Destination weddings are the perfect excuse to have all your favorite people explore a new city together in honor of your special day. On top of that, destination weddings weed out the wedding crashers and limit your guests to the ones who truly matter most.
Why Destination Weddings?
If a destination wedding is an idea that you’d love to incorporate in your own personal fairytale, we are in full support because it’ll be an incredible experience that you, your wedding party, and your guests will enjoy. To help you zone in on a few possibilities, we asked over 1,000 wedding-goers which four cities are the best location for a destination wedding in the U.S.
Get the full rundown on our survey results with this infographic. If you don’t want to check out the whole survey, we understand. Just keep reading for a recap on our findings for the best wedding destinations throughout the country.
Newport, Rhode Island
Starting off in the city of Newport on the south end of Rhode Island, this waterfront town is primarily bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, giving you various country clubs, hotels, and resorts to scout for your big day. One of Newport’s largest and most well-known venues is Fort Adams, which serves as both a National Historic Landmark and an official State Park. This coastal fortress alone has six beautiful locations to host your day of matrimony, including Eisenhower House, also known as 34th U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Summer White House.”
Best Venues in Newport
If you want to live like The Great Gatsby for a day, you can also book a wedding at the Rosecliff Mansion, just fifteen minutes away from Fort Adams. Aside from Great Gatsby, other movies that have turned this space into a movie set are 27 Dresses and True Lies.
Across the water from Fort Adams is Goat Island, a secluded area in Newport that’s home to Belle Mer, a glamorous oceanside venue with equally stunning indoor and outdoor spaces. If we could describe this location in one sentence, it would be your ideal vision of an elegant East Coast wedding. The private venue is surrounded by seven acres of immaculate greenery and a panoramic view of Narragansett Bay’s blue waters.
For anyone looking for an all-inclusive venue that can host all your wedding events and accommodate your guests onsite, we have two delightful options for you. The first is the OceanCliff Resort, a waterfront estate with a luxurious grand ballroom and 24 guest rooms to house your closest loved ones. OceanCliff was awarded “2019 Top Pick – Best of Weddings” by The Knot and “Best Reception and Ceremony Venue” by Newport Wedding Magazine. Another hotel that can provide everything you need for your special day is the Castle Hill Inn. This space has several types of rooms to accommodate your guests, a boutique spa for a little pampering, and they even pride themselves on their world-class dining experience.
Relax with a Glass of Local Wine
Once you’ve found the right venue, you can relax and unwind over a glass of wine at Newport Vineyards. If you’d like to bring your guests with you, you can also inquire to host a private event at their facility. If you’re more of a beer lover, then you can also check out the newest addition to Newport Vineyards: the Taproom Brewing Company. Aside from a tasty selection of local beer, on Wednesday nights, the Taproom hosts live music from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Charleston, South Carolina
For any hopeless romantics who are fans of the famous film The Notebook, take a seat and start researching because Charleston, South Carolina might be the perfect wedding destination for you. Many of The Notebook‘s scenes were filmed in the city of Charleston itself. Relive the love story of Allie and Noah with your soon-to-be life partner by taking a boat ride through Cypress Gardens, or visiting the Boone Hall Plantation, where Allie spent her summers. You can also take a stroll down Charleston’s King Street, where the pair exchanged a dance outside the American Theater on their first date.
Charleston houses over one hundred wedding venues to scope out. Some of our favorites include The Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory, the Instagram-worthy Mills House at the Wyndham Grand Hotel, and the historic, yet modern Founders Hall located near the Old Town District. All three of these spaces are incredibly unique locations that surround you with Charleston’s timeless charm.
Your guests are in for a treat because there are tons of places to explore in between all your wedding festivities. For starters, show up with an empty stomach to Lewis Barbecue for beef brisket by the pound that’s made to perfection by barbecue master, John Lewis. Lewis began his culinary career in the home of American BBQ: good ol’ Texas. He then took his talents to Charleston to introduce South Carolina to mouthwatering Texan barbecue. No, he and his staff are ready to treat you to some finger-licking good ribs and sides.
Tasty Drinks and Cocktails
Once your bellies are satisfied with southern-style meats, you can find your way to one of Charleston’s
Saving the best for last is The Rooftop at Vendue, located on top of Charleston’s Art Hotel. Dubbed as “The Best Rooftop Bar” by the Charleston City Paper since 2007, the space is so in-demand that they do not accept reservations. Be sure to stop by if you get the chance!
Start Planning Your Charleston Wedding Today
If romance is what you seek, look no further than Charleston, SC. This picturesque town, literally the movie set of a romantic classic, is ideal for anyone looking for the ultimate in adorable.
Key West, Florida
If you’re in search of a breathtaking beach wedding, Key West in Florida is your answer. Located on the furthest end of the Florida Keys strip, and within seven square miles of this tiny town, are a plethora of jaw-dropping seaside venues to choose from. It would be an absolute dream to have all your wedding guests spend a couple of nights in paradise together, and at Key West, you can turn that dream into a reality. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise to host your special day, look no further.
We’re all familiar with the saying “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and when you’re at Margaritaville Resort & Marina, it’s 5 o’clock (aka Happy Hour) all the time. Yes, there is actually a place called Margaritaville, and yes, it’s basically a slice of paradise. At this heavenly resort, you can choose to have a sunset wedding by the beach, a reception in a tropical garden, a catamaran celebration to explore Key West’s tropical waters, and more!
Another enchanting location is the Southernmost Beach Resort, where you can get a taste of the glamorous island life. Before all the wedding madness ensues, you and your fiancé can treat yourselves to a couples cabana massage with a view of the ocean right in front of you. By the end of your 80-minute massage, any stress that tries to take over will melt away completely. On your wedding day, you can exchange vows right on the beach with palm trees and beautiful shades of blue as your backdrop. As you stand at the end of the aisle, with the tropical breeze passing by, and the love of your life right in front of you, we hope you take a mental picture and embrace that ethereal moment forever.
Get a Bird’s-Eye View
For an experience you and your entourage will never forget, why not get a helicopter tour of the island? If you and your friends are thrill-seekers who aren’t afraid of heights, Air Adventures is a unique tour that allows you to see Key West from a completely different perspective. They offer six different types of packages that vary in price range, but you can book an Air Adventures tour for as low as $69 per person. Talk about taking your destination wedding to the next level.
Start Planning Your Key West Wedding Today
If tropical paradise is your ideal wedding venue, then look no further than Key West, Florida! This cute spot is loaded with adventure from helicopter rides to hot air balloons. They’ve got a ton of great venues are ready to start helping you plan your big day.
Napa Valley, California
Last but not surely not least, our final wedding destination is none other than Napa Valley, home of California’s most world-renowned wineries! People from all over the globe travel here to get a taste of the region’s award-winning wines, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Napa Valley takes the cake as the #1 location for a destination wedding in the U.S.
Explore the Vineyards and Wineries
Once you drive into Napa Valley, you will notice lush mountains and vast vineyards as far as the eye can see. It’s a remarkable sight that can dazzle anyone who gets to witness it for the first time. Napa’s landscapes will be a warm welcome for your guests, but to top it all off, you can savor a wine tasting together at one of Napa’s 400 wineries!
We understand that it may be a challenge to choose the right one, so if you ask us, two must-see wineries are the famed Castello di Amorosa pictured below, and Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola’s own personal winery. Coppola’s winery even has a movie gallery where you can catch a glimpse at props from some of his most prominent films including Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather.
Best Napa Venue
There are just as many wedding venues in Napa Valley as there are wineries, so you’ll definitely have to dig in to find the venue that suits you the most. One noteworthy location is the Meritage Resort and Spa right on the edge of Napa Valley. At this establishment, you can book spa packages for your bridal party, or spoil them with a wine tasting at one of Meritage’s wine tasting rooms. At Meritage, you can select to have your ceremony at a variety of locations, including a Vineyard Deck with a gazebo, an intimate Estate Wine Cave, or several ballrooms and terraces.
After exploring Napa’s beauty for your wedding, your guests will leave with happy hearts, smiling faces, and most likely a suitcase filled with a few bottles of wine. We can’t blame them though, because we would do the same.
Start Planning Your Napa Wedding Today
Tons of great wine, beautiful scenery and Norcal hospitality are what you can expect from Wine Country. Coming in at the number one spot for many reasons, Napa Valley has everything you need for your special day. Make a weekend getaway out of your wedding planning. Go taste the best wine the valley has to offer while you find that perfect venue. Here’s a list of the top wineries for you.