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The Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Destination Wedding Locations

Updated: May 10, 2023


The most important thing about your wedding is that it's a celebration of love and commitment. But for many couples, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community, it's also an opportunity to show how proud they are to be together and how much they want to celebrate their union with friends and family. There are many beautiful places to get married in the world, but unfortunately, not all offer equal rights for same-sex couples.


The LGBTQ+ community has been fighting for its rights for decades, but the fight isn't over yet. Gay marriage is legal in many countries around the globe—but there are still places where same-sex couples can't get married. Whether you and your partner are LGBTQ+ or have guests who identify as LGBTQ+, you'll want to ensure you choose a location where everyone feels comfortable and safe regardless of their sexual orientation.


To help you narrow down which destinations will make your big day special, we've compiled a list of our top LGBTQ+ friendly destination wedding locations to help you find the perfect place to say "I do."


NOTE: Please always be safe while traveling, learn social customs, and check travel.state.gov for more details on LGBTQ+ safety before you leave home.


Portugal

Portugal is a popular destination for LGBTQ+ weddings, with its warm climate and friendly people. Plus, the country's capital, Lisbon, has a growing gay scene thanks to its vibrant nightlife and annual Pride Parade. With decadent cuisine and wine set amongst stunning beaches and charming cities, this country offers an excellent destination wedding experience.


There are many beautiful spots to hold your ceremony and reception in Portugal, including the medieval town of Sintra. This town has been used as a filming location for many films, including Game of Thrones. Sintra is also home to the Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been standing since the 15th century. The tower looks out onto the Tagus River, which offers a stunning view of Lisbon in the distance.


If you're looking for a beach wedding, then the Algarve region on the southern coast of Portugal is where to go. Its stunning beaches, charming towns, and excellent weather make it a great place for a destination wedding. Here you'll find miles of coastline dotted with quaint fishing villages and charming hotels that offer a variety of accommodations.


Overall, Portugal is an excellent choice for an intimate European wedding experience.


Malta

The island of Malta is a small, sun-kissed place with a population of just over 400,000. It's located in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia and has been home to one of the oldest civilizations in Europe. For those who want to marry and tie the knot in an idyllic setting, Malta is a great destination. Not only is this Mediterranean gorgeous, but it has also ranked as one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world for the seventh year in a row by the ILGA-Europe Rainbow index. Although it might not have the most prominent gay scene, it's miles ahead of other destinations in terms of legal protections.


Malta has an abundance of gorgeous places where you can get married, including the charming capital, Valletta. Of course, the city has many beautiful churches that are great for a memorable wedding ceremony. Or, if you're looking for something more unique, hop on one of Malta's many boats and sail to Comino Island, where you can exchange vows at its 16th-century church.


For the ultimate beachside European ceremony, Malta is your spot!


Spain

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for LGBTQ+ couples to marry. The country has a liberal attitude towards same-sex marriage and a large gay community, which makes it perfect for destination weddings. As a result, Spain has many beautiful wedding venues across the country in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Couples will find plenty of options for a memorable wedding experience —from traditional full-service resorts to charming boutique hotels with unique touches.


A popular spot for destination weddings is the island of Ibiza. It's known as a gay-friendly island with beautiful beaches and plenty of LGBTQ+-friendly activities, such as Pride festivals and gay nightclubs. Here couples can enjoy a relaxing beach vacation or plan a wild night out on the town. With its beautiful beaches, Ibiza is a popular destination for couples who want an exotic wedding experience. Home to some gorgeous wedding venues, you'll find resorts that offer full-service packages as well as bespoke service.


If you want to tie the knot in Spain in a more traditional setting, we recommend Madrid or Barcelona. Both cities are filled with romantic restaurants, hotels, and beautiful beaches where you can exchange vows. In addition, Barcelona offers stunning architecture and vibrant culture, with the city's Gothic Quarter full of historic buildings perfect for an intimate ceremony with your loved ones.


Bottom line: Spain is a fantastic destination for couples wanting a romantic, luxurious wedding experience.


France

France is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world. It's also a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, so it's no surprise that many dream of holding their wedding here. The country has so much to offer—beautiful scenery, delicious food, excellent wine, and fantastic art. You can choose from a variety of wedding venues, including chateaus, vineyards, and picturesque villages. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the French Riviera, France is a dream destination for couples looking for a romantic wedding.


Of course, Paris is an obvious choice if you want an urban wedding with plenty to do and see. There are many romantic hotels all over Paris—you can find them right near major attractions like the Eiffel Tower or in more secluded areas if you're looking for privacy. Or, if you want something more unique, consider a destination wedding in the french countryside. There are so many romantic villages in France to tie the knot and spend your honeymoon. You'll have plenty of activities to do during your stay—exploring vineyards, tasting wine, shopping at local markets, or just exploring the area on foot or by bike.


The French Riviera is another popular option for a destination wedding thanks to its proximity (and flight options) from almost anywhere in Europe or North America. The French Riviera has a Mediterranean climate, which means warm summers and mild winters. You can get married outdoors in the spring or fall, but if you're planning to have an outdoor ceremony during the peak wedding season (June-August), be sure to book your venue well ahead of time.


All in all, France is an excellent choice for a destination wedding, no matter what part of the country you choose.


Argentina

Finally, we have Argentina. As the first country in Latin America to establish marriage equality, Argentina is an obvious choice for gay weddings abroad. The country's capital, Buenos Aires, is home to one of the biggest and best gay scenes in Latin America, and holds many activities and events annually celebrating its LGBTQ+ community. As a bonus, the country has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Latin America, making it perfect for those who want to get married in a stunning setting.


The city of Buenos Aires has a number of fantastic venues to choose from as well as numerous activities to keep your guests busy. Outside the capital, the cities of Mendoza and Patagonia are both excellent destination wedding choices. Mendoza is a beautiful city known for its wine production with lots of culture and history, while Patagonia offers incredible scenery at every turn.


Whether you want to get married in the city or out in nature, Argentina is a fantastic destination for LGBTQ+ couples looking for a beautiful wedding destination abroad.


In Conclusion

Finding the perfect destination wedding location can be a challenge, even more so when you have to worry whether a destination will be welcoming and safe for you and your guests. Rest assured, plenty of places will welcome you with open arms and celebrate your union. Whether it's a beach wedding in Malta or a romantic city escape to Paris, we hope our list of LGBTQ-friendly destinations has helped you find your perfect destination wedding location.


NOTE: Certain cities, tourist areas, or resorts can sometimes be LGBTQ+ friendly even when the laws of the country as a whole are very anti-LGBTQ+. In all cases, do your research, check official government data for up-to-date news, and consider traveling to a more LGBTQ+ friendly country if you feel apprehensive.


Check out the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index for a comprehensive review of 203 countries with available data to help you find the safest countries for your next trip abroad.

 

Thinking a destination wedding may be the right choice for you? Reach out to the destination wedding experts at Travel Queen! We’re here to help you plan every detail of your dream nuptials — from finding the right resort to booking vendors and transportation — so all you have to do is relax and enjoy your wedding day!


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