Nine Perfect Places For Your LGBT Destination Wedding
With the Supreme Court ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality this summer, American LGBT citizens can now consider all 50 states and territories as potential destinations for their long awaited dream weddings. While cities such as Boston, New York, and Los Angeles are popular for urban ceremonies, the United States can offer way more than just skyscrapers as a wedding backdrop—purple mountains majesty, etc.
As the northernmost state in the South, Kentucky gets the best of both worlds, including Southern cuisine and a taste of all four seasons—not to mention the city’s bourbon history and all that distinctive Kentucky Derby flair. For a unique wedding venue, look to Louisville's 21c Museum Hotel, where the brand got its start. Nuptials can be held on the rooftop terrace or the lower level atrium, while smaller galleries are a perfect fit for intimate weddings.
Montauk, New York
While New York memorably legalized same-sex marriages back in 2011, look beyond Manhattan to host your ceremony. Montauk offers the Hamptons serenity without all the fuss. A go-to for wedding ceremonies is Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, an 11-acre oceanfront resort that recently partnered with LDV Hospitality to manage its food and beverage outlet. They'll help you create fun experiences like a beachside BBQ or a clam bake rehearsal dinner.
Palm Beach County, Florida
Now that Florida can finally marry same-sex couples, there are a number of wedding possibilities to consider in Palm Beach County: an area known for great weather, lush gardens, and a pristine coastline. A unique wedding venue in the area is the Addison of Boca Raton, a historic 1920s estate with a grand marble ballroom and a courtyard featuring 100-year-old banyan trees.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Same-sex couples can finally marry beyond the international waters of the Atlantic in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: long a favorite, year-round tropical destination for weddings. Old San Juan is more than charming, with its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets, while Vieques Island gives the option for a picture-perfect beach setting at the W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island. Just 20 minutes away from San Juan with a Vieques Air Link flight, the island is known for its ecological adventures (bioluminescent bay kayaking and island biking), while the W brand has an equally impressive reputation as a long-time supporter of marriage equality.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Awesomely quirky and adventurous, Albuquerque offers travelers a range of wedding venues to choose from. Couples can hold an intimate ceremony high above the city in the magical Sandia Mountains via the tramway or in a hot air balloon (with professionals like Rainbow Ryders, of course) or a more traditional, romantic ceremony at the Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, with its 25 acres of lavender and free roaming peacocks. With a diverse and friendly LGBT community, wedding guests will have no problem mingling with locals on the lively Central Avenue, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and three gay bars and clubs.
If you’re looking for a more remote destination, check out the Dunton Hot Springs. Rustic charm adds to the natural beauty of the mineral hot springs, and for a big to-do, the entire town of Dunton can be rented out. Among the amenities are an open-air chapel, two spa treatment cabins, and 12 hand-hewn luxury cabins. You can also tie the knot at a nearby waterfall and meadows.
Park City, Utah
Park City is so much more than a ski retreat for bundled-up snow bunnies. Those seeking mountain adventures (80-mph bobsled runs, exhilarating hikes, après ski on historic Main Street) can visit anytime of the year. For a romantic slope-side wedding, look to the St. Regis Deer Valley, where LGBT couples are warmly invited. The resort can host intimate gatherings of 20, or widen its arms to welcome celebrations of your 200 closest friends and family. Venue choices include the Astor Ballroom, with its soaring ceilings and crystal chandeliers, and the cozier Mountain Terrace with idyllic views of the Wasatch Mountains and Park City.
Palm Springs, California
The desert oasis known for its mid-century modern architecture has historically been a popular vacation spot for LGBT travelers. Colorful ceremonies can be created at the Saguaro Palm Springs. Guests will love the rainbow-hued hotel for its bright vibes and mountainous background, plus restaurants by acclaimed chef Jose Garces.
Maui has welcomed same-sex couples for years, but the 2013 Hawaii Marriage Equality Act helped the destination become even more popular for LGBT weddings than before. Among the best options for a Hawaiian destination wedding is the Hotel Wailea an intimate, adults-only resort that recently became Hawaii’s first and only Relais & Châteaux property after a $15 million redesign. With breathtaking ocean and mountain views, the property is set upon 15 acres of Zen-inspired grounds and has a number of venue options for the ceremony and reception right on site.