When you say “wedding,” quaint chapels or elaborate cathedrals usually come to mind. Lately, though, more and more couples are taking chances with creative and adventurous choices when it comes to planning the first day of the rest of their lives. Weddings are no longer just things to check off your bucket list; they’ve become ways to live out your ultimate travel fantasies. And just because you know you’ll always remember your big day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t go the extra mile in making it as unforgettable as you can.
Here are some out-of-town and overseas venues that’ll have your guests raring to go faster than you can say RSVP.
Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan
Located in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township, Sun Moon Lake is so named because one side resembles a sun and the other a moon. It looks more like a mirror for the sky and surrounding works of nature than a body of water, making it one of Taiwan’s most sought-after tourist spots for a reason. There are numerous lakeside resorts that would make the perfect setting for outdoor nuptials, but there’s also a chapel nearby if you’d like to go a little more traditional. A scenic cruise or gondola ride is just the icing on the wedding cake.
A hot air balloon adventure through the Grand Canyon
Love is in the air—literally. Nothing says “I’m with you through the good times and the bad” like a balloon ride 5,500 feet above ground. Float through the Arizona desert and enjoy a 360-degree view of layer upon layer of rock dating back millions and millions of years. And no matter how vast the canyon might seem, it’ll still be just you and a ragtag crew, making for an intimate exchange of vows. Guests can chase after your balloon so they can welcome you and your spouse at the end, as adrenaline-loving newlyweds.
A fairy tale castle in Scotland
We all know that the perfect wedding dress or a keenly tailored suit can be enough to make you feel like absolute royalty. It would make sense, then, to top it all off with a matching castle straight out of a Disney movie, complete with fine details, courtyards, gardens, and majestic towers. The castles in Scotland date back to a number of different centuries, so it’s all a matter of choosing your favorite period to emulate: Victorian, maybe, or Medieval. Whatever you choose, it’s bound to be a historic, magical dream come true.
Callao Cave, Cagayan
To get to the Divine Room, one of seven chambers within the Callao Cave in Penablanca, Cagayan, you first have to climb 184 steps. And when you get there, it’s probably best to watch out for bats. Call it putting your love to the test, but there’s no denying that it’s all worth it when you walk into the chapel and you’re immediately treated to a gorgeous natural skylight in the limestone cave. The pews and some other effects are man-made, but it can be argued that the altar, in all its glory, was carved by God himself.
It’s not just a hotel; it’s a full-fledged art exhibition. Founded in 1989 in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, the Icehotel is built completely from ice and snow and is “reborn” and created anew every winter, with the participation of 40 artists for every conception. It’s not just the glassy, translucent look and the cold surroundings that will make your wedding stand out. The idea that the place in which you got married would only exist for a number of months before being gone forever, replaced with something entirely different, can be bittersweet, but it makes for a wonderfully poetic contrast between the fleeting and the everlasting.