Destination Wedding Guide for Same-Sex Couples: Create Your Dream Celebration

April 3, 2023
3 min

Celebrating love and commitment is a cherished milestone for any couple, and for same-sex couples, this celebration is an affirmation of their journey toward equality and acceptance. In recent years, destination weddings have emerged as an enchanting and meaningful way for same-sex couples to create their dream celebrations. These unique events not only offer the opportunity to exchange vows amidst stunning landscapes but also provide a platform to celebrate love in LGBTQ+-friendly locations.

This guide aims to illuminate the importance of destination weddings for same-sex couples and offer valuable insights on creating an unforgettable and inclusive experience that reflects their love, identity, and personal style. Whether you envision a beachside paradise, a cosmopolitan cityscape, or a rustic countryside affair, let us embark on this journey together and turn your dream celebration into a breathtaking reality.

A Romantic Couple Holding Hands

Step-by-step guide on planning a same-sex destination wedding

Planning a destination wedding for same-sex couples can be an exciting and memorable experience. Here are some essential steps to consider:

1. Create a Budget

Destination weddings can be costly, so it's crucial to establish a budget and stick to it. Account for travel expenses, accommodations, venue rental, catering, and other related costs. Be realistic about what you can afford and explore alternatives like having a smaller guest list or choosing a less expensive destination.

2. Choose an LGBTQ+-Friendly Destination

Select a location that is LGBTQ+-friendly and welcoming. Research places that have marriage equality laws and ensure your wedding will be recognized and legal. Popular destinations for same-sex weddings include Hawaii, California, New York, Canada, and Spain. You can also consider unique locations such as a beach in Thailand or a vineyard in Italy. Pick a place that you and your partner will enjoy and that offers an unforgettable experience for your guests.

3. Find an Inclusive Venue

Once you've chosen your destination, find a venue that caters to and has experience with same-sex weddings. Websites like Equally Wed can provide lists of inclusive venues that have worked with LGBTQ+ couples. Consider venues that offer all-inclusive wedding packages, which can simplify your planning process.

4. Hire a Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner experienced in planning same-sex weddings in your chosen destination can be immensely helpful. They can guide you through legal requirements, recommend local vendors, and ensure a smooth wedding day. A wedding planner can also assist in creating and sticking to your budget.

5. Plan Your Guest List

Consider the number of guests you want to invite and their ability to travel to the destination. Give your guests plenty of notice so they can make travel arrangements and take time off work if necessary.

6. Coordinate Travel and Accommodations

Coordinating travel and accommodations for your guests can be challenging. Consider hiring a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings or using platforms like Wedaways. Look for hotels and resorts that offer group rates or discounts for wedding guests and provide information on transportation options and local attractions.

7. Celebrate Your Love

Remember that your destination wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment. Focus on what is most important to you and your partner, and don't get too overwhelmed by the details. Enjoy the planning experience and create lasting memories with your loved ones.


Planning a destination wedding for same-sex couples involves various considerations, including legal requirements and recognition. To streamline the process and obtain a legal US marriage certificate, Courtly offers a convenient solution. With Courtly, couples can skip the paperwork and ensure their marriage is recognized in their chosen destination but also in the United States and other countries that acknowledge same-sex marriages. 

This provides peace of mind and legal protection, allowing couples to fully enjoy their destination wedding without worrying about the complexities of legalities. Whether couples prioritize their legal rights or seek to simplify the process, Courtly provides a hassle-free way to obtain a marriage certificate before embarking on their celebration.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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