The steadily increasing stream of countries (New Zealand and France in April 2013) and American states legalising gay marriage has changed dramatically the lives of LGBT people and their loved ones in recent years. That lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals can now have their commitments recognised legally in several countries is of profound importance.
It’s legal for gay couples to wed in all of the cities below – the best gay wedding destinations in the world.
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage – on April 1, 2001. With a plethora of beautiful churches, five-star hotels, international cuisine and charming streets and canals – to say nothing of the museums, galleries and monuments – your guests will be eternally in the palm of your hands if you invite them to your big day in Amsterdam.
Considering its strong ties to the Catholic Church, Spain’s legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 surprised many. Nonetheless, the lively whirlwind of Spanish culture, art and architecture sets an inimitable backdrop for the big day.
From jaw-dropping cathedrals to top cuisine and drink to the sexy roll of the Spanish “r” in the streets, few other cities light up romance like Madrid.
Often referred to as the “nightlife capital of the north”, Reykjavík is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Aside from the exciting nightlife, Reykjavik has an amazing and other-worldly environment, with many geothermal-heated outdoor pools, beautiful parks and green spaces.
However, if it’s an enchanted wedding you really crave (and as long as you and your guests are clad in parkas), it’s Reykjavik’s Northern Lights that will make your special day truly one of a kind.
As in other Nordic gay wedding destinations, in Oslo you are very close to nature. Hiking, skiing, boating and swimming are all within a stone’s throw of the city.
And within the city centre, you have your pick of beautiful, modern hotels, sidewalk cafes and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. Even here, though, nature is all around with an abundance of trees, parks, fountains and green space.
Sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North” because of its location at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, Stockholm is renowned for its natural beauty and clean air.
Waterways, parks and green spaces make up a large percentage of the city’s space. It is also a sophisticated city with many classy restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Although the winters are cold, the city’s beauty is breathtaking – there’s even an ice hotel if you really want to stay cool on your wedding day.
New York City, New York, USA
“Finally!” many thought when the state of New York legalised gay marriage in July 2011. What better destination can you imagine for getting married and celebrating afterwards?
Imagine being high atop the city that never sleeps in any number of marvellous hotels, toasting your husband or wife and family? And when it’s time to boogie down and celebrate, you’ve got the entire Big Apple to roam about in.
Washington, DC, USA
Although gay marriage was only first legalised in D.C. on December 18 2009, America’s capital has long possessed a large LGBT population. As such, America’s capital has no dearth of gay-friendly neighbourhoods and hotels for your wedding festivities.
Imagine a rooftop reception with panoramic views of the city – you and your beloved a part of the history of America beginning to make good on its promise of “equality and justice for all”.
Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA
Provincetown is the Fire Island of Massachusetts. With quaint Bed-and-Breakfasts dotting the coastal town’s narrow lanes, fantastic restaurants and gay nightlife, “P-town” is a must-visit destination year-round.
Add in gorgeous beaches and a vibe of utter acceptance, and Provincetown climbs the ranks among the best gay wedding destinations in the world.
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
With beautiful parks, fantastic cuisine, a raucous nightlife and an unrivalled atmosphere of convivialité, Montreal is a perfect place to say, “I do”. In fact, it’s so charming you might even want to stay on for your honeymoon.
Plus, the city’s close proximity to Mont Tremblant is an added bonus if you’d like to get away for skiing in the winter or exploring of the great outdoors in summer months.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home of hip Latin beats and carnival merrymaking, Buenos Aires is a bustling city that combines a modern skyline with the ornate architecture of the past.
With a great deal of flair and style to be found on almost every corner, a culture that imbues even the mundane with great passion, and no shortage of great clubs and restaurants, your guests will not soon forget your “I do” in Buenos Aires.
For even more destinations to celebrate, check out this list of top 10 destinations for celebrating gay rights.
(Images: Featured image – f-oxymoron; Amsterdam – Moyan_Brenn; Madrid – Moyan_Brenn; Reykjavik – pocius; Oslo – beamillion; Stockholm – Mispahn; New York City – joiseyshowaa; Washington DC – eliduke; Provincetown – HBarrison; Montreal – Graham and Sheila; Buenos Aires – David Berkowitz)