Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

5 Perfect Destinations for an LGBTQ Destination Wedding

Looking for the best destination wedding location to celebrate your big day but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! GayTravel.com has a collection of the best destination wedding spots for LGBTQ couples around the world. From South American to Europe, these gorgeous hotels will have you counting down the days until you say, “I do.”

1. Puerto Rico

With a well-established gay scene in San Juan’s Condado district, Puerto Rico is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly islands of the Caribbean. Visitors love exploring Puerto Rico for its colorful dining, busy shops and white-sand beaches. While gay couples do live their lives openly in Puerto Rico’s cities and resort areas, things do get more conservative the further you venture to the middle of the island.

If Puerto Rico sounds like the perfect spot for your destination wedding, check out St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, a little slice of paradise with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the famous El Yunque National Forest on the other. Whether you dream of an extravagant indoor wedding or a serene outdoor ceremony, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort has the goods to make your special day flawless with impeccable service and lovely venues to choose from. As an added bonus, golfers in the group will be happy to learn that the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is home to an expertly designed 18-hole course for them to putt, drive and swing to their heart’s delight.

The bottom line: Gay marriage was legalized in Puerto Rico in 2015 and legal ceremonies can be performed in-destination.

2. Mexico City

Latin America’s most cosmopolitan and trendy destination, Mexico City is well-known as one of the country’s most gay-friendly areas. For some of the best LGBTQ history and nightlife in the world, visit Zona Rosa, the birthplace of Mexico’s LGBTQ rights movement.

For chic wedding accommodations look no further than Mexico City’s, W Mexico City. Situated in the stylish Polanco neighborhood, this swanky hotel is nearby hip shops and trendy sights. GayTravel likes W Mexico City for its authentic on-site culinary offerings at J by JOSE ANDRES where guests can mingle as they enjoy signature cocktails and feast on tapas before they dance the night away to a local DJ’s playlist at THE LIVING ROOM BAR.

The bottom line: Same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico City and civil weddings in Mexico are recognized in the U.S.

3. Cusco, Peru

While much of Peru remains strongly Catholic, major cities such as Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and Trujillo offer gay-friendly tours and are more tolerant than more conservative areas of the country. GayTravel.com recommends couples visit popular sightseeing spots such as Machu Picchu, Chan Chan and Chavin de Huatar. Also nearby is hiking at Lake Titicaca and the world famous Nazca lines. While visiting these iconic sites is considered safe for LGBTQ travelers, it is still advised to keep a low profile while moving between cities.

Those looking to make Cusco their destination wedding spot should consider the JW Marriott Hotel Cusco, one of the snazziest boutique hotels in the area. Housed in a reimagined 16th-century convent, this space is truly unique and even features two exhibition halls complete with ancient Peruvian artifacts.

The bottom line: Same-sex marriage is not legal in Peru, however, LGBTQ couples can still celebrate with a symbolic ceremony.

4. Costa Rica

While Costa Rica has still to legalize same-sex marriage, social norms in the area are noticeably shifting and LGBTQ couples do consider the country worth visiting. Notably, the number of gay-friendly excursions and tour companies in the area are expanding, making it easier than ever for those of any sexual orientation to enjoy Costa Rica’s eco-friendly attractions, breathtaking scenery and daring zip lines.

If a wedding in Costa Rica piques your interest consider the Aloft San Jose Hotel for top-notch amenities and a refined atmosphere. As for the celebration, the Aloft San Jose Hotel has three charming event venues that are nearby several spots for perfect wedding photos.

The bottom line: Costa Rica does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions so couples looking to wed here will have a symbolic ceremony.

5. San Diego

A bustling city dripping with Spanish-influence, San Diego is one of the best destinations in the U.S. for gay travelers and for a LGBTQ destination wedding. A place where the weather is nearly always perfect and there’s always something to do, San Diego offers visitors endless fun. As the second-largest city in California, this town welcomes diversity with Hillcrest acting as a favorite neighborhood for members of the LGBTQ community. Those who don’t mind baring it all must visit Black’s Beach, a local nude beach that gay San Diego has claimed as its own.

For a wedding escape just outside all the highlights of the city, consider a destination wedding at San Diego’s Paradise Point, a glamorous island resort complete with bungalow-style guestrooms and on-site tropical gardens that will transport you straight to paradise. Each ceremony at Paradise Point takes place on the property’s beach where palm trees sway and blue waves glisten.

The bottom line: Gay marriage is legal in the United States.

6. Bonus Destination: Niagara Falls, Canada

Alright, I don’t have a hotel recommendation to go with this one, but when I saw Niagara Falls was a GayTravel-approved destination wedding spot I couldn’t leave it out. Located in Ontario, Canada, Niagara Falls makes for some jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery as over 6 million (yes, million) cubic feet of water crash over the falls each minute (!). After the ceremony visit downtown Ontario for amazing nightlife, busy casinos, next-level dining and luxurious spas.

The bottom line: Same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in Canada.

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Wagner L | 10/08/19 - 08:25 AM

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VAX VacationAccess | 10/08/19 - 01:05 PM

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