Destination weddings aren't just for the rich and famous. You might not have the budget of a multimillionaire to go halfway around the world for a wedding, but there are plenty of American cities that are a great spot to say "I do."
Destination weddings give you and your guests the opportunity to combine a wedding with a vacation…
Key West, Florida
When you say the words "Key West," everybody immediately thinks about the beautiful blue water there. Yes, beauty is one of the strong suits of Key West. Those sunset beach wedding photos will be gorgeous, but Key West has a lot more going for it than just the water.
It is a party-lover's paradise, so if the people who will be traveling for your wedding are young, or just young at heart, Key West will be a popular pick.
If you're into unique wedding cakes, you can even order a key lime pie cake.
San Diego, California
San Diego is one of those places where the weather stays nice throughout the year, so getting married there isn't really contingent upon when you can do it. No matter what month you pick, you can find nice weather.
With its natural beauty from its beaches and vegetation, you won't need to go crazy with the decorations.
You and your guests won't run out of things to do there, either. You can go whale watching, venture on a historic tour, visit the world-class San Diego Zoo, or take one of the many scenic tours.
Everyone is likely familiar with Vail because of its reputation for skiing. If you like checking out the slopes, you'll love Vail, but there's more to do there than just that. For outdoor adventurers, Vail is a playground with whitewater rafting, horseback riding, mountains to hike, and more.
Plus, you can pick from several gorgeous backdrops for your wedding. If you want to look like a winter ice queen, get married on a snow-capped mountain top, or go where the elevation is lower and the weather is warmer to have rivers, streams, or fields as your wedding backdrop.
Las Vegas, Nevada
It's not a shocker that Las Vegas made our list. It has everything you'd want in a wedding venue, except a beach. If you like heat, you can have plenty of that if you opt for a day wedding. If you like it a little cooler, pick an evening wedding.
You can do full-on glitz by getting married in the city limits, or you can opt for a quiet desert wedding. Either way, it will be an occasion you and your guests will never forget. Vegas gives you the option of choosing your unique journey.
You'll never run out of sightseeing opportunities or restaurants to choose from. There's a reason Vegas has been so popular for weddings for as long as it has — they have it down to a science.
Half Moon Bay, California
You may have never heard of Half Moon Bay, but now that you have, it might be hard to forget about it. It's a sleepy coastal town with a population of just over 11,000. This might be the perfect size place with kids in the picture.
If you long for a scenic wedding but don't welcome the crowds that often come along with it, this is a great spot to be. This location can satisfy a wide range of people in your wedding party, from the ones who like quaint, small locations like this or those who want the thrill of a big city. San Francisco is less than an hour away by car.
Instead of a hotel, you can check into a bed and breakfast to give your stay a more personal touch.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Maine might not be one of the first places you think about for a destination wedding, but it should be. It has dramatic backdrops that would look spectacular in wedding photos. It has the coast and rocky cliffs along that coastline, as well, and if you want a summertime wedding without the swelter, Bar Harbor is the spot to be.
Plus, the seafood lovers who are traveling to see your wedding will thank you for it, with all the lobster joints they'll be able to visit.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
If you're looking for coastal charm for your upcoming nuptials, you should put Outer Banks on your short list. It has plenty of coastlines, but it also has more unique touches such as the wild horses you can see along certain areas of the beach. You also have other photographic touches that will make a great backdrop for your big day, like scenic lighthouses and dramatic sand dunes.
In the days following the wedding, you can hit some top notch golf courses, go kayaking or sailing, or stop at some of the historic sites in the area.
The Big Island, Hawaii
The Big Island will give you any kind of scenery you want, from volcanoes to stunning beaches to rainforest areas. Your wedding party will have access to so many activities, such as surfing, horseback riding, luaus, and sightseeing.
You'll avoid the sweltering temperatures you'll have with many other tropical paradises. Expect warmish temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Those white sandy beaches will make for stunning photos.
Hawaii is on many people's bucket list as a place they want to visit. Your wedding might finally give them a compelling reason to take the plunge.
Destination weddings give you and your guests the opportunity to combine a wedding with a vacation, but keep in mind, not everyone may be able to afford to accompany you on your journey. If that's a deal breaker for you, try to pick a state that's relatively close to yours.
If you don't mind if a few people can't make it on your big adventure, then choose the location you love best. After all, it's your big day, and you want it to be exactly what you always dreamed it would be.