Your European wedding abroad – could it be anything less than perfect? If you’re going to travel for some miles across the air and sea, it makes sense to land at a place where fairytales really do come true. We’ve hand-picked seven destinations perfect for a European wedding abroad, all within a short flight from Ireland, and all offering something spectacularly different. Have a look and take your pick!
Hilton Vilamoura, Portugal
Ease of travel ranks very high when choosing a destination for a European wedding abroad – and the Hilton Vilamoura at Cascatas Golf and Spa is an absolute winner in this regard. A direct flight from Dublin to Faro lasts less than three hours – and then, just 25 minutes later, you’ll find yourself standing on the grounds of this absolutely breathtaking venue. Landscaped gardens, waterfalls, pools, a spa… you’ll wish your wedding lasted a week, so you could enjoy absolutely everything. All your guests will find accommodation here – the hotel boasts 176 bedrooms. And as for your wedding… well, just say how many people will be coming, and you’ll have the time of your life. An intimate reception in the romantic garden… or a lavish party at one of their 10 specially dedicated spaces… truly, what you want, you will have.
Contact Hilton Vilamoura to check if your dream date is available.
Hotel Ta Cenc, Malta
If you’ve ever wanted to be at a place which literally takes your breath away every time you open your eyes, you’ve just found it. It’s Hotel Ta’ Cenc in Gozo, Malta. The country is already a huge favourite with Irish brides, for so many reasons – weather ranking in the top five. Now imagine a fab hotel perched on a cliff, overlooking water, rugged land, and beautiful nature – astonishing views wherever you turn. Gozo itself is romantically known as ‘the island where time stood still’, thanks to its serene ambiance and stunning old architecture. You can opt for a ceremony at one of the island’s 45 churches, or a civil one at the hotel – perhaps on one of the terraces overlooking the water, or at the 17th century Palazzo Palina within the grounds. The wedding team will arrange every last detail, including airport transfers for you and the guests. Quite simply, if it’s Malta, you must consider this location for your European wedding abroad – it’s positively awe-inspiring.
Contact Hotel Ta’ Cenc for further wedding planning details.
Castello di Montignano, Italy
‘I’m getting married at Castello di Montignano’ – it has quite a ring to it, doesn’t it? If you love saying it, imagine actually holding your wedding there. It’s a perfect place for couples who love history and unique locations. The castle origins date back to year 962, and while it witnessed much turbulence over the centuries, it was always a family residence. It opened its doors to guests in 2009 – and now you can enjoy its resplendent surroundings on your wedding day. It’s one of the few properties in all of Umbria where the Mayor can celebrate a civil ceremony, or you can choose a nearby village church or abbey for a religious ceremony. The splendour of the castle is ideal for grand receptions, which can take place inside or outside. The castle can also be exclusively hired, including its 12 bedrooms and spa. If you love Italy, this is a quintessential Italian venue for your European wedding abroad.
Contact Castello di Montignano to find out more about booking a wedding.
Porto Carras, Greece
If you like to be beside the seaside, then Porto Carras Grand Resort in Greece will easily win you over. It features two 5* hotels, a world-class villa, luxurious casino, and two spa centres. And that’s just the location – they certainly know how to make a couple feel very, very special. Indeed, as they say themselves, perfection is only defined by you and your wishes. Here, a perfect European wedding abroad is the one where the couple aren’t stressed or worried about the details – they simply get carried away with the magic, all organised to the last detail by the events team. Any spot you choose for your ceremony and reception will be spectacular, and perfect for photos. Your guests will rave about the cuisine and hospitality, and the staff will make sure everyone has the time of their life. And in case you’re wondering when to set the date, the resort enjoys the same weather as Majorca, Spain, with much sunlight and moderate temperatures throughout the year. This opens up a whole host of possibilities for splendid spring, summer and autumn celebrations.
Contact Porto Carras Grand Resort to ask for further details.
Schloss Prielau, Austria
There’s simply no season that’s off-season at the Schloss Prielau in the Austrian Alps. Its marvellous location means you can gaze upon the magnificent mountains in the winter, or lull by the lake in the summer. In fact, the Zell am See region is one of the holiday destinations for Austrians and Europeans – so you know its attractiveness cannot be doubted. Schloss means a castle in German, and its history dates back to the 1400s. Grooms might be intrigued to know the castle is owned by the Porsche family since the 1980s, and they’ve made it what it is today… a haven of Austrian hospitality. They simply love celebrations, but none more than weddings. Here, you can host a ceremony of any denomination, and they even have their own church. You can party until 4am with fireworks and the best food in town. You can event rent the entire venue for your own exclusive use, and invite up to 30 guests. Their full capacity is 300 guests, so if you can’t bear the thought of leaving anyone behind in Ireland, this is definitely the place for you. Take a peek at a real wedding at the Schloss Prielau right here.
Contact Schloss Prielau directly to discuss your celebration.
Gran Melia Don Pepe, Spain
Everything you could possibly want from a wedding abroad location, you’ll find right here at the Gran Meliá Don Pepe. Sunshine? Check. Nearby beach? Check. Luscious views? Check. Close to centre of Marbella? Check. We could continue like this, but you get the picture. There’s no time-limit on your celebration, so if you ever fancied a moonlight beach ceremony, preceeded by a dinner and followed by a party, this is the place to make it happen. If you and your other half are foodies, you’ll find Andalusia is the land of haute cuisine, and the hotel’s many restaurants will impress you beyond your expectations. The hotel’s chef loves a challenge, and will create any menu you wish. And because there’s nothing more romantic than returning to the place where you said ‘I do’, the hotel will welcome you back for a free one night’s stay on your first anniversary, subject to room availability. Is Spain your perfect destination for a European wedding abroad? Sí!
Contact Gran Melia Don Pepe for more information about weddings.
Esperia Hotels and Resorts, Rhodes, Greece
Now, here’s an option for couples who know they want to get wed in Greece, but want lots of venue options from a reputable company. That’s Esperia Group, and their spectacular offering in Rhodes. A good starting point is to know just how large you want your European wedding abroad to be, because their biggest venue, Vergina Hall, can accomodate up to 1000 guests. Next, it’s the ambiance. The beach bar-restaurant Ammades is yours if you want the lapping waves, blue water and soft sand. Diagoras Hall is a garden location of Esperos Palace Resort, or go for Castello Hall if you find medieval architecture enchanting, and want those photos everyone will be jealous of. These are just a few of the places that could be yours for your special day. All that’s left to do is all the details, like food, music, fireworks, and anything else you’ve set your heart on.
Contact Esperia Group to ask about your options in more detail.
Main image courtesy of Schloss Prielau
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.