A destination wedding can offer an intimate and personal experience with family and close friends. Brides and grooms may want to leave their hometown behind and head to a more exotic location for their big day, but that doesn’t have to mean jet-setting to another continent. Check out these amazing destination wedding spots located right here in the U.S.
Planning a destination wedding
There are generally two main types of destination weddings, depending on the location where you want to get married. All-inclusive packages can make things a little easier because most of the smaller details are organized by the wedding planner or venue. The other option is à la carte: you choose your destination and then plan the rest of the details yourself as you would with a more traditional wedding.
An all-inclusive package can help you plan a low-stress and budget-friendly wedding. Many resorts include the venue, simple decor in the color of your choosing, chairs and table linens, basic flower arrangements, music for the ceremony and a semi-private reception. Don’t forget to ask the resort if they offer catering, cake services and a DJ for the reception too.
If you don’t opt for a package, you may want to hire a trustworthy wedding planner who lives near your wedding destination to help make arrangements and handle some of the on-the-ground details. Otherwise, you should consider the time commitment of researching and interacting with vendors and whether this is feasible to do from a distance. Compare all-inclusive packages to the à la carte route to determine which option best fits your personal needs and budget.
Once the date and location are set, you should send out save the date cards so guests have adequate time to plan their schedules accordingly. For destination weddings, experts recommend sending the official invitation three to four months before your wedding date. This gives guests plenty of time to book travel and make other arrangements.
Top U.S. destination wedding locations
Agave of Sedona Wedding and Events Center
Sedona, Arizona, is a great city for destination weddings with picturesque views of the red rocks, all-inclusive packages and plenty of hotel options. The Agave of Sedona Wedding and Events Center is a beautiful place to hold a wedding here. At the Agave, you can choose from several venues for your special day including the Montage Ballroom, Ceremony Terrace and Celebration Terrace. The Montage Ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and offers panoramic views of the Red Rocks.
Huntington Beach, California
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
This oceanfront Hyatt Regency resort will leave you in awe with its photogenic venues on the lawn and stunning ballrooms with views of the beach. The size of this resort allows you to book a room far away from your guests if you’re seeking a more private stay, while still having the ability to meet up with family and friends. The property has more than 500 rooms, upwards of 50 suites and a 20,000-square-foot spa. There are also many stunning backdrops for photos around the property.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
Your destination wedding will unfold among the incredible views of the Rocky Mountains, Pike’s Peak and the iconic red rock formation of Garden of the Gods. The ceremony can take place outside or in one of the ballrooms that feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The resort offers rooms including club rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the Garden of the Gods Park. They also have casita options: one, two or three-bedroom luxury residences that can connect and would be suited for larger families and friends to stay together.
Key Largo, Florida
Key Largo Lighthouse Hidden Beach
Getting married in the Florida Keys can feel like you have your own private island with family and friends. There are three spots at this venue to host your wedding: a secluded beach, a lush tropical forest and a beach house. Each beach house can sleep up to 15 people, making this location affordable for groups. Enjoy the white sand, incredible sunsets and drinks along the water.
Cold Creek Farm
Cold Creek Farm is a working farm, so when you arrive, you will be greeted by the horses in the front pasture. Nestled in the North Georgia mountains you will find a large, whitewashed arbor that makes the perfect backdrop for an outdoor ceremony. Retreat to the reception barn with chandeliers, a dance floor, bar and buffet space for your guests to enjoy the night.
This Oahu destination offers many gorgeous backdrops, with manicured lawns, a lagoon, forests, mountain views and a garden that you can use to capture your wedding photos. Haiku Garden lies on the outskirts of the He’eia State Park of Oahu. In this spot, your destination wedding can feel like a tropical paradise.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden
Spend your wedding day in the heart of the French Quarter at this historic house on Chartres Street, just a couple of blocks from the Mississippi River. The Beauregard-Keyes House is a national historic landmark built in 1826. You won’t be disappointed with the elegant indoor space decorated in creamy yellow, sky blue and forest green. There are plenty of options where you can host your ceremony, such as the famous outdoor Parterre Garden. This could serve as the ceremony and then later you could go into the courtyard and house for the reception.
Stockton Springs, Maine
This beautiful venue can hold as little as 30 guests or as many as 100 guests. Once booked, the entire estate will be available for you and the wedding. French’s Point can be used year-round, making it a great option for whenever you want to hold the ceremony. Lodging can be booked in the three beautiful homes of the estate, with a total of 26 guest suites. A sail cloth tent is available from May to October and provides a beautiful sea location for your festivities, rain or shine.
Hamburg, New Jersey
Crystal Springs Resort
Crystal Springs is considered a “four seasons” resort — because you can have beautiful scenery for your photos any time of year. There are multiple spaces available, both indoors and outdoors, for the ceremony and reception. The property also has two spas that offer pampering services to help you look your best on your wedding day. For your guests, Crystal Springs boasts a wide array of activities including archery, fishing, hiking, biking, golf and anindoor pool.
New York City, New York
The Plaza Hotel
Have you ever dreamed of getting married in New York City at the famed The Plaza Hotel? The hotel is filled with luxurious and Old World decor that will create a timeless and sophisticated wedding day. The Plaza is located at the intersection of Central Park and 5th Avenue and is such an iconic link to New York City. There are several options including the famous Grand Ballroom, The Terrace Room and The Edwardian Room. Guests can book their stay at The Plaza Hotel too, making it a convenient location for the entire guest list.
Highlands, North Carolina
The Farm at Old Edwards
Looking for a unique destination in the mountains? The Farm at Old Edwards is known for its stellar views and picture-perfect surroundings. It offers a 33-acre breathtaking pastoral setting surrounded by the lush landscape of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains for up to 275 guests. Several options are available at the Farm including the Barn at the Farm, the club boardroom and the residence Hutchinson House.
Crook Point is perched 60 feet above the Pacific Ocean and offers stellar views. This venue has three private beaches available for wedding ceremonies and a clifftop reception area where you can hear the waves crashing against the rocks. There are also on-site vacation homes that you can rent during your wedding. The homes offer a variety of bedrooms and occupancy from 3 people to 18 people. If you are worried about rain be sure to rent venue tents because this location doesn’t offer indoor space.
Landrum, South Carolina
The Cliffs at Glassy
Nestled in a private community between Asheville and Greenville, South Carolina, The Cliffs at Glassy boasts one of the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hilltop chapel won’t disappoint for your ceremony, either.
The Barn at Silver Spur Resort
Want a resort that offers a relaxed, welcoming feel and a Texan down-home flair? The Barn at Silver Spur Resort sits on 35 acres in East Texas and has multiple venues, both indoors and out, to make your day a dream come true. The Resort offers many different packages, including reception-only packages if you choose to hold your ceremony elsewhere. The Barn holds up to 300 guests and the doors can remain open after the ceremony, allowing guests to mingle on the surrounding grounds. An outdoor wedding can be held at the scenic pond with outdoor fire pits used during the reception. The Silver Spur Resort offers both lodging and dining as well and can hold up to 50 guests between the 11 cabins and 2 tiny houses.
This woodsy resort is just a 30-minute drive from Seattle. Celebrate your big day with a beautiful forest backdrop along the Raging River. Holding a wedding here gives you exclusive use of the entire four-acre fairy tale forest for up to 22 hours. The venue can also offer unique lodging for up to 20 people in the treehouses. This would be great for the wedding party.
This historic landmark hotel is on the site of the former homes of Secretary of State John Hay and Author Henry Adams. Conveniently located in the heart of the nation’s capital, The Hay-Adams overlooks Lafayette Square and The White House and offers access to an outdoor perimeter terrace. History buffs can’t go wrong planning their destination wedding here.
Avail can get you there
Are you making a trip to a destination wedding near Chicago or Denver? When planning your car rental, consider Avail. You can find Avail at major airports around the United States. Borrowing a car with Avail can save you time with express car pick up to get you on your way faster. Every trip is protected with Allstate insurance and includes 24/7 roadside assistance to ensure everything runs smoothly.