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Recently engaged? If the very thought of touring blasé local banquet halls and managing a lengthy invite list are sucking the magic out of your big day, you might want to start thinking about a destination wedding. Besides being a great way to cut down your guest list, experience a beautiful place with your closest friends and family, and eschew tired traditions, a destination wedding could set the tone for a lifetime of adventure.

RELATED: 100 totally unforgettable places to elope

But where to? For answers, we looked to wedding planners who must constantly study up on the trendiest hot spots for couples looking for a big day out of the way. “Just like any trend, the place to have a destination wedding is always changing,” explains wedding planner Leah Weinberg. “Popular destination wedding locations could go out of style for many reasons—they’ve become too popular and overdone, they’re too expensive, or even more practical reasons, like an outbreak of the Zika virus.

Here are the top destination wedding sites that industry pros predict will trend in 2018:

Puglia, Italy

Though it’s been five years since Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake wed in this quaint Italian region, wedding planner Kylie Carlson says Puglia has been slowly gaining traction. She predicts that in 2018, this hidden gem in Italy’s boot will attract more couples, thanks to its beauty and lack of crowds. “Puglia offers the same gorgeous landscape and romantic atmosphere as Tuscany, but without the hustle and bustle of tourists. Food lovers will be in heaven, while wine drinkers will have an array of beautiful vineyards to choose from,” she explains. “With miles of coastline against the Adriatic Sea and some of the most luxurious and well-maintained Apulian architecture in Italy, you can’t go wrong.” Look into the renowned Borgo Egnazia, which features a private beach for an intimate ceremony and easy access to nearby attractions to enjoy post-wedding.

Boston, MA

Though it’s been five years since Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake wed in this quaint Italian region, wedding planner Kylie Carlson says Puglia has been slowly gaining traction. She predicts that in 2018, this hidden gem in Italy’s boot will attract more couples, thanks to its beauty and lack of crowds. “Puglia offers the same gorgeous landscape and romantic atmosphere as Tuscany, but without the hustle and bustle of tourists. Food lovers will be in heaven, while wine drinkers will have an array of beautiful vineyards to choose from,” she explains. “With miles of coastline against the Adriatic Sea and some of the most luxurious and well-maintained Apulian architecture in Italy, you can’t go wrong.” Look into the renowned Borgo Egnazia, which features a private beach for an intimate ceremony and easy access to nearby attractions to enjoy post-wedding.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

From a shared taste in music and entertainment to equally-worn-out passports, there are plenty of rituals that tie couples together. If you and that lucky one you get to call your life partner look forward to your weekly Game of Thrones viewing, why not consider getting hitched in Croatia where many scenes were filmed? With idyllic, crystal blue waters, colorful architecture and fresh seafood, Dubrovnik is a ferry ride from the island mecca of Split, and offers a gorgeous backdrop for your nuptials. As Carlson describes it, it’s the European feel mixed with the laid-back tone of a beach wedding. With private access to the Adriatic Sea and sweeping views of the city center, the luxury Hotel Excelsior is a gem to consider for your save-the-dates. (Sadly, no dragons are included for your grand entrance, though.)

Palm Springs, CA

Maybe it has been a while since you thought about including midcentury-modern mecca Palm Springs to your Golden State travel plans. But think again for your romantic nuptial planning, says Weinberg, who says this desert getaway is quickly becoming a sought after local for conferences, vacations and reality TV shows. She predicts the curiosity of couples will be sparked this year, as the allure of a hidden oasis in the desert will give them the seclusion and romance they crave. “You can’t beat the weather in the non-summer months and there’s something for everyone accommodations-wise. There are elegant and sophisticated resorts juxtaposed with kitschy mid-century modern boutique hotels,” she shares. Stylish mid-century beauty Le Parker Meridien and gorgeous, historic Korakia are two of our faves, while for the quintessential Palm Springs experience, Weinberg suggests you feast your eyes on Saguaro Hotel, which features a myriad of colors with mid-century decor and a plethora of breathtaking sunset photo opportunities.

ALSO: Say “I do” to generous travel rewards when you join Orbitz Rewards!

Reykjavik, Iceland

With more smart stopovers now available on trans-Atlantic routes (find out how to plan yours here), travel and wedding photographer Leujay Cruz predicts more and more couples will skip the beach and say their “I do’s” under the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland. “Not only is it the scenery, but majestic Iceland’s marriage license is recognized by many countries, so a civil ceremony isn’t required,” he explains. Plus, the location itself makes for some epic photos that set you apart from other newlyweds. “You’ll have plenty of cold-weather activities and your winter-like backdrop will be a breath of fresh air from the normal sun-drenched beach settings seen in most wedding photos,” he says. For a cozy wedding night with views that’ll entice romance, book a suite at the appropriately-named Northern Light Inn.

Marrakech, Morocco

For a truly memorable destination wedding that will yank your guests out of their comfort zone (and slim down your guest list in a flash), wedding expert Meghan Ely challenges adventurous travelers to make it official in Marrakech. Depending on how long your guests want to extend their stay, they can ride camels in the desert, take a food walking tour through the famous, stimulating souk market and much more. “Everything about the city is an experience, from shopping in the street markets filled with snake charmers and artisans, to eating at some of the best restaurants the world has to offer; getting married in Marrakech is something couples will carry with them the rest of their lives,” she says. While the city itself is inexpensive, upgrade to a luxury hotel for your ceremony, like the recommended Fairmont Royal Palm. Here, you’ll escape the crowds and the chatter, but still have the same heat and sultry vibe from this North African city.

Orlando, FL

For the couple who tends to let their young-at-heart spirits guide their path, their life and their relationship, Phillips says Orlando will continue to grow as a top destination wedding choice. “Orlando is great if you are looking for fun in the sun! Harry Potter and Disney lovers alike flock to the city to say ‘I do,’” he shares. “With venues ranging from waterside options surrounded by cypress trees to those attached to world famous theme parks, it will continue to be a favorite for 2018 nuptials.” Another big perk of this Florida town compared to other Florida locations like Miami or the Keys: Its price tag. Regardless of your budget, you can save tremendously and still find the same whimsical energy, with several great beaches just an hour away. If you’d like a kitschy-type of feel when you exchange vows, Phillips says to check out Cabana Bay Beach Resort, with a ’50s and ’60s theme that’ll have you dancing to the oldies until dawn.

Palawan, Philippines

If you’re on a budget for both your wedding and your honeymoon, let the most expensive part of the experience be your flight. As Cruz explains, you can have both beauty and rose-colored nuptials without outgrowing your bank account when you venture to the Philippines. “The cost of Palawan, whether you’re in the capital of Puerto Princesa, or the northern and more isolated areas of El Nido or Coron, the costs are extremely affordable,” he says. “For beautiful views, secluded white sand beaches and off-the-beaten path resorts with extremely accommodating staff, Palawan is a great destination for an elopement or wedding.” For a splurge on your wedding night (you only get one, after all!) stay at 5-star Cauayan Resort in the area of the Small Lagoon and El Nido Dock.

Austin, TX

Though it might be good luck to see a few showers on your wedding day, having your outdoor ceremony rained out would be nothing short of a total drag. Phillips says couples can negate the risk of a bummer wedding forecast by selecting the favorite Texan town of Austin, which has 300 days of sunshine. “Austin is a city that is on everyone’s radar, quickly climbing to the top of the destination-wedding list, where you are almost guaranteed gorgeous weather on your wedding day,” he says. “The artsy vibe is paired with the southern hospitality that everyone loves about the great state of Texas.” As long as you can deal with the heat (or say, prefer to be a fall or winter bride), booking ahead will score you the best deals and rewards for your big day. To stay in the center of the action, Phillips recommends the historic boutique property, Hotel Ella, where a poolside “I do” with the pink and purple hues of the sun descending make for photos you’ll cherish for decades.

Tagged: Feature, Top 10 Lists

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Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay is a lifestyle and travel writer, and content strategist. She is a passport stamp collector with an affinity for great wine, coffee and conversation. You can find a full collection of her work at lindsaytigar.com.
Lindsay Tigar

@lindsaytigar

Freelance Travel and Lifestyle Journalist for @travelleisure, @voguemagazine, @usatoday, @bravotv @brides, @weddingwire and many more.
The actor is actually quite a bookworm. via Goalcast https://t.co/3Rv3zVioSG https://t.co/3Rv3zVioSG - 1 month ago
Lindsay Tigar

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