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6 Of The Best Places For A Destination Wedding

6 Of The Best Places For A Destination Wedding

Destination wedding

Everyone loves a destination wedding because it’s the perfect excuse: for guests to take a holiday and for clever couples to cut guest list numbers and costs. There’s also the added bonus that tying the knot away offers real bonding time for you and all your favourites.

Here are six beautiful locations with venues that double as destinations in their own right. They’re all perfect for your dream destination wedding.

The best places for a destination wedding

#1 Italy
Seek out: Noto, Sicily

To be married under the warmth of the Italian sun – even the sentence is romantic. But while most will immediately think Puglia! Tuscany! Positano! those in the know will look to a charming, historic town in Sicily’s south-eastern hills.

Where you should celebrate

Noto is a UNESCO World Heritage, 18th century Baroque limestone charmer. Sicily’s south-east isn’t on the usual tourist trail, meaning lots of precious Italian pockets steeped in ‘olden day’ nostalgia are on the menu.

The wider Val di Noto region is smattered with Ancient Greek ruins while also a short distance to the sea (and cute towns like Marzamemi). Enjoy the intersection of great food, history, culture, weather and beaches – without the crowds.

The venue

Made famous by mega fashion influencer, Chiara Ferragni, the magical location for your dream wedding is Dimore Delle Balze, a restored 19th century palazzo with rustic-modern interiors on 27 acres of pristine Italian countryside, including a lemon orchard.

#2 Mexico
Seek out: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur

Mexico is always a good idea. Full of colour and heart, this incredible country is where you’ll find some of the world’s best architecture, art and restaurants, an insane music scene and stunning scenery. Plus, tequila.

Where you should celebrate

Skip Cabo for the sleepy beach town of Todos Santos, one of Mexico’s favourite ‘magic towns’. This artist’s enclave magnetises surfers, fishermen, expats, New Age spiritualists and stylish travellers who converge between its cobblestone streets and sandy shores.

Baja California Sur is where the desert meets the sea. The peninsula has charming artisan boutiques, organic farms like mirages on a desert horizon, sea turtle sanctuaries, giant cardon cactus, whale watching, epic surf breaks and bioluminescent waters.

The venue

Undeniably cool Hotel San Cristobal put Todos Santos on the map. The 32 minimal, Mexican-styled rooms are place specific yet effortlessly modern and surround the turquoise-tiled pool. No detail is spared and you’ll want to ‘gram it all.

A giant gong is rung each evening as the sun dips below the ocean horizon in front, with the majestic Sierra de la Laguna Mountains behind. The property even has its own chapel.

#3 Sri Lanka
Seek out: Koggala, Sri Lankan Riviera

With a vibe more Bali than Delhi, Sri Lanka is often dubbed ‘India Lite’. This island has a lot to offer: food that’s off-the-charts, sleepy fishing villages, golden sands, lush tea plantations, safaris, historic colonial towns and culture in spades.

Where you should celebrate

Head to Sri Lanka’s south-west coast (locally known as Sri Lanka’s Riviera) where the MO is straight up island R&R. This stretch has sandy beaches brimming with palms, lush gardens, cinnamon trees and lowland tea plantations as well as the stunning, walled colonial city of Galle.

The venue

For something truly unique, eco-hotel Tri Hotel is the spot. Living walls, green roofs, solar arrays, edible gardens and all local materials make this an inspiring sustainable design hotel. Its 11 contemporary suites spiral a stunning six-acre hill right on Koggala lake, yet near some of the coast’s best beaches.

Take five by the infinity pool and definitely do a yoga class in one of the coolest shalas you’ll ever see.

#4 Morocco

Seek out: Ourika Valley

Morocco is a fixture on the hip list, its heady exoticism drawing excited explorers from all over the globe. This country is the best kind of assault on the senses – pushy bartering in the Souks, intoxicating smells at food stalls, the distant chants of the call to prayer rising above the whizzing of scooters and vibrant colours everywhere.

Where you should celebrate

You might picture flat, desert-like landscapes, but the Ourika Valley begs to differ. An oasis in the High Atlas Mountains just an hour southeast of Marrakech, it might be one of the most magical places in the world to wed your SO.

The venue

Kasbah Bab Ourika is so pretty it almost seems fake. Nestled atop a hill surrounded by snow-capped mountains while looking down toward lush green fields and the Ourika River below, the views at this 26-room retreat aren’t the only sight to behold – the property’s gardens are something else.

Eco-conscious and built with rammed earth walls using a traditional Berber method, the furnishings offer the quintessential chic Moroccan escape – all locally-sourced, of course.

#5 USA
Seek out: Santa Barbara, California

Maybe Italy’s version of romance isn’t for you. Maybe you think Diane Lane could’ve saved herself a lot of trouble if she’d moved to California instead of Tuscany. There’s just as much lavender and wine, tbh.

Where you should celebrate

If a classic California vibe lights you up, you might be surprised to learn that just an hour and a half from LA, Santa Barbara epitomises the natural beauty and bounty this state has to offer.

The venue

San Ysidro Ranch in SoCal wine country has spectacular 360-degree views that take in the ocean toward the Channel Islands and around to canyons under ancient tree canopies.

The 41 private cottages ooze classic, cosy luxury – think stone fireplaces, antique furnishings and pitched rooflines with modern fixtures. The gardens are just as romantic, brimming with fragrant flowers that perfume the air, like lavender, gardenias and orange blossoms. No wonder John and Jackie Kennedy chose to honeymoon here.

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#6 Indonesia
Seek out: Sumba, Nusa Tenggara

Indonesia is so much more than Bali. An hour’s flight from Denpasar you’ll find Nusa Tenggara, a collection of rugged islands that feel like a final frontier.

Where you should celebrate

Sumba’s landscape feels wild. There’s forest, waterfalls, rolling hills, rice paddies and white-sand beaches with aquamarine waters, but it’s what happens on the beach that makes Sumba really special.

Horses have been at the heart of Sumbanese culture since the 18th century and every day, they frolic along Nihi beach through the crystal waters like a damn fever dream. Ride them along the beach or if surfing is your thing, you can ride one of the most coveted, private waves in the world: Occy’s Left.

The venue

Often referred to by travel bloggers as their favourite place on Earth, luxuriously rugged Nihi Sumba has been named Travel + Leisure’s Best Hotel In The World, twice.

This is no regular hotel: spanning 560 acres of unspoiled natural land including two and half-kilometer private Nihi beach, this spectacular all-villa resort described as ‘effortlessly magical’ cares about sustainability and supporting the local Sumbanese community. Couples can even have village priests lead their marriage ceremony.

Sonia Taylor travelled the world for four straight years – she lived a lot, and ate even more. Catch her current adventures on Instagram @sonnietothetee.

Lead image: @davidbastianoni / @nihisumba

Planning a destination wedding of your own? Check out this list of the most beautiful cities in the world.

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