Perhaps the most fun part of the wedding planning process is getting to plan your honeymoon. Let's face it, it's great to invite tons of your friends and family to a grand party, but it's so much better to think of spending some much needed quality time with just your newly wedded husband!
Honeymoons are important no matter who you are, but the planning takes on a few extra layers when you two are a gay couple. All of the places that straight couples tend to go are not on the table for the LGBT community since some places are very unsafe for us. As more and more states gain marriage equality, the gay honeymoon market continues to grow as well. The following destinations are all gay friendly and known for rolling out the red carpet for new couples.
Italy - Italy may be the most romantic place on earth. Just stop and think about the word Romance - the root is Roma (Italian for Rome!). What could get more romantic than taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice or sharing a pile of fresh pasta and a bottle of delicious red wine? Try the Secret Garden Villa in Positano on Italy's fabulous Amalfi Coast. The Secret Garden Villa is a gay-owned boutique rental property that has amazing views of the sea from atop a rocky ledge.
For more information, visit furtherafield.com/the-secret-garden-positano-amalfi-coast-italy
Greece - Any gay man who thinks of the country of Greece is probably thinking of the sun-soaked island of Mykonos. Of course Mykonos is like any other tourist destination: You can go snorkeling, visit ruins, jet skiing, or even find an isolated beach in the middle of August - there are 300 beaches around the island.
But that's not what you go to Mykonos for. You are in Mykonos to swim (probably naked), to dance (all day and all night), to shop (designer and affordable), and to make love. It's been said that Monte Carlo has glamour but no parties, Ibiza has the party but no glamour, and the Caribbean is too commercialized. Mykonos is and will always be your queen of clubs, beaches and partying! Try the gay-owned Elysium Hotel, the place to see and be seen in Gay Mykonos.
For more information, visit elysiumhotel.com.
Spain - Doesn't it seem crazy that on of the most traditionally Catholic countries in the world has marriage equality, years before The Land of Free? Madrid, Spain's capital and largest city has a huge gay population and the gayborhood there is an area called Chueca. Barcelona is a beautiful seaside city with amazing architecture and a bustling gay community of it's own.
Just to Barcelona's south lies the gay beach town of Sitges. With more than 20 gay bars, Sitges is the Fire Island of Spain. However, the town is wildly popular and hotel rooms tend to sell out fast. Book early to avoid disappointment.
For more information on hotels and nightlife in Sitges, visit GaySitgesGuide.com.
Hawaii - Hawaii is the straight honeymoon capital of the world so the resorts there definitely know how to treat newlyweds. Since it's the U.S. you don't have to worry about passports or currency exchange, and you know that you won't be thrown in jail for making out on the beach with your new husband. Hilton and Marriott market to the gay community and either will be happy to provide a welcome lei (get your mind out of the gutter you filthy pig).
There are also boutique hotels including Absolute Paradise, a gay-owned B&B on the big island of Hawaii. You are definitely not going to want to leave once you spend a few days on island time.
For more information or to book a room at Absolute Paradise, visit AbsoluteParadise.tv.
French Polynesia - I have to admit that I am including French Polynesia in my plans because it's where I have dreamed of going for years. I am obsessed with the over-the-water accommodations in Tahiti and Bora Bora. It's not easy to get there, but there are few places on Earth as serene and beautiful as these far-flung, isolated French-speaking islands.
Since marriage equality was passed in France last year, many have started planning their wedding there and the islanders welcome our community. If you are going to spend all the time it takes to get to Bora Bora, you might as well spring for the nicest accommodations. Over-water king sized suites will set you back at least $600 a night, but most of the hotels also have cheaper options in case that's out of your budget. For travel information on French Polynesia, stop by tahiti-tourisme.com. You will find an LGBT section there that will tell you more about your options.
Costa Rica - Los Ticos, as the people of Costa Rica are known, have one of the most stable, LGBT-friendly governments in Central America. Go to Costa Rica if you are looking for an action-packed geo-friendly honeymoon. Large swaths of the country are national parks and there is lots of hiking, zip-lining, surfing, and mountain biking to experience. If you are looking for a destination that provides a lot of thrill-seeking adventures, this is the destination for you.
There are two international airports that offer flights from most of the major carriers so getting there is no problem, and it's just a couple of hours by air from Florida. Try the gay owned and operated Banana Azul along the Caribbean coastline for an experience and adventure that is second to none.
To read more, visit bananaazul.com/gay/gay-costa-rica-caribbean.htm.
Iceland - Several years ago, Iceland made history when its people elected the first out lesbian head of state. The country is very progressive and offers many protections to LGBT citizens.
With just over 300,000 people who call the country home, half of the population lives in or near the capital city of Reykjavik. In Iceland you can hike up the side of a volcano, swim in a naturally-heated blue lagoon or take in unbelievable sights in this Northern wonderland. There are several gay-owned and gay-friendly accommodations and events are planned for the LGBT community year round. Winter weather is much like the northeast of the US and in summer light sweatshirts will keep you comfortable. Americans, Canadians and Europeans don't need any special travel documents besides a passport to travel to Iceland.
Try "Room with a View," a gay-friendly apartment hotel with great rates. Their website is RoomWithAView.is.
This story is part of our special report titled "Gay Marriage." Want to read more? Here's the full list.