If you are newly engaged and decided to have a destination wedding (I shared our reasons for making this choice here), congratulations! I know you have a busy road ahead of you, but trust me when I say that all of the time and effort you put into planning your destination wedding will be so very worth it in the end. First up on your wedding planning list? Choosing the best destination wedding venue (and soon after, your planner and photographer). While seemingly an easy decision, this process can sidetrack couples for months as essentially the sky is the limit when you are having a destination wedding. To help, I’ve put together my list of the best destination wedding venues from the islands of Greece to the hills of Italy to the boulevards Paris to the vineyards of California where you are nearly guaranteed a beautiful wedding, stunning photos, and most importantly a truly magical experience for you and your guests. Scroll down for my list of the best destination wedding venues in the world – updated January 24, 2020!
Planning your destination wedding? Schedule your complimentary consultation and let’s chat!
Shangri-La Paris. One of the most exclusive wedding venues in Paris, the Shangri-La is truly a dream destination wedding venue in France. As the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, this beautiful property is home to some of the city’s most beautiful salons. With high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, French windows featuring Eiffel Tower views, and ornate gold gilding and mirrors, it is one of my absolute favorite places in the entire City of Light.
The Ritz Paris. For the couple who is passionate about history, the Ritz Paris‘ storied walls is truly the perfect place for a wedding. The refinement of the French art de vivre meets the elegance of Belle Époque décor with suites bearing the names of Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Marcel Proust — all of whom considered the Ritz “like a second home”. This exquisite property, nestled in the heart of the iconic Place Vendome, is the epitome of a Parisian dream and an absolutely perfect location for a luxurious destination wedding in France.
Musee Rodin. Located in the prestigious 7th arrondissement of Paris, the Musee Rodin is housed in an 18th-century mansion features high ceilings, intricate moldings, and huge rooms bathed in light. The peaceful gardens overflow with roses nearly year-round and further inspire with their stunning sculptures, the views of the Invalides, and the Eiffel Tower. Being married amongst priceless art? A true luxury experience which makes the Musee Rodin one of the absolute best destination wedding venues. To see more of our work at Musee Rodin, featured by Magnolia Rouge, visit here.
Hotel Le Marois – France Americas. In the heart of Paris, located between the renowned Avenue Montaigne and the majestic Grand Palais, lies the Hôtel Le Marois – France Amériques. Behind the doors of this typical Haussmannian mansion, you will find eight unique salons decorated in 18th-century woodwork and paintings, a magnificent terrace facing the Grand Palais, and incredible cuisine. The frescoed ceiling covered with heavenly skies is my personal favorite detail of this gorgeous venue.
Château de Villette. Nestled just outside Paris lies Château de Villette, a romantic bride’s dream. With lakes and French manicured gardens designed by Andre Le Notre, who also created the gardens at Versailles, the château creates a sense of romance, French tradition, and grandeur. Feature coming soon, but for now visit my portfolio to see more.
Château du Grand-Lucé. The gorgeous Château du Grand-Lucé is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beautiful ambiance that is France. The property allows you to take a step back into a time where days are spent wandering the rose gardens, enjoying tea in the grand salon, and admiring the many statues given as housewarming gifts by Louis XV. To see more of our two-day wedding editorial at Château du Grand-Lucé, as seen on Magnolia Rouge and Style Me Pretty, visit the full blog post here.
Chateâu de Varennes. Nestled in the rolling hillsides of Burgundy, amongst ancient Medieval villages and world-famous vineyards, Château de Varennes is a truly stunning castle and one of the best destination wedding venues in France. To see more of our Modern Marie Antoinette editorial at the beautiful chateau, as featured by Wedding Sparrow, visit the full blog post here.
Villa Cetinale. Nestled amongst the rolling hillsides of Tuscany, Villa Cetinale is a regal and lavish 17th-century Italian villa originally built for the Pope. With sprawling gardens that are renowned as being amongst the most beautiful in Italy, Villa Cetinale is truly one of the most elegant destination wedding venues in the world.The full feature is coming soon, but for now visit my portfolio to see more.
Villa di Geggiano. Villa di Geggiano is a beautiful Tuscan villa with a long and romantic history in the Bianchi Bandinelli family who have owned it since 1527. Once you reach the villa, surrounded by its aged stone wall, centuries-old cypress trees, and situated high above the gently rolling hills of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, the outside world slips away. The villa’s interior was fully re-decorated in 1780 to celebrate a special wedding in the family. All of these decorations, hand-painted frescoes, first edition wallpapers brought in from Paris and specially crafted furniture are still intact, each surface softened over time with a beautiful patina. This villa is truly one of the most magnificent in all of Italy and one of the absolute best destination wedding venues – see more images from our Renaissance editorial, featured on Style Me Pretty, here and here.
Santorini. From the incredible Greek cuisine to the breathtaking views to the ethereal golden light, Santorini is truly one of the best destination wedding venues in the world. I was so fortunate to have traveled there this past summer for a two-day soiree which was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Magnolia Rouge, and Carats & Cake (pinch us!) To see more of this incredible wedding, visit the posts here, here, here, and here.
Ballyfin Demesne. Voted by Conde Nast Traveler as the Best Hotel in Europe, this 18th-century Neoclassical Irish manor house is truly my favorite place on Earth and is an absolute dream destination wedding venue. With sprawling grounds, opulent interiors, and beautifully-restored 19th century glass conservatory, Ballyfin Demesne is truly a one-of-a-kind location perfect for the town & country couple. To learn more about this truly iconic venue, visit my full blog post.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Constructed in 1905 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, the pink Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is now a national trust and is one of the most exclusive and best destination wedding venues on the French Riviera. Everything from the stunning views to the pastel color palette to the perfectly manicured gardens brings to mind the elegance of grandeur of a bygone era and is truly the ideal backdrop for a dream destination wedding in France. See more here.
Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat. Perched on the tip of the fabled Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the historic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat is an institution on the French Riviera and is also one of the most beautiful and luxurious destination wedding venues in the South of France. To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Ryan and I were lucky enough to spend a week on this beautiful property which was an absolute dream come true. See more here.
English Countryside. The bucolic English countryside is filled with classic estates, beautiful gardens, and sophisticated manor houses absolutely perfect for a luxury destination wedding. Considering a wedding in England? Before you do anything, contact the amazing sister team of Lily & Sage – my favorite wedding planners in the country!
Boone Hall Plantation. Whether you are looking for a grand wedding full of a large guest count or a romantic setting for a few, Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina lends itself to either and is truly one of the best destination wedding venues in the United States. See more of Jenna & Cliff’s special day as featured on The Bridal Theory here.
HammerSky Vineyards. Not only have I had the pleasure to photograph two stunning weddings at the gorgeous HammerSky Vineyards in Paso Robles, California, but this special venue was also where I was married! The property has a magical, otherworldly quality that truly cannot be described in words. The moment you step foot into their gardens you feel a sense of serenity and calm wash over you, creating a truly dreamy destination wedding experience. A stunningly decorated historic farmhouse, picturesque white barn, and rolling hillside covered with vines and framed by an ancient oak tree make a beautiful backdrop for an intimate soiree. See Devin and Ryan’s elopement as featured by Flutter Magazine here and Kimberly and Scott’s wedding here.
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. One of the most beautiful wedding venues on the East Coast, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, nestled in the rolling hills of Charlottesville, Virginia, is a fine art film photographer’s dream. Everything from the fixtures to the windows to the upholstery, even to the placement of the venue to face due west for that gorgeous sunset light, was perfectly curated and designed to be a dream destination wedding venue. See more images of this magnificent property, as featured on 100 Layer Cake and Joy Wed, here.