Why destination weddings are the best

There are many things to consider when you decide to get married. Who will be attending your wedding? What will you wear? Which awkward friend would you choose to sit next to which awkward family member? But probably the most important part of planning your big day is deciding on your wedding venue .

Your wedding location not only determines the mood and overall vibe of your big day (whether it's beachy, classic, or glam), but it also says a lot about your personal style and passion. Sure, it's romantic to get married in your hometown, but there's nothing more exotic (or alluring) than jetting off to a beautiful location for a destination wedding. Whether on a tropical island or in a foreign countryside across the ocean, a destination wedding is a truly festive way to say "I do."

So to give you a little inspiration, we teamed up with the U.S. Virgin Islands to talk to four couples who decided to have their weddings away from home. We’re not talking just any location – think crystal clear oceans, exotic locations and beautiful landscapes. In other words, this might just convince you to say "I do" to a place far, far away.

Courtney and Drew

Secret Harbor Resort, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Kourtney and Drew tied the knot in the warm, tropical U.S. Virgin Islands, home to sunshine, clear blue water, and more sunshine. "Unlike a traditional local wedding, we were able to hang out and relax with the people we love most— and it was so affordable that we ended up saving thousands of dollars," said the bride, who told us she and her husband invited Just a small group of closest family and friends.

“The sound of the waves, the magic and mystery of the ocean, the feeling of freedom and relaxation – it all made our special day truly unforgettable,” Courtney said. In fact, the entire weekend was so relaxing that the bride's biggest worry was not losing her rum punch. How about the perfect wedding getaway?

Jacqueline and Florian

Asti, Italy

Overlooking tree-lined parks, green hills and surrounding vineyards, Jacqueline and Florian's wedding was attended by 65 of their family and friends in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. “Florian proposed to me during a stay in the area a few years ago and we fell in love with the area,” says Jacqueline. “We knew we didn’t want a big fancy wedding, so in terms of intimacy, this was the perfect place.”

The pair orchestrated a grand event for guests, who enjoyed wine tastings, cooking classes and off-site tours of the area. Aside from trudging her two-piece dress across the ocean, the wedding was virtually stress-free.

Suzanne and Tim

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Suzanne and Tim both come from large, close-knit families, and a small wedding had never occurred to them. While most extended families would choose to hold their big celebrations closer to home, this couple made the six-hour drive to Cape Cod for a beach-style wedding for 90 guests , spent a weekend. “We love hosting a holiday for our guests that ends with a big celebration – our wedding,” says Suzanne.

After experiencing plenty of unexpected moments (like the father-in-law's bride leaving her suit behind, forcing a family member to climb into her parents' window to retrieve it), the couple says they wouldn't change a thing. “It would feel different if we ended up getting married closer to home,” Suzanne said. "I'd do it again in a second."

zoe and chris

alta utah

Zoe and Chris threw themselves a once-in-a-lifetime event that felt more like a non-stop, three-day party than a typical wedding. The dress code was "mountain chic," and the 15-piece Mexican band had everyone wearing dancing shoes, which were anything but basic. "We loved getting married outdoors because we were surrounded by the most beautiful lakes and mountains," the bride said. “The whole weekend felt like camping because we took over the entire hotel.”

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This post is sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo: U.S. Virgin Islands (TK); Snapshots by Courtney Turner, Jacqueline Broder, Suzanne Warren and Zoe Weisberg Coady; Josh Blumenthal