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Exploring Safe and Friendly LGBTQ+ Wedding Destination Options

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Planning any wedding can be a challenge. Planning an LGBTQ+ or same-sex wedding adds the stress of ensuring your vendors and venue are LGBTQ+ friendly, and working to avoid any discrimination or issues leading up to your big day. If you and your partner’s dream gay wedding idea includes a beach in the Caribbean or a resort in Mexico, there can be additional worry about the legal recognition of your love and commitment. 

However, there are many safe and welcoming destinations and venues for LGBTQ+ couples. While some nations have fully legalized same-sex marriage, others only recognize civil unions or partnerships, and others have only recently legalized the idea of someone being gay. 

What destinations are safe for LGBTQ+ weddings? Are there LGBTQ+ wedding venues? What legal and social considerations are there for LGBTQ+ weddings? 

lgbtq+ wedding

LGBTQ+ Wedding Destinations 

Popular same-sex wedding destinations include Mexico, Costa Rica, and islands in the Caribbean. 

Mexico has become well known for being a gay-friendly vacation and wedding destination. Individual Mexican states began legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009, and by 2022, same-sex marriage was fully legalized on a federal level. However, in some Mexican states, same-sex marriages are against state laws, and adoption rights do not extend to same-sex couples. 

Some areas of Mexico are more welcoming to LGBTQ+ couples than others. Some of the best areas in Mexico for an LBGTQ+ wedding include Riviera Maya, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta. 

Having a destination wedding in Costa Rica is a great gay wedding idea. In spring 2020, Costa Rica became the first Central American country to recognize and perform same-sex marriages. This means beautiful venues such as Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste are now an option for an LGBTQ+ wedding venue. 

There are options for gay weddings in the Caribbean. Nations like the Dominican Republic may not legally recognize same-sex marriages, but symbolic ceremonies are welcome on private property – such as a resort venue. Even though Aruba and Curaçao do not recognize same-sex marriages, they do recognize same-sex unions on some level and are known as popular LBGTQ+ travel destinations. 

Researching the laws, history, and culture of a potential wedding destination is especially important for same-sex couples. You can always ask your wedding coordinator for their experience and advice. 

lgbtq+ wedding venue

LGBTQ+ Wedding Venues

More and more resorts are becoming top LGBTQ+ wedding venues throughout popular wedding destination countries and regions. There are smaller independent hotels, and large, all-inclusive resorts to choose from. Partners such as Hyatt are proud to showcase their favorite LGBTQ+ destination wedding venues

Hyatt Ziva, Mexico 

This all-inclusive, family-friendly resort is positioned perfectly between Cancun and Riviera Maya. Hyatt Ziva offers a dozen venues to choose from – from an over-the-water gazebo with a maximum of thirty guests to a grand ballroom that can hold 450 guests. 

Dreams Curaçao Resort Spa, Curaçao 

Dreams is a contemporary, family-friendly resort that offers more typical beachside wedding venues, or the option to get married in a 16th Century Dutch Colonial Fort that can accommodate up to 400 guests.  

Wyndham Grand on Rio Mar Beach, Puerto Rico 

The Wyndham Grand on Rio Mar Beach has a lot to offer, especially convenience. The resort is only 12 minutes from the airport, meaning your dream wedding event can start soon after your plane touches down. The resort has a handful of gorgeous venues to choose from, nine restaurants to dine in, and three pools to lounge around in.  

Hotel Riu Palace, Aruba

Hotel Riu Palace in Aruba boasts beautiful fountains, and swimming pools that flow seamlessly onto the beach and into the distinctively emerald Caribbean seas of Aruba. In addition to all the all-inclusive resort amenities, there is also a casino nearby with gaming, shopping, and dining opportunities. 

Secrets Resort and Spa, St. Martin

St. Martin in the Caribbean is known for its hospitality to all visitors, and this extends to the Secrets resort. Secrets is an adult-only resort and spa with a variety of restaurants, bars, and on-site events and recreation opportunities. Their wedding packages start at just $999 and include bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s), a wedding cake, and other inclusions. 

Considerations for LGBTQ+ Weddings 

Unfortunately, due to discriminatory policies and laws, LGBTQ+ couples need to take special considerations when determining where to have their dream destination wedding. One of the main items to consider is the legality of same-sex marriage, unions, and even same-sex relationships. 

Some couples choose a destination ceremony to be symbolic, and deal with the legal paperwork in the United States. In these cases, your chosen destination does not need to fully recognize same-sex marriages, but should still recognize same-sex partnerships on some level. 

The laws around same-sex relationships and marriages, as well as anti-discrimination policies, are frequently changing. In 2022, a handful of Caribbean nations, including Antigua and Barbados, ruled laws against consensual, same-sex activity unconstitutional. 

Always research LGBTQ-related laws and policies for any country you plan to visit, especially if you want to have a destination wedding. While many nations in the Caribbean and other popular destination wedding locations may recognize same-sex relationships, there may be a lack of policy or law recognizing transgender individuals, non-binary, or gender non-conforming folks. 

In addition to legal considerations, destination LGBTQ+ wedding venues should be welcoming and accepting of queer culture. Check with the venue, or your wedding coordinator, for a portfolio of same-sex weddings they’ve hosted, or testimonials from other LGBTQ+ guests. 

gay wedding ideas

LGBTQ+ Destination Wedding Planning 

Destify’s goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community, where they can celebrate their love without any fear or discrimination. We believe all couples deserve to showcase their commitment to each other. Our team of experts will help plan your dream destination wedding at a location and venue that works for you. We’re in the business of making meaningful memories, and if you are ready to make yours, contact us today. 

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