Unique Destination Wedding Locations That Aren't a Beach

  • 01 of 06

    Finding a Unique Location for Your Wedding

    Destination wedding in the desert
    Amana Images Inc/Getty Images

    Destination weddings are becoming more popular than ever, and it's no surprise. Today's couples are not only getting married later in life than in previous generations, but they are also seeking out ways to make their experience more unique and original. 

    With the number of second and third marriages increasing, couples are looking for a special and distinctive way to start their new lives together. One way couples are seeking to make their special day stand out is by choosing a unique location for their destination wedding.

    We'd be willing to bet that most people tend to immediately think of international beaches when they think about destination weddings, but there are so many unique options to consider within the US other than a beach. According to Megan Velez of Destination Weddings, many couples are opting for new-to-them destinations within the country for a unique experience with less hassle. From big cities to the mountains, to the deserts and prairies, the country is full of unique locations and venues to consider for a destination wedding.

    If you're looking for a domestic location that stands out for your destination wedding, check out this great list of options!

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    New York City

    What better place to tie the knot than in the Big Apple! New York City is a big destination for couples from all over the world. New York offers the best of everything, from food to entertainment to sightseeing. It's a location that you and your guests are sure to enjoy because there is so much to do, there's not even the smallest chance you'll get bored! 

    The Best of Everything

    If you're looking for high-quality food or world-class theater, you know New York has it! Whether you're looking to host a large traditional wedding or a small group for an elopement, there are such a wide variety of venues and styles to choose from in New York. Not to mention, there is an incredibly talented vendor community in the New York area that brings the most amazing events to life! 

    NYC allows for unique pre- and post-wedding events, such as dinner theater, sightseeing tours, art museums and incredible entertainment from Broadway to the Comedy Cellar. Whether you want to go high-brow or super casual, NYC has options that will satisfy your style and interests. 

    Location, Location, Location

    Looking for something over-the-top luxurious? Get married at The Plaza or Gotham Hall. Want something classic and outdoors? Consider getting married in Central Park. Want epic views of Manhattan? Choose a rooftop or penthouse location for your wedding like the Estrela Penthouse. Want a whimsical NYC elopement? Tie the knot at New York City Hall. 

    Iconic Photo Opportunities

    Think of all the amazing NYC locations there are to take photos on your big day. Talk about epic wedding photos! Take a ride around Manhattan in a yellow taxi cab and capture swoon-worthy photos on the streets of NYC. 

    From Central Park to the cobblestone streets of SoHo, to the Highline to the top of the Empire State Building, if you're looking for iconic backdrops for your special day, NYC has them in spades. 

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    New Mexico

    Perfect for adventure seekers, culture enthusiasts, and luxury lovers alike, New Mexico offers numerous opportunities for couples to explore, experience, and indulge. If you're looking for a beautiful property that offers gourmet cuisine, luxurious spa experiences, plus a relaxing atmosphere and stunning wedding options, look no further than the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Set between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the Hyatt Tamaya is a property that offers a variety of experiences and indulgences that are sure to delight you and your guests.

    Experience Adventure and Luxury

    You can experience adventure right on-property at Hyatt Tamaya. From visiting their on-site horse stables to exploring the pueblo on a Geocaching adventure to walking or biking along the resort's trails, to experiencing their world-class Twin Warriors Golf Club, there is much to explore without even leaving the resort. 

    If you're looking for luxurious indulgence, be sure to visit the Tamaya Mist Spa and Salon. They offer a variety of treatments to soothe your body and awaken your senses, using locally made products. Their spa features fully stocked facilities for everything you need to get ready after your treatment, as well as a sauna and soaking tubs. 

    Convenient Local Attractions

    There are loads of cultural activities to experience within close proximity to the resort, so the history buffs will love learning about the area's rich history. You're also a short drive away from downtown Santa Fe, which features loads of historical venues and unique shopping. You could also check out the immersive, multimedia experience at Meow Wolf if you're looking for something extra unique. 

    Other convenient off-property experiences include taking a hot air balloon ride with incredible views, enjoying some Native American dancing and performances, or visiting a nearby New Mexico winery for some local flair. 

    "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served."

    Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa offers six different dining options on property, including their fine dining establishment, Corn Maiden. Their chefs craft delicious meals with ingredients sourced from local farms. The resort even has an on-site herb garden where the property sources much of their seasonings. 

    The Hyatt Regency Tamaya is perfect for couples who want a good mix of exciting and relaxing for their wedding and honeymoon experience. 

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06


    If you're more into Southern than Southwestern, then maybe Nashville is the right choice for your destination wedding. Nashville is a rapidly growing destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but the city offers lots of special options for weddings as well. Your guests will love the local flavors, the history, and the entertainment options that the city of Nashville provides, and they'll definitely want to extend their stay to experience all this beautiful city has to offer. 

    Local Flavors

    If you're planning a destination wedding in Nashville, you'll likely want to include some of the local cuisines. Nashville has a super hot food scene, with local favorites including Prince's Hot Chicken, Loveless Cafe biscuits, and Martin's Bar-B-Que.

    Encourage your guests to grab a casual day-after brunch at Hillsboro hotspot, Pancake Pantry. Consider offering a late-night treat of Jeni's Ice Cream to close out your reception, or hire a local Nashville food truck to give your guests a special surprise. 

    Beautiful Historic Venues

    From the historic Hermitage Hotel to the gorgeous Arrington Vineyards property, to Houston Station to the 50-acre historic estate at Cedarwood, Nashville and its surrounding suburbs offer some incredibly rich history and soul to infuse into your destination wedding weekend.

    Nashville has both chic downtown spaces and sprawling farm plantations, giving couples the best of both worlds. Whether you are looking for an urban, modern, industrial, or rustic style for your big day, Nashville's diverse assortment of venues is sure to have the perfect fit for your vision.

    Entertainment Galore

    From the Grand Old Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame, to the downtown Broadway strip with honky tonks galore, your guests will be sure to find plenty to entertain themselves within Nashville. 

    Drive an hour south and visit the Arrington Vineyards for a fun day-after activity. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06


    If you're looking for beautiful mountain views, incredible food, and rich historical properties, perhaps Asheville, North Carolina is up your alley! Asheville is growing in popularity for destination weddings because of the gorgeous views and unique options available. 

    Beautiful Scenery

    Asheville is an absolutely gorgeous place to get married, no matter the season. The Blue Ridge mountains create the most beautiful backdrop for your wedding photos and definitely top the list of reasons to get hitched in Asheville. 

    Asheville is a four-season destination, so any time of year is a great time to get married in this beautiful city. The summers are comfortable, with crisp autumns, mild winters, and glorious spring weather. The clean mountain air and temperate climate make Asheville an ideal location for a destination wedding any time of year. 

    Amazing Venues

    From rustic barns tucked away in the forest to palatial estates and luxurious hotels, Asheville's unique assortment of venues make it a premier destination wedding spot. Of course one of the most prominent venues is the historic Biltmore Estate, which can be booked for weddings if you have a sizable budget. The Grove Park Inn is also a historic hotel venue that has been visited by US presidents, writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, famous musicians, and more.

    Other fairy-tale like venues in Asheville include the Grand Bohemian, which is a Tudor-inspired hotel, as well as Homewood Manor, which looks almost like a castle from the outside. So if you're looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the Biltmore, either of these options is fabulous.

    Looking for something a little more urban? Check out Aloft Downtown Asheville, which has a modern rooftop space that is perfect for wedding receptions. Want something rustic? Check out Claxton Farm. 

    Options for Every Style and Budget

    Asheville has a very busy tourism industry, and many couples are choosing to do intimate and budget-friendly weddings or elopements at bed and breakfasts, lodges, inns, or vacation rentals in the area. 

    Asheville is a very LGBT friendly city and therefore is a popular wedding destination for gay and lesbian couples. They have a vibrant arts community and culinary scene that your guests will love to explore. Plus, the great weather makes for awesome adventuring, whether you're into hiking or mountain climbing. Asheville offers a variety of recreation and outdoors options for you and your guests to enjoy.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Why Are Destination Weddings so Popular?

    Bride and groom standing on the beach in the waves
    Unsplash / Nathan Dumlao

    There are so many reasons why destination weddings are increasing in popularity, with uniqueness topping the list. Millennial couples don't want a cookie-cutter wedding. They want something unique, personal and memorable for themselves and their guests to experience.

    Another reason for the increase in destination weddings in the US is the passing of marriage equality. "With the acceptance of same-sex weddings growing, LGBT couples can take their wedding on the road," says Megan Velez of Destination Weddings. 

    Destination weddings can also be less expensive, but it isn't always the rule. Destination weddings can be as luxurious as any others! It all depends on your priorities and what you want for your wedding day.