Staying in an overwater bungalow is a no-brainer for a romantic honeymoon, but we say take it one step farther and host an overwater destination wedding as well. These resorts all offer floating wedding chapels that allow you to do just that. Say I do in an overwater wedding chapel, then start the honeymoon in an overwater villa. It’s a win-win.
Sandals South Coast, an all-inclusive couples-only resort in Jamaica, features a quaint thatched-roof wedding chapel set on the water. Three glass panels in the floor lead to the altar, where you’ll exchange vows in front of an expansive 360-degree ocean view. (Due to its location, the spot can be windy, so we suggest skipping the veil for your ceremony.) Once you’ve said I do, start your honeymoon in one of Sandals’ new overwater bungalows, appropriately situated on a heart-shaped pier.
Polynesian love songs and ukuleles welcome you to the glass-bottomed chapel at Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, which overlooks Mount Otemanu. A Polynesian priest performs the wedding ceremony, incorporating unique touches like handmade flower crowns, before baptizing you with your new Polynesian names. Dancers then surround you with a traditional tifaifai (Polynesian wedding quilt) and perform to celebrate your union. Marriages at the resort are purely ceremonial and not legally binding, but the staff can arrange a legal ceremony at Bora Bora’s City Hall if desired.
Imagine riding a traditional Maldivian boat, known as a dhoni, to an overwater chapel in the middle of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The intimate wedding pavilion at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru comes in at just under 500 square feet and allows for just 16 guests. Say your vows atop a glass aisle with views of colorful fish and sea turtles, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass doors on three sides. The resort’s wedding packages include photography, as well as Maldivian Bodo Beru Drummers. Be sure to have a legal ceremony back home, as weddings in the Maldives are not recognized in the U.S.
From the moment you approach the stained glass doors of Le Méridien Bora Bora’s Heremiti Chapel, you know you’re in for something special. The chapel itself sits in that same lagoon facing Mount Otemanu, which means your ceremony will be punctuated by breathtaking views of the peak. The chapel’s interior is warm and wood toned with traditional pews and woven bamboo walls. Glass panels line the floor creating a dramatic entrance and exit as you’re whisked away across the lagoon on raft decorated with local blooms. Ceremonies that take place at the resort are not legally binding, but the staff can arrange for a legal ceremony off-property.
Gili Lankanfushi’s overwater wedding pavilion, Lagoon Champa, is only reachable via private boat from the resort, and offers a cozy setting for your vows. The Secret Wedding Experience, an intimate package for two, includes a four-night stay, a wedding ceremony for two with a special blessing from a Maldivian cleric, photography, a cake, a sunset cruise on a traditional dhoni, a romantic dinner on the beach and your own personal butler (dubbed Mr./Ms. Friday) to arrange everything. International weddings in the Maldives are not legally binding, so you’ll need to have a ceremony stateside to make it legal.
The glass-walled Serenity Chapel at Sandals Grande St. Lucian overlooks Rodney Bay on the resort’s southwestern end. A glass aisle leads to the river stone altar where you can take your vows in front of up to 20 guests. Enjoy an indulgent all-inclusive honeymoon after your ceremony in one of Sandals’ recently opened overwater bungalows, with Butler Elite service and an outdoor tranquility soaking tub for two.