Weddings are a growing business that many tourism destinations get the advantage of. According to the Knot Research & Insight Team, during 2021 in the US, the average guest size was 105, with a total cost invested in the ceremony reception of $28K, while 19% of couples decided to have a destination wedding. Indeed, some of the most coveted destinations worldwide are Ibiza, Santorini, Malta, Mexico, and Bali. However, one destination in South America is raising awareness among international couples, Ecuador.
Let’s briefly why Ecuador is an ideal wedding destination.
Small in size but vast in nature destinations
Ecuador is catching the attention of international wedding planners and twosomes that want a perfect wedding in a honeymoon destination where their guests can also have a memorable travel experience by giving them a perfect excuse for a short vacation.
The Galapagos Islands is, without a doubt, the crown jewel. An exotic destination in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where nature and wildlife are still pristine. The archipelago has some of the most exclusive hotels, ideal for wedding venues with a touch of exotism and luxury. Also, there’s the option of chartering a Galapagos cruise, a perfect choice for a boutique wedding.
The Amazon Rainforest’s breathtaking nature and mystic culture catch the attention of adventurous couples that want to combine the quietness and exotism of the Ecuadorian Amazon with some of the best luxury lodges awarded worldwide for their quality of service and uniqueness.
The Andes offer some of the most exclusive haciendas and hotels surrounded by jaw-dropping historical churches. Just imagine a ceremony in a church covered by gold or in the chapel of some of the most antique haciendas that have become a destination.
The Pacific Coast offers a combination of sun and sand and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and, depending on the season, the impressive spectacle of whale watching.
Rich in culture and friendly people
Ecuadorian culture has a significant influence from Spanish colonialism, the republican period, and the mixture of its indigenous roots.
The Andes cities, such as Quito and Cuenca, have some of the best-preserved historic city centers with impressive churches that blow people’s minds and are ideal for a dream wedding ceremony. Indeed, both cities were declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Cities. Also, some of the most luxurious boutique hotels are located close to or within the city center.
Also, the Haciendas are a big part of the republican history of Ecuador. Nowadays, they have become exclusive accommodations where traditions and customs come to life, with eye-candy volcanoes and mountain landscapes as a backdrop.
On the other hand, according to the luxury travel expert Karen Lynn Dixon, people always make a difference in Ecuador because of their empathy and friendliness. Ecuadorians smile at all times and are willing to pamper and take care of visitors. Hence, newlyweds and their guests have that sense of being in a family house with a new tradition, where gastronomy is a big part of the event that has recently been evolving into signature cuisine.
An affordable destination
Even though Ecuador adopted the US dollar as a national currency, its prices are considerably lower than some of the international destinations we have mentioned before or in the US.
Ecuador offers dreamy venues and affordability that not only couples are looking for but also for guests who want the perfect excuse for having a few days of vacation to discover the Ecuadorian beauties, even before or after the wedding.
Indeed, it’s pretty common for wedding planners to partner with local tour operators to manage the travel logistics for the couple and their guests during the pre and post-tours.
The land of roses and chocolates
Ecuador is one of the biggest exporters of roses, among other flowers such as orchids, which allows couples to have the best for their decoration. Also, the fine aroma of cacao, used for making the best chocolates in the world, is from Ecuador.
Both of these products are available to enlighten the ceremony and offer experiential activities in which guests can be part of a day tour and have an immersive cultural experience.
Lastly, Ecuador’s wedding industry has substantially evolved in the past years. In 2021, Quito was the venue of the most exclusive weddings in the world, where the International Supermodel and Victoria’s Secrets Angel, Jasmine Tookes, and Juan David Borrero, had a spectacular ceremony with more than one hundred international guests. Thus, the photo of the newlyweds crossing the door of the San Francisco Church in Quito’s historical city center under a rain of rose petals was part of some of the most exclusive magazines, such as Vogue.
*Borrero-Tookes Wedding photo by Daniel Maldonado