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U.S. Destination Wedding Guide

Updated on March 9, 2014

Stay in the U.S.

What could be more romantic than escaping it all and running away with the one you love? If not “running” away, then at least going somewhere with awe-inspiring views and exquisite beauty.

Many couples opt to have destination weddings; but what about those who do not wish to leave the country, or who do not want friends and family to have to go to an overseas locale? Fear not; a destination wedding is still a fabulous possibility.

Why not look within the United States? In a land as big and diverse as this, you are sure to find just the right setting for your big day.

Will/did you have a destination wedding?

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Choose Your Type of Wedding

What type of wedding do you want to have? Will it be formal? Cozy? Romantic? Upscale? Modern? Traditional? The choice is yours, just take time to think it over.

Whatever the chord you hope to hit, there are a plethora of US cities and towns waiting to host your event. Some top choices include the following.

Charleston, South Carolina

If you dream of a soft, sensual experience along with some famous Southern hospitality, try Charleston. This lovely town is perfect for creating that warm, languid, relaxed tone – and for wearing a sleeveless gown! You have your choice of breath-taking backdrops, from formal gardens to antebellum mansions to white sandy beaches.

Don’t forget the citronella torches and candles; besides keeping the mosquitoes at bay, they’ll add a nice ambience to your wedding and reception.

A markerCharleston, South Carolina -
Charleston, SC, USA
get directions


The Outer Banks, North Carolina

Another Southern belle, the Outer Banks are delightful for summer weddings. Imagine the soft sand underfoot, the sound of crashing waves in the background, and the sun on your face. Perfection!

There are numerous beach venues, or you could opt to tie the knot in the old Currituck Beach Lighthouse. The views are stunning, from 100 feet tall sand dunes to wide blue ocean, and you can honeymoon right after with plenty of fun, sun, sandboarding, surfing, and hang gliding! Book early and/or on a weekday to avoid congestion.

A markerOuter Banks, North Carolina -
Outer Banks Visitors Bureau: Roanoke Island Welcome Center, 1 Visitors Center Cir, Manteo, NC 27954,
get directions

Take a Tour!


If the humidity will ruin your hair, try the desert heat of Arizona. History, culture, and terrain collide here to create a unique, and gorgeous, locale.

Get married at a traditional guest ranch overlooking the Santa Catalina’s mountain, in a beautifully manicured garden, in an upscale hotel, or treat yourself to the Aldea at Tlaquepaque. This gorgeous venue, situated in the Northwest Valley, is secluded, private, and full of Tuscan architecture, classic fountains, and romance.

What do you think of an Arizona wedding?

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Key West, Florida

Who says you have to go to the Bahamas or the Caribbean to experience beautiful sandy beaches, mild turquoise water, warm breezes, and spectacular sunsets? Key West offers all of this and much, much more. For the adventurous couple, the unique city offers a fun, relaxed atmosphere with a distinctly Cuban feel. An unforgettable day is guaranteed!

A markerKey West, Florida -
Key West, FL 33040, USA
get directions

Bar Harbor, Maine

Heading north a bit, we find this incomparable Maine town with its rocky coastline, mountain views, and rugged beaches. You won’t find a tropical scene here, but you will find a laidback atmosphere, outstanding scenery, gorgeous accommodations and venues, and, best of all, exceptional food.

Enjoy lobster, steamers, fresh corn, and potatoes. Again, either book early to avoid the summer rush or plan a September wedding; the weather will still be mild, but the crowds will have thinned out dramatically.

A markerBar Harbor, Maine -
Bar Harbor, ME, USA
get directions

Destination Favor Ideas


With the Great Lakes nearby, you and your spouse-to-be will enjoy wonderful lakeside resorts, gorgeous beaches, and access to secluded venues, like Lake Huron’s Mackinac Island. In city centers like Ann Arbor and Lansing, you have luxurious resorts, hotels, and ballrooms that will make the perfect backdrop for your “I Dos.”

A markerMackinac Island, Michigan -
Mackinac Island, Michigan 49757, USA
get directions

Love What You've Got

There is something spectacular to see and do in every state in the country. A destination wedding appeals to us because we love the adventure, we love getting away. But sometimes, you don’t have to go very far to “get away.” Look at your own backyard. Where can you find adventure, stunning views, and a venue worthy of your best memories?

Mini Suitcase Wedding Favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited
Mini Suitcase Wedding Favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited | Source

Don't Forget!

A destination wedding definitely calls for creative destination wedding favors!

Don't forget about this detail of the wedding, as it's your little gift to your guests to say thanks for coming.

There are plenty of ideas out there. Possibilities might include seashell place card holders, themed candles or fans.

No matter what you choose, as long as you put a little thought and love into the favors, the guests will love them!

Destination Wedding Favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited
Destination Wedding Favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Interesting not to see Lake Tahoe

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 

      6 years ago

      Interesting - I hadn't thought of some of these places. We just got back from Charleston a few weeks ago and we saw tons of brides & grooms in romantic white horse drawn carriages....beautiful.

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very interesting! I guess when I picture a destination wedding, I always assume it to be on a beach somewhere. But you definitely have lots of good ideas for other places to have it!


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