There’s something about the sound of water that simply exudes relaxation; if anything, water can be described as the quintessential sound of vacation. Whether you’re indulging in a full-body, stress-relieving massage or tanning on the beach, the sounds of the natural waters washing upon nearby rocks or over sugary sands helps get you in the mindset for the occasion.
Staying in an overwater bungalow is a no-brainer for a romantic honeymoon, but we say take it one step further and host an overwater destination wedding, as well. These resorts all offer over-the-water wedding chapels that allow you to do just that. Say, “I do,” in an over-the-water chapel, then start the honeymoon in an overwater villa – it’s a win-win.
Sandals South Coast – Jamaica
Sandals South Coast, an all-inclusive, couples-only resort in Jamaica, features a quaint, thatched-roof wedding chapel set on the water. Three glass panels in the floor lead to the altar where you’ll exchange vows in front of an expansive, 360-degree ocean view (due to its location, the spot can be windy, so we suggest skipping the veil for your ceremony).
Once you’ve said, “I do,” start your honeymoon in one of Sandals’ new overwater bungalows, appropriately situated on a heart-shaped pier.
Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa – Bora Bora
Polynesian love songs and ukuleles welcome you and your loved one to the glass-bottomed chapel at Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, which overlooks Mount Otemanu. A Polynesian priest performs the wedding ceremony, incorporating unique touches like handmade flower crowns before baptizing you with your new Polynesian names.
Dancers then surround you with a traditional tifaifai (polynesian wedding quilt) and perform to celebrate your union. Marriages at the resort are purely ceremonial and not legally binding, but the staff can arrange a legal ceremony at Bora Bora’s city hall, if desired.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru – Maldives
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Imagine riding a traditional Maldivian boat, known as a “dhoni,” to an overwater chapel in the middle of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The intimate wedding pavilion at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru comes in at just under 500 square feet and allows for just 16 guests.
Say your vows atop a glass aisle with views of colorful fish and sea turtles, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass doors on three sides. The resort’s wedding packages include photography as well as Maldivian Bodo Beru drummers. Be sure to have a legal ceremony back home, as weddings in the Maldives are not recognized in the U.S.
Le Méridien Bora Bora – Bora Bora
From the moment you approach the stained-glass doors of Le Méridien Bora Bora’s Heremiti Chapel, you know you’re in for something special.
The chapel itself sits in a lagoon facing Mount Otemanu, which means your ceremony will be punctuated by breathtaking views of the peak. The chapel’s interior is warm and wood-toned with traditional pews and woven bamboo walls. Glass panels line the floor, creating a dramatic entrance and exit as you’re whisked away across the lagoon on rafts decorated with local blooms.
Ceremonies that take place at the resort are not legally binding, but the staff can arrange for a legal ceremony off-property.
Gili Lankanfushi – Maldives
Gili Lankanfushi’s overwater wedding pavilion, Lagoon Champa, is only reachable via private boat from the resort and offers a cozy setting for your vows. The Secret Wedding Experience, an intimate package for two, includes a four-night stay, a wedding ceremony for two with a special blessing from a Maldivian cleric, photography, a cake, a sunset cruise on a traditional “dhoni,” a romantic dinner beachside and your own personal butler (dubbed Mr./Ms. Friday).
International weddings in the Maldives are not legally binding, so you’ll need to have a ceremony stateside to make it legal.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian – St. Lucia
The glass-walled Serenity Chapel at Sandals Grande St. Lucian overlooks Rodney Bay on the resort’s southwestern end. A glass aisle leads to the river stone altar where you can take your vows in front of up to 20 guests. Enjoy an indulgent, all-inclusive honeymoon after your ceremony in one of Sandals’ recently opened overwater bungalows, with Butler Elite service and an outdoor tranquility soaking tub for two.