There’s something super charming about destination weddings, but choosing the ideal place could be a tricky affair. With countless places around the globe racing to grab the top spot as a preferred wedding destination, these emerge victoriously. By Bayar Jain

1. Turks & Caicos

Destination Wedding
Turks & Caicos have many white sand beaches for a dreamy wedding.

There’s little that Turks & Caicos skip out on when it comes to hosting a dream wedding. Home to crystal-clear waters dotted with low-lying corals and further accentuated with pleasant weather all-year-round, the islands offer stellar backdrops for any wedding album. Packed with expansive white sandy beaches and enviable wildlife sanctuaries, Turks & Caicos doubles as a magnet for any nature-loving couple.

Destination Wedding
The islands double as a great honeymoon destination as well.

However, it has an equal amount of bait for luxury seekers as well. Think, premium accommodation options, world class resorts, and seaside bars, among other things. When here, a range of alluring offerings await. From taking solemn vows under serene roofs of quaint little churches to a sandy walk down the aisle at any of its beaches, this British Overseas Territory has it all—and more—to satisfy all kinds of island-wedding fantasies.

Destination Wedding
A wedding here can be as intimate as one wishes.

Post the wedding, the same archipelago can transform into a paradisiacal honeymoon destination as well. While adventure-loving couples can indulge in activities such as fishing, hiking, trekking, bird watching, diving, snorkelling, parasailing, golfing, horse riding, and outdoor camping, the more laid-back lot can acquaint themselves with the various local traditions and handicrafts made using the indigenous palmetto plant. Common ground can be found at the islands’ delectable food offerings, courtesy numerous beach bars, cafes, rum shacks, and fine dining eateries. turksandcaicostourism.com

2. Switzerland

Destination Wedding

Replete with stunning landscapes, scrumptious food choices, and countless larger-than-life experiences, this European nation is ‘wedding destination’ personified. From castles for lavish royal weddings to cathedrals for traditional ones and vineyard estates for minimalist affairs—couples have a lot to choose from. The Chillon Castle, a medieval fortress in Montreux, is ideal for those looking to have an old-world-charm kind of ceremony, while the banks of Lake Geneva radiate serenity.

Destination Wedding

A nuptial paradise for those who love classic ambience with a modern touch, the Bürgenstock Resort in Lucerne, boasts of the spectacular Lake Lucerne and Alpine views. To bring a twist to the traditional baraat, hop onboard the Red Arrow ‘Churchill’ train. After all, a train ride through Switzerland is what dreams are made of, isn’t it? myswitzerland.com

3. St. Moritz

Destination Wedding

Home to gorgeous churches of the bygone era and cosy Alpine cabins— this winter wonderland, in particular, is nothing less than a fairy tale. At 1,882 metres above sea level, St. Moritz is ideal for both, intimate weddings and lavish revelries.

Destination Wedding

Celebrate your bond amid snow covered peaks, and soak in the frozen lakes’ tranquillity as you vow for everlasting love. Tie the knot at the grand Madonna Saal at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel or even under the Segantini Museum dome; clink to married life at Forum Paracelsus, an ancient mineral bathhouse; or marvel at the 17th-century grand Stüa de Gros room at the Engadiner Museum.

Destination Wedding

A local registry office wedding— which can be just as romantic—at the Pine Room, St. Moritz Town Hall, is an option too. Post the wedding, Switzerland’s charms need no introduction. Whether it’s an outdoor sojourn in Swiss Alps’ mesmerising landscape or an opulent celebration in Badrutt’s Palace, St. Mortiz can make your dream wedding a reality. stmoritz.com

4. France

Destination Wedding

There’s a reason why France tends to steal the limelight for being one of the most romantic getaways. Postcard-worthy landscapes, grand châteaux, verdant gardens, and many noteworthy landmarks—France has it all! Head to Château de Chantilly—touted as
Europe’s most opulent residences— to pose against exquisite sculptures for a classy pre-wedding shoot, followed by a seaside nuptial at Cannes. Not only does this French Riviera coastline offer spectacular backdrops, but endless layers of glamour and elegance follow suit too. The ‘City of Love’, Paris, also makes for an evident choice. After all, there’s a lot to choose from—exquisite wedding venues, historical sights, quaint neighbourhoods and delectable spreads. For an idyllic honeymoon, the towering French Alps replete
with ski slopes, wellness resorts, and Michelin-starred restaurants await. atout-france.fr

5. Dubai 

Destination Wedding
Courtesy: Shutterstock

Known for its soaring skyscrapers and futuristic architectural marvels, weddings in Dubai are all about being ultra-chic and lavish. Dotted with Arabic themed venues, Dubai’s multicultural facet ensures that every destination wedding here is outlined by traditional elements with undertones of contemporary luxuries. The many souks of the city offer a range of luxe fabrics and custom-made attires, while the stylists here pull all strings to help the couple look their best on D-day. When here, share a first kiss parachuting down to the Palm Dropzone, organise a cocktail party at the Marina Beach, pose for a pre-wedding shoot against the art-draped lanes of Alserkal Avenue, or say “I do” atop the magnificent Burj Khalifa. visitdubai.com

6. Bahrain

Destination Wedding

It’s not an easy task hunting for a destination mirroring one’s personality, but the Kingdom of Bahrain makes it seem like a breeze. Known for its warm hospitality, this Middle Eastern nation is also admired for its incredible infrastructure, attractive wedding venues, and delectable cuisine offerings.

Destination Wedding

To make the decision-making process easier, Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority provides a comprehensive list of wedding service providers on their official website. Additionally, the team also factors in all the logistics that goes behind planning a special day: venues, suppliers, industry professionals, and even visa facilitation! Moreover, a tie-up with Gulf Air (gulfair.com) makes reaching the destination seamless. All the couple needs to do, then, is walk down the aisle. bahrainislandwedding.com

7. Oman

Destination Wedding
Courtesy: Shutterstock

Nestled on the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman promises a solemn affair heightened with extravagance. Equipped with a strong identity of its own, this Middle Eastern country has all that one needs for a picturesque wedding. Imagine soaring mountains enveloped by clear blue skies, and wind-blown deserts juxtaposing a calm coastline. The capital city, Muscat, is a land draped in elegance while the coconut-fringed beaches of Salalah emanates a subtropical vibe. Either way, a memorable nuptial background is guaranteed. Those looking for an open-air gathering, considering today’s scenario, Jebel Akhdar’s histrionic terrain framed by the Sea of Oman is a great choice. Alternatively, a more rustic affair awaits at the Ash Sharqiyah region where endless dunes make for an intimate wedding venue. omantourism.gov.om

8. Abu Dhabi

Destination Wedding

Abu Dhabi has rightfully earned its reputation of being one of the most preferred international wedding destinations. Not only is it easily accessible for Indians, but it also comes packed with a range of alluring venues. A common ground where East meets West, the slick offerings of this Emirate is just as attractive as its Arabic counterparts. We are talking about luxury above par at lavish properties; stunning shoreline settings for a beach affair; elegant simplicity at a mosque; or a starry evening celebration under moonlit skies Abu Dhabi has it all. Tying it all together are multi-cuisine gourmet dining options fusing magical voyages with unforgettable indulgences. visitabudhabi.ae

9. Frankfurt

Destination Wedding

A melting pot international cultures, in Frankfurt, traditions meet modernity. This German metropolis has many experiences tucked in its bag. Moreover, being a diverse city gives it the upper hand of being mouldable for all kinds of wedding sensibilities. On one end, its skyline adds a modern aesthetic to every album, while the St Paul’s Church and Emperors’ Cathedral here bless every newly-wed couple. Additionally, the 60 museums and art galleries dotted all over the riverside city are sure to double as decor inspirations. To make the most of the city’s offerings, opt for outdoor nuptials. Home to a vast number of parks, gardens, forests and green belts, Frankfurt is sure to entice. Stay back here for the honeymoon to explore its cultural side. Think places like 19th-century buildings, Goethe House, and New Frankfurt Old Town. frankfurt-tourismus.de

10. Okinawa

Destination Wedding
Courtesy: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Stringer/Getty Images

Come January, and Okinawa drapes itself in soothing pink pastels, courtesy lush cherry blossoms. A setup this gorgeous is reason enough to vow for a life of togetherness here. However, it’s the destination’s honeymoon charm that steals the limelight. When here, be mesmerised by its pristine beaches and emerald-green seas, followed by a sunset dinner cruise. For a socially distanced paradisiacal getaway, Okinawa’s private beaches suffice. The couple can spend romantic and cosy moments together by watching the endless ocean while getting pampered by top-class hospitality. Additionally, adventurous folks can opt for whale watching excursions and coral-cleaning tours, glass boat rides, and countless water sports. visitokinawa.jp

11. Thailand

Destination Wedding

On average, over 400 couples from India get married in Thailand every year, and justifiably so! Hua Hin, Phuket, Khao Lak, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Rayong are some of the popular beach wedding destinations in this Asian nation.

Destination Wedding

On the cultural side, Chiang Mai and Bangkok shine. From ceremonial needs to culinary requirements, the venues here come paired with expertise on each subject, allowing the couple to say “I do” without a streak of worry. Whether one wishes to swerve to the aisle in a vintage car or get henna designs before D-day, the locals’ “can do” attitude is there to help.

Destination Wedding

Furthermore, newly weds who wish to stay back in Thailand will find themselves spoilt for choice with sightseeing spots, adventure activities, wellness offerings, shopping options, and more. tourismthailand.org

Related: Decode The Nuances Of Conscious Weddings In The Post-COVID-19 Era