Get a taste of the tropics with a wedding at one of these five sun-drenched Caribbean islands.
1. Mexico Cozumel
Why get hitched here: Set just off the Yucatan Peninsula, this peaceful island in the Caribbean is framed by one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, surrounded by turquoise waters and home to wildlife-filled nature reserves, which spells P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E for outdoorsy couples looking for a quiet spot to tie the knot. Expect lush grounds and pristine swaths of sand, plus a range of resorts (including many luxe all-inclusives) with impeccable service and on-site wedding planners and vendors to help you plan your perfect party. Nature-loving couples and their guests will love Cozumel's Chankanaab National Park, where you can check out a lagoon, botanical gardens and a replica of a Mayan village, and find incredible snorkeling. When the more laid-back guests tire of sipping cocktails and sunning themselves on the beach, they can hit up the shops and restaurants of downtown San Miguel.
When to wed: High season begins in mid-December and typically lasts through Easter, with the rainy season running from May through mid-October. Although temps may only top out at 90 degrees during the summer, the humidity can make it uncomfortably hot. And beware of spring-break crowds in March and April.
2. Mexico Riviera Maya
Why get hitched here: This coastal stretch of the Yucatan Peninsula along the Mexican Caribbean mixes ancient Mayan ruins with palm-fringed beaches to give your wedding a real tropical feel. Farther north, seemingly carved out of the jungle, Cancun sits at the tip of the peninsula, twinkling with big resorts and a boisterous nightlife. Choose a property in Cancun's hopping Hotel Zone, book an entire boutique hotel or go for a hacienda-style wedding in a Mayan village near one of the ancient archaeological sites. The ruins of the ancient Mayan empire in seaside Tulum provide a stunning backdrop. For a slower-paced setting, try Playa del Carmen, which displays an authentic rustic charm and is home to some gorgeous beaches. And there's no shortage of natural settings here, either: Say "I do" in a lush, tropical garden, in a beautiful eco-park or among the cenotes, or freshwater pools, the Riviera Maya is famous for.
When to wed: Winter months offer the best weather but are crowded, with sunny, 80-degree days from mid-December through Easter. Avoid spring-break season, late February through March. April and May are traditionally slower months, and the weather's still good. Rain is heaviest in June and October, with hurricanes possible through November. Humidity is uncomfortably high in the summer.
3. The Bahamas
Why get hitched here: This collection of 700 islands has something for every taste -- enjoy complete privacy by renting your own island, or host hundreds of your favorite people at a megaresort. Nassau and Paradise Island are two of the most visited and activity-packed destinations, while more remote areas such as Harbor Island and the Exumas tend to feel more laid-back. And since the Bahamas are just a 35-minute plane trip from Florida, it's an easy journey for guests.
When to wed: The high season lasts from mid-December to mid-April, while summers are sleepier. Although hurricanes are infrequent, they can occur, so it's best to avoid the area June through November.
Why get hitched here: This idyllic island not only has a whopping 365 beautiful beaches, but it's also steeped in nautical history. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Antigua was home to a huge British naval base and its harbor is still a popular yachting destination for the international jet-set. If you want to host your nuptials at a high-end all-inclusive resort, look no further -- many of the world's swankiest are here.
When to wed: The high season runs from mid-December through April. After April, rates go down as much as 40 percent, but some places do close between August and October. The humidity and rainfall are low year-round, and hurricane season runs from June through November.
Why get hitched here: Jamaica offers much more than just beaches and palm trees -- it's steeped in world-class culture: reggae, Rastafarianism, and indigenous spice. And glamorous globetrotters call it home (Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, from his seaside abode here). The site of many all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica can be one of the most affordable of the Caribbean islands, but it has super-posh options too, including private villas that come with their own chefs, housekeeping staffs, and security.
When to wed: Avoid March, aka spring break season, as well as the hurricane season, June through November.