12 Sexiest Wedding Destinations | Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

12 Sexiest Wedding Destinations

Some spots are so magical the word romance doesn’t do them justice. So forget that boring ballroom — instead, turn up the heat and wow your guests with an unforgettable ceremony in one of these heart-racing locales.

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Bora Bora
Nothing says sexy like Tahiti’s overwater bungalows, built on stilts over neon-blue waters and featuring glass-paneled walls and floors — all the better for drinking in the views from all sides. A-list pairs including Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher have crossed the Pacific to honeymoon here. Thanks to recently relaxed legal requirements, visiting couples can now make it official right on the sand or in one of these sumptuous digs. Or head to Le Meridien Bora Bora, where you can say I do in an overwater chapel in front of an altar made of shells.

Getty Images

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Turks and Caicos
One glance at the sugar-white sand of Grace Bay Beach, and you’ll understand why Turks and Caicos has become one of the Caribbean’s hottest destinations. The resort vibe on the main island of Providenciales is decidedly elegant, and nonstop service from a trio of East Coast gateways (Atlanta, Miami and New York) makes it convenient as well. Exchange vows in the stark white sand, and hold a posh reception on a restaurant terrace turned outdoor lounge. For fun, take your group on a sunset pleasure cruise, hopping Turks and Caicos’ eight inhabited islands and countless uninhabited cays by sunset.

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Paris
For centuries lovers have flocked to the City of Light. Long residency requirements in France make this city better for symbolic ceremonies, but your venue options are endless, from chic restaurants to pristine gardens. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in Paris’ celebrated museums; only here can you admire voluptuous forms like Venus de Milo in the vast halls of the Louvre. Even dining here is a sensual affair, from sweet, buttery escargot at famed L’Escargot Montorgueil to effervescent Champagne made and bottled a mere 45-minute train ride away. The pièce de la résistance: a moonlight riverboat tour along the Seine.

Atlantide PhotoTravel/Corbis

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Oahu
Iconic Waikiki Beach is the center of the action on this gorgeous isle. Marry in the one of the luxe resorts that stand sentry over the famous curve of sand, with easy access to Honolulu’s glitzy shopping, dining and nightlife scene. Or go quiet on the North Shore, where a laid-back surf culture holds sway. Add a native touch to your nuptials with a conch blower, a lei exchange and a ukulele player to strum you down the aisle. Your reception gets even more sensual when you include a performance by local hula dancers, who share the legends of Old Hawaii through the art of dance.

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Anguilla
On this quiet Caribbean isle, chic resorts with stark white exteriors seem to merge into the surrounding sand. Super-luxe hideaways like Cap Juluca and CuisinArt Resort & Spa specialize in privacy, which is why celebrities flock here. The beaches — claimed by locals to have sand so powder-fine it won’t stick to your feet — are the most coveted spots for intimate ceremonies. Parties can then go grand in an award-winning restaurant or low-key at sites like Scilly Cay — a private island just a two-minute boat ride from the mainland, where your clan can play in the surf before indulging in just-grilled crayfish and jugs of potent rum punch.

Critsey Rowe

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Napa Valley
How can you not love a locale that incorporates wine into everything? Take a bike tour through the vineyards, stopping for tastings along the way, or hop aboard a hot-air balloon for some sightseeing over the Golden State. Legalities make it tricky to have your event at an actual winery (the laws are looser in neighboring Sonoma County), but Napa Valley has plenty of enticing options for your big day: Say I do at a Spanish-style chapel like Mont la Salle, in the French-inspired gardens of a private estate or even in an underground wine cave, like this one at Calistoga Ranch.

Allegro Photography

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San Miguel de Allende
Culture lovers have long been drawn to this colonial city perched in the mountains of central Mexico. Plentiful attractions range from the artisan galleries filled with wares — glass, jewelry, pottery — to the charming central plaza El Jardin. Book a historic hacienda within walking distance of it all, and hold your ceremony in a landscaped courtyard studded with antiques. The city is also known for cuisine; Casa de Sierra Nevada (pictured) even has its own cooking school. Throw a food-centric fiesta featuring local dishes like shrimp chilaquiles, and amp up your after-party with mariachis and dancing mojigangas — life-size papier-mâché puppets.

Courtesy Casa de Sierra Nevada

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St. Lucia
Yes, the Caribbean is famed for its beaches, but St. Lucia has many more ways to go. Exchange vows in a jungle, by a waterfall or aboard a catamaran with views of the twin Piton peaks. Hotels here embrace the surroundings, and open-air rooms at resorts like Jade Mountain and Ladera are the essence of come-hither hideaways. If it’s nightlife you crave, check into a plush retreat on the island’s northern end, near the lively club scene of Rodney Bay; several great all-inclusives here include three Sandals resorts. Another highlight: the “drive-through” Soufriere volcano, which gives proof of the isle’s fiery past and feeds the mineral-rich natural spa pools of Diamond Falls.

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New Orleans
No American city oozes ambience like the Big Easy, from the Victorian mansions of the Garden District to the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter. This Louisiana city loves parties, and event spaces come in every size and mood, from the contemporary loft-style space above hip restaurant Cochon to the velvet-draped Seance Lounge at Muriel’s. Exchange vows in a hidden walled courtyard, a century-old culinary institution like Arnaud’s or Galatoire’s — even aboard a steamboat chugging down the Mississippi. No event is complete without a second-line parade en route to the reception dinner, replete with baked oysters, shrimp étouffée and decadent bread pudding.

Cunningham Photo Artists

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Riviera Maya
Down the coast from Cancun lies the Riviera Maya, a more serene Mexican Caribbean alternative. Great airlift from all across the United States makes it convenient and affordable for your loved ones. Resorts come in all shapes and styles, from the exclusive Mayakoba complex (home to Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood hotels) to chic all-inclusive brands, like Secrets, Dreams and Grand Velas. Weddings here come with artisanal tequila tastings; Euro-influenced Yucatan cuisine heavy on chilies, pork and seafood; and a shaman blessing to complement your vows. Include a visit to the 14th-century ruins of Tulum; perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean, the City of the Dawn is one of the most gorgeous examples of Maya architecture.

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Venice
Is any place more beautiful than this historic Italian city built on waterways? Arrive by gondola to your ceremony at a private palace on the Grand Canal, where interiors come bedecked with ornate furnishings, marble staircases and grand arched windows overlooking the Rialto Bridge. Your party can then be ferried to one of the city’s villa hotels for a rooftop reception dinner. Or better yet, choose another island, like Giudecca, and hold your fete with views of illuminated Piazza San Marco. Celebrate with a feast of antipasti, just-caught seafood, artisanal cheeses and castraure, the island’s rare purple artichokes, before losing yourselves among the city’s winding alleyways.

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Santorini
Say I do on a rocky clifftop overlooking a whitewashed village: Imerovigli sits above the volcanic shores of Red Beach; Oia, on the island’s north side, offers prime views of blazing sunsets. Take in the backdrop with a tour through the vine-tangled grounds of the Volcan Wines Museum or the hillside ruins of Ancient Thera, which date to the fourth century B.C. For your reception, celebrate like the Greeks do with a leisurely meal that lasts till the wee hours and features fresh seafood, crisp Assyrtiko white wine (the island has six wineries) and, of course, some lively ouzo toasts. Opa!

Gene Higa & Ann Hamilton

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