Getting married abroad? We’ve picked the best same-sex wedding destinations where you can book legal and symbolic ceremonies and blessings. Whether you’re planning a wedding on the beach in Ibiza or want to say I do with the Caribbean Sea as your witness, here’s where to put a ring on it. The best bit? Pick one of these big-day destinations and forget about getting to the airport for your honeymoon. Happy days – you’re already here.
Spain legalised same-sex marriage back in 2005, and it’s been a go-to destination for gay couples looking to tie the knot ever since. Our pick? Ibiza. The White Isle does weddings in style, with a choice of away-from it all resorts like Portinatx in the north, and die-hard party destinations like San Antonio further south. As far as venues go, you can pick from clifftop spots with widescreen ocean backdrops or feel the sand beneath your feet with a blessing on the beach. Plus, this being Ibiza, the wedding reception is well and truly sorted. Fancy an after-party at Amnesia, or something more low-key? The choice is yours.
Cyprus is a no-brainer when it comes to same-sex weddings. The island is the birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of love, after all. And the Roman general Mark Antony gave Cyprus – yes, the whole island – to Cleopatra as a token of his love. These days Paphos and Larnaca are the go-tos, and both line up a long list of reasons to get wed here. Venue options tick off traditional chapels, quaint churches and pretty town halls as well as sun-baked beachfront hotels. And you’ve got UNESCO-ranked sights plus some pretty epic mountain scenery to explore together once the big day is done.
If you’re planning a symbolic ceremony, there are loads of reasons to put Greece on your radar. For starters, choice. Beach blessing? Try an island like Corfu or Crete and you can pick a Blue Flag stretch. After something a bit quieter? Head to Halkidiki, on the mainland, for a pick and mix of sleepy fishing villages, pine-cloaked mountains and hidden coves that only the locals know about.
You two are in it for the long haul, so why not go the distance for the wedding, too? Mexico’s perfect if you’re thinking far-flung, particularly if you’re planning a winter wedding. Year-round sun means you can pick blue skies over the grey you’d get back home. The Caribbean Coast’s Riviera Maya is your go-to if a luxury stay is on the cards. The hotels along this stretch will tempt you with adults-only infinity pools, five-star gourmet restaurants and spas offering treatments for two.
Another long-haul location worth adding to your shortlist, Costa Rica is ideal if you’re after a same-sex wedding with a twist. Sure, it’s got all the essentials for a dreamy wedding in the sun. Textbook paradise beaches? Check. A-list luxury hotels? Done. The kind of photo backdrops that’ll have you staring at your phone’s lock screen? Absolutely. But turn your back on the coast for a sec and you’ll find a flip side to Costa Rica. Cue white-water river rafting, jungle canopy zip-lining and volcanic crater hiking with the love of your life by your side.
Just so you know…
Weddings abroad are often symbolic ceremonies, which means you’d need to register your marriage in the UK first.
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Author: Katie Gregory
Last updated: 28/08/23
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