Today, Colombia is one of the few countries in the world that endorses same sex marriage for the LGBT community. Discover destinations that will make your wedding a unique experience for you and your guests.

Same sex marriage involves the legal and / or spiritual union between two people of the same gender. This type of union is also known as gay marriage, marriage equality, or gay wedding. Since 2016, Colombia has been included in the list of the few countries that endorse this type of marriage in the world. In addition to this, and with its wonderful destinations for weddings, the country provides a range of great options to perform marriage unions of all types.

Allow us to suggest the most special ceremonies that couples have chosen to celebrate their same gender marriage, according to their beliefs and the region of their destination wedding.

Turn your same sex marriage into a destination wedding

Destination weddings take place outside of the couple’s country or state of residence. As such, the couple and their guests travel to attend the ceremony, adding a special quality to the event. When searching for a wonderful destination to host your same sex marriage, Colombia is the ideal country.

Santa Marta, a great destination to celebrate a same sex marriage

Santa Marta is a city located in northern Colombia that borders the Caribbean Sea. While at first glance you might consider performing a beach wedding, Santa Marta has so much more to offer. From the mountains that accompany the Sierra Nevada to the waterfalls and natural wells of Minca, tropical forests that change colors seasonally and sunsets on the beach, the city exceeds in options for celebrating a gay wedding.

There are a great variety of pleasant climates in the region. You have the option of finding a cold climate, ideal for a civil or more intimate wedding, or a warm one for more tropical weddings. Additionally, Santa Marta has a rich historical and cultural environment, a valuable attraction when planning a destination wedding for a conventional or same sex marriage, especially for guests.

Celebrate your same sex marriage in Mamancana
Credit: Mamancana

A couple celebrates their wedding at Mamancana

Mamancana, celebrate your same sex marriage at a private natural reserve

Santa Marta has beautiful settings to carry out a same gender marriage. Among those, Mamancana stands out. A 600 hectare private nature reserve composed of a tropical dry forest. Within this nature reserve is a tourist complex that provides accommodations, restaurants, spa and wellness services, beauty treatments, yoga and even meditation classes.

Currently, the place is well known for hosting weddings and celebrating same sex marriages. This natural open landscape is the ideal setting for this as Mamancana is located in the middle of a forest which constantly changes colors and is complemented by a spectacular ocean view.

A spiritual rite to celebrate a same sex marriage in Santa Marta

You can celebrate a same sex marriage with a spiritual rite.
Credit: Mamancana

A same sex marriage celebration through a spiritual rite in Mamancana.

For the celebration of a gay wedding, Mamancana offers an exclusive service with the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada. It is a mystical ritual called an "Ancestral Wedding" that is performed in accordance with the beliefs of the Tayrona indigenous culture. This ceremony is particularly focused on cleansing and healing to create a new energy of love.

This ritual is performed by a Mamo Arhuaco, who is the highest ranking authority of this culture. Other rituals have also been performed here as more and more couples choose to have mystical, Buddhist, or non-religious ceremonies; especially those in the LGBT community seeking a same sex marriage.

" You can also perform other rituals such as the "Union of hands" or "The ceremony of light”. “Each couple can also bring the person they would like to officiate the ceremony ", says Luciana Muriel, Marketing Director of Mamancana.

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The charms of Cali and the Valle del Cauca region to celebrate a same sex marriage.

A couple celebrates their same sex marriage in Cali
Credit: Mónica Menéndez

Oscar and Carlos chose to celebrate their wedding in the Valle del Cauca region.

Another ideal location for a destination wedding is the Valle del Cauca region, located in the western Colombia through which the central and western mountain ranges run, making up part of the great Andes mountain range. In this region there is also the Colombian Pacific Coast , where a large part of the country's Afro-Colombian community lives. In addition, Cali, its capital, is known as "The world capital of salsa". The multiculturalism of the region and the diversity of its landscapes make itan unmissable destination when planning a same gender wedding.

When planning a wedding, whether it be a conventional or gay marriage, one of the main things to keep in mind is weather. Valle del Cauca has one of the most pleasant climates in the country, accompanied by beautiful pink sunsets and a cool coastal breeze. In addition, it is complemented by romantic locations such as colonial haciendas with canals or with imposing samans, better known as rain trees. Both for its climate and its locations, this region of Colombia is unique for the celebrating a same sex marriage.

The Colombian Pacific culture will make your guests fall in love with the region.

Another advantage of hosting a destination wedding in this region is the influence of the Pacific culture found there. This is displayed in its cuisine with dishes such as seafood encocados (a coconut-based dish), crab soup and piangua stews (mollusks), among others. This culture is also reflected in its decorative garments filled with vibrant colors, ideal for celebrating a same sex marriage for the LGBT community. For wedding entertainment, you can opt for a "crazy hour" with a theme alluding to the Petronio Álvarez Festival, and distribute turbans of various designs for the guests or feature one of many famous salsa shows in the area.

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A ritual for a same sex marriage ceremony that suits the couple and the region

Enjoy your same sex marriage in Colombia
Credit: Mónica Menéndez

Make the decision to celebrate your wedding in Colombia.

Although each couple must choose their own ritual according to their beliefs, the ritual of the four elements would be a good choice for a region as multicultural and diverse as Valle del Cauca.

In it, the four elements of nature are honored: air, earth, fire and water, with their representations on an altar, and the fifth element is welcomed: love.

Activities that guests can do during the celebration of a same sex marriage.

The Valle del Cauca region offers a wide variety of activities for guests, such as:

Gastronomic tours to Ginebra

A town famous for its sancocho (a broth with choice of protein, tubers and vegetables). In this town, you will also be able to experience savory country cuisine and friendly faces. A plan for people who want to be in closer contact with nature in friendly environments.

Water activities in Lake Calima

An hour away from Cali, surrounded by beautiful farms and estates available for rent, lies an ideal location for practicing sports and water activities such as sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing and kayaking. Here the temperature is lower and leans towards a temperate climate.

Gastronomic Tour at the Km 18

Here’s an essential activity in the region and an experience that should certainly be included during same sex marriage celebrations. Just 20 minutes from Cali, traveling up the road to the mountain at Km 18, you’ll arrive at a rural vista in the middle of the mountains and enjoy regional snacks.

Gastronomic Tour at La Alameda (Farmers Market)

Another favorite plan when it comes to destination wedding or same sex marriage activities is to visit the La Alameda Gallery farmers market. On this tour, you may taste regional fruits such as chontaduro (a small round, fleshy fruit with a dry texture) or savor other dishes such as tamal de pipián (a dough composed of annatto, red potato, peanut, onion, garlic and cinnamon), fish stew and other typical delicacies of the region.

For these experiences, many recognized wedding planners in the region have an integral team for destination weddings. Among those is Jimena Jaramillo, who has multilingual tourist guides available ​​to accompany guests and encourage them to enjoy various experiences and / or gastronomic journeys that can be integrated into the celebration of your same sex marriage.

Be sure to come to the most welcoming country in the world and celebrate a same sex marriage with a wonderful destination wedding that you, your partner and guests will never forget.