16 Most Stunning Wedding Destinations Around the Globe, by Belief Awards
Winners of the 13th edition of Belief Awards explain what’s the best thing about getting married in their countries…
The wedding industry has been facing a challenging scenario in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis. To honour the efforts of these professionals, Belief Wedding Creators has released the 13th edition of Belief Awards, an international online contest for wedding planners and designers.
“For this edition, we had hundreds of entries from 26 different countries. Even though most of these wedding professionals haven’t even had the chance to work this year, they kept the focus and goals for a better future. At this time, the Belief Awards it’s about giving hope in a better future, that this shall pass and that together we are stronger. It is also a great opportunity to inspire couples who are just getting engaged, to give them fire to keep their dreams alive”, says Giovana Duailibe, the CEO of Belief Wedding Creators.
The results of this competition show a variety of places to get married around the world, with lovely landscapes, venues and cities. Such an inspiration for the couples who are planning a destination wedding for the next few years!
In order to know more about these cities and countries and stimulate the industry, we asked the awarded wedding planners from the 13th edition of the Belief Awards what makes them so special and why their couples decided to get married there. Let’s hear it!
1. Costa Rica
The country is known for the “Pura Vida” way of life, which means having a more laid-back and relaxed way to deal with things. Not surprisingly, Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest countries in the world. Also, it has amazing natural landscapes which offer the couples beautiful scenarios to get married. “There is something for everyone: adventure, waterfalls, rainforests, beautiful beaches, wildlife, natural fresh food. It’s the perfect destination for weddings, allowing guests of all ages, interests, and abilities to find something they love”, says the awarded wedding planner Meghan Cox.
Two awarded weddings from Belief Awards – 13th edition are from Costa Rica. Both of them took place on beaches – Playa Langosta and Tamarindo, located in Guanacaste.
Photo credits: Adri Mendez Photography | Wedding planner awarded: Meghan Cox
Looking for idyllic and outstanding scenarios to get married? Denmark might be the right place for it. There you might find beaches, cliffs, parks, lakes and other breathtaking landscapes.
The wedding planner Lena Hansen, from Nordic Adventure Weddings, was one of the awarded professionals on Belief Awards. She usually works with couples that are looking for intimate weddings in the Danish islands. The winning wedding was an elopement and the couple experienced an adventurous day, where they were taken around the islands with private guides and an adventure photographer. The wedding had an eco-style nature-based, using natural adornments instead of decorations.
Photo credits: Renate Meimere | Wedding planner awarded: Lena Hansen – Nordic Adventure Weddings
The country’s tourism campaign motto was “All you need is Ecuador”. That is because Ecuador offers a great variety of attractions: beaches, glacier-capped Andes loom, a lush jungle environment, the colonial cities and the islands of Galapagos!
The winning wedding from Ecuador was planned by Ruby Rodríguez. Since the bride is Ecuadorian and the groom Colombian, it was a traditional catholic wedding that united both cultures. The chosen place was the region of Samborondón.
Photo credits: Mariuxi Pogo Fotografía | Wedding planner awarded: Ruby Rodríguez Wedding Planner
4. El Salvador
The winning wedding from El Salvador took place in Cardedeu Chapel, located in the mountains surrounding Lake Coatepeque. According to ArchDaily, this is considered a privileged place with spectacular views. The design was created respecting a combination of plains and slopes in the site, and the constant relationship to the lake.
Belen Esquivel, the wedding planner in charge of this wedding, says that the couple chose this venue because of the wonderful chapel and the view of the lake, as the Coatepeque Lake won second place in the contest of the Eight Wonders of the World.
Photo credits: Collective Eight | Wedding planner awarded: Belen Esquivel
Paris is worldwide known as the capital of romance. Thousands of couples go there to propose (especially in front of the Eiffel Tower) and to get married.
This whole scenario was chosen by a French bride and a German-Dutch groom to celebrate their love. The spot picked was Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, which is a private mansion in the heart of the city, with very large gardens, which is very rare inside city limits. “It is stunning and historic, with unique spaces indoors & out!”, says Heather Jerue, the wedding planner in charge of this wedding and the winner of the 13th of the Belief Awards.
Photo credits: Dina Deykoun | Wedding planner awarded: Heather Jerue – Rendez-vous in Paris
Greece is one of the most popular destinations for weddings around. Probably because of its beautiful weather, the unspoiled beaches, the gorgeous mountain views, the calderas and the delicious authentic food. The Italian wedding planner and designer Sabrina Gambato won the 13th edition of Belief Awards with a stunning wedding in Santorini.
“The aim of the couple was to give to their guests a three-day wedding in a special place where the couple and the guests could be relaxed and share time together. Santorini is a dream island and to organize a three-day event during the Greek religious holidays was a great challenge. It was also a challenge to organize everything from Italy. Even though I know Santorini very well, our network is very solid and we had the proof that connections do make the difference!”, says Sabrina.
Photo credits: Tomas Simkus | Wedding planner awarded: Sabrina Gambato, Ti amo Ti sposo Weddings
Photo credits: Joseph Nance / Franco Giomi | Wedding designer awarded: Mario Ayala, Escenica
The couple Jacob and Tania Kottoor did a lot of research for potential destinations locations and Antigua Guatemala had everything they wanted.
“It is the most picturesque city with the Spanish colonial heritage, volcanos and ruins. Indian garments are not the best fabrics for hot weather so they wanted to make sure the guests were comfortable, and Antigua has the perfect weather, no humidity and cool at night with an average temperature of 22 centigrades”, says the wedding designer Mario Ayala, from Escenica, who won the 13th edition of the Belief Awards.
Photo credits: Joseph Nance / Franco Giomi | Wedding designer awarded: Mario Ayala, Escenica
For couples who want some adventure while they enjoy unique and undiscovered scenarios, Iceland might be the right choice. The wedding planner Vigdís Segatta, from Lux Wedding, won the 13th edition of the Belief Awards in two categories with gorgeous Icelandic weddings – both of them were very intimate celebrations.
One of the chosen locations of the winning weddings was Thorsmork. “It is the perfect location for those who want to get away from the tourist crowds and just enjoy nature completely privately! There was no need for decorations or a special colour palette! The Icelandic nature took care of the colours with the fall colours all around the wedding location and photoshoot places. They got married on the side of a volcano under the shadow of a glacier. The experience also included fording rivers in super jeeps, hiking canyons and ravines and enjoying a five-star Icelandic meal, all in one day”, says Vigdís. The other winning wedding took place in Snæfellsnes National Park, in a stunning spot in a lava field, with a snow-capped glacier in the background.
Photo credits: Iceland Wedding Photo – Bragi Thor | Wedding planner awarded: Vigdís Segatta – Lux Wedding
The food, the art, the architecture, the history, the countryside landscapes, the lakes, the beaches, the Alps..Italy offers possibilities for all tastes and personalities. And that’s probably why the country had three weddings awarded on the 13th edition of the Belief Awards.
Photo credits: Nabis Photographers | Wedding planner awarded: Anna K. Frem – Just Amore Weddings
Rome, the capital, is full of art and historic places. Anna K. Frem planned a destination Jewish wedding for an American-English couple. “They loved Italy and chose the capital Rome to get married”, she states. The chosen venue reflects fully the architecture of the city: a palace with classical style, set in front of a beautiful natural park, among Roman ruins, fountains and centuries-old plants.
Lake Maggiore, which is located in the Lombardy region, was also the scene of one of the winning weddings. The wedding planner Valentina Lombardi from Italian Wedding Company, who planned this celebration, says that the region is very luxurious, but also authentic. “It offers grand hotels on the shores, stunning villas, amazing gardens for a stylish wedding reception”, she claims.
Milan is considered one of the “fashion capitals” of the world and it has the second-largest economy among EU cities. 14 km away from the city, in Omate, the wedding planner Veronica Frasca, from Tailored Dreams Events, found the perfect place for her clients to get married: Villa Trivulzio, which used to be the summer residence of Prince Trivulzio. Its architecture helped her to achieve the elegant atmosphere that the couple was looking for.
Photo credits: Bandel Studio | Wedding planner awarded: Veronica Frasca – Tailored Dream Events
When it comes to popularity, Mexico is probably a winner. In this edition, there were 7 Mexican weddings awarded. Wow! The diversity of scenes and landscapes is surely attractive to couples. There you’ll find not only the beautiful Caribbean beaches but also the charming haciendas, the romantic colonial cities and the stunning cenotes, a subterranean chamber that contains permanent water (which is very popular for elopement weddings).
Photo credits: J Gustavo Enrique Trejo | Wedding planner awarded: Guadalupe Alvarez/ Meegan Cardenas – Penzi Weddings
San Miguel de Allende was the scenario of a few winning weddings of the Belief Awards. Two of them were planned by Guadalupe Alvarez together with her partners Katia Galvez and Meegan Cardenas. “San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful colonial town in the centre of Mexico. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with romantic streets and amazing venues. The weather is amazing most of the year. It is also Conde Nast traveller’s 2nd best city to visit in 2020”, explains Guadalupe Alvarez. A typical wedding tradition in the region is the callejoneadas, a parade with music, puppets and lots of fun.
Photo credits: Fine Art Studio | Wedding planner awarded: Gwenaelle Grosset – Destination Weddings Tulum
Gwenaelle Grosset was one of the wedding planners awarded in this edition of Belief Awards. The chosen place of the winning wedding was Tulum. “The beach has plenty of private spots or boutique hotels that offer a perfect tropical background. The beach is always breezy and romantic too with the Caribbean sea that changes colours every day. Sunrise and moonrise are amazing moments”, Gwenaelle says.
Photo credits: The Times We Have | Wedding planner awarded: Badel Gómez Nechar – Soiree Event Planning
Mérida was also among the winners of Belief Awards. The winner Badel Gómez Nechar, a wedding planner from Soiree Event Planning, tells that in Mérida, people are really friendly and warm, a city that is safe to be walking on the streets. “It combines perfectly the historic heritage and all the colonial architecture, with all the modern technology that a city can have. That is one reason to plan not just the wedding but a wedding weekend with vacations included. Yucatán is a state that has everything to do a magnificent destination wedding. The haciendas I think is the reason a lot of people want to get married here”, she states.
Estela Maldonado, who is also a winner from San Miguel de Allende, explored a natural local element: her winning wedding used a lot of Bougainvilleas, which made the whole difference to the decor.
Mexicans are also known for partying hard. And this is what gave Evelyn Paz, from Event Flow, an award. The winning wedding took place in Xochitepec, Morelos. “Morelos is the state with the largest number of weddings in Mexico, due to its weather. It is known as The Eternal Spring. Therefore, the Flora is grown in excess and beauty”, she states.
Photo credits: Carlos Elizondo | Wedding planner awarded: Estela Maldonado – Bougainvillea Weddings
Lima is known as Latin America’s gastronomic capital, and the city is the location of no less than a third of the top 15 best Latin American restaurants in the world – more than any of its rivals.
The wedding planner Jossy Quezada got awarded with a Peruvian-Indian wedding in Lima. “Claudia is Peruvian and Calvin is Indian. They decided to have their wedding in both their home countries, Peru and India, with their religious wedding and reception in Peru, followed by a second reception in Indian. The couple wanted to offer a Peruvian experience in all the reception: welcoming guests with typical drinks and appetizers, Peruvian table instead of cheese table, favours based on our Peruvian Pisco and almonds that is a traditional Indian favour, typical dances inspiring in the three regions and an amazing show full of music and live artists”, tells Jossy.
Photo credits: Clarooscuro | Wedding planner awarded: Jossy Quezada
Portugal was another popular destination among the winners of Belief Awards – 6 awarded weddings took place there. From Lisbon to Porto, the celebrations had different styles and landscapes. It is invariably impossible to talk about the country, without mentioning a mild, pleasant climate, good food, good wine and wonderful sceneries – as far as the eyes can see, like vineyards, historic monasteries, beaches, ruins, cliffs.
Photo credits: Filipe Santos Wedding Photographer | Wedding planner awarded: Ana Sofia Lopes – Cotton Dreams
The wedding planner Ana Sofia Lopes, from Cotton Dreams, won the Cultural wedding category with a Hindu celebration in Porto. “The couple came, once, to visit Porto and fell in love for the city: it was not just another big city – they felt welcomed, embraced. The hidden gardens, farms and vineyards, the culture, vibe, the friendly people, the coast, sea in the horizon: every single detail contributed to their decision”, she explains.
Photo credits: Alvaro B. Miranda | Wedding planner awarded: Maria Connie Martins Vieira – Ambiance Weddings Azores
Another amazing destination in Portugal is the Azores islands. Actually, it is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal, composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean. The Azores has the advantage of offering a variety of locations to get married, according to Maria Connie Martins Vieira – Ambiance Weddings, one of the awarded wedding planners. “Been it a mountain top, lakeside, beach and in between the nature of the woods. It has beautiful lush forests in its pure state. It transmits a mystical feeling to this paradise called the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So many places to explore and adventures to be experienced”, she mentions.
Photo credits: Pedro Bento Photography | Wedding planner awarded: Rui Mota Pinto Wedding Tailor & Planner
The wedding planner Rui Mota Pinto was awarded with two weddings – one took place in Mafra and the other one in Sintra. With a strong creative process to define the concept behind each wedding, Rui chose the places that matched perfectly the concepts behind each wedding and love story.
Photo credits: Bruno Barata | Wedding planner awarded: Rita Gonçalves – Oui Love You
Quinta do Sanguinhal was one of the most important vineyard places in Bombarral. And this was where the awarded wedding planned by Rita Gonçalves, from OUI LOVE YOU, took place. “It was well known and chosen by the bride’s parents who were born and lived nearby the Quinta. The ceremony happened in the middle of the vineyard, right on the top of the hill with a stunning view”, she reminds.
Last but not least, we have Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal. The wedding planner Teresa Perdigão, from Something Borrowed, won the Black+White category with a photo of the couple in the trams of Lisbon. “We drafted the plan through Lisbon so they could have a few photo moments around the city and made sure they got to enjoy the things Lisbon is so well known for. We thought a photoshoot in the middle of Lisbon with its characteristic trams would be fun and this tram driver actually cooperated amazingly with us! The people on the tram were super nice and I think no one minded waiting a few minutes while the photographer took these shots!”, she tells.
Photo credits: Golden Days Wedding Photo | Wedding planner awarded: Teresa Perdigão – Something Borrowed
13. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea. The wedding planner Hayxanair Hernández, from Nayas Event, affirms that ceremonies at Haciendas are breathtaking and surrounded by nature. And this is what gave her the Belief Awards in the Destination Wedding category of the Belief Awards.
Photo credits: Phosphillic | Wedding planner awarded: Hayxanair Hernández – Nayas Event
14. South Africa
The South-African awarded wedding planner Cara Lee Mc Laughlin, from The Mosaic Wedding Company, says that Cape Town offers a great variety of scenarios: sea, mountains, beaches, vineyards, bush – whatever could you ask for. For the awarded wedding, the place chosen was a vineyard. “They really loved the whole look of the venue, it has a very beautiful drive into the venue itself and they loved how private it was. There is also a stunning view of the mountain and this was important to them”, she mentions.
Photo credits: Wesley Vorster | Wedding planner awarded: Cara Lee Mc Laughlin – The Mosaic Wedding Company
15. United Arab Emirates
It is no secret that Dubai is an extremely luxurious destination. The wedding planners Rahul Kumar and Arun Bablani, from Vivaah Weddings, were awarded in two categories of the Belief Awards, with a three-day celebration. The wedding was held at the massive hospitality complex of Habtoor City which comprises 3 world-class hotel properties. While all the guests were hosted at the opulent Habtoor Palace, the events were spread across venues at Hilton, V Hotel and Habtoor Palace.
Photo credits: House on the Clouds | Wedding planner awarded: Rahul Kumar & Arun Bablani – Vivaah Weddings
Getting married in New York City is a dream for many couples around the world – probably the movies and TV shows have influenced many couples. For the winning wedding of Belief Awards, planned by Jacqueline Vazquez, took place in Cipriani Restaurant. “The couple loved the city & are there every chance they get! They are Italian & huge foodies. They definitely knew the food would play a big factor when choosing a venue. When they walked into Cipriani Wall Street, they knew that it was the one & to look no further. It’s the best of the best and you couldn’t go wrong”, she states.
However, Jacqueline also says that working in New York City is always a challenge, especially after 9/11 which restricted movement within the city in certain areas and time frame. “The couple wanted the photographer to capture photos in areas like the World Trade Center, Oculus and Little Italy. Our logistics director coordinated the flow for transportation based on the timing, traffic flow, and security. By communicating with the transportation company and photographer, we were able to manage the flow, and successfully capture the photos in a timely manner”, tells Jacqueline Vazquez.
Photo credits: Fred Marcus Studio and Photographer Felix Feygin | Wedding planner awarded: Jacqueline Vazquez – Lifetime Events by Jacqueline
ABOUT BELIEF WEDDING CREATORS
Belief Wedding Creators is an international platform for wedding planners and designers, with members in more than 30 countries. “Learn, share and build long-lasting connections without the hustle to be a lonely entrepreneur. That’s the main goal of Belief and we are always open to new wedding planners that want to join the network and create a bigger impact on the wedding industry”, states Giovana Duailibe.