The Top 25 Places to Get Married This Year

Who says a destination wedding has to be somewhere outside the United States? If you’re looking to get hitched away from home, you might consider one of the cities that topped WalletHub’s new list of the best places to get married in the U.S. The company examined more than 180 cites in a quest for the cheapest and most convenient wedding destinations, while also considering indicators of “wedding-friendliness” like event spaces and vendors per capita.

housing works bookstore wedding

Here are the top 25:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Miami, Florida
  6. San Francisco, California
  7. Chicago, Illinois
  8. San Diego, California
  9. New York, New York
  10. Austin, Texas
  11. Tampa, Florida
  12. Portland, Oregon,
  13. Houston, Texas
  14. Seattle, Washington
  15. Denver, Colorado
  16. Tucson, Arizona
  17. Scottsdale, Arizona
  18. Cincinnati, Ohio
  19. New Orleans, Louisiana
  20. Dallas, Texas
  21. St. Louis, Missouri
  22. San Antonio, Texas
  23. El Paso, Texas
  24. Phoenix, Arizona
  25. Albuquerque, New Mexico

These cities were ultimately considered “the best” because of how they scored on WalletHub’s 100-point scale, which measured three key dimensions: 1) Costs, 2) Facilities & Services, and 3) Activities & Attractions. Each of these dimensions had sub-metrics with their own corresponding points. Overall, though, Costs carried 40 points, and both Facilities & Services and Activities & Attractions carried 30 points.

via iStock.com/Motion2Concept

While some of the destinations, like those in the Midwest, certainly make sense in terms of affordability, cities like Los Angeles and New York also came out on top because they’re home to plenty of facilities, services, and attractions.

WalletHub even broke down these metrics:

Most Wedding Chapels & Churches per Capita

  1. Birmingham, Alabama
  2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  3. Richmond, Virginia
  4. Los Angeles, California
  5. Las Vegas, Nevada

Most Event Planners per Capita

  1. Washington, DC
  2. TIE:
    • Denver, Colorado
    • Aurora, Colorado
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. TIE:
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Tacoma, Washington

via iStock.com/jacoblund

Most Bridal Shops per Capita

  1. TIE:
    • New York, New York
    • Los Angeles, California
    • Miami, Florida
    • San Francisco, California
  2. Chicago, Illinois

Most Flower Shops per Capita

  1. TIE:
    • New York, New York
    • Los Angeles, California
    • San Francisco, California
    • Miami, Florida
    • Orlando, Florida

Most Attractions

  1. TIE:
    • New York, New York
    • San Francisco, California
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Los Angeles, California
  2. Washington, D.C.

Best Weather

  1. Glendale, California
  2. Riverside, California
  3. Bakersfield, California
  4. Scottsdale, Arizona
  5. Henderson, Nevada

Though it’s important to keep these things in mind, there’s other factors to consider when choosing where you and your S.O. are going to get married. Kendal Holtrop, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at Michigan State University, is on WalletHub’s panel of experts. She recommends sitting down and having a serious conversation with your partner.

“Deciding on a wedding location can be a challenging and emotionally-charged process for some couples. This is an important opportunity to practice effective communication skills. Make sure each person gets a chance to weigh in on this decision. When it is your turn to talk, present one point at a time and try to keep a positive tone. Be sincere and speak from your own perspective,” Holtrop said. “When it is your turn to listen, really work to understand your partner’s perspective. It may help to try and paraphrase what they are saying and to ask clarifying questions, but avoid the temptation to interrupt and jump to conclusions. No matter what place you choose, your wedding location will be the right one if you work together to find a location that feels right to both of you.”

However, you have to consider your guests too. “I would recommend that couples choose a location and/or venue that allows a wide variety of family. friends, and colleagues to attend,” said another panel member, Keith Mask, a professor of Child & Family Studies and Behavioral Sciences at Freed-Hardeman University. “A wedding is a celebration for not only the bride and groom, but for family members, friends, college roommates, former high school teammates and coaches, work associates, and your 6th grade Sunday school teacher. All of these individuals have invested in your lives and having them in attendance on your wedding day is a rich and meaningful experience for all!”

Miriam Muslow, associate professor of Human Development & Family Studies at Texas Tech University, particularly recommends thinking about what your guests can afford and whether or not they can travel.

“Consider the needs of the older members of your families that you really want to attend. Are they able to travel? If not, you may need to plan around their needs,” the panel member said. “Also consider the finances of the rest of the guests. If a destination wedding works for the people you most want to have there, there can be some advantages to those. Some places will do almost all of the planning for you, leaving you and your new spouse time to really enjoy the whole process.”

Check out WalletHub’s entire list here.

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