Do you want to have a beach wedding? Or maybe a ceremony on a cliff? Or maybe an intimate and religious ceremony? Or a lavish celebration in a beautiful tropical setting with more than 100 guests?
When choosing your destination wedding location, nothing can get more romantic, exciting, and exotic than having your special day in Southeast Asia. With a myriad of islands and cities that are home to exquisite 5-star hotels and resorts, rich histories that make for an intriguing vacation, vast natural resources that will make you feel truly alive: Southeast Asia is the perfect location for any destination wedding.
Whether you want to have a dreamy wedding under the sparkling night sky, or a private and serene ceremony up in the mountains, or an extreme exchanging of vows underwater, you’ll find that anything and everything is possible with a Southeast Asian destination wedding.
Here are 8 of the best locations for your destination wedding in Southeast Asia:
1. Phuket, Thailand
The biggest island in Thailand, Phuket is the most popular destination on this list. Phuket doesn’t need any introduction as it’s the most visited island in the world. With a rich cultural background, epic white sand beaches, and its very own international airport, it’s no wonder millions of people from all over the world visit this stunning tropical getaway.
But should you have your wedding in Phuket? Amidst all the crowds and busy tourist spots? Why, of course! Phuket is home to a large number of 5-star resorts that cater to wedding celebrations. Having an intimate wedding in some of the most luxurious villas in Phuket is also popular. With a burgeoning wedding industry on its own, Phuket doesn’t run out of wedding planners, suppliers, and venues that are absolutely to die for.
The best time to have a wedding in Phuket is between January to May but take note that the month of April is the hottest time of the year.
2. Boracay, Philippines
A multi-awarded island having been dubbed many times as the best island in the world, Boracay is a picture-perfect tropical island in the Philippines. Accessible only by a small ferry from the mainland, this lush tropical getaway is home to several world-class resorts that feature their very own private coves for the ultimate beach wedding.
And because the island has become famous as a popular wedding destination, most of these resorts offer their very own wedding packages that include everything from private ferry rides, accommodation for couples and guests, wedding styling, to live entertainment. Couples need not worry about having their wedding in this beautiful island as every kind of vendor is locally available.
The best time to have a wedding in Boracay is December when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.
3. Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand and rivals Phuket as the top tourist destination in the country. While it doesn’t have an international airport, Koh Samui does have its very own local airport. Daily trips to and from Bangkok make Koh Samui accessible for your wedding party.
Koh Samui offers the very same lush jungles and white sand beaches of Phuket but it has a more laid-back atmosphere due to the fact that the only way to get there is by plane or by ferry. As compared to Phuket where visitors can reach the island through a bridge from the mainland, it takes more time and effort to get to Koh Samui, making visitors fewer than the aforementioned island.
With this, you can expect Koh Samui to have a more relaxed atmosphere but also having plenty of things to do and see. The island is also home to a large number of 5-star resorts that offer wedding packages where all you have to do is step back and the in-house wedding planners will do everything for you. Koh Samui is also home to plenty of private villas which are ideal for intimate wedding venues.
4. Bohol, Philippines
A beautiful island that offers a rustic charm to any wedding, Bohol, Philippines is a popular tourist destination in the country. A small island in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, it boasts of its own international airport where chartered flights to and from South Korea are frequently scheduled.
With beautiful white-sand beaches that make for the perfect backdrop to any beach wedding, Bohol has become a popular wedding destination for couples who wish to bring their loved ones to celebrate their beautiful union. Perfect for a wedding weekend celebration, Bohol is suitable for the entire family as its long list of things to do and places to visit are ideal for any member of the family.
With world-class resorts offering wedding packages and local wedding planners that know all the ins and outs of the island, Bohol is definitely the perfect location for a wedding destination.
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
For those looking for a completely different vibe to your wedding in Thailand, Chiang Mai is definitely the best option for you. The city is located in Northern Thailand and sits amidst lush, verdant mountains. Chiang Mai features beautiful temples, rolling hills, spectacular rice terraces, and features an Old City with ruins still intact.
One of the most popular ceremonies couples request in Chiang Mai is the Lanna style wedding, which is a traditional Thai wedding usually held outdoors in a rural setting, such as at a rice paddy or in the mountains. Traditional costumes are worn, folk music is played, and people from local villages perform the ceremony.
The city is also home to several 5-star hotels that offer their very own wedding package so even though you might arrive in the city jet-lagged, you won’t have to worry about a single thing as your entire wedding or wedding weekend will be taken care of.
6. Bali, Indonesia
Nicknamed the “Island of the Gods,” Bali, Indonesia is synonymous with paradise. Jaw-dropping scenery, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, lush jungles, hidden waterfalls, and a rich cultural history are just some of the things that make this island the perfect epitome of a tropical destination.
Whether you want to have a wedding in a private cove, or on a cliff with epic views of the ocean, or a lavish celebration inside a grand ballroom of a 5-star resort, Bali has everything in store for you.
Seminyak is definitely the area to choose if you wish to have a wedding in a prime resort, while Kuta is the place to be if you want to be in the center of all the happenings in Bali. If you wish to have a more quiet and peaceful wedding weekend, then Ubud is perfect for you as the area sits on the gentle slopes of the mountains.
7. Da Nang, Vietnam
Dubbed as the tourist capital of South Central Vietnam, Da Nang boasts of beautiful beaches and a general laid-back atmosphere. A city where the beach is only a few steps away from the city, it’s kept its natural vibe all these years thanks to the efforts of local officials who ensure that there are no beggars nor homeless locals in the city, as well as the ban on factories. The result? Da Nang is named one of the cleanest cities in Vietnam as well as being the most worth-living city in the country.
The city’s My Khe Beach is filled with high end resorts, each being able to host weddings that are truly magical. The resorts offer their very own wedding specialists so even though you’re not in Vietnam, these wedding planners can do everything for you until you arrive, up until your wedding day, and after.
8. Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nicknamed the “Riviera of the South China Sea,” Nha Trang is a seaside town but also having skyscrapers and a cosmopolitan feel. With abundant natural resources such as waterfalls, natural hot springs, salt fields, and of course, beautiful beaches, it’s no wonder Nha Trang has become one of the most favored wedding destination locations in Vietnam.
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Southeast Asia is filled with beautiful locations that can make any destination wedding truly magical. And the best part of these locations is they double as a honeymoon destination as well. Dreamy, picture-perfect, and offering world-class services, choosing to have your wedding in any of these Southeast Asian locations will truly be a dream come true for any couple.
Featured image courtesy of Anantara Phuket.
Joyce Bella is a destination wedding planner who has done and planned weddings in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines and Thailand.