Planning a wedding is a monumental task, and choosing the venue, the caterer, and the guest list are only part of it. There are also the tailored outfits, the rain plan, and the family pressure to deal with – not to mention staying on budget. ( Here is the average cost of a wedding in the largest metros. )
Many people tying the knot want to make the occasion extra-special by turning it into a destination wedding in some favorite city somewhere in the world. Every country has its requirements, of course, usually involving a minimum period of residency before an official marriage can be conducted, but for those in same-sex partnerships, there is an additional consideration: legality. There are currently only 31 countries where same sex marriage is officially legal – and it has been legalized nationally in only 22 of them (in the others, it may only be performed or recognized only in certain regions or districts).
And national requirements and legality are only part of the picture. The openness of a potential destination to the LGBTQ+ community and the safety it can reasonably be expected to offer are important considerations, too – and of course a couple will want to choose a place with romantic venues. (Those whose destination in the the U.S. might want to avoid these 23 states that offer little or no protection to LGBTQ+ people .)
24/7 Tempo has compiled the world’s 25 best LGBTQ+ wedding destinations by reviewing the 2022 LGBTQ+ Wedding Index published by the U.K.-based online jewelry site Jewellery Box . The site rated some 64 cities in the 22 countries where same-sex marriage is fully legal in multiple categories including LGBTQ+ friendliness, desirable weather, and romance (including the number of romantic hotels and restaurants).
Most of the top cities on the list are in Western Europe, the U.S., and Canada. Spain boasts the most, with five cities in the top 25, followed by the U.S. with four cities. As same-sex marriage is not legal in much of Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, cities in these regions are not represented.
Overall, the three best cities for LGBTQ+ destination weddings are London, Paris, and Madrid, which all rank high in the number of romantic restaurants as well as in the category for residents’ openness to people of various orientations. Surprisingly, the most clichéd “gay” city in America – San Francisco – didn’t make the cut, ranking at number 36 on the list, partially due to its overcast climate and high cost of amenities.
Click here to see the world’s 25 best LGBTQ+ wedding destinations Click here to read our detailed methodology
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