There are so many places around the world with the perfect backdrop for couples to tie the knot, but where are people wanting to get married the most?
Weddings are often dubbed as the most important day in a person’s life, which is why people spend so long planning their big day. One of the biggest decisions to make is where the wedding will be held - from a local church where your parents got married to a five-star beach resort on the other side of the world - couples can get married anywhere they like. As destination weddings are a popular choice for so many people, we were curious to discover the most popular countries and cities for (nearly) every country around the globe.
To reveal the most popular countries and cities for a destination wedding, the travel experts at money.co.uk analysed Google search data to see which locations around the world are the most searched for by nearly-wed couples, by analysing search volumes for ‘wedding in + [destination].’
If you need some inspiration for your wedding day and want to ensure you stick to your budget and how to cut the costs then check out our wedding hub which is full of helpful guides.
To help inspire your future wedding destination, the experts analysed Google search data for nearly every country around the globe to reveal the country or city they want to spend their big day in the most.
The most popular country that the world is Googling to get married in is India, as it takes the top spot for an impressive 38 countries around the globe. Some of the countries searching for ‘wedding in India’ the most include Australia, Canada, Fiji, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, the USA and Singapore.
Weddings in India are typically much bigger, brighter and bolder affairs spanning three days of celebrations with friends and family. One reason (of many) why this location is proving to be so popular is because it offers couples so many options when it comes to their ceremony; beach lovers can head South to Goa for a romantic wedding on the sand, while those who think opulence is key can choose a venue amongst the lakes and royal palaces in Udaipur.
The second-most popular place for a wedding destination is Italy, which is a country commonly associated with romance and love. The European country is the most Googled place for a wedding in 28 countries; including, Cambodia, France, Greece, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Sweden Thailand, and 20 others. It has also been a destination wedding location chosen by A-Listers, such as Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, who got hitched in Portofino in June this year, and George and Amal Clooney famously tied the knot in Venice in 2014.
Next up are Turkey and Nigeria both topping the searches for places to get married in 12 countries. The countries most wanting a Turkey-based ceremony are Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Iraq, Malta, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. The countries searching for a wedding in Nigeria the most are Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Uganda.
France closely follows Turkey and Nigeria making it the fourth-most popular place for a destination wedding. Topping the searches in 11 countries; including, Albania, Madagascar, Mali, and several others, so whether it’s a romantic countryside wedding or a modern city-break celebration, France is a popular country for a destination wedding.
Rounding off the top five list is Greece, which is the most Googled wedding destination in Armenia, Brazil, England, Hungary, South Africa, and Wales.
|Country (1-18)||Top Destination||Country (19-36)||Top Destination|
Europe’s first choice wedding destination is Italy, with 21 countries on the continent searching to get married there more than any other country. For those living in Europe, it is a destination that only requires a short-haul flight, and offers couples a whole host of wedding types - from a villa in Tuscany to a city-based venue surrounded by Roman ruins - it is no surprise why it is such a popular choice.
Second on the list of the most popular wedding destinations for Europeans is the Maldives, which is the only destination in the top destinations to be located outside of the continent as it’s in Asia. Located in the Indian Ocean, just below Sri Lanka and India, it is a dreamy location to get hitched in thanks to the crystal blue water and silky white sand. The Maldives is the most popular destination wedding location for Croatia, Cyprus, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Europe’s top choices for destination weddings are mostly closer to home; Greece is the third-most-popular place topping the search for England, Wales, and Hungary. Next on the list are Rome, Portugal, Paris, and Tuscany, which all top the searches for two global countries each.
|Country (1-7)||Top Destination||Country (8-14)||Top Destination|
Nigeria is the most popular destination wedding of choice in Africa, as weddings in this country are Googled more than anywhere else in 11 African countries; including, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Uganda. With a choice of several beautiful national parks and stunning golf resorts and spas, Nigeria is a beautiful place for a destination wedding.
France is the second-most popular place people in Africa are searching to get married, topping the searches in Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, and Togo.
Third place goes to Turkey which is searched for more than any other wedding destination in four African countries; including, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
|Country (1-4)||Top Destination||Country (5-8)||Top Destination|
Interestingly, the most Googled destination wedding in Asia is European-based Italy as it tops the searches in four Asian countries - Cambodia, Georgia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Tied in first place with Italy is Turkey, which spans both Europe and Asia, and is the most-searched-for destination wedding in India, Iraq, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
The next two results are actually on the continent; India is in second place as it’s the most popular destination for Azerbaijan, the Maldives, and Singapore. This is followed by Japan, which tops the wedding searches in China and South Korea. Hawaii and Morocco are tied with China and South Korea and come out on top for two Asian countries.
|Country (1-9)||Top Destination||Country (10-18)||Top Destination|
India is by far the most popular place North America is searching to get wed as weddings there are Googled more than any other destination in 16 countries. The North American countries who are looking to tie the knot in the beautiful south Asian country are Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominica, Mexico, the United States, and 10 others.
The second-most popular destination wedding for those in North America is Turkey, as it comes out as the most Googled place for a wedding in Guatemala and Honduras. The only other countries to feature in the destinations North America most wants to get married in are Nigeria, Canada, China, and Spain.
|Country (1-3)||Top Destination||Country (4-6)||Top Destination|
Once again India tops the list as the most popular wedding destination, as six South American countries Google getting married in India more than any other country or city; including Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.
Italy is South America’s second-most Googled destination wedding as it tops the searches in Paraguay and Uruguay, while the rest of the list comes out on top for just one country each, including London (which is the top result in just one other country around the world), Turkey, and Greece.
India is the place Oceania is searching to get married in the most, coming out as the most popular destination wedding for five countries on the continent; including, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Palau, and Papua New Guinea.
Fiji is second on the list coming out as the top result for the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The only other countries to feature in Oceania’s most desired places to get married are New Zealand, Samoa, and Hawaii.
The most popular wedding destination in the United States of America is India, coming out as the most desirable place to get married in 42 states. As 4.2 million of America’s residents are of Indian origin, this could be many people searching for a traditional wedding in the beautiful Asian country.
Hawaii is the next most popular location for a wedding, with eight US states Googling weddings there more than any other place; those states include Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Hawaii is the perfect backdrop for a wedding, our recent study looking at the world’s most popular wedding venues revealed the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu to be the second most popular venue according to TripAdvisor and Instagram data.
Maui is the only other place to feature on the list as it is the most Googled wedding destination for Hawaii.
Obviously the cost of a wedding abroad varies depending on the size of the wedding and the type of event you are planning on hosting, but a recent Brides article has estimated that the average cost of a destination wedding hovers around £31,000 ($35,000). However, the article also specifies that a destination wedding comes with cost-saving potential as many things cost far less and you get way more bang for your buck.
In fact, the 2019 Global Wedding Report, compiled by The Knot, WeddingWire and Bodas.net, discovered that the UK is the fifth most expensive country in the world to host a wedding. According to survey results from 20,000 couples across 13 countries, Brits spend an average of £14,740 and that’s without the honeymoon – so a destination wedding can help you save some money by making the location a mini-moon.
If this has inspired you to take your wedding to a more exotic location, be sure to check out the travel hub where you can find useful guides on paying for a wedding abroad, wedding insurance, and much more.
We used Google Keyword Planner to analyse Google search data from the last 12 months. We took a list of every country and major city from around the world and each US state and analysed the annual searches for ‘wedding in + [location]’ for each country (excluding that specific country’s name). Results were sorted from high to low to reveal which destination is the most searched for weddings around the world.
Countries with limited data were removed from the study.
All data correct September 2022.
Brides: https://www.brides.com/destination-wedding-cost-4842787 Global Wedding Report: https://www.weddingwire.com/global-wedding-report
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Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.