15 Cool Cities to Consider for a U.S. Destination Wedding

October 27, 2020 | riley
wedding party in the street

Image by Nikk Nguyen Photo. See more of this real wedding here

There’s a good chance that when you hear the term “destination wedding,” your mind quickly goes to the stunning vineyards of Tuscany or the sandy beaches of Tulum. But, the truth is, there are so many cool cities here in the US that would be ideal for a destination wedding. These cities have it all: unique venues, cool vibes, amazing wedding vendors, and tons of bars, restaurants, and sites to keep your guests entertained for the entire wedding weekend–or even for a wedding after-party. If you’re looking to put together destination “I do’s” a little closer to home, get ready to be inspired by these 15 US destination wedding cities!

1. Austin, Texas

Image by Century Tree Productions. See more of this real wedding here

Between the amazing food, the live music, and the youthful vibe of the city, Austin has everything you could want for a destination wedding. If you’re looking for sleek, modern city vibes, there are a lot of venues located in the heart of downtown that would be perfect for your big day. If you’re more country than city, you can drive into the Hill Country–located just outside the city limits–where you’ll find sprawling venues with breathtaking views.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Austin.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

Image by Sharon Pye. See more of this real wedding here

New Orleans is the ultimate party city, which–for some couples–makes it the ultimate wedding destination. Your guests will have a never-ending list of food, bars, and entertainment to enjoy before and after the wedding. The historic charm of the city offers a backdrop for your big day that is both mysterious and romantic. Plus, the second-line tradition of being escorted through the streets by a brass band is as cool as it gets.

Husband and wife duo and Junebug member Erin and Geoffrey Photography had this to say about the city, “In our experience, New Orleans delivers a magical experience like no other city. While planning your wedding, go visit New Orleans and you will easily find a second-line going on somewhere around the French Quarter, and then you’ll know exactly why we recommend this city. Taste the food, find a good bar that serves the original French 75 cocktail, drink some coffee at Cafe Beignet–you will be welcomed as a local.”

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Louisiana.

3. Palm Springs, California

Image by Isaiah and Taylor Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern vibes, gorgeous weather, and desert views. This is the perfect city for couples who want to feel like they’ve stepped into another world and into another era. Gather your wedding guests and sit by the pool and enjoy margaritas at the well-known Ace Hotel, or take a historic home tour to see where Frank Sinatra once resided. Regardless of how you spend your time, Palm Springs is a city that makes for one unforgettable long weekend.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in California.

4. Seattle, Washington

Image by Nick Plus Danée. See more of this real wedding here

Seattle is well known amongst vacationers but doesn’t immediately come to mind for weddings. After all, it’s earned its reputation as the “rainy city.” However, we think the city has a whole lot to offer. There are waterfront venues, modern downtown venues, and even island venues within a ferry ride’s distance of the city. Plus you have access to fantastic food and some of the best coffee shops in the country. The possibilities are endless.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Seattle.

5. Portland, Oregon

Image by Naba Zabih Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Portland is one of the PNW’s dreamiest locations that boasts mild winters and has easy access to forests, mountains, beaches, and skylines. No matter what vibe you want to create for your special day, you’ll find a location and venue to match.

Don’t let the high chances of rain that the rest of the PNW experiences scare you. Portland’s summer is warm and dry–with highs in the low 80s–with low humidity, which makes it ideal for outdoor nuptials. But, if you prefer an indoor wedding, the winters are equally beautiful.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Portland.

6. Denver, Colorado

Image by Karra Leigh Photography. See more of this elopement inspiration shoot here

Outdoor lovers and adventure seekers, this recommendation is for you! Denver averages 300 days of sunshine every year, making it one of the loveliest cities for couples who want to be outside for most–if not all–of their wedding day. As an added bonus, Denver is one of the greenest cities in the country.

Located just east of the Rockies, this city would be the perfect home base for your wedding weekend because you can have your ceremony and reception downtown and community-building activities in or around the mountains before and after the big day.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Denver.

7. San Diego, California

Image by Paris Karsh Photography. See more of this real wedding here

If the famously perfect weather in San Diego isn’t enough to convince you, the cool vibes of Balboa Park, the stretches of pristine beaches, and the incredible harbor should seal the deal. This coastal city has waterfront venues galore for beach-loving couples, industrial warehouses and downtown lofts for more modern couples, and even sprawling ranches for couples who want a backyard feel in the heart of the city. If you can dream it, you can find it in sunny San Diego.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in San Diego.

8. New York City, New York

Image by Aesthetic Sabotage Studio. See more of this real elopement here

If you’re someone who craves modernism, art, and culture, The Big Apple is perfect for you. New York quite literally has it all–from whimsical gardens like Central Park to skyline views at the Top of the Rock. There is a reason it is one of the most iconic cities in the world, after all. Tie the knot in an industrial loft or elegant ballroom before wandering the streets of Manhatten for some of the most epic wedding portraits possible.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in New York City.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Image by Swak Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Nashville has found a special place in our hearts. This vibrant city offers all the southern charm you’d expect in Tennessee with a funky, fresh, and eclectic twist that is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only does this city have one of the best live music scenes in the country, but it has an impressive variety of wedding venues that range from cute and quaint to luxurious and lavish. Just don’t forget to pack those cowboy boots and brush up on your line dancing!

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Nashville.

10. Miami, Florida

Image by Andrielle Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Miami literally has it all–diverse venues, a tropical climate, world-class restaurants, and some of the best beaches in the country. Plus, the deeply rooted party culture is second to none. There is something for everyone, which makes it an ideal city for a destination wedding. Whether you want a shoe-free beach ceremony, a luxurious country club affair, or a sophisticated estate celebration, Miami is ready and waiting to host the day of your dreams.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Miami.

11. Portland, Maine

When asked about Portland, Junebug member Katelyn Mallett had this to say, “Portland has been consistently rated one of the top cities for its food and drinks for the last few years. Maine is loved by all travelers, and Portland is the perfect size for a getaway. From being situated on the ocean to its showcase of New England foliage, Portland is a great spot for a wedding year-round. It has many breweries that host weddings, as well as multiple industrial venues–the only place in Maine that has this style.” We couldn’t agree more! Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to find some lobster rolls.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Maine.

12. Joshua Tree, California

Image by Alyssa Marie Evans Photography & Cori Taylor Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Joshua Tree offers some of the most unique scenery in the country. With its large rock formations and abundance of cacti, it’s the perfect destination for those looking to be surrounded by Earth’s natural beauty. The city and venues may be on the smaller side, but there’s nothing more unique than getting married at an old hotel built in 1946 by Roy Rodgers or amidst the saguaros and yuccas.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in California.

13. Sedona, Arizona

Image by Ashtyn Nicole Photo. See more of this real wedding here

Located just two hours north of Phoenix, Sedona’s red rocks are unlike anything else in the world. In fact, some may argue that it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Because it’s located in northern Arizona, the temperatures stay much milder year-round, making it ideal for weddings during any season. The small city’s venues include luxury resorts, event centers with sweeping views of the rocks, romantic gazebos, and picturesque creekside parks.

After tying the knot, take your wedding party to Devil’s Bridge or Catherdral Rock to hike off their hangovers and see some seriously cool views.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Arizona.

14. Charleston, South Carolina

Image by Billie Jo and Jeremy Photography. See more of this real wedding here

If you’ve always dreamed of cobblestone streets or horse-drawn carriages for your special day, Charleston, South Carolina may just be the place for you. With plenty of colorful historic buildings, pristine beaches, high-end golf courses, and centuries-old weeping willows, your lovefest will be surrounded with southern charm. Not to mention, the city is known for its incredible cuisine and even more scrumptious desserts.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in South Carolina.

15. Chicago, Illinois

Image by Emily Keeney Photography. See more of this real wedding here

It’s easy to fall in love with Chicago’s charm the minute you arrive. From the stunning cityscapes to the hip suburbs to some of the best pizza in the world, Chi-Town has an unexplainable magnetic energy. Although it may not have the tropical weather that one might think about for destination weddings, you can’t beat the modern and upscale shops, restaurants, and hotels. We’re talking exposed brick and marquee lights galore.

Browse our directory of wedding vendors in Chicago.

These 15 cities prove that you don’t need to spend your life savings to get the destination wedding experience. Feeling inspired to host your own US destination wedding now? Then you’re going to want to check out the best Airbnb wedding venues in every state!

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  1. Gorgeous wedding.

  2. Thank you for letting me know the best cities in the US for the destination of the wedding. Can I add another place to the list? I prefer getting married in Las Vegas since there is a Paradise Wedding Chapel (https://www.paradiseweddingchapel.com/) to help me. I highly recommend them!

  3. Those all are wonderful city to get the wedding into it. But I feel that California and Arizona were the coolest city for a great landscape view wedding. It’s just amazing.

  4. There was a time when destination weddings were in vogue in the US. I think the pictures you have shared reflect that era. These locations are surely apt for destination weddings. My personal favourite is Palm Springs, California. I am a huge fan of mid-century modern vibes and hope to have my wedding there.

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