Weddings are always at least a little bit stressful, but do you know what makes it all worth it (aside from marrying the love of your life, of course)? When you and your guests can enjoy a bit of a break from rainy old England (or your own home turf) at the same time. Cue destination weddings!
With news this week that Italy is set to be next on the list of countries to allow same-sex unions, it is the perfect time to pick our favourite destinations. As it stands 22 countries recognise same-sex marriage, all of which happen to be absolutely beautiful. We've picked our five favourite spots where friends and family can gather to celebrate your love, and depending how generous you are feeling hopefully take advantage of an open bar.
The tropical islands of Hawaii make the perfect beach setting for your ideal wedding. The private seclusion of Poolenalea Beach on the island of Maui makes for the dream location to tie the knot with your significant other. Then what better way to enjoy the start of married life than by taking a helicopter ride over volcanoes and snorkelling with the colourful marine life.
There's something incredibly romantic about Iceland. We're not sure if it's the dramatic views, quiet solitude, or just an excuse to cuddle up in the plunging temperatures, but it is an ideal alternative to the palm trees and long beaches other destinations have on offer. The scenery in Iceland is remarkable. Jump on a snowmobile, bathe in a hot spring, visit a waterfall, spot the Northern Lights “” all doable in Iceland. And there's no better backdrop to a wedding photo than an exploding geyser “” totally Instagrammable.
What Barry Manilow doesn't know about love isn't worth knowing, and his claims that Copacabana is 'the hottest spot north of Havana' is pretty spot on. Brazil has plenty on offer, from the bustling Rio De Janeiro, cultural Salvador, and tropical Iguazu Falls. It's pretty hard to beat as far as sandy beaches, blazing sun, and unbelievable views go, and you can't beat sipping on caipirinhas in Ipanema.
You'll be the envy of friends, families, and Facebook stalkers alike as you take in the Northern Lights and fjords in Norway. Worlds away from the blazing heat of Brazil, live the Viking dream and grab some dog sleds for an impressive arrival at the ceremony. Whether you're taking in the aurora borealis, or hunting for the midnight sun when the weather picks up, Norway has so much to offer in terms of unique sights and breath-taking countryside.
Fancy an adventure? Keen to drink some of the world's best wines? Or do you just want to get a natural tan before the big day? South Africa has it all. With wine tours, safaris, luxury hotels, and a trip along the garden route, why would you go anywhere else? The only thing we'd advise is bring an extra suitcase, when you're not writing your vows or practising saying 'I do' with just the right emphasis on 'do', you'll want to grab a souvenir or seven.
We really think New Zealand offers the best of both worlds. For the winter-y inclined among us nothing compares to the skiing and rugged mountains, while the sun seekers can relax on the miles of coastline. The 26 hour flight might take it out of you, but it's just an excuse to stay that bit longer, right? If the promise of a trip of a lifetime isn't enough to convince you, here are five more reasons New Zealand should be on your bucket list.