When searching for a destination wedding location, find a place that speaks to you and your partner. But if you’re unsure of where to begin, it definitely helps to know what other couples are looking for and the places they’re selecting for their nuptials.
Popular destination wedding locations have a variety of resorts and venues to choose from, have customizable wedding packages, offer affordable pricing for the couple and their guests and are easy to travel to, says Maddie Kane, senior marketing manager for DestinationWeddings.com.
“This year, more than ever, couples are prioritizing the guest experience for their destination celebrations, so ensuring their guests have plenty of entertainment is key,” she says.
These are the most popular destination wedding locations of 2018, according to DestinationWeddings.com.
1. Riviera Maya, Mexico
Riviera Maya is the most popular destination because it has the largest variety of resort venues to choose from, says Kane. Perfect for nature lovers, this spot offers diving and snorkeling at an impressive coral reef, nightlife, shopping and spas for guests to enjoy pre and postwedding— all in a less crowded scene than nearby Cancun.
Top destination wedding venues: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen, El Dorado Royale
2. Dominican Republic
Droves of couples head to the DR to get married, most commonly on or near the white sand beaches of Punta Cana. This destination wedding location offers plenty of outdoor excursions for guests to partake in, including fishing, diving, golf, an outdoor adventure park and off-road safaris.
Top destination wedding venues: Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana, Majestic Mirage Punta Cana
The fact that Jamaicans speak English—and are known for their friendliness—can make wedding planning and paperwork easier and make your guests’ stay simpler too. You and your partner can take advantage of the gorgeous photo ops: white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, striking sunsets and more.
Top destination wedding venues: Royalton White Sands Montego Bay, Azul Beach Resort Negril, Riu Ocho Rios
4. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is easy for guests from all over the US to get to. The tourism-friendly town is bustling, and resort staffs tend to be vastly experienced in creating dream weddings. Plus, it offers plenty for wedding guests to do while they’re there, whether it’s enjoying the beach or partaking in the nightlife.
Top destination wedding venues: Finest Playa Mujeres, Moon Palace Cancun, Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort
5. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
West Coast couples like to plan their weddings in Cabo, since flights tend to be easy and affordable. The upscale area is home to snazzy resorts and luxurious activities.
Top destination wedding venues: Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos, Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa, Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
6. Costa Rica
Outdoorsy couples flock to Costa Rica to get married, since it’s such a spectacular setting for hiking, horseback riding, zip lining and rafting. The stunning scenery makes an excellent backdrop for “I dos” too. Many resorts offer a secluded setting for your nuptials, whether they’re planning a small gathering or bringing along a large group of guests.
Top destination wedding venues: Dreams Las Mareas, Riu Palace Costa Rica, Secrets Papagayo
7. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The stunning sunsets alone could make you want to get married in Puerto Vallarta. The slightly lesser-known West coast locale offers quaint cobblestone street, red roofs, mountain views and some top-notch resorts.
Top destination wedding venues: Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta
8. Saint Lucia
Can you say photo op? With beaches, waterfalls and gorgeous botanical gardens, there’s so much beauty you can choose to surround your wedding with on this Caribbean island.
Top destination wedding venues: Royalton Saint Lucia, Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande Saint Lucian
Aruba is one of the few Caribbean islands located outside of the hurricane belt, so you can expect beautiful weather year-round. On this “one happy island,” there are plenty of venues to choose from that have experienced teams that’ll help you plan your wedding with ease.
Top destination wedding venues: Riu Palace Antillas, Riu Palace Aruba, Barcelo Aruba
10. Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Riviera Nayarit is more off the beaten path than some other Mexican destination wedding locations, and it’s a good choice if you want privacy and luxury for you and your guests. Surfers will also love catching some waves between the wedding festivities.
Top destination wedding venues: Iberostar Playa Mita, Marivan Resort & Suites Nuevo Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Find out how to plan your destination wedding, and get help making it happen at DestinationWeddings.com.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.