Destination weddings have been growing steadily in popularity over the last several years, yet more recently took their rightful spot in the rapidly emerging same-sex wedding market. Exchanging “I Do’s” away from home amongst family and friends is popular with LGBTQ couples who may be unable to legally wed at home, as well as those who seek to honor cultural ties or long-lived obsessions with exotic locales. Whatever the reason to celebrate a destination wedding, there are special considerations unique to this market that every couple should know.
Legality: When researching the destination for your wedding, you will want to know whether or not local laws permit and recognize same-sex marriages. If they do not, but you still decide to pursue a wedding in your chosen region, you may need to hold a legal ceremony at home, then have a symbolic destination ceremony. Some of the top destination spots for same-sex couples include Cape Town, Iceland, Paris, Stockholm and Oslo- all of which recognize same-sex marriage. Domestically, couples are in particular making their way to New York City, Hawaii, Boston and California.
Climate: When you think “climate” and “destination wedding” your first mental image is probably of you sitting on a beach with sunscreen in one hand and an umbrella-accented drink in the other. However, LGBTQ couples have a much more serious climate to acknowledge: the state of recognition and acceptance of same-sex marriage in your chosen destination. Among the popular countries that recognize marriage equality are Great Britain, France, Spain, Canada, and New Zealand. For those interested in a symbolic ceremony, the Riviera Maya and Cancun have been popular in recent years, recognized for their hospitality and welcoming environment.
Personalization: No matter where you decide to hold your wedding, invest time and energy in creating a personal experience for yourselves and your guests. You don’t have to be at home to customize the day and make it “yours.” Choose meaningful designs and motifs, craft playlists of your favorite songs, and write vows that speak to your hearts. Every aspect of your celebration should honor your love and relationship, so take the time together to determine how you will express yourself during your destination wedding. The result will be a lifetime of memories and a beautiful beginning to your journey together.
Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at Destination Wedding Travel Group, the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. Destination Wedding Travel Group, which encompasses GayDestinationWeddings.com, DestinationWeddings.com and LuxuriousDestinationWeddings.com, has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings around the world. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com.