You’ve decided to take the plunge and make it official. Naturally you want your big day to be unforgettable. One way to do this is to have your wedding abroad. The question is: Where is the ideal location to get hitched? There are thousands of fantastic wedding venues all around the world and your choice of location will be determined by what kind of wedding you’re looking for. The following are some ideas that will help you get started:
One of the most romantic ways to exchange vows is to do it on a tropical island. White, sandy beaches fringed with waving palm trees and crystal-clear ocean forms the perfect backdrop for a wedding in the sun. Besides, that white wedding dress will look so much better against a tanned skin.
There are many island resorts that offer not only services like planning, catering and even arranging someone to conduct the ceremony for you, but also include the honeymoon and accommodation for your guests in their packages. Bora Bora in French Polynesia is probably the ultimate location for an island wedding and in its bid to position itself as the world’s most romantic island, it offers a variety of all-inclusive wedding packages at its luxury resorts. The one drawback is that its remoteness means that it takes some effort and quite a bit of money to get to. As an alternative, you may want to consider islands like Koh Samui in Thailand, the Maldives, Mauritius, Jamaica or one of the Greek islands. Zanzibar in Tanzania offers an extra touch of the exotic with its medieval Arabic architecture and the scent of cloves in the air.
When a woman has found her Prince Charming, what better venue to marry him than in a castle fit for a princess? Castles around Europe offer accommodation and wedding services. The UK has stunning castles offering wedding packages, like Dalhousie Castle in Edinburgh and Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. If you want to look beyond British borders, Ireland’s Ballyseede Castle, located in Tralee, Kerry is one of the Emerald Isle’s most popular wedding venues. Other options include Barberstown Castle in Straffan, Kildare and Clontarf Castle in Dublin.
Italy has many gorgeous castle wedding venues too, including the famous Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano near Rome. This is where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married, as did Petra Ecclestone. A French château like Château Challain near Angers in the Loire Valley of France is a great option too.
Getting married on a wine estate not only guarantees a beautiful setting among the vineyards but also solves the problem of which wines to serve. While France, Italy and the Napa Valley in the USA offer several stunning options, you may want to consider the Cape Winelands of South Africa. Most of the wine estates in the region are centred around the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, all within an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Set amidst dramatic mountain scenery, the estates of the Cape Winelands usually offer catering services and accommodation is easy to find in or near the surrounding towns or in Cape Town itself. Wedding season here is in the summer months of the Southern Hemisphere and the Mediterranean climate means that there’s a good chance of sunny weather that will make you forget that it’s freezing back home. An added bonus is that, if you earn pounds, euros or dollars, a South African wedding won’t hurt your pocket that much.
The ultimate location for a big-city wedding is a toss-up between the City of Lights, the City that Never Sleeps and the Harbour City. Paris is the romantic capital of the world and since it’s only a short flight or train ride from the UK, it’s easy to get all your loved ones to join you for the big day. According to the Eleanor J. Straight's experience, traveler and writer, the language barrier doesn’t need to be a problem since the city has many churches that cater for English speakers. There is a plethora of trés chic restaurants, hotels and châteaux that cater for wedding parties and may even offer a view of the Parisian skyline.
New York has some stunning wedding locations too and as the world’s most filmed city, chances are that you may find a venue that featured in one of your favourite movies or TV shows set in the city, like the New York Public Library. Central Park is right up there among the best New York wedding locations and the Central Park Boathouse can cater for all your needs. The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers offers breath-taking views over the Hudson River and if you want to combine city views with the hallways of power, the Delegates’ Dining Room with its outdoor rooftop patio at the United Nations building is just the venue for you.
Sydney in Australia has the ideal climate for a wedding and offers many possibilities, from a chic event at a waterfront restaurant or hotel to an informal beach wedding. While you can have a wedding on a boat cruising down the Seine or around Manhattan, nothing beats getting married while cruising around Sydney Harbour. After all, what better backdrop can you ask for than the brilliant white Sydney Opera House?
If you have a taste for the offbeat, you may want to find a unique and unusual wedding location too. The obvious choice would be a wedding chapel in Las Vegas. One of the city’s most famous wedding venues is the Little White Wedding Chapel, which offers packages like Hawaiian weddings, drive-thru weddings and, naturally, an Elvis package. A host of celebrities got hitched here, including Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Britney Spears, Joan Collins, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow and Mickey Rooney, who got married here twice. While most of these marriages didn’t last, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward did stay together for life.
Disney World in the USA’s Orlando is a fun venue and offers all-inclusive wedding packages too. There are several venues that you can choose from, among them Magic Kingdom against the backdrop of Cinderella Castle and the Wedding Pavilion which is located on its own island.
For the ultimate white wedding, it’s a good idea to head to Finland. Hotel Kakslauttanen in Lapland is famous for its wedding packages, which include getting married under the midnight sun, on a Sami holy island or in a chapel made of ice.
So make your choice!
Lucy Benton is a writing coach, an editor who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger, and currently, writes for college paper writing service and Assignment Helper. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on FaceBook and Twitter.