Looking to jet off for your wedding celebrations? Be sure to check out our selection of eight incredible wedding abroad destinations – near and far, familiar and exotic, but all completely unforgettable. The locations, the pictures, the ambiance… we’re already envious of the couples who may choose one of these for their wedding. And they’re perfect honeymoon locations as well – extend your stay and enjoy all these beautiful places have to offer!
Images and main image courtesy of Oliver’s Travels
If the words ‘French chateau’ make you feel instantly dreamy, why not take it up a step and consider one for your wedding? It may seem too good to believe, but in fact there are so many locations to choose from, you could consider it even on a modest budget. Whether you’re dreaming of a chic coastal mansion close to the stunning Côte d’Azur or you have your heart set on a grand 17th century chateau complete with fairy tale turrets, the folks over at Oliver’s Travels can help you find that picture-perfect setting. France makes for a destination wedding that wouldn’t be too much trouble for travel as it’s just a short flight away, and of course you’d enjoy all the famed and unmistakably French food and wine only this country can offer. And of course, unless you’re fluent in French yourself, it’s best to hire a planner to help you arrange everything. Oliver’s Travels can assist you with your planning and they also have the best selection of dreamy chateaux all over the country. Read more about getting married in France here!
Images courtesy of Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa
There must be something in the water at the Greek island of Kos – everyone we know who’s gone there wishes they could move there permanently. This lovely place is a tourist attraction, yes, but it’s not your usual hurried and crowded kind – it’s balmy, leisurely and so welcoming, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to visit long-lost family. The food is incredible and so generous, even the appetisers are the size of main entrees. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect location for a wedding? Consider the Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa, where they love organising perfect weddings above all – and accomodations wouldn’t be any problem at all, as there are 267 rooms and suites available for booking, plus all the things that make a huge difference to the guests – swimming pools, sports facilities, a spa and more. Basically, it’s your picture-perfect place for a perfect day, but in real life. Fairytales do come true!
Images courtesy of Monte Santo Resort Carvoeiro
Say you’re an undecided kind of bride. Maybe you’d rather have an outdoor wedding, but you know you may have to settle for the indoors, because the weather is so unpredictable. Maybe you love a touch of class, but you’d still like to be somewhere a little bit exotic, maybe next to a glistening body of water. Or you like the idea of going abroad, but not so far away that many guests will decline your invitation. Your perfect destination may just be Portugal. Incessant sunshine is pretty much guaranteed from May to September, with stunning blooms and colours in March, April and October, plus milder temperatures. Consider the Monte Santo Resort in Carvoeiro – not only is it the perfect wedding destination in Portugal, the town itself has many attractions for everyone – shopping, eating and sightseeing. Definitely worth a look.
Images courtesy of Venus Beach Hotel
Just a little bit east of Greece, you’ll find Cyprus – an island surrounded by blue water and renowned for its beaches. So, a perfect beach wedding destination? We’d have to say yes! The Mediterranean climate is perfect for it, with long hot summers between May and September, and mild winters the rest of the time. Cypriot cuisine is similar to Greek, which means lots of healthy grilled things, garlic, mint and plenty of veg. It would make a fantastic wedding feast for sure. As usual with celebrating such a big occasion abroad, it’s best to leave the planning to the professionals – and we recommend the Venus Beach Hotel – what better place than one named after the ancient goddess of love? A spectacularly photogenic poolside location with the beach literally on the doorstep, it’s as spendid inside as it is outside. This would be the perfect place to start your grand European tour honeymoon – get wed in Cyprus first, then hop around the continent by plane, train or luxury coach. Perfect memories guaranteed!
Images courtesy of Weddings in Poland
Cracow used to be Poland’s capital city, the seat of kings, until Warsaw took over the title. Today, it still has the crown of the most desirable tourist destination in the country, boasting such wonders as one of Europe’s largest original Medieval squares. Many words have been written about Cracow’s enchantments, but here’s something you may not know – a short distance away lies the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a magnificent underground maze of tunnels chiselled from salt rock, which used to be worth as much as gold. Getting married in a salt mine may not sound like a fun prospect, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The miners carved a most incredible underground chapel with high ceilings, sculptures and even a chandelier made of salt rocks – and as you descend down into it, the impression is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Professional planners from Weddings in Poland will answer all your questions about this marvellous option – and believe us, if you want an unusual wedding, this is guaranteed to wow everyone.
Images courtesy of Riessersee Hotel Resort
Tis true, the beach isn’t everyone’s thing. If you’re not a beach and sand kind of guy or gal, may we suggest Germany instead? In particular, the region of Bavaria, where the panorama of forests, lakes and mountains has the power to make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of one of those perfect travel brochures. An ideal destination is the Riessersee Hotel Resort in the splendidly named Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It’s perfect in every season, utterly photogenic and cultured, and infused with famed German hospitality. They really do know how to make anyone feel welcome and completely at ease, which is never more important than at a wedding. Complete packages are available too, saving you all the hassle of having to seek your own suppliers.
Images courtesy of Canadian Sky
What a place to run away to! Or if not run away, then to bring your favourite people along. Airfares are cheaper than you think, especially directly with AirTransat from Dublin to Toronto. And while Toronto itself is a world-renowned destination for all kinds of adventurers, it takes just an hour and a half’s drive to reach the iconic Niagara Falls – also known as the ‘honeymoon capital of the world’. It would make perfect sense to get wed in Canada and stay on for at least a few days to enjoy the beauty of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Canadian Sky will help you organise exactly the wedding you want – and trust us when we say, you’ll have an absolutely unforgettable time with five guests or fifty. Of course, if you fancy some other locations, it’s not a problem – Canada has beaches as well as mountains, snow, sun, and Quebec if you fancy a bit of French culture. It’s a stellar choice, however you look at it.
Images courtesy of Unique Japan Tours
We thought we should include a far-out destination for your consideration – after all, the world is definitely your oyster today, and you can easily combine an exotic locale with Irish tradition. The current law states that you indeed can have a legal marriage ceremony, however there’s much paperwork to be done and you should contact the Japanese embassy in your country for guidance on the latest laws. The easier way is to marry legally in Ireland, then arrange a celebration in Japan, which also gives you the freedom of having any kind of symbolic ceremony you wish for. Unique Japan Tours can help you with this, and with all your other travel arrangements if you’d like to stay for a short or even long while and honeymoon while you’re there. We probably don’t need to explain the West’s endless fascination with this stunning country, but it’s best to see it for yourself. Have an adventure, and a wedding someone else is truly unlikely to have. In Japan, your special and unforgettable day will take on a whole new meaning.
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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.