With one in six couples now choosing to have a wedding abroad, Emily Berryman has put together the dreamiest and most stunning locations that are guaranteed to inspire…
Whether you are an outdoorsy couple looking for an action-packed bash or simply wish to kick back and celebrate with your nearest and dearest, this astounding island offers it all. Loved by the glitterati, thanks to the island’s ethereal tropical beauty and relaxed atmosphere, St Lucia has become a top wedding destination in recent years due to the wide selection of venues and swanky resorts now available.
For scenery that will make you swoon, head to the south of the island where you’ll find the majestic twin peaks of Les Pitons, St Lucia’s most iconic landmark, or go inland to witness the out-of-this-world exotic foliage and wildlife the National Rainforest Reserve has to offer. In terms of venues, every type of budget is catered for – from splendid plantation houses and boutique beach hotels to historical ruins and exciting rainforest retreats. Don’t mind if we do.
The white sands and rainforest-topped mountains of Grenada make this the perfect setting for laid back couples craving an intimate Caribbean wedding without the usual crowds. Known as the Isle of Spice, this dinky island produces more spices per square mile than any other place on earth, which means the gentle sea breeze carries the amazing scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove where you wander.
Seeking a wedding with a difference? In Grenada you can take your vows under a cascading waterfall, on a beautiful yacht or even underwater among the brightly coloured tropical fish!
Croatia is fast becoming one of the most coveted and budget-friendly wedding destinations for us style-savvy Brits. Famed for its astoundingly beautiful rugged coastline, Croatia also offers blissful lakes, pine groves and nature reserves, so there will be no shortage of fantastic settings.
Our travel tip? Head to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik for a wedding set amongst winding cobbled streets and a pretty harbour.
Cuba has long been a favourite for couples with wedding wanderlust and planning your big day here couldn’t be easier. Offering world-class beaches and stunning scenery, as well as rich culture and fascinating history, here guests can soak up the unique culture while your grandma gets to master some serious salsa moves.
And if you prefer a sophisticated city affair, then you can’t beat Cuba’s striking capital city, Havana. Jetsetters recommend getting hitched during Match or April for glorious weather and to beat the crowds. Why not give Havana’s famous cigars and local rum as favours, and arrive at your ceremony in a classic 1950s car?
Whether you’re a country bride or city-loving fashionista, our charming next door neighbour France, will never disappoint. Loved by couples for the vast wedding possibilities, the country offers delicious French cuisine, world-famous vineyards, rustic gîtes and elegant chateaus. Plus, the fact that you can be there in a flash means no ‘can’t get the time off work’ grumbles from your guests!
For die-hard romantics, the thrill of holding an intimate ceremony at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris will be hard to beat, or you could treat your guests to a cosy bash in the Alps or soak up the sun amongst the rich and famous in France’s luxurious Riviera. Of course, the wine and fashion credentials in France are pretty good, too.
Possessing some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets, it’s no wonder that soon-to-be weds flock to this classy Greek island. For coo-worthy postcard wedding photos, seek out Oia, one of the loveliest villages on the island, and make the most of the location’s amazing architecture, complete with stark white walls and brightly coloured doors.
Many couples choose to wed on the unique red, white and black volcanic sands of Santorini’s secluded beaches before sampling the delights of Greek cuisine and perhaps smashing a few plates. Apparently Santorini is a favourite with the Kardashians too (but don’t hold that against the island is you’re not a fan!).
Owing to Lapland’s location above the Arctic Circle, this is a land of amazing contrasts where romantic dark and cosy days are followed by three months of 24 hour sunshine during the summer. Perfect for winter wonderland celebration – what could be more heavenly than a white wedding, complete with igloo, mulled wine and reindeer?
Or how about experiencing the extraordinary by taking your vows under summertime’s midnight sun? A Lapland wedding is definitely one your guests will never forget.
Ever since George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin headed to Italy to hold their lavish nuptials, couples have been falling for a little Latin charm – and according to wedding website marryabroad.co.uk, Italy is now the number one overseas wedding destination. And while the food and wine is amazing, it’s Italy’s rich culture and breathtaking scenery that really gets brides cooing.
Fancy becoming Mr and Mrs in a splendid Tuscan castle? Or how about sipping Prosecco at a chic Rome restaurant or arriving in style in a Venetian gondola? For those all-important wedding shots, you’ll also have the picturesque coastlines of the Riviera and the Amalfi at your disposal.
For a back-to-nature wedding that will completely blow your guests’ minds, it’s impossible to compete with Iceland’s awe-inspiring wild scenery! With natural wonders at every turn – from tumbling glaciers and soaring mountains to rolling sand dunes – you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to hold your nuptials.
Also be sure to add some of the local dishes to your wedding breakfast. Iceland’s wonderful fish recipes and traditional smoked lamb are bound to go down a storm – but you may wish to avoid other local delicacies such as fermented shark and picked ram’s testicles…
Countless Brits have been captivated by visions of holding a Portuguese wedding, and with its abundance of spectacular locations – including quaint fishing villages, chic towns and a spectacular coastline – travel bods tell us that Portugal is set to become one of the most lust-worthy wedding locations for 2016.
Get ahead of the game by checking out the most popular places for ceremonies such as Lisbon, Portugal’s chic capital city, and the heavenly Algarve on the south coast – but also make sure that you consider less obvious locations such as Porto and the north of Portugal. With the region’s plethora of pretty old churches, modern architecture and stylish restaurants, your guests will be spellbound.