6 Sensational Winter Wedding Destinations
When winter comes, couples want to embrace it, or escape from it. We’ve got ideas for both options with 6 winter getaways that are ideal for weddings between December and March.
#1 First up? Belize! With beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and Mayan ruins to explore, the winter is the dry season in Belize and perfect for soaking up the sun. Here you can swim, snorkel, and celebrate your wedding at dozens of gorgeous venues ranging from simple to extravagant, and with great exchange rates you just might find a deal. You’ll need to be in Belize for at least 72 hours before your wedding to apply for your license, so take advantage of the time you have together before your guests arrive to go scuba diving or cave tubing, or consider taking a cruise to one of the 100+ islands all within its borders. Turn your celebration over to an experienced wedding planner and take a seasoned photographer and you’ll have an incredible vacation and memories to last a lifetime.
For accommodations choose a waterfront suite at an eco-hotel like the Hamanasi, or an overwater bungalow where you can stay for a long honeymoon, or find one of dozens of villas on Airbnb.com where you can host up to 20+ guests. And if you are really ready to splurge on your wedding, just rent your own island and celebrate in total privacy.
#2 The next spot on our list is Cuba. Few places in the world have the colorful ambiance of Cuba. The painted buildings of Havana and the vintage automobiles that line her streets make getting great photos a breeze, and the beaches and rainforests not too far from the city are among the most beautiful in the world for photography. Bring a retro dress, a 50’s bikini, and a wide brim hat, or a pin-striped suit and fedora, and you’ll be ready to steal the show in a city where smiles come easy. Dine on some truly amazing Cuban food, sip cocktails, and say “I do” right next to the water or in the jungle at a tropical venue high in the treetops. Of course, you’ll want to spend lots of time swimming and snorkeling, so after a few days in Havana head just 2 hours away to Varadero where you’ll find a luxurious resort town that still celebrates its Cuban charm and architecture, or spend the rest of your honeymoon at Las Terraza Resort and eco-tourism resort about 50 minutes from the heart of the city.
With accommodations like the Hotel Saratoga, the Chez Nous and Iberostar Selection Varadero you can rely on your planner to take care of all the details for your elopement or destination wedding.
#3 The Cape, South Africa
The weather is mild in SA during the winter (and warm in March) where the scenery and wildlife are always so beautiful they border on the unbelievable. If you want to wow your guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience this is one place that’s guaranteed to deliver. Get married at a glamping resort where you can get right back to nature, at a beautiful vineyard near the Cape, or at one of dozens of venues that will give you an up close view of the world’s biggest fauna.
For your honeymoon, rent a car and drive to Chapman’s Peak (called the Chappies), one of the most scenic marine drives anywhere. Then, be sure to visit Addo Elephant National Park, a huge preserve where elephants are protected and roam free.
Some of our favorite places to stay include Joubertsdal Country Estate, with it’s gorgeous grounds and incredible catering, and Buffelsdrift Game Lodge where you can watch hippos, zebras, and elephants from your reception site!
#4 Maui, Hawaii, USA
Now here’s a heavenly retreat where the weather is balmy in the winter and migrating humpbacks can be seen from the shore from the end of November to the first of April. With 6 climate zones and endless stunning landscapes on this one gorgeous island you can get married right on the beach or up in the clouds. The upscale resorts in Wailea and Kaanapali offer every beachfront amenity and there are a host of stunning venues including the Grand Wailea Hotel which has a beautiful, stained glass chapel on site. For receptions with more than a dozen guests check out the renowned Haiku Mill with its antique and artistic surroundings in the middle of the jungle or the waterfront Olowalu Plantation House, and if you looking for a truly authentic island experience, consider tying the knot at the Alakukui in Hana which honors Hawaiian practices and is located right off the area’s famous winding highway. While you are traveling don’t miss having your portraits taken at one of the dozens of beautiful waterfalls and beaches right along the road.
#5 The French Alps
Renowned for its ski resorts and breathtaking scenery, The French Alps include the famous ski towns of Chamonix (which lies at the base on Mount Blanc), Megève, and the Avoriaz along with dozens of other villages from quaint to cosmopolitan. With cable cars that float thousands of meters above the slopes you can elope on the mountain tops, and literally ski for miles on alpine runs full of powdery snow before ending your day at a cozy candlelit restaurant. Extraordinary accommodations include the luxe chalets available on Airbnb, boutique hotels, and ski-in, ski-out suites that will get you on the slopes in no time.
Important note: To get married in France you must be in the country for 40 days before you file so most couples get their paperwork at home and have an elopement ceremony and/or reception when they arrive.
#6 Colorado, USA
From Vail, to Aspen, Breckenridge, Purgatory Resort and Steamboat Springs, Colorado is full of iconic winter getaways, including dozens of luxury resorts and thousands of charming chalets. This is a place where you can invite large parties of guests for an unforgettable winter vacation, or have a ceremony just for the two of you before you hit the slopes and cuddle up in front of a roaring fire. If you are from North America, Colorado offers all the accommodations, activities, nightlife, and dining as European destinations without the international travel, while marriage licenses require the same waiting times and documentation for U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike. In Colorado that means the whole process can take as little as 20 minutes!
A few of our favorite places include the Donovan Pavilion in Vail and the Jerome Hotel in Aspen for their breathtaking views and gorgeous reception spaces, and the simply divine suites at the Madeline Hotel in Telluride.
Looking for the ultimate place to elope? Don’t miss our article on The 20 Best Places to Elope on Earth and keep coming back as we add to our Stunning Locations Gallery.