The Historic Rice Mill

Unique U.S. Wedding Destinations


January 14, 2016
Words by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of Wedding Spot

Searching for a domestic yet unique venue is not always an easy task. Tina Hoang-To, venue expert and CEO of Wedding Spot, a site that allows you to search, price and compare wedding venues, shares her top 7 wedding destinations for brides who crave a destination wedding, without having to travel outside the United States.

For many, the idea of a destination wedding conjures up images of sandy shores on far-flung islands and continents. While these spots are nothing short of dreamy, you should also consider the fact that there are plenty of lovely, picturesque locales within the U.S. borders. Boasting everything from snowy mountaintops to historic plantations and brilliant beaches, our country is bursting with unique wedding destinations that give the world’s most exotic spots a run for their money.

South Carolina

Southern hospitality, rich culture and natural beauty come together in South Carolina, where couples can find escape in vibrant cities, historical halls, costal towns and islands. Hop on a yacht for an “I do” on the Charleston Harbor, or find yourself reveling beneath the ancient live oaks on a historic plantation setting. For an island experience, explore the South Carolina Lowcountry and plan your big day on Hilton Head Island for a weekend of sun, sand, surf and golf.

Austin, Texas

Located in the heart of Texas, Austin offers its own eclectic, contemporary look in the Lone Star State. The fast-growing city is known for its live music and sunshine, but it’s also home to natural attractions like Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs. Beyond downtown, the Austin suburbs retain the wild, rustic charm native to the state. Historic estates, hill country ranches, Spanish villas and orchards are dotted along the surrounding Austin areas, while vintage ballrooms, museums and posh hotels stake their spots in downtown Austin. Just take your pick!

Napa and Sonoma Valley, California

A famed retreat for seasoned wine-lovers and tourists alike, California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys boast picturesque hillsides and quaint wine country towns that afford the region a serene, rustic charm found only in a handful of places in the world. Wedding venues here take advantage of these elements, providing engaged couples with dreamy backdrops that include vineyards, ranches, pastures and sunlit lawns. Add a glass of wine, and you have the perfect spot for relaxation and romance.


Quaint New England charm never goes out of style in Vermont, where friendly towns and colorful foliage inspire visitors to slow their stroll. Pretty bridges and cozy inns with mountain views accent the lush, well-preserved landscape in Vermont. When you’re planning a destination wedding in Vermont, you can expect to find a great number of inns, B&Bs, lodges and farms nestled on wooded slopes fit for the pages of a storybook. If you’re looking for an intimate getaway, this is it.

Sedona, Arizona

If the beauty of Sedona’s natural, rocky landscape is enough to awe viewers through the movie screens, you can imagine how breathtaking the scene is when it’s right in front of you. The highlight of Sedona is its awesome Red Rocks, a wonderland of grand, rugged and multi-hued stone formations that never cease to amaze. The best part? You can say your “I do” right in the midst of it all.

Aspen and Vail, Colorado

Whether you’re a natural adventure-seeker or just someone who appreciates a lungful of mountain air from time to time, you’ll be impressed by all the refreshing offerings of Aspen and Vail. In the wintertime, snow blankets the Rocky Mountains, creating the most pristine winter wonderland setting for spectacular weddings and ski quests alike. As the snow melts away in springtime, you can take advantage of the gorgeous mountain and valley scenery for your celebration. Waterfalls, rushing rivers, wildflowers and soaring trees are just a few elements that accompany a destination wedding in Aspen and Vail.


Have your mind set on a tropical getaway? Look no further than Florida, where a number of seaside locales can add that tropical zing to your wedding celebration. Step onto the sparkling, famed beaches of Miami and celebrate into the early morning, or hop off to the Keys for a Caribbean experience and a killer honeymoon. And of course, you can also opt for a family-friendly weekend wedding in Orlando.

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Iberostar Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

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