Travel and Leisure — March 21, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Popular Locations for a Tropical Destination Wedding

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Tim Parkinson / http://www.flickr.com/photos/timparkinson/4815948322/

Tim Parkinson / http://www.flickr.com/photos/timparkinson/4815948322/

Dreaming about some place warm and balmy to celebrate your special day?

If you’ve decided that a destination wedding is right for you, then you’re ready for the next—and arguably most fun—step: picking the location.

The world is your oyster, and there are countless incredible places that would make an excellent backdrop for your wedding. If sun, surf and sand are your top priorities, then you need to check out these 7 popular locations for a breezy, tropical destination wedding.

Maui
You can’t go wrong with any of Hawaii’s beautiful islands, but Maui is particularly accommodating to destination weddings—not to mention the variety of activities available, providing for a trip that your guests will never forget.

Given that Maui is still in the USA, the logistics are about as easy as it gets for a destination wedding. You (and your guests) won’t need passports, you won’t need to overcome language barriers, and the currency stays the same.

Nature-loving brides and grooms will have no problems finding the perfect ceremony site amid the island’s sandy beaches, countless waterfalls and lush, green forests. If a ballroom wedding is more your style, there are plenty of high-end resorts to accommodate your needs. And for the ultimate Maui wedding experience, why not make your rehearsal dinner a luau?

Jamaica
If you’re a laid-back, beach-loving couple, look no further than Jamaica. You’ll love the relaxed vibe, and you’ll equally appreciate the ease of planning a Jamaican destination wedding.

There are several all-inclusive resorts scattered throughout the island offering complete wedding packages. You can decide how much you want to personalize, and how much you want to leave up to the planners.

As for your guests, they will have plenty to do during downtime, from exploring limestone cliffs to navigating quaint fishing villages to soaking up the sun on never-ending white and gold sand beaches.

Aruba
While many tropical destination weddings can have finicky weather (beware of rainy season!), Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, meaning the odds of a sunny wedding day are better than just about anywhere else.

Aruba’s popularity can be attributed to the endless supply of exciting activities and attractions. The island is totally diverse—with both sandy beaches and swanky lounges; exhilarating water sports and exciting casinos—yet it’s small enough to explore in its entirety on a week-long wedding celebration. If your guest list is as variable as it gets, look into Aruba: there really is something for everybody.

chauromano / http://www.flickr.com/photos/chauromano/7070789909/

chauromano / http://www.flickr.com/photos/chauromano/7070789909/

Cancun
Looking to leave the US, but keep your planning relatively easy? You’ll find plenty of enticing, yet practical, options in Mexico. Whatever you do, don’t overlook Cancun: though the city has a party reputation, those in the know appreciate that there is much more to Cancun than spring breaks.

For instance, hop into the warm Caribbean water and explore the Maya Reef and underwater caves. Experience Cancun’s culture by checking out the Mayan monuments and ruins. And, of course, there’s always luxury shopping and sunbathing on the beach.

Cancun should be of particular interest to those planning destination I Dos, since it tends to be a more affordable destination option. If you’re looking for luxury on a budget, check out Cancun.

Bermuda
If you want an over-the-top romantic wedding, look no further than the Islands of Bermuda. Pink sand beaches? A rich history? Candy-colored colonial architecture? Check, check and check.

Your guests will love exploring the island, both on land and underwater. They can zip through the towns and cities on a scooter, wind blowing through their hair—or they can don some scuba gear to experience firsthand the wonders of seeing coral-crusted shipwrecks, up close and personal.

Bahamas
Not sure what, exactly, you want? The Bahamas offer more than 700 islands, cays and islets to explore, each with its own distinct personality and vibe. With so many options to choose from, you’ll surely find the right place for your nuptials.

With easy access from Southern Florida, this English-speaking destination is a relatively practical yet completely exotic-feeling destination wedding option. Island-hopping will keep your guests plenty busy while you tie together the final details in preparation for the big day.

Puerto Rico
A US territory, Puerto Rico offers the best of all worlds: the feeling of being in a totally exotic place, while keeping things simple from a logistical standpoint (passports are not required for American citizens).

The “best of both worlds” theme applies equally to the type of wedding you dream of: whether you want a laidback beachside ceremony or an elegant affair in a stately cathedral, you’ll find plenty of options in Puerto Rico.

Don’t forget about your guests: whether they prefer to spend their time surfing, snorkeling, or hitting up the sites and shops in the big cities, they’ll surely welcome the diversity of Puerto Rico!

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