romantic ambiance in the grand hall.

The Biltmore Hotel, located in Coral Gables, is one of Miami’s most luxurious and iconic wedding venues. This historic hotel, with its Mediterranean-inspired architecture, lush gardens, and grand ballrooms, offers a setting of opulence and sophistication. The Biltmore’s outdoor courtyard, surrounded by tropical landscaping and a stunning pool, provides a picturesque backdrop for ceremonies. For receptions, the grand ballrooms, with their high ceilings and elegant decor, create an atmosphere of timeless elegance. The hotel’s experienced wedding planners and world-class catering services ensure every detail of your wedding is flawless, making the Biltmore Hotel an ideal choice for a luxurious destination wedding.

The Betsy Hotel

A rooftop wedding reception setup with long wooden tables adorned with greenery and white table settings. String lights are hung overhead, and the city skyline is visible in the background with a beautiful sunset casting a warm glow over the scene.

Located on the famous Ocean Drive, The Betsy Hotel combines classic elegance with modern luxury. This boutique hotel offers a range of beautiful venues, from its rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean to its sophisticated ballrooms. The Betsy’s courtyard, adorned with lush greenery and twinkling lights, provides an intimate setting for ceremonies. The hotel’s Art Deco design and contemporary amenities create a unique blend of historic charm and modern comfort. With personalized service and attention to detail, The Betsy Hotel ensures that your wedding is both stylish and unforgettable.

Easy Accessibility

Miami is easily accessible from major cities across the US and around the world, making it a convenient choice for destination weddings in the US. Miami International Airport offers numerous direct flights, ensuring that your guests can travel with ease. The city’s excellent transportation infrastructure makes it easy to navigate and explore all that Miami has to offer.

Don’t book in March or May as availability is already limited and Miami can be especially pricy this time of year.

Miami Wedding Packages


California Dreaming: From Wine Country to Coastal Bliss

Diverse and Beautiful Landscapes

California is renowned for its breathtaking and varied scenery, from sun-kissed beaches and majestic mountains to lush vineyards and vibrant cities. This diversity allows couples to choose the perfect backdrop for their special day. Whether you envision a beachfront ceremony, a vineyard celebration, or a city-chic wedding, California has it all.

One of the most appealing aspects of getting married in California is the excellent weather. California’s climate varies by region, but you can generally expect sunny and pleasant conditions year-round. This makes planning an outdoor wedding less stressful, knowing that you’re unlikely to encounter unpredictable weather. Whether you’re planning a spring, summer, fall, or winter wedding, California’s climate is accommodating.

The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Valley

An elegant indoor wedding reception set in a beautifully lit stone-walled room with arched ceilings. Long tables are adorned with vibrant floral arrangements and ornate lanterns, while chandeliers hang from the ceiling, casting intricate patterns of light and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

For those dreaming of a romantic vineyard wedding, Napa Valley is the perfect destination. The Meritage Resort and Spa offers an idyllic setting nestled among rolling vineyards. This luxurious venue features stunning outdoor spaces, such as the Vineyard Deck, which overlooks the picturesque vines, and the Estate Cave, an exquisite underground space perfect for intimate receptions. With its Tuscan-inspired architecture, beautifully manicured gardens, and exceptional wine country ambiance, The Meritage Resort and Spa ensures a magical and unforgettable wedding experience. The resort also offers world-class amenities, including a full-service spa, gourmet dining, and luxurious accommodations, making it a perfect choice for destination weddings in the US.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego

An outdoor wedding reception setup with long wooden tables arranged on a grassy lawn. String lights are strung overhead, and hot air balloons are visible in the sky, adding a whimsical touch to the serene, nature-filled setting.

San Diego, with its stunning coastline and year-round pleasant weather, is another fantastic location for a destination wedding. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe offers a blend of rustic charm and modern elegance. Situated on 21 acres of landscaped grounds, this historic inn provides a serene and picturesque setting. The Hacienda-style architecture, lush gardens, and charming cottages create a romantic and intimate atmosphere. The Inn’s outdoor ceremony sites, such as the Rose Garden and the Lawn, offer breathtaking views and a tranquil ambiance. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe also boasts elegant indoor venues, perfect for receptions. With its timeless beauty and top-notch service, this venue is an excellent choice for couples seeking a quintessential Southern California wedding.

California is easily accessible from major cities across the US and around the world, making it a convenient choice for destination weddings in the US. With numerous international airports, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), your guests can travel with ease. Additionally, California’s extensive transportation infrastructure ensures that getting around the state is convenient and straightforward.

California Wedding Prices & Availability


Colorado: A Mountain Wedding to Remember

When it comes to destination weddings in the US, Colorado stands out as an exceptional choice. Known for its stunning mountain scenery, diverse venues, and a perfect blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, Colorado offers everything you need to make your special day unforgettable. Here’s why you should consider Colorado for your destination wedding.

Majestic Mountain Scenery

Colorado’s breathtaking landscapes provide an awe-inspiring backdrop for any wedding. With the majestic Rocky Mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests, the state offers endless possibilities for stunning wedding photos and memorable ceremonies. Imagine exchanging vows with snow-capped peaks in the background or under a canopy of vibrant aspen trees. Whether you’re planning a summer, fall, winter, or spring wedding, Colorado’s natural beauty will make your wedding day truly magical.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

An outdoor wedding ceremony setup with a floral arch decorated with vibrant flowers and greenery. The aisle is lined with chairs and flower arrangements, set against a picturesque backdrop of mountains and trees, with a clear sky overhead.

One of Colorado’s most luxurious wedding venues is The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, this historic five-star resort offers a blend of elegance and natural beauty. The Broadmoor provides a variety of stunning venues, from the Lakeside Terrace with its picturesque views of Cheyenne Lake to the grand Pauline Chapel, perfect for an indoor ceremony. The resort’s meticulously landscaped gardens and elegant ballrooms offer versatile options for both ceremonies and receptions. With world-class service, exquisite dining, and luxurious accommodations, The Broadmoor ensures that every detail of your wedding is perfect.

Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores

A rustic outdoor wedding ceremony held under a wooden canopy structure made of natural logs. The bride and groom stand at the altar, surrounded by guests seated on yellow chairs, with dense pine trees and a bright sky completing the serene forest setting.

For couples seeking a unique and rustic yet luxurious wedding venue, Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores is a perfect choice. This restored 19th-century ghost town offers an enchanting setting with its hand-hewn log cabins, hot springs, and stunning views of the San Juan Mountains. The venue provides a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the picturesque Dance Hall and the romantic River Camp. Dunton Hot Springs offers exclusive use of the entire town, ensuring a private and intimate celebration. The venue’s luxurious amenities, including a spa, gourmet dining, and beautifully appointed cabins, make it an ideal location for a destination wedding.

Colorado’s majestic mountain scenery, luxurious wedding venues, perfect seasonal variety, and rich cultural experiences make it the ideal choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a grand celebration at a historic resort or a rustic yet elegant wedding in a restored ghost town, Colorado offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, Colorado provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

Colorado Destination Wedding Packages


New York: The Epitome of City Weddings

Iconic Urban Elegance

New York City is renowned for its vibrant energy, world-class amenities, and iconic landmarks, making it a dream destination for many couples. Imagine exchanging vows with the breathtaking backdrop of the Manhattan skyline or hosting an elegant reception in a historic venue.

Beyond the bustling city, New York State offers serene landscapes and charming venues perfect for a destination wedding. The Hudson Valley, with its rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and historic estates, provides a tranquil and beautiful setting.

The Garrison, Hudson Valley

A bride and groom embrace under a rustic arch made of intertwined branches and greenery. They stand on a stone pathway with a scenic mountain view in the background, creating a picturesque and romantic outdoor setting.

Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, The Garrison offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains. This versatile venue provides both indoor and outdoor spaces, including the intimate River Room and the expansive outdoor ceremony site overlooking the river. The Garrison’s commitment to farm-to-table cuisine, using ingredients sourced from its own farm, ensures a unique and delicious dining experience for your guests. The venue’s rustic elegance and natural beauty make it an ideal choice for couples seeking a picturesque and peaceful setting for their wedding.

The Plaza Hotel, New York City

A grand indoor wedding reception set in an opulent ballroom adorned with chandeliers and elegant decor. The room is filled with round tables decorated with floral centerpieces and soft lighting, creating a luxurious and festive atmosphere.

For those seeking a luxurious and iconic venue, The Plaza Hotel in New York City is an exceptional choice. This legendary hotel, located at the corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue, has been an iconic symbol of grandeur since 1907. The Plaza offers a variety of stunning spaces for weddings, including the opulent Grand Ballroom and the elegant Terrace Room. The hotel’s timeless elegance, combined with impeccable service and gourmet cuisine, ensures a wedding experience that is both glamorous and unforgettable.

New York’s iconic urban elegance, natural beauty, rich cultural experiences, and perfect seasonal variety make it the ideal choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a glamorous celebration in a legendary hotel or a serene ceremony overlooking the Hudson River, New York offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, New York provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

New York Wedding Packages


The Southern Charm of Charleston, SC

When it comes to destination weddings in the US, Charleston, South Carolina, is a premier choice. Known for its historic charm, picturesque scenery, and Southern hospitality, Charleston offers everything you need to make your wedding day truly unforgettable. Here’s why Charleston should be at the top of your list for a destination wedding.

Historic Charm and Elegant Venues

Charleston is renowned for its well-preserved historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and antebellum homes, which provide a romantic and timeless backdrop for any wedding. The city’s rich history and elegant venues add a unique charm to your special day, ensuring it’s both beautiful and memorable.

The William Aiken House

An outdoor wedding ceremony in front of a historic building with arched windows and black shutters. The bride and groom stand at the altar, surrounded by their wedding party, while guests are seated on white benches, witnessing the event under a clear sky.

For couples seeking a venue that exudes historic elegance, The William Aiken House is an excellent choice. This 19th-century mansion, located in downtown Charleston, offers a stunning blend of historic charm and modern amenities. The property features beautifully restored rooms, spacious courtyards, and private gardens, providing multiple options for both ceremonies and receptions. The grand architecture and lush landscaping create a picturesque setting that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Scenic Coastal Beauty

In addition to its historic charm, Charleston boasts stunning coastal scenery, from pristine beaches to marshlands and rivers. This natural beauty provides an idyllic setting for a wedding, offering breathtaking views and endless photo opportunities.

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

A bride and groom embrace under a canopy of large, moss-covered oak trees in a serene, sun-dappled setting. The expansive branches and lush green surroundings create a picturesque and romantic atmosphere.

Situated just outside of Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens offers a quintessential Southern setting for a wedding. This historic plantation, dating back to 1681, is one of America’s oldest working plantations and features iconic oak-lined avenues, beautiful gardens, and historic buildings. The Cotton Dock, located on the banks of Wampacheone Creek, provides a rustic yet elegant venue for ceremonies and receptions, with stunning waterfront views. Boone Hall’s combination of natural beauty and historic charm makes it a perfect choice for couples looking for a unique and memorable wedding venue.

Charleston’s historic charm, scenic coastal beauty, Southern hospitality, and rich cultural experiences make it the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a grand celebration in a historic mansion or a picturesque ceremony at a plantation, Charleston offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, Charleston provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

Charleston Wedding Packages


Savannah’s Historic Beauty

When considering destination weddings in the US, Savannah, Georgia, stands out as an enchanting choice. With its historic charm, romantic landscapes, and Southern hospitality, Savannah offers everything you need to create an unforgettable wedding experience. Here’s why you should consider Savannah for your destination wedding.

Historic Charm and Timeless Elegance

Savannah is renowned for its well-preserved historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and Spanish moss-draped oak trees, which provide a romantic and timeless backdrop for any wedding. The city’s rich history and elegant venues add a unique charm to your special day, ensuring it’s both beautiful and memorable.

The Forsyth Park Inn

A large group of people gathered on the porch of a yellow historic building, waving and smiling at the camera. The porch is decorated with hanging ferns, and the building features white columns and railings, creating a charming and welcoming atmosphere.

For couples seeking a venue that exudes historic elegance, The Forsyth Park Inn is an excellent choice. Located in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, this Victorian mansion offers a stunning blend of historic charm and modern amenities. The inn’s picturesque courtyard, overlooking the iconic Forsyth Park, provides a romantic setting for intimate ceremonies. The beautifully appointed rooms and lush gardens create a serene atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Scenic Beauty and Romantic Settings

In addition to its historic charm, Savannah boasts scenic beauty with its lush gardens, riverfront views, and picturesque squares. These natural settings provide an idyllic backdrop for a wedding, offering breathtaking views and endless photo opportunities.

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

An outdoor wedding ceremony taking place under a gazebo, with the couple standing at the altar surrounded by their wedding party. Guests are seated on white chairs, and the setting features palm trees and a view of the river and city skyline in the background, bathed in warm, golden light.

Situated along the Savannah River, The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa offers a luxurious setting for a wedding. This elegant venue provides a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the Harbor Lawn, which offers stunning river views, and the Grand Ballroom, perfect for an elegant reception. The resort’s serene surroundings, combined with its world-class amenities and exceptional service, ensure a memorable and stress-free wedding experience.

Savannah is easily accessible from major cities across the US, making it a convenient choice for destination weddings in the US. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport offers numerous direct flights, ensuring that your guests can travel with ease. The city’s compact and walkable downtown area, along with its reliable transportation options, makes it easy to navigate and explore all that Savannah has to offer.

Savannah’s historic charm, scenic beauty, Southern hospitality, and rich cultural experiences make it the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a grand celebration in a historic mansion or a romantic ceremony by the river, Savannah offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, Savannah provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

Savannah Georgia Wedding Packages


Alaska: The Frontier of Love

When considering destination weddings in the US, Alaska offers a unique and breathtaking alternative to more traditional locations. Known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and adventurous spirit, Alaska provides a truly unforgettable backdrop for your special day. Here’s why Alaska should be at the top of your list for a destination wedding.

Unparalleled Natural Beauty

Alaska is renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery, from majestic mountains and pristine lakes to lush forests and icy glaciers. The state’s dramatic landscapes provide an unparalleled setting for a wedding, offering endless opportunities for stunning photos and memorable moments. Imagine exchanging vows under the shimmering Northern Lights or beside a serene, glacier-fed lake.

Alyeska Resort, Girdwood

A bride and groom standing on a mountainside with a stunning view of a valley and mountains in the background, under a clear blue sky.

For couples seeking a luxurious venue with stunning mountain views, Alyeska Resort in Girdwood is an excellent choice. Nestled in the Chugach Mountains, this premier resort offers a blend of modern amenities and natural beauty. The resort’s picturesque grounds include a mountaintop chapel accessible by a scenic tram ride, providing a breathtaking setting for your ceremony. For receptions, the Alyeska Resort offers elegant ballrooms and outdoor spaces with panoramic views. The resort’s world-class service, fine dining, and luxurious accommodations ensure a memorable and stress-free wedding experience.

Unique and Adventurous Venues

Alaska is perfect for couples looking for a unique and adventurous wedding experience. The state’s diverse landscapes allow for a variety of exciting wedding venues, from rustic lodges in the wilderness to elegant venues in bustling cities.

Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage

A wedding reception with guests dancing under string lights and chandeliers inside a venue with a stage and round tables.

For a wedding that combines cultural richness with natural beauty, The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is an ideal venue. This cultural center showcases the history and traditions of Alaska’s indigenous peoples, providing a unique and meaningful setting for your wedding. The center’s outdoor spaces, surrounded by traditional Native dwellings and beautiful landscapes, offer a serene and picturesque backdrop for your ceremony. Indoor facilities, including the Gathering Place, provide ample space for receptions and celebrations. Incorporating elements of Alaska Native culture into your wedding can create a truly special and memorable experience.

Despite its remote location, Alaska is more accessible than many might think. Anchorage, the state’s largest city, is a major transportation hub with numerous direct flights from cities across the US. This makes it relatively easy for your guests to travel to your wedding. Once in Alaska, the state’s well-developed infrastructure ensures that getting around is straightforward and convenient.

Alaska’s unparalleled natural beauty, unique and adventurous venues, year-round appeal, and rich cultural experiences make it the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Whether you envision a luxurious mountain resort wedding or a culturally rich celebration in Anchorage, Alaska offers something for every couple. For those considering destination weddings in the US, Alaska provides an unforgettable backdrop for the most important day of your life.

Alaska Wedding Photography Packages


Conclusion

Choosing the perfect location for your destination wedding in the US is a journey in itself—one filled with potential for joy, love, and unforgettable memories. Whether it’s a beach, city, or mountain wedding, the US offers a plethora of stunning options. Remember the importance of location scouting, the invaluable role of a skilled wedding photographer, and the power of social media to aid in your planning. Here’s to a journey that starts with perfect vows in a perfect location.

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