Destination weddings in the U.S. don't have to be hard! You don't have to say "I do" at a traditional church around the corner from your house. More and more, couples are wanting to get creative with their wedding venues and are looking at destination locations to enjoy multiple days of celebrations with family and friends in a new place.
You also don't have to go to a beach resort in Jamaica or Mexico to make your big day special. There are plenty of charming options right here in the U.S. that will give you the getaway/fairy tale wedding of your dreams. (Let's also assume we aren't traveling to Maui, Hawaii)
Here are the 10 best American destination wedding locations.
1. Key West, Florida
The Florida Keys are the perfect option for the beach-loving couple. The 110-mile island chain is more low key than Miami, with plenty of old Florida to enjoy. If you're feeling super creative you can have an underwater ceremony or simply take advantage of the stunning setting and spend your time as close to the beach as possible. You basically get the experience you'd be looking for in the Caribbean for a much more affordable price.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
With the charming architecture of the French Market, you almost feel like you've been transported to Europe. There are endless options for romantic courtyards or historic cathedrals for your wedding ceremony, but don't forget about a "second line." Anyone getting married in New Orleans can't miss out on having a brass band lead the wedding party through the streets of town (to-go drink in hand of course).
3. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is one of the most photogenic cities in America with all of its natural beauty. The colorful buildings along cobblestone streets are all the southern beauty you could possibly want. There are stunning beaches and historic sites with multiple options for your special day.
4. Sonoma, California
How beautiful would an outdoor wedding by a vineyard be? This charming wine country in Northern California is the perfect place for you and your guests to escape for a few days to unwind in award-winning spas before tasting some of the best wine in the world.
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5. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is perfect for the outdoor loving couple. The breathtaking Rocky Mountains in the backdrop will make your pictures stunning year round and provide lots of outdoor activities for you and your guests, which makes wedding planning much easier! There are lovely mountain lodges and ski resorts to choose from to provide the ideal location for a winter wonderland wedding setting. Keep in mind it's also beautiful in the warmer summer months!
6. Sea Island, Georgia
It's almost surprising that Sea Island and it's five miles of private beaches are found in Georgia. The only people on the island will be visitors to the two resorts, which will be ideal for your wedding. You can have your reception inside a lovely ballroom after a breathtaking exchanging of vows along the sparkling beach. There are also endless activities to keep everyone busy including horseback riding (photo ops!), spas, tennis and fishing. Who wouldn't love a beach wedding?
7. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson has pretty incredible weather year round, so this would be a great option for the couple wanting a nice relaxing trip. With multiple spa resorts and hot springs to choose from, you can't go wrong with the picturesque southwestern cacti of the desert as your backdrop. It would be the perfect place for an elopement.
8. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is perfect for a couple wanting a city setting with plenty of history. Enjoy a waterfront location to watch the boats in the harbor or maybe a dreamy museum that's 100 years old. Boston is home to some incredible restaurants and activities, plus you probably have some guests that wouldn't mind strolling through the Harvard lawn.
9. Newport, Rhode Island
For those looking for some New England charm, Newport might be the option for you. There are stunning old mansions for anything from your ceremony to rehearsal dinner. This seaside community is known for its sailing and historic museums. I'd bet their seafood is pretty hard to beat too.
10. Las Vegas, Nevada
Just because it's Vegas doesn't mean you have to have Elvis marry you in a chapel on the strip. There are some incredible hotel ballrooms for ceremonies and the casinos are a fun activity for your guests to enjoy during the day. There are also some of the best restaurants, pools and activities to get you and your guests busy. Just avoid the hot summer season; it is the desert after all.
Of course, we couldn't cover them all! Don't forget you can have your destination wedding (U.S.) in the great state of Texas, Central Park in New York City, scenic Oregon, or the great San Francisco!
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This article was originally published on April 3, 2019.