The world has become an oyster for same-sex couples, with many countries and cities to pick for a wedding. Why settle for a local wedding when you can travel anywhere in the world and make it an adventure of a lifetime? Check out our top ten same-sex wedding destinations for various budgets and preferences.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Even though Denmark previously allowed short blessing ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, it recently made formal church weddings available to same-sex couples. Copenhagen offers the most romantic scenery for weddings. Canals, parks, and narrow streets give the city incredible charm. In addition to that, Copenhagen is full of award-winning restaurants, perfect for those looking to celebrate with top-notch meals. This city has one of the highest numbers of restaurants and bars globally, and some of them stay open until 5 in the morning. If you are one of those couples that love to party and celebrate long into the night, Copenhagen is the ideal wedding destination for you.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina was the first country in Latin America to establish marriage equality and is the unofficial gay capital of Latin America. This fact makes it an easy choice for a same-sex wedding destination. Buenos Aires is known for being progressive and is full of impressive architecture, fantastic food, and an abundance of queer tango parties. You can even arrange your wedding around the Queer Tango Festival that takes place in late November. Full of upscale luxury hotels, beautiful neighborhoods, and fascinating theatres, this city offers a truly cosmopolitan experience. Just think of all the fantastic photos you'll be able to take for your wedding!
Ireland was the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2015. This event is entirely appropriate for a country with such a welcoming spirit. There are so many lovely places in Ireland to organize your same-sex wedding:
- Dublin is an ideal city for a same-sex ceremony, with romantic lodges, boutique hotels, and venues available for a range of budgets
- County Cong’s Ashford Castle is for couples looking for true Irish grandeur. This is a stunning, 83-room hotel with fine restaurants, spacious grounds, and a spa
- Hideaway Cottage, a former boathouse, is the real attraction for couples looking for a private retreat. It is also perfect for honeymoons as it offers private gardens and a lakefront with private dining and a 24-hour concierge service
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is considered Africa's leading gay-friendly city. What it offers as a wedding destination is out of this world. The landscape combines breathtaking mountains with trimmed sculpture parks and golden, sandy beaches. Taking this into account, romantic settings are not difficult to come by.
The city offers diverse activities, and a few of those include:
- Vineyards for a wine tasting
- Adrenalin-pumping shark-cage diving excursions
- The world’s highest bungee jump
- Trips to see penguins by the beach
- Table Mountain National Park
Although same-sex marriage is legal across South Africa, Cape Town is by far the most open and diverse city in the country. In addition to that, a moderate climate makes Cape Town available for destination weddings all year-round.
5. Seattle, Washington, USA
Washington voted to make gay marriage legal in 2012, opening up Seattle as a same-sex wedding destination. Pike’s Place Market offers foodies a piece of heaven, and there’s also the original Starbucks for the real fans. Seattle is full of vibrant neighborhoods to explore, and a trip to the top of the Space Needle is a must for couples and wedding guests. Although the city is notorious for a high amount of rainfall, those who choose Seattle as their wedding destination will celebrate surrounded by Puget Sound and gorgeous mountain ranges.
6. New Zealand—The Perfect Place for a Same-Sex Wedding
This small island offers an abundance of outdoor adventures for any nature-loving couple. From luxurious resorts to volcanic parks, there is something extraordinary in New Zealand for every traveler. Visit the lively cities of Auckland and Queenstown, and if you plan on doing some island hopping, Australia is just a short flight away. In New Zealand, same-sex couples can get married or have a civil union. There are a few genuinely exceptional places for same-sex weddings.
7. Lake Tekapo
Plan a same-sex wedding at the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most scenic spots for a romantic wedding. It’s about a three-hour drive from Christchurch, and it’s surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. Make sure to plan ahead as weddings are only performed on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
8. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
This is a very in-demand wedding location in New Zeeland. However, it is not for the faint-hearted or those planning a budget wedding. Getting there requires a helicopter ride to reach the top of one of the glaciers in the park. It is quite an adventure to get there, but the icy scenery makes an incredible backdrop for photos. You will experience a one-of-a-kind same-sex wedding at this destination.
Hawaii is a popular dream wedding destination in the LGBTQ+ community. The natural wonders are everywhere you look and make the perfect backdrop for an extraordinary destination wedding. Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriages gave the gay-friendly resorts a head start on crafting destination wedding packages for LGBTQ+ couples. Maui is considered the most popular island for same-sex weddings. It offers guided hikes through a lush tropical rainforest to towering waterfalls, where they can swim in hidden pools.
10. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The popular vacation hotspot located in Mexico’s Jalisco region is the country’s fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Jalisco is considered the capital of LGBTQ+ travel in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta hosts an annual LGBTQ+ Pride Festival with countless supporters. Additionally, Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romantica features more than seventy businesses, hotels, and resorts targeting LGBTQ+ customers. Talk about one of the best same-sex wedding destinations out there.
Moving in with Your Partner
If you are not already living together, you will need to prepare for the big move after the wedding. Relocations can get hectic, and you want to make sure you deal with clothes the right way. As much as possible, resist the urge to throw everything in random boxes. Before you start packing, declutter and get rid of clothes you no longer wear. Donate them to charity or sell online. The organization is critical, so make an effort to separate your clothes by categories and label each one of them. Doing so will be super helpful in the later stages and once you start unpacking.
Enjoy Your Wedding and Make an Adventure Out of It
With so many same-sex wedding destinations around the world to choose from, you will be remiss to go for a simple ceremony in your hometown. Your wedding album will be out of this world. The destination wedding will be the most memorable adventure of your life, and if you can, extend it and make a honeymoon out of it as well.