Destination weddings are fun, but international travel is expensive. If you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to say “I do,” check out the 8 best wedding destinations in the US to get inspiration for the perfect spot to tie the knot!
The 8 Best Wedding Destinations in the US
If you’re dreaming big for your upcoming wedding, you’re thinking past your current city and looking for the best wedding destinations in the US.
You want somewhere romantic, somewhere scenic – a place that feels appropriate for exchanging your sacred vows with the love of your life.
Whether you’re dreaming of a sunset wedding on the beach or a sophisticated ceremony at a world-famous
- Polo Beach, Maui, Hawaii
- Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida
- Napa Valley, California
- Aspen, Colorado
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- New Orleans, Louisiana
1. Polo Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Nestled along the southwest coast of Maui, Hawaii, Polo Beach is truly a wedding destination in tropical paradise. This romantic, secluded beach is wide and long, lined with palm trees offering shade, and known for gorgeous sunsets.
Named not just one of the best in Maui, but one of the best beaches in Hawaii, Polo Beach is the perfect setting for a classic beach wedding in the morning or at sunset.
The wide shores are ideal for hosting a wedding with friends and family. Imagine saying I do among the swaying palm trees, gentle waves, lava rock formations, and golden sands!
Just behind the beach are 2 popular places to stay so your wedding party and guests can enjoy luxury or affordable accommodations right on the beach.
- Need to Know: All Maui beach weddings require a permit (about $20) issued by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. The permits limit you to 10-25 people, so read the rules thoroughly before you settle on this destination.
- Best Time of Year: Gorgeous and warm year-round, Maui is even better between May and August when the ocean is calmer and highs reach the 80s with little rainfall to interfere with wedding plans.
- Where to Stay: Polo Beach Club ($$$), Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel ($$), Days Inn by Wyndham Maui Oceanfront ($$)
2. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Dreaming of a sunset beach wedding with soft white sand, crystal-clear turquoise water, and a wide range of accommodations options for the wedding party and guests? Siesta Key Beach in sunny Sarasota, Florida is perfect.
This idyllic beach and popular US wedding destination has repeatedly been named among the best beaches in the US. Expect ultra-fine quartz sand, luxury and affordable beachfront resorts, and tons of dining and catering options nearby.
Whether you’re planning a small ceremony or inviting all your family and friends, this beach destination is memorable and romantic.
Beachfront resorts and hotels start around $130/night and go up to around $630/night, so it’s one of the best wedding destinations in the US for all budgets.
- Need to Know: You’ll need a 2-3 hour beach wedding permit from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation to hold a wedding at the main beach at 948 Beach Road. Call 941-861-9930 to learn more.
- Best Time of Year: Siesta Key is excellent year-round, thanks to Florida’s sunny, subtropical climate. March through May is the best time of year to hold a wedding here with little rain and balmy weather.
- Where to Stay: Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota ($$$), Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites ($$), Siesta Sands Beach Resort ($)
3. Napa Valley, California
If you and your sweetheart appreciate a fine glass of wine, Napa Valley, California is one of the best wedding destinations in the US. Picture yourself exchanging vows surrounded by mountains, rolling hills, and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see.
With Napa Valley’s Wine Country as the backdrop, your wedding will feel sophisticated and exclusive in a serene and beautiful natural setting among the grapevines and hills.
There are 5 Napa Valley wineries (all in St. Helena) that allow weddings onsite: Brasswood Estate, Beringer Vineyards, V. Sattui Winery, Merryvale Vineyards, and Charles Krug Winery.
There are also dozens of top-rated wedding venues in Napa Valley if you’re not set on tying the knot in a winery or vineyard. You can host weddings from intimate to large in Napa Valley, making it an ideal choice for many brides and grooms.
- Need to Know: Napa County issues marriage licenses by appointment only, but it’s simple to submit your application online to start the wedding planning process here.
- Best Time of Year: Napa Valley weddings are ideal from May through October, giving you the choice of seeing the vineyards fully green with warm weather or during harvest season with cooler temperatures.
- Where to Stay: Napa Winery Inn ($$$), Napa Farmhouse Inn ($$), Inn St. Helena ($$)
4. Aspen, Colorado
Set in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Aspen is a definitively romantic and rustic-yet-elegant destination for a wedding and really appeals to lovers of the great outdoors.
Snow-capped mountain peaks, an incredible range of dining and accommodations options, and cozy wedding venues that feel intimate and romantic make this winter-sport mecca the perfect place for a wedding.
It’s not cheap to get married in Aspen, but if you want a scenic ceremony high up in the mountains, there’s hardly a better place. Rustic mountain lodges with luxury touches create unforgettable settings for the start of your union.
Choose a winter or summer wedding, depending on your preferred scenery and budget (summer is more affordable). An Aspen wedding is one your guests will gush over for years to come.
- Need to Know: Marriage licenses must be applied for in advance for a $30 fee. You can apply online and the license will be valid for 35 days, so take care of this step in advance!
- Best Time of Year: Aspen is best in winter when people come for the snow, scenery, and winter sports, but it’s more affordable during the summer months when tourism dips.
- Where to Stay: Altitude Haus ($$$), Tyrolean Lodge ($$) Aspen Mountain Lodge ($$)
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Deep in the South’s Lowcountry, Charleston, South Carolina offers a picturesque and genteel destination for weddings in a romantic city set on the Atlantic coast.
The cobblestone streets are lined with Sabal palms, horses and carriages trot through the Historic District, and its waterfront location makes for excellent dining, gorgeous views, and tons of Southern charm.
Getting married in Charleston gives you lots of options, from beachfront ceremonies to quaint bed and breakfasts and luxury venues overlooking the heart of the city.
You’ll find plenty of options for top-rated Charleston-style catering in the city. Your wedding party and guests will enjoy exploring the city’s downtown Historic District and seafront Battery with abundant nightlife options around.
- Need to Know: You can apply for a marriage license in Charleston online and the cost is $70. You don’t need to be a South Carolina resident to get a marriage license.
- Best Time of Year: Charleston weddings are best in spring and fall, when temperatures are mild and rainfall is minimal. Charleston is gorgeous in both seasons!
- Where to Stay: 86 Cannon Historic Inn ($$), John Rutledge House Inn ($$), French Quarter Inn ($$)
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
A Las Vegas wedding doesn’t have to involve 24-hour chapels and Elvis impersonators (unless that’s your thing). Glitzy Las Vegas offers a range of venues and is the perfect place for an indoor or outdoor destination wedding!
In Vegas, you can choose venues that envelope you in cosmopolitan style with modern design or opt for some of the city’s unique Italian-inspired locations like the Palazzo or Venetian.
Vegas’ many world-famous resorts and chapels offer upscale ballrooms and event rooms where you can play off the impressive design elements or create a wedding theme you’ve been dreaming up.
Your wedding party and guests will appreciate the built-in opportunity for epic bachelor and bachelorette parties, walking the famous Strip, catching entertaining shows, and gambling at casinos.
- Need to Know: Applying for a Las Vegas marriage license is easy and you can do it online. The cost is $102 and you’ll both need to visit the Clark County Clerk’s office in person to collect your marriage license.
- Best Time of Year: Vegas weddings can be held indoors year-round, but if you’re planning an outdoor wedding or want to avoid scorching temperatures, spring and fall are the best time of year for a wedding.
- Where to Stay: The Bellagio ($$$), The Venetian Resort ($$), Marriott’s Grand Chateau ($$)
7. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
There’s nothing like the New England coast for a wedding – seaside beauty with elegance and rustic coziness make Cape Cod, Massachusetts one of the best wedding destinations in the US.
If you love the idea of a beach wedding but want something a little different, the shores of Cape Cod are ideal. The weather is mild, the views are gorgeous, and the area is so charming.
It’s the perfect place to celebrate your love and cement your vows with the waves crashing against the sandy shore as whales play in the distance.
Lighthouses, extensive dining and seafood options, and cool B&Bs mixed in with upscale resorts and hotels make it a widely appealing place to exchange vows.
- Need to Know: You may need a permit to get married on the beach, and most towns charge between $15-$30 for these. Be sure to check the tides for your planned wedding time!
- Best Time of Year: The best time of year to get married in Cape Cod is April-June and September-October when temperatures are mild, crowds are smaller, and rainfall is minimal.
- Where to Stay: Wequassett Resort and Golf Club ($$$), Provincetown Inn ($$), Bayside Resort Hotel ($$)
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is one of the best wedding destinations in the US, offering lovebirds a funky and eclectic place to exchange vows in a historic city that’s big on fun. No one does weddings quite like New Orleans!
Second line parades are one of the most fun wedding traditions in NOLA. Everyone follows a brass band through the street, dancing and cheering the newlyweds while carrying decorated parasols.
Filled with stunning architecture from historic mansions and districts to modern buildings, New Orleans pulses with a lively energy that brings so much joy to your wedding day.
You’ll find tons of wedding venues, indoor and outdoor, in this funky setting down south. This city is famous for its Creole and Cajun food, so you can plan a themed wedding with local catering that guests will devour!
- Need to Know: New Orleans requires you to wait 24 hours between getting your marriage license and holding the ceremony, so plan accordingly. You can apply online for a fee of $27.50.
- Best Time of Year: The best time of year for a NOLA wedding is during spring and fall when temperatures are mild. Mardi Gras is insanely busy here, so it’s best to plan outside of the Mardi Gras season around February.
- Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans ($$$), Maison de la Luz ($$$), NOPSI Hotel New Orleans ($$)
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the 8 best wedding destinations in the US, what else should you be thinking about? Here are some additional tips and considerations to keep in mind.
- Will your guests be able to make it? Choosing your wedding destination away from home can be challenging when it comes to your guests and the travel required. Ask friends and family about potential locations to get a rough idea of who’s up for the trip, or consider a small, intimate ceremony with your closest family and friends.
- Double check your documents and paperwork. Marriage licenses, wedding permits, required waiting periods – getting married involves a lot of paperwork! Make sure you’re aware of all the required documents and licenses/permits you’ll need so there are no surprises that delay your ceremony.
- Have a backup plan. Beach and outdoor weddings are undeniably romantic, but it can be disastrous if a storm whips up and throws a wrench into your plans. Have a backup plan for weather issues to ensure your special day goes smoothly!
- Hire a wedding planner. The stress and many moving parts of planning a wedding can be real downer as you get ready for your big day. Hiring a wedding planner in the city you’ll be married in doesn’t have to be expensive and you’ll find that the peace of mind is well worth the expense!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about the best wedding destinations in the US? Take a look at what other readers wondered about getting married away from home to learn more.
What is the top wedding destination in the US?
Hawaii is always one of the top wedding destinations in the US due to its year-round warm weather and gorgeous tropical scenery. It’s like getting married in paradise!
Maui, Hawaii is a popular place for destination weddings with beautiful ocean and volcanic mountain views, lava rock formations, wide stretches of pristine beaches, and tons of options for beachfront resorts and hotels.
Where is the nicest place to get married?
Maui, HI, Sarasota, FL, Napa Valley, CA, Aspen, CO, and Charleston, SC are the 5 nicest places to get married in the US. These dreamy destinations create a stunning backdrop for an indoor or outdoor wedding that feels appropriate for the most special day of your life.
The beaches of Maui and Sarasota, the rolling hills and vineyards of Napa Valley, the snow-capped peaks of Aspen, and Charleston’s historic waterfront scenery make these excellent wedding destinations.
How much does a destination wedding cost in America?
The average destination wedding in the United States of America costs around $26,000 according to Paradise Weddings.
That figure varies and can be lower or higher based on the location and venue, size of your guestlist, wedding season, and other factors.
Where do most brides get married?
Many brides choose to get married in or near their current city or hometown, with churches and religious buildings being the most popular place for brides to get married according to Lifeway Research.
That’s why destination weddings can be such a fun and unique take on a traditional wedding - getting married somewhere beautiful away from home can make your wedding feel exclusive and special.
What month do most brides get married?
Most brides get married in the fall between September and November (Source: TheKnot). About 43% of weddings happen in the fall when temperatures are mild, rain is minimal, and cooler regions boast beautiful fall foliage. After fall, summer is the next most popular season for weddings. Your wedding destination will help you settle on the perfect season for your ceremony!
Tie the Knot at the Best Wedding Destinations in the US
If your heart is set on a destination wedding, you’ll find impeccable options at any of the 8 best wedding destinations in the US. The best part? You won’t even need a passport!
From the sunny shores of Maui and Siesta Key Beach to the New England charm of Cape Cod and the eclectic warmth of New Orleans, these top US wedding destinations are the perfect places to tie the knot.