Top 10 European Destination Wedding Locations

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While you can’t beat the scenery offered in Ireland, if you want to have guaranteed sunshine on your wedding day, then these 10 European destination wedding locations could be just what you’re looking for. 

Villa Cimbrone, Italy
Villa Cimbrone, Italy

Destination Wedding: Italy

A destination wedding location known for breathtaking views, medieval charms, and cute pastel-coloured Italian fishing villages, The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular Italian locations for destination weddings. As well as offering spectacular food and wine, it is home to numerous unforgettable venues with breathtaking views of soaring cliffs and sparkling sea. The 12th century Villa Cimbrone, in the beautiful town of Ravello, is an iconic hotel for weddings and a highly prestigious backdrop for your big day. Further along the coast in Positano Villa Oliviero with its panoramic terraces is the perfect backdrop for a romantic destination wedding celebration. Other options include Lake Garda or the cities of Rome or Milan.

Best time of year to tie the knot: April to June.

Take Note: Anyone can be legally married in Italy, there’s no legal residency requirement for a wedding, simply paperwork that certifies your identity.

Destination Wedding: Portugal

The Algarve boasts stunning beaches, unique coves and caves, ochre cliffs topped by green pines and of course, the blue Atlantic Ocean in the background. Your wedding budget goes much further in the Algarve, it is not cheap, but more competitive than the likes of the Amalfi Coast and you can be assured of a stylish wedding in a gorgeous setting within budget. Check out quaint cliff-top chapels like Senhora da Rocha in Porches for the ceremony to luscious and luxurious resorts for the reception. Also in Porches Vila Vita Parc is the perfect location for your five-star wedding! Or perhaps you would prefer the charm of Case de Monda which is described as ’an idyllic oasis of calm and fun, a leafy, lush and colourful wedding venue’. Located by the beach on the marina at Praia da Rocha, NoSoloÁgua is considered one of the coolest venues around. With it’s sunny party and sunset session vibe, this venue takes you right through the day from romantic ceremony to lively nightclub beneath the stars.

Best time of year to tie the knot: June to September.

Take Note: Portugal is the only European country where you can get married on the beach thanks to the registrar being able to perform at favoured places.

Meneghetti Wine Estate, Croatia
Meneghetti Wine Estate, Croatia

Destination Wedding: Croatia

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is one of Europe’s hidden gems for destination weddings. Few places offer such atmosphere, beauty and romance just a short flight from Ireland. Blessed with one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe as well as 1,246 islands and islets with crystal clear sea and extraordinary beaches, it offers impressive coastal vistas, breathtaking national and nature parks, beautiful rivers and lakes, as well as charming highlands. With an idyllic setting amid olive groves and vineyards, Menghetti Wine Hotel and Winery offers an elegant backdrop with a fairytale ambience. Rent out the whole estate for a truly luxurious wedding. The islands off the coast are also excellent for an atmospheric wedding from the picture postcard beaches of Brac to the A-list favourite Hvar. Be sure to check out Brijuni near Pula, Istria. Located within the national park, it offers an impeccable seafront wedding experience. It’s also worth looking into a private villa, such as Villa Sancta Maria

Best time of year to tie the knot: April to October.

Take Note: There is no minimum residency period, but a civil ceremony is the only legally binding type in Croatia should you have you heart set on a religious one.

Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza
Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza

Destination Wedding: Ibiza

It’s not all about the clubbing in Ibiza, head to the countryside to discover magical scenery and a truly tranquil vibe. The stunning five-star Agroturismo Atzaro with its traditional Ibizan architecture is located at the heart of the island and surrounded by an ancient orange grove. This countryside hotel effortlessly combines rustic charm with natural luxury and is one of the most popular Ibiza wedding venues with many couples choosing to say their vows by the statement pool. You will feel in seventh heaven getting married at Hacienda Na Xamena, where you can say ‘I do’ in the cliff-top amphitheatre and enjoy stunning sunset views.

Best time of year to tie the knot: May to September

Destination Wedding: Malta 

A wedding in Malta offers stunning scenery, beautiful architecture with over 7,000 years of history behind it, as well as an established destination wedding industry with a wide choice of venues. Offering both civil and religious ceremonies, the legal formalities are relatively simple and gay weddings are also welcomed. There are numerous indoor and outdoor venues to choose from and with over 300 days of sunshine alfresco dining is possible for much of the year. A wedding venue since 1962, Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa is Malta’s most iconic five-star hotel. This historical hotel combines sumptuous cuisine and sublime service with picture-postcard gardens. The Xara Palace in Mdina is nothing short of magical. Perched on centuries-old bastions, surrounded by stunning baroque architecture, it offers luxurious accommodation and award-winning haute cuisine for your special day.

When to tie the knot: April, May, October & November

Take Note: Malta is open to everyone to get married and all ceremonies are legally recognised. 

Princessa Yaiza, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
Princessa Yaiza, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

Destination Wedding: Lanzarote

Unless you are resident, a legal wedding is not currently possible in Lanzarote, unless you are resident on the island, so couples choosing to get married here, will have to go through a small, legal ceremony at home before enjoying a symbolic blessing and hosting their reception here. Easily accessible from most airports, Lanzarote boasts year round sunshine and offers a variety of wedding venues including Princessa Yaiza in Playa Blanca with its beautiful pergola to hold your ceremony, terraces overlooking the ocean for your cocktail and a five-star restaurant of the reception meal. They also have their own disco or jazz club where you and your guests can party. Tucked away in the Los Mojones area of Puerto del Carmen the Arenas Lounge is a exclusive award winning restaurant where you can enjoy exclusivity either of the Fountain Chill Out Area for more smaller, intimate numbers or full exclusivity of the venue from numbers of 50 or more. 

When to tie the knot: May, October & November

Rocabella, Greece
Rocabella, Greece

Destination Wedding: Greece

Known as the most romantic destination worldwide, the Greek Island of Santorini is famed for its beauty, from the marvellous sea views to those iconic white-washed houses and black-sand volcanic beaches. It is the most popular wedding destination amongst the Greek islands, offering an array of wedding venues set amongst the backdrop of traditional blue and white Cycladic architecture with breathtaking views out over the Aegean Sea. Perched on the hills of Pyrgos The Dunes Wedding Venue offers 270-degree wide panoramic views of the world-famous sunrise and sunset of Santorini. From the venue you can gaze towards the entire northern part of the island, including the Caldera and the Aegean Sea. The ample outdoor space, impressive landscaped gardens and unrivalled panoramic views make this an unbeatable venue. Alternatively, Rocabella Santorini offers. Breathtaking location on the island for your ceremony and reception.

When to tie the knot: April to May & September to November

Take Note: If you are wanting a religious ceremony rather than a civil one, be aware that the Catholic Church in Greece confirmed that churches on the islands of Crete, Syros, Milos and Santorini will no longer perform marriages for non-residents. 

Chateau Sainte Roseline, France
Chateau Sainte Roseline, France

Destination Wedding: France

Provence is famous for its picturesque villages, sun-drenched weather, excellent wine (most notably Provençal Rosé) – and, of course, those incredible lavender fields. Plus its prime location means you can choose between either the beautiful coastline or pretty rolling countryside hills as the ideal spot for your wedding day. Located in the centre of Provence, near to Saint Tropez, the French Riviera and just 45 minute’s drive from Nice, the beautiful and rustic Chateau Sainte Roseline is ideal if you fancy yourself a French countryside wedding but still with plenty to do around you. This wedding venue can cater for a intimate gathering of 30 right through to 250 people indoors and a gargantuan 1,000 people outdoors! As a winery estate, you can sip on their homemade wines throughout your wedding weekend and indulge you and your guests in tours and tastings on the days surrounding your wedding. With an onsite chapel, the local village priest of Les Arc can bless you before moving onto your reception, where you a choice of suitable backdrops to choose from. Or you might prefer the idyllic Chateau de la Ligne nestled in the French countryside 20 minutes from Bordeaux.

When to tie the knot: March to May & September to November to avoid the crowds.

Take Note: A civil ceremony is the only legally binding one and it has to take place in the town hall. There is a 40 days residency prior to the wedding, therefore many couples marry in their own country and hold a religious or symbolic ceremony in France.

Destination Wedding: Spain

Spain is a country full of contrasts, from sun-filled beachside resorts and sprawling vineyards to magical fairytale castles and haciendas. A stone’s throw from Puerto Banus, Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort offers palatial luxury and is the ideal location for a lavish Andalusian celebration. The resort offers endless options for your nuptials and can accommodate from 30 guests to 500 in a range of indoor and outdoor reception venues. Alternatively, just two hours drive from Madrid is the majestic Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel. Set within a meticulously restored 12th-century Romanesque abbey, the hotel’s vast estate covers 1,730 acres with 500 acres of vineyards. Canapés and dinner will be a gastronomical delight thanks to the award-winning winery and a Michelin-starred restaurant (which also boasts a Green Michelin Star for its dedication to sustainability).

When to tie the knot: June-September, or May & September to October.

Take Note: Meeting the legal requirements for non-nationals can be difficult, so most couples have a civil ceremony in their own country first, followed by a religious or wedding blessing in Spain.

Grand Hotel Timeo, Sicily
Grand Hotel Timeo, Sicily

Destination Wedding: Sicily

This Mediterranean island is known for fabulous food, stunning scenery of sandy beaches ringed with mountains, and delicious wine – elements that all help to make a destination wedding to remember! Located between Trapani and Palermo, Baglio Oneto dei Princip di San Lorenzo is a five-star luxury wine resort. The Belvedere Garden is ideal for a wedding banquet under the stars for up to 400 guests, while the Mandragola Hall and Mandragola Terrace provide an excellent indoor alternative with fantastic views over the countryside. Just a few steps from the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina, Grand Hotel Timeo will leave you speechless with its six-acre garden filled with lemon trees, olives, and magnolias, and the spectacular views over Mount Etna and the Mediterranean. Outdoor symbolic weddings can be celebrated on the panoramic Ganimede Terrace, with other areas being available to tailor your day to suit you.

When to tie the knot: April to June & September to October


  • You don’t want to opt for a destination that many of your guests will struggle to travel to, so consider flight costs and accessibility from the destination airport to the wedding venue.
  • Are you drawn to the countryside, city, sea or mountains? Luckily, a lot of these destinations offer a variety of options.
  • Do you want to combine your wedding with your honeymoon?
  • What food do you like? In other words there is no point opting for a destination where you are not a fan of the local food and wine!
  • What’s your budget? There is no point having your heart sent on a luxurious hotel venue on the Amalfi Coast if your finances don’t stack up, so look at similar backdrops in less popular European locations.
  • Which season do you want to get married in? Most European countries will have sun and be busy with tourists around the same time, but the likes of Malta offers one of the highest hours of sunshine. 
  • How important to you is it to get legally married in your chosen location? You may find it easier to have a civil ceremony in the UK and a blessing abroad.

Q. Is a destination wedding cheaper?

A. It can be if you choose a country where the exchange rate favours your currency and where prices are lower than in the UK.

Q. Is it selfish to have a destination wedding?

A. It’s not selfish to have a wed abroad – so long as you accept that some of your loved ones might not attend.

Featured image courtesy of Romantica

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