The Most Underrated Beach Wedding Destinations, According To Wedding Planners

When it comes to saying, "I do," there's little more romantic than exchanging vows with a stunning backdrop of rolling waves and a sandy shore. While beautiful spots like Hawaii, the Bahamas, and the Amalfi coast might spring to mind as ideal places to hold such a special ceremony, why not skirt the crowds and the traditional choice by opting for an underrated destination for your marriage? Whether it's a secluded beach in Maine, a luxurious oceanfront resort in Seychelles, or a sensual black sand beach in California, the gorgeous places on this list will offer an unforgettable beach wedding you and your guests will love.


No one wants their wedding ruined by a poor choice of destination, which is why we scoured online reviews, blogs, and articles written by wedding planning experts to ensure the spots on this list are worthy enough to mark your special day. All you have to do is decide which place meets your requirements for an amorous beach ceremony, secure your date, and get ready for a blissful marriage. You should probably figure out what to do about those vows, too. 

St. Lucia, Caribbean

With sunset cruises, tranquil beaches, secret waterfalls, and warm winds caressing your skin, St. Lucia has all the right moves for a romantic island getaway. A relaxing tropical getaway in the Caribbean, this island nation is a perfect place for an unforgettable beach wedding — or a boat wedding, depending on what you decide. Same-day marriage licenses can be attained within 24 hours of arriving on this pretty Caribbean island, or couples will have to arrive two days before their ceremony for a regular license.


The "sanctuaries" at the plush Jade Mountain resort are sensual and luxurious, so be sure your parents are staying at least a few rooms away. Sitting high above the Caribbean Sea, the lavish water views are enough to set your hearts aflutter. Three walls separate you from the outside world (the room is open to the outside), and private infinity pools are primed for skinny dipping. Weddings can be arranged through the resort and take place either on the grounds or at Anse Chastanet, their sister property that boasts two beautiful beaches.

Tulum, Mexico

While Cancun is a hotspot for couples looking for an affordable holiday in Mexico, it can get loud, busy, and overrun with tourists who've gotten the most out of the "free" drinks at their all-inclusive resort. Tulum, on the other hand, is Cancun's quieter, sexier neighbor touting beaches so clean, soft, and white that you may want to spoon your lover on their sun-warmed shores before saying, "I do." Playa Ruinas is one of Tulum's most beautiful beaches. Set below Mayan Ruins known as El Castillo, this is a captivating setting for wedding photos, but you'll have to pay a small entrance fee to the ruins to gain access. Playa Paradiso and Playa las Palmas are two other stunning, wedding-worthy beaches. 


The easiest way to organize your big day is by purchasing a wedding package through a resort. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa offers five affordable wedding packages that take the stress out of planning your nuptials. Whether you're looking to elope or celebrate your love with 30 of your closest friends and family, this resort will plan a perfect event for this special occasion. Not into resort-based weddings? Use a service like Tulum Living Weddings, which has planned weddings in several locations around the island for over 15 years.

Praia da Adraga, Portugal

It's hard to go wrong with a beach wedding in stunning Portugal, especially if you're planning to get hitched on the tan sand at Praia da Adraga. Set about 8.5 miles west of the historic town of Sintra, Praia da Adraga is the perfect place for a nuptial day trip for couples looking for a scenic cliffside backdrop. As Portuguese beaches are public, you'll have to be prepared to share the sand. Wedding Portugal recommends arriving early (before 1 p.m.) or late (after 7 p.m.) for a summer ceremony as the beaches get crowded, especially on weekends.


The Lisbon Wedding Planner is a great bet for organizing everything from flowers to seating to catering. They also have a nearby venue, a historic estate called The Quinta – My Vintage Wedding Portugal. Betrothed couples can get married on the beach, have a drink at the beachfront restaurant, and then retire to the estate for the reception and an overnight stay.

Clearwater, Florida

If you're looking to hike up your skirt (or pants) and run barefoot through the sand towards your future spouse, consider a trip to Clearwater, Florida. A pretty Gulf Coast town, Clearwater is less buzzy than popular Miami, which makes it an underrated destination for a beach wedding you won't forget — and if you're lucky, a pod of dolphins may wave their congratulations. The town is packed with resorts, most of which lie on its barrier island, Clearwater Beach, that make a living off planning weddings for loved-up guests. The JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa hosts wedding ceremonies on the soft sand of their secluded beach, and onsite wedding planners will help organize your big day.


The Opal Sands Resort boasts views of the emerald Gulf of Mexico from every room. This plush resort also offers comprehensive wedding packages, but vows are exchanged on a cantilevered lawn that hangs over the Gulf, not on the sand. Betrothed couples who choose to get married in a different location from their reception venue can charter with their guests in the vintage Wedding Jolley Trolley for a unique and memorable ride.

Sri Lanka, South Asia

If you've pictured an elephant starring in the background of your wedding photos, head to Sri Lanka. A friendly, tear-drop-shaped island nation lapped by the turquoise waves of the Indian Ocean, this spectacular spot is one of the most underrated destinations for a beach wedding. Best known for its captivating ruins, sprawling strands, and tea plantations (Ceylon originated here), this isn't likely the first place that springs to mind when one dreams of a wedding by the shore. That's exactly why you should come. Yes, the journey will be long, but once you arrive in this fertile land, you'll feel a pull towards its relaxing approach to life and calm-inducing Buddhist ideals.


The fact that you can experience a life of luxury for a fraction of the cost observed in other destinations is another plus. According to the Destination Wedding Directory, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $6,300 for a wedding in Sri Lanka, depending on your choices of venue, food, photographers, etc. The swanky Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort offers glamorous beach weddings, luxe accommodations, and wedding packages that include everything from the ceremony to entertainment to food to décor. If you aren't opting for a resort wedding package, hire a local planner to ensure the day goes smoothly and that any legal paperwork is in order. 

Fiji, South Pacific

Fiji is a place where dreams are made, romantic sparks are kindled, and the archipelago is so magical it's worthy of inspiring a Disney Princess film. A collection of over 330 islands in the South Pacific, these idyllic isles look like they were made to usher in a marriage. Impossibly azure seas, untouched beaches touting the softest sand, and forests so green you can practically smell oxygen are just a few of the country's natural attributes. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience at an underrated wedding destination, this is it!


Plus, Fiji has long been touted as a honeymoon destination, which is why you'll find myriad romantic honeymoon resorts on its amorous shores. The luxurious Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort received fabulous reviews on Tripadvisor for its weddings, with happy couples saying things like "it exceeded our expectations" and complimenting the wedding coordinator for producing "the dream wedding." Happy couples can get hitched on the beach, in the garden, or at a chapel overlooking the sea.

Maine, USA

Bet you didn't think of Maine when considering the best place to hold your unforgettable beach wedding. Unless you live in this beautiful East Coast state or have fond memories of visiting its remarkable shores, it's safe to say that Maine isn't a top choice for destination nuptials. We're here to tell you that's a shame! Maine stretches along 30 miles of coast between Portland and Boston, offering an ambiance as intimate or lavish as desired. Sand Beach, Ogunquit Beach, Popham Beach, and Old Orchard Beach are just a few of the pretty beaches to choose from in this state. Plus, this laid-back beauty is primed for weddings, with myriad planners, caterers, florists, and gorgeous venues on offer.


Take the rustic theme to the max by booking your wedding at a summer camp. Multiple Maine camps offer wedding packages that make the most of their natural settings. Center Day Camp in Windham, for instance, can seat up to 200 people for a lovely beach ceremony. Just 17 miles from Portland, couples can whisk their friends and family away for a relaxing respite set on 27 acres of forested land. Kingsley Pines also hosts weddings and offers cottages and cabins for guests to stay in during their lakeside retreat. Only spring and fall weekends are options for a camp wedding, as they're unavailable when kids are running free in the summer.

Krabi province, Thailand

Close your eyes and picture Thailand. We bet an image of the most vibrant aquamarine water caressing a white sandy beach came to mind; no wonder couples clamor to get married in this beautiful country. Although landlocked with Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, Thailand boasts over 1,400 islands set within a region so striking it will cause your heart to skip a beat, just like it did during your proposal. The most popular isles (called Koh in Thai) include Phuket, Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao. All feature pretty beaches, tasty restaurants, and a variety of accommodations. Any of these islands would serve as an unforgettable beach wedding destination.


The Krabi province lies serenely in southern Thailand, peppered with mountains, deep jungle, and limestone cliffs; its theatrical topography is hard to beat. Krabi also contains multiple beautiful islands like Koh Phi Phi Leh, Koh Phi Phi Don, and Bamboo Island and is beloved for its striking sunsets, lively coral reefs, and gorgeous beaches. Holding hands at Railay Beach is a must as you soak up the scenery. The only way to reach this peninsula is by boat, so an extra step of planning might be in order. Consult a local company like Thailand Wedding Destinations for help. The 5-star SAii Phi Phi Island Village resort is an island haven for couples craving a luxury beach wedding. They have an "I Do" package with important elements like the ceremony, flowers, and a complimentary room upgrade.


Bali, Indonesia

It won't take a magic wand to enchant your wedding in Bali. This island Eden can do that all on its own thanks to breathtaking beaches, lush forests, and captivating temples spotted throughout its landscape. Oozing romance, this natural wonderland feels like it was made to ring in a new marriage. Its uber-soft sand entices couples to shed their shoes for amorous barefoot ceremonies set to Mother Nature's soundtrack of waves crashing against the shore. Depending on where you choose to get married (a small villa or a luxury resort), a beach wedding in Bali can be quite affordable. 


According to Bali for Two, couples can expect to pay their wedding planners as little as $1,799 for a Balangan Beach Wedding. Their lovely white beach stretches into the Indian Ocean on Bali's southern coast. Other companies like Bali Wedding offer packages for affordable, intimate ceremonies or larger affairs at dozens of different locations. If you're willing to stretch your budget, head to The Ritz-Carlton Bali, a magnificent resort set on its private beach. An elegant affair is guaranteed when you book a Ritz-orchestrated wedding, complete with a violin and cello duet, a flower walkway, a wedding buggy, a plush suite for the newlyweds, and a spa treatment. Count us in!


Seychelles is an Elysian archipelago set northeast of Madagascar in the crystalline water of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and warm waves that come in all shades of blue and green, the bride and groom may be outshone by the scenery. If you have dreamed of being married in a postcard-worthy destination, this is it. Another bonus to hosting your beach wedding in this tropical beauty? The weather is ideal, with average temperatures sitting between 79 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. January and December see the most rain, but even then, it's not very much, and serious storms are rare.


Getting to Seychelles can be quite a journey — expect a long flight and a boat, helicopter, or small plane ride to your island of choice. Once you're settled into your beautiful overwater bungalow, though, all memories of the lengthy trip will vanish. You'll soon beg to stay longer, which is a good thing since this is deemed one of the world's best honeymoon destinations, according to The Knot. Why not take this opportunity to stay at an over-the-top luxury resort like the Six Senses Zil Pasyon? So gorgeous and upscale that it may ruin all other resorts for you, this phenomenal accommodation has wedding planners to help ensure that your beach nuptials run smoothly on your special day. 

Sausalito, California

When a white sandy beach feels too traditional for your wedding photos, head to Sausalito. Located just over 9 miles northwest of San Francisco, in the Golden Gate Natural Recreation Area, this Californian gem is home to the dramatic and secluded Black Sands Beach, aptly named for its noir-tinged base. Just imagine how fantastic a bride's white dress will look with such contrast, or a groom's white suit, for that matter. This glamorous beach is sheltered and faces south, making it ideal for a calmer experience.


There are three things to consider before booking your wedding here. First, this is a "clothing-optional" beach. Don't worry too much, as the nudists tend to stay in the south end. Second, the beach is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot, so brides may want to ditch the heels. Finally, high tide will limit the amount of sand available, so we suggest consulting with a local wedding planner to choose the best time for your ceremony. 

Port Clinton, Ohio, USA

Dock's Beach House Bar & Grille in Port Clinton, Ohio is a low-key and pretty place to host a ceremony. Run seasonally (they open in May), this cute spot is known for hosting group events like weddings, which are held on or near the beach with a stunning backdrop of the sparkling Lake Erie. Book your wedding near sunset for an even more amorous allure. Here, the loving couple is given access to the venue's private beach and a large pavilion, as well as a full-service catering menu for up to 200 people. There's no indoor space, so consider that if this is something you're set on for your big day. 


Hoping to keep your bank account in the black? A full bar is also available on-site, and the prices are deemed "affordable," per reviews on The Knot. One newlywed on The Knot said, "Every single one of our guests said it was the best wedding they had been to." The Beachfront Motel & Resort is located next door for those who'd rather stay close by. Port Clinton Lighthouse is another memorable place to host a lakefront wedding. Set beside a lovely strip of beach in Waterworks Park, this historic lighthouse (the second on this site, it dates to 1833) offers idyllic views and a large open space perfect for photos, especially at sunset.

Our Methodology

It's no secret that wedding planning can be intense. From choosing your outfit to capping the invite list to picking the type of cake you'd like to eat, the decisions can seem endless and sometimes hard to make. That's why we created this list of the most underrated destinations for an unforgettable beach wedding — to lessen the load of a major decision. By consulting research from wedding planning experts like The Knot, Brides, Wedding Wire, and local wedding planning companies, we whittled down an enormous list of wonderful sandy spots to the top 12 lesser-known beach wedding destinations we would have been thrilled to use as a base for our own ceremonies. To ensure we took everything into consideration, we also turned to online reviews on travel and resort websites, studying the opinions of newlyweds who held their weddings in these exact spots.


One of the only things you can't control about your wedding is the weather, which is why the places on this list are beautiful enough to create a stunning backdrop regardless of the elements. If you're hoping to make the most of a destination, it's best to check the area's weather during the time of year you're planning to get hitched and avoid stormy seasons. The locations we chose also boast nearby resorts that are worthy of a stay, as well as amenities every bride- and groom-to-be would want — like access to wedding planners.