Five places I do not want to go for a destination wedding

5. Mordor from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien


Since the bestselling travelogue and memoir Lord of the Rings came out, Mordor’s reputation has quickly skyrocketed from obscure natural orc reserve known only to the truly dedicated, to a must-go travel destination found on nearly every bucket list.

Well known for its stable weather patterns, battle reenactments, nightly light shows, and bubbling volcano-heated hot springs, Mordor provides a dramatic backdrop to a couple looking for a picturesque setting for their wedding.  Barad-dûr, known as the Dark Tower to the locals, boasts the area’s highest vantage point and is a natural go-to spot for a photo-op. For an even better view, charter an eagle flight for the afternoon.

Couples looking for the adventure of travel with the trappings of civilization will enjoy the comfort of big-name hotels and wealth of direct flights to Mordor. Applying for a marriage license is easy; present proof of citizenship, your length of stay, and marital status. A local goblin clerk can process your request overnight.


4. Shayol Ghul from The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan


Credit: The Last Battle / Aradani Studios

For those looking for the scenic drama of Mordor without the lines, Shayol Ghul is an excellent choice. Located at the core of the Blasted Lands and inaccessible by land due to the vast expanse of the Great Blight, Shayol Ghul has remained accessible only through a small airline, specialized to take on the local weather. That said, the layer of fog and constant lightning across the Blasted Lands is perfect for couples looking to enjoy a night club atmosphere.

Once you land, make sure to take a bus down to Thakan’dar valley, a minor commercial hotspot where local artisans called shadow-forgers follow ancient traditions to craft swords from rare metals and souls. Just don’t forget to pack for the cold.

With a bit of planning, you can score a special-transit permit from the Shadow Travel Association to host your ceremony on the scenic rim of the Pit of Doom, lighting the special occasion up with the rosy glow of the bubbling lava below.  Couples looking to experience a bit more local flavor can walk down the aisle in one of the resorts on the great black mountain to live flute music and receive a blessing from one of the Forsaken.


3. Ever-after from The Hollows by Kim Harrison

desert_ruins_by_blinck-d304j7rCredit: Jorge Jacinto.

In Ever-after, giant caverns, dramatic cliffs and a desert expanse all stand at the ready for your wedding away. This often-overlooked wedding getaway was first popularized by Kim Harrison’s Hollow’s series and it is no surprise it regularly makes the list of top places to have a wedding. Located as it is in a parallel dimension, there’s no danger of your uninvited third cousin dropping in on your big day.

Other draws include local demon artisans who can custom craft reality constructs to your specification, ample space with a desert landscape reminiscent of Mars, and a long multicultural history – after the ceremony, guests can visit the relics and ruins from the Elf-Demon war and enjoy the naturally occurring smell of burnt amber.  Accommodations are available in the central, underground caverns of the Ever-after, where you can find smaller boutiques and mingle with the locals.Guests are cautioned against making deals with the locals, as such interactions may have long term effects on their souls.

Onsite wedding ceremonies are officiated by  in Dallience (a quaint, centrally located nightclub) on Tuesday and Thursdays by the demon council. You’ll need copies of your birth certificates, passports, and two expendable witnesses.


2. Menzoberranzan from the Drizzt books by RA Salvatore


The City of Spiders! The Underdark’s most famous vacation hub, Menzoberranzan, is one of the top destinations for weddings in the Forgotten Reals, thanks to its exotic location and its unique cityscape. A multicultural hub (on any one visit, you may see not only drow elves, but enslaved goblins, kobolds, bugbears, duergar, svirfnebli, orcs, ogres, minotaurs, and giants), Menzoberranzan gives Amsterdam a run for its money with its thriving trade in mushrooms, spells and wine, and highly progressive legal system.

While in the famous underground city, visit with the masters at the Melee-Magthere warrior school, or stop by the Sorcere tower to watch cultural events like the monthly survival gauntlet. Venture beyond the popular temple and market districts, and you’ll encounter a vast catacomb of caverns and tunnels – perfect for day hiking and exploring. Don’t forget to set aside an evening to go lake boating to the Menzoberranzan main outlook post for some local flavor.

Once you’re settled in, you can apply for a marriage license for just 30 coin. Make sure to bring your date of arrival as well as an official declaration of your species and religious affiliation to the Arach-Tinilith clerical academy. Newlyweds can celebrate in one of the many Lolth temples – you’ll recognize them immediately by their world-famous classic arachnoid architecture and spider-web detailing.


1. The Labyrinth from the Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


A historic site first build as a prison but which has since gained sentience, the Labyrinth is a must-see travel destination for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle. With more than a million twists and turns, a constantly self-transforming sentient architecture, untamed dragonsnake territory, and centuries-old local tribes, the Labyrinth has something for every couple.

Add the possibility of encountering the unexpected around every turn, it’s no wonder more couples get married here every year. Camp out on the edge of the Fifth Gate, receive a blessing from a Patryn elder in a quaint migrant shantytown, or head to the Labyrinth wildlife reserves for an exciting safari.

Make sure to book your travel plans with a reputable agency that provides guarantees of both entry and exit, as well as full insurance coverage. Once you’re in the Labyrinth, making the marriage legal is a snap. You’ll only need to hand over your passport and be ready to pay the fee (barter only). There’s no waiting period. Congratulations!

Budget travelers interested in enjoying the Labyrinth without breaking the bank may also want to consider a weekend getaway to the Maze from James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.

Where are you planning your destination wedding, and can I skip it?


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