The best destinations for a gay beach wedding, from Mykonos to Cape Town
Here’s our guide to the best gay beach wedding destinations. Combining sun, sea and sand with your nuptials is always a good idea. The only question is where are the best beach wedding destinations? It takes more than a decent beach to have a successful wedding ceremony. You need the infrastructure in place to make it work and the right accommodation options. For an LGBT+ wedding, you also need to know that the destination you’re traveling to is gay-friendly.
We’ll also give you some insights into how gay marriage laws differ from country to country. For example, you can have a symbolic gay beach wedding in Greece or a full legal ceremony in French Polynesia. There are many options to choose from so let’s see what kind of beach wedding is right for you. We have some great LGBT+ wedding packages for you to consider.
French Polynesia is one of the best luxury wedding destinations on earth. By some measures, French Polynesia has the bluest waters and softest sands in the world. It truly is a tropical paradise, especially the island of Bora Bora. The 118 islands and atolls of French Polynesia are spread out over a stretch of water as big as Western Europe. It’s a far-flung destination but it’s always worth the long flight.
It’s hard to think of a gay beach wedding destination that could top French Polynesia. You can have a full legal wedding in French Polynesia, as a gay or straight couple, in accordance with the French Civil Code. French Polynesia has never had any homophobic laws, making it unique – most countries have homophobic laws to this day.
You can opt for a Symbolic Polynesian Commitment Ceremony if you’d like to do the legal rigmarole back home. Stick around and enjoy your honeymoon after the wedding: combining both in French Polynesia is a must.
Mexico is a vast, transcontinental country. Whether you’re exploring the Caribbean coast or the Pacific coast, Mexico is a great beach destination. It’s also a great destination for a gay beach wedding. A full legal gay wedding ceremony in Mexico is fairly straightforward. In terms of where to get married, we tend to favor the Caribbean coast for romantic trips.
The big resorts of Riviera Maya are fully equipped to take care of all your nuptial needs. Some of the hotels even have in-house wedding planners. Although the Caribbean coast is the most popular destination for a Mexican wedding, the Pacific side is catching up. Just up the road from Puerto Vallarta you’ll find Riviera Nayarit. It’s been hailed as Mexico’s most up-and-coming destination.
The Greek islands are one of the best destinations on the planet for a romantic trip. Greece does not as yet allow gay marriage. That is highly likely to change, but for now the country that first gave cultural expression to homosexuality can only host a symbolic union. That being said, getting the legal rigmarole out of the way back home can be a better option. Even if you’re getting married in French Polynesia, where gay marriage is legal: you have to get married at the town hall before you arrive at the beach.
A symbolic gay wedding in the Greek islands is a very good idea. There’s no shortage of luxury hotels to choose from. Choosing the right island depends on what kind of vibe you’re going for. Santorini has rocky beaches so you could have a beach wedding on a terrace near the beach with sweeping caldera views. If you’d like a barefoot beach wedding then Mykonos or Naxos would be better options.
South Africa is a great wedding and honeymoon destination. It’s such a versatile place. You can explore the coastal city of Cape Town, venture into the Winelands, and set out on a safari. Gay marriage was introduced in South Africa in 2006 – several years before it was legalized in many European countries. For a South African beach wedding, you’ll be having your service in Cape Town. You can have the wedding on the beach or have it on Table Mountain, where you’ll have sweeping views of the city. You can take quite spectacular wedding photos with the mountain in the background.
After the wedding, you can take a drive along the Garden Route and maybe visit the Winelands. If you do, Babylonstoren is a great base for wine lovers. It’s located at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, an ideal location from which to explore the Winelands. It’s also a great hotel for weddings and honeymoons: it’s one of the most stylish in the whole of South Africa.
This may be a surprising gay beach wedding destination. You can find out more about the reality of gay travel in the Maldives vs the law here. Although the Maldives is technically governed in accordance with sharia law, the resorts are privately owned and operate in as little fiefdoms. Many are even located on a private island. As tourism is by far the biggest sector in the Maldivian economy, western decadence is embraced. We even work with resorts in the Maldives that have gay managers. Clearly, you cannot have a legal gay wedding in the Maldives. You can however have a symbolic commitment ceremony on the beach.
An advantage of a Maldives beach wedding is the luxurious accommodation. Staying in an overwater bungalow on your wedding night makes for an unforgettable experience, as does dining in an underwater restaurant.
Malta is one of the most welcoming destinations on the planet for gay travellers. In legal terms, it’s by some measures the most inclusive place to be if you’re LGBT+. You can have a full legal wedding in Malta. It’s also a great destination for a beach wedding. Malta is also a big draw out of season. The climate is still great in winter when much of Europe and America becomes grey and cold.
Malta is also a major cultural destination. You can discover the works of Caravaggio, visit ancient catacombs and see traces of the many empires that have ruled Malta.