The Most Desirable U.S. Wedding Destinations
Last updated on 02/13/2023
Many of us dream of the perfect wedding, and the ideal location is a big part of this fantasy. We assessed 160 of the most populated U.S. cities, including one from every state, to find which are the best wedding destinations. We collected data based on the following criteria: quantity and quality of venues, entertainment, and florists in each city, as well as the annual rainfall and average cost of a hotel.
Hopefully, this inspires engaged couples and wedding planners in their search for the perfect place to tie the knot.
|Rank||City / State||State||Overall|
|1||Saint Paul, Minnesota||Minnesota||7.79|
|3||Grand Prairie, Texas||Texas||7.37|
|=10||Colorado Springs, Colorado||Colorado||7.05|
|13||Fort Worth, Texas||Texas||6.97|
|=14||Rancho Cucamonga, California||California||6.92|
|18||Chula Vista, California||California||6.86|
|=20||Fort Wayne, Indiana||Indiana||6.75|
|=20||San Diego, California||California||6.75|
|24||Moreno Valley, California||California||6.73|
|25||Santa Ana, California||California||6.71|
|27||San Jose, California||California||6.67|
|=28||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Oklahoma||6.65|
|=28||San Francisco, California||California||6.65|
|31||Los Angeles, California||California||6.64|
|=32||North Las Vegas, Nevada||Nevada||6.62|
|34||Charlotte, North Carolina||North Carolina||6.61|
|=36||Jersey City, New Jersey||New Jersey||6.58|
|=36||Overland Park, Kansas||Kansas||6.58|
|45||Grand Rapids, Michigan||Michigan||6.46|
|47||Kansas City, Missouri||Missouri||6.44|
|51||Long Beach, California||California||6.39|
|=53||Rapid City, South Dakota||South Dakota||6.35|
|=55||Greensboro, North Carolina||North Carolina||6.34|
|59||St. Louis, Missouri||Missouri||6.28|
|64||Sioux Falls, South Dakota||South Dakota||6.20|
|66||San Antonio, Texas||Texas||6.16|
|67||Des Moines, Iowa||Iowa||6.14|
|=68||New York, New York||New York||6.12|
|=71||Rochester, New York||New York||6.10|
|=71||Salt Lake City, Utah||Utah||6.10|
|=76||Elk Grove, California||California||6.08|
|=81||Buffalo, New York||New York||6.06|
|=81||Yonkers, New York||New York||6.06|
|85||Cary, North Carolina||North Carolina||6.03|
|=87||Providence, Rhode Island||Rhode Island||5.98|
|=87||Raleigh, North Carolina||North Carolina||5.98|
|89||Port Saint Lucie, Florida||Florida||5.96|
|90||Durham, North Carolina||North Carolina||5.94|
|92||Washington, District of Columbia||District of Columbia||5.92|
|=97||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||Louisiana||5.82|
|=99||New Orleans, Louisiana||Louisiana||5.77|
|102||Huntington Beach, California||California||5.73|
|103||Albuquerque, New Mexico||New Mexico||5.72|
|106||St. Petersburg, Florida||Florida||5.69|
|109||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||Florida||5.66|
|112||Winston-Salem, North Carolina||North Carolina||5.62|
|115||Santa Rosa, California||California||5.58|
|116||Newport News, Virginia||Virginia||5.57|
|118||Virginia Beach, Virginia||Virginia||5.51|
|122||Las Vegas, Nevada||Nevada||5.47|
|123||Cedar Rapids, Iowa||Iowa||5.42|
|124||Santa Clarita, California||California||5.38|
|=125||Little Rock, Arkansas||Arkansas||5.36|
|=127||El Paso, Texas||Texas||5.34|
|129||Las Cruces, New Mexico||New Mexico||5.30|
|138||Corpus Christi, Texas||Texas||5.06|
|139||San Bernardino, California||California||5.00|
|142||Newark, New Jersey||New Jersey||4.89|
|150||West Valley City, Utah||Utah||4.51|
|151||Warwick, Rhode Island||Rhode Island||4.48|
|156||Cape Coral, Florida||Florida||3.68|
|158||Fayetteville, North Carolina||North Carolina||3.32|
According to the combined scores of all the previous data points, the best U.S. wedding destination is Saint Paul, Minnesota with score of 7.79.
Minnesota seems to be the ideal state, since Minneapolis is a close second (7.77). Texas is also well represented in the top five, with Grand Prairie (7.37), Irving (7.22), and Garland (7.13) all scoring well.
Outside of these states, Atlanta (7.12) and Ontario, California (7.10) both place highly.
In contrast, the worst wedding destinations are Columbus, Georgia (with a score of 2.50), Hilo, Hawaii (2.92), and Fayetteville, North Carolina (3.32).
Many cities are more spoiled for choice than others when it comes to picking a wedding venue, highlighted by their popularity with brides and grooms-to-be.
When it comes to the number of reception venues, Minnesota’s Saint Paul and Minneapolis take second and third on the list with both having nearly 200 wedding locations. The top spot goes to Atlanta with a huge total of 206 venues to choose from.
Of course, quality is better than quantity, and the best venues appear to be in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. According to our list Pittsburgh is home to the highest quality venues, with an average rating of 4.89 stars out of five.
At the other end, couples may want to avoid getting married in Boise or Meridian, since the venues in both Idaho cities have an average rating of 2.81. Cedar Rapids is also not ideal with a rating of 3.02.
For those looking to have an outdoor wedding, certain cities will be riskier regarding the possibility of rain. Although this depends on the time of year, dry locations are a safe choice if you can’t have a wedding in the summer.
The southeast states of Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana have the highest annual rainfall. Two cities from Florida claim the wettest cities with Hialeah getting 70.38 inches of rain per year. Fort Lauderdale is close behind in second. Florida’s rainy season typically runs from late May through mid-October.
Nevada is clearly the driest state, taking four of the top five spots. Vegas has the lowest annual rain of any city, with just 4.19 inches. Bakersfield, California is also low on the list at a mere 6.47 inches. Couples getting married here should have little concern of getting rained on.
No wedding reception is complete without great entertainment. Jersey City has the highest amount of entertainment options according to TheKnot.com - there are 193 wedding bands listed within 10 miles of the city.
Newark, also in New Jersey, is second in the list with 136 bands, while New York takes third with 134. Twelve U.S. cities, including Cleveland and Stockton, had no bands listed on the website.
The average rating of wedding entertainment was a full five stars out of five in 20 cities, such as Grand Prairie, Texas and Ontario, California.
Unfortunately, not all wedding bands go down well. Wedding planners should think twice before booking entertainment from cities like Augusta or Tacoma where the average rating of bands is 0.
Having a beautiful flower arrangement at their wedding is important for many people, and some cities have a lot more florists available than others.
There are 110 florists in New York, more than in any other U.S. city. Miami and Los Angeles also have 92 and 87 respectively. Smaller cities such as Hilo, Hawaii and Laredo, Texas don’t have any florists.
You are unlikely to go wrong when hiring a professional florist, since every single city has an average rating of at least four stars for their florists. Some of the cities with lower rated florists include Moreno Valley, California and Shreveport, Louisiana.
There are 19 U.S. cities with an average rating of five for their florists. This includes Lubbock, Texas and Oakland, California where all 10 florists in the city are five-star rated. You are sure to have an expert arrangement if you go to a florist in Oakland.
Average Cost of a Hotel
While many U.S. cities provide a dream wedding destination, couples must be realistic when planning their wedding. With large numbers of guests traveling to the wedding, some from far away and even abroad, the cost of hotels in the city should be factored in.
Guests won’t want to travel to a city they cannot afford to stay in. As hosts of the wedding, you may even decide to pay for your guests’ accommodation, so the cost is your concern.
Unsurprisingly, New York City has the most expensive hotels at an average of $661 per night. Boston is second ($638) followed by Austin, Texas ($598). The cheapest city to stay in is Little Rock, Arkansas with $126 per night for a hotel on average.
In summary, the ideal city in which to get married depends on several factors that make each city appealing.
Larger cities are bound to have more venue choices, with some that are out of a fairy tale. But expenses must also be considered, making these places somewhat unrealistic.
No one wants a rainy wedding, and this makes cities in the southeast a risky option at certain times of the year.
When you add the finishing touches of a charming wedding band and magical flower display, the perfect wedding plan comes together.
Each data point consists of the latest research available from reputable sources. All sources are city specific level data points. The data was standardized using minmax normalization. The minmax normalization value is multiplied by 10 to create a score (between 0-10). A score of 10 is always the best result, while a score of 0 is the worst. Each city is then ranked on their overall rating across all wedding related data points, to find which city is the most desirable for a wedding.
InsureMyTrip isolated each data point in addition to giving an overall category score. This will give wedding planners an opportunity to target destinations for individual points (e.g., rating of venue, rating of florists, etc.). Alternatively, the “Overall” category score gives a general view of which city is the most desirable for a wedding.
Number of Venues
The number of reception venues according to TheKnot.com.
Rating of Venues
The average rating of the venues in each city according to TheKnot.com.
The average annual rainfall in inches each city receives according to USClimateData.com.
Number of Wedding Entertainment Bands
The number of wedding entertainment bands within 10 miles of each city according to TheKnot.com.
Rating of Entertainment
The average rating of wedding entertainment bands within 10 miles of each city according to TheKnot.com.
Number of Florists
The number of florists in each city according to WeddingWire.com.
Rating of Florists
The average rating of florists in each city according to WeddingWire.com.
Average Cost of a Hotel
The average cost of a hotel on Saturday 21st October on Booking.com, filtered by ‘top reviewed’ a maximum of 50 hotels prices were checked.