1.) Hawaii Hawaii has long been a top destination for weddings and in December 2013 same-sex couples gained the right to tie the knot in the aloha state. With some of the most gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, paradise ambiance, and strong gay scene, Hawaii is an ideal place for LGBT couples to say their vows.
The destination wedding serves as a perfect honeymoon! No need to hop on a plane after the wedding night; you’re already in paradise. Newly married couples can enjoy the abundance of waterfalls, incredible hiking, helicopter rides, whale watching, swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and the endless other activities Hawaii has to offer.
On record, the state of Hawaii documented a total of 13,505 marriages from December 2, 2013 to June 20, 2014. Of those 13,505 marriages, 1,853 were same-sex couples meaning the LGBT population contributed 14 percent of Hawaii’s wedding business within the first six months of its legalization.
2.) San Francisco San Francisco is one of the most gay-friendly places in America and has been since the ‘70s, and it is also one of the most beautiful places to get married. With some of the most amazing event spaces, hotels, and restaurants on the West Coast, San Francisco delivers some of the top wedding venues in America. What’s even better about San Francisco is it’s close proximity to Napa and Sonoma Valley! Napa is incredibly gay-friendly and with rolling hills of vineyards and countless wineries, the possibilities are endless!
3.) Las Vegas Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital of the world. With the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of Nevada, Las Vegas welcomes same-sex marriage with open arms.
Looking for a quickie? Why not a drive thru wedding with Elvis, the king of Rock & Roll?
Las Vegas has made incredible strides in recent years in being a LGBT-friendly destination. Many of the major resorts offer gay nightclubs, pool parties, and events. If a stop at the little white chapel isn’t your thing, Vegas has some of the worlds most amazing event spaces and there are no limits to what you can do.
4.) Boston As the first state in America to legalize same-sex marriage, Boston, Massachusetts, has its weddings down. With its alluring old world charm and open-minded people, Boston has a large, strong, and vibrant gay community.
The main gay areas of Boston are centered on the neighborhoods of the South End and Jamaica Plains. Since the 1980s, LGBT people have been gentrifying these areas and opening up shops and restaurants. You will find plenty of gay bars and clubs along Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street.
Boston’s pleasant to visit any time of the year, but winter is probably not for the faint of heart. Summer is gaytravel.com’s favorite season. Gay Boston is absolutely drenched with history, as many of early-America’s important events took place in and around the area including the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Make time to check out 50-acre Boston Common—the country’s oldest city park.
5.) Amsterdam The first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001, the Netherlands has a brilliant reputation for being the most LGBT welcoming place on earth. With that, Amsterdam is a major gay hub in the country and thousands have chosen the city as their gay destination wedding.
If you want it, Gay Amsterdam’s got it. From dozens of picturesque, historic canals to a host of first-class museums to a thumping gay nightlife and a LGBT-friendly culture, the Netherlands’ capital and Europe’s sixth-largest metropolitan area is a hot spot for the ultimate “gaycation.” Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam developed as a port city and has become an international hub for business and pleasure. An estimated four to five million visitors trek to the city annually.
6.) Reykjavik, Iceland This capital city has hit the radar as one of Europe’s newest hotspots. Iceland recognized same-sex marriage in June 2010. Iceland’s Prime Minister was the world’s first openly lesbian head of state and married her long time partner soon after the legalization.
The city of Reykjavik is absolutely beautiful with plenty to do and is rich in culture. There are plenty of outdoor spaces that are perfect for wedding venues.
With numerous discount airlines and short flights from the European continent (only 2.5 hrs. from Oslo), it’s becoming a main destination for a weekend getaway of the young, party crowd looking for a raucous good time. This surprisingly hip city is brimming with friendly, beautiful people, trendy restaurants serving world class cuisine, cool clubs, red-velvet roped hipster bars and late night revelry. Reykjavik is not without it cultural side—with a brand new, ultra-modern theater and opera house, numerous art galleries, modern national museum and thriving music scene, it will surprise you with is wordily sensibilities, foodie scene, fashion sense and sophistication.
For more than 15 years, www.gaytravel.com has compiled the tastes of the LGBT community as resource for travel needs.