LGBTQ weddings continue to grow as a segment of our industry, as do destination weddings in general. Here is a brief guide to the issues, as well as a peek at the up-and-coming locations for LGBTQ destination weddings and events.
Consider the Greater Locale
Before you send your clients anywhere, know how LGBTQ-friendly the destination is overall. Many resorts have contemporary views on same-sex marriage, but you need to be familiar with the climate of the greater locale to avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations for your clients.
Avoid Hostile Destinations
Unfortunately, some countries are still very unwelcoming to the LGBTQ community. Many Caribbean island nations, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean such as Barbados, Antigua, Dominica and Grenada, should be avoided. Additionally, most African countries as well as Russia, Belize, Egypt and the Middle East are too dangerous to risk. You can get up-to-the-minute LGBTQ-pertinent travel information from the U.S. State Department.
If you are looking at the U.S., South Florida or Hawaii are popular options for those who want Caribbean weather without worrying about discrimination. Key West, Fla., has long been a prime destination for LGBTQ travelers. For those who seek destinations that are rich in LGBTQ history and culture, San Francisco and Provincetown, Mass., are popular.
The Riches of Puerto Rico
Reap the benefits of a tropical port without leaving U.S. soil in the exotic and charming Puerto Rico. The island has invested major money and effort in its recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, and many resorts are back up and running. What a great way to support this resilient community while celebrating in style!
Go with Greece
Offering iconic Old World Mediterranean vistas, Greece is rapidly growing in popularity among international wedding destinations. While it does not recognize same-sex marriage, Greece does have a vibrant gay culture in its major cities, including Athens and Mykonos.
While other Caribbean nations may be restrictive, Curacao offers LGBTQ couples the island experience they are looking for. In fact, many couples extend their destination wedding travel and stay for the honeymoon, enjoying golf, beach hotels and Curacao Carnival.
The Allure of Argentina
Up and coming as a destination, Argentina has recognized marriage equality for almost a decade. It is an eclectic country with both South American and European cultural influences, resulting in fascinating cuisine amidst beautiful vineyards, natural wonders and must-see attractions.
The Sleeper: Spain
Long the sleeper-favorite in Europe, Spain is rising to popularity on the LGBTQ stage. Temperate weather, an exciting and diverse history, and world-renowned attractions--including beautiful beaches--offer something for practically every couple.
Stunning South Africa
While most countries in Africa are unwelcoming to LGBTQ couples, South Africa--one of the world’s most beautiful and exciting countries--is the exception, and as a result is rapidly growing in popularity. Adventurous travelers, wine connoisseurs, and those with a fascination for the mysterious continent will love gorgeous South Africa.
The destination wedding options for LGBTQ couples are expanding each year. These rising-star locations are sure to help your couples find their perfect spot!
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publications. Her inclusive efforts have been publicized by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding and Events.