Looking for a wedding venue that’s a bit more original than a stately home or a country church-and-marquee combo? Laura Weeden pinpoints some of Thomson Weddings’ most unusual big-day settings…


Best for wine buffs

Santo Winery, Santorini

Forget bulk-buying wine from your local supermarket. Here, you’ll sip on Santo’s own-label vino, no less. You’ll be toasting your nuptials from a clifftop terrace – Santorini does dramatic views and candy-coloured sunsets like nowhere else, and Santo Winery has nabbed a front-row seat. You can have your reception here, too, so you can tuck in to your wedding breakfast with an Instagram-worthy backdrop of Nea Kameni volcano.


Best for animal lovers

Nguni Sanctuary, Kenya

Not a fan of big weddings? Instead of dozens of distant relatives, the guest list here includes doe-eyed giraffe! The sanctuary is set in a huge park away from Bamburi Beach’s big hotels, so it’s got a real wilderness feel to it. Your wedding photographs grassy plains, acacia trees, and confetti-pink sky… and probably a few photobombing giraffes.

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Best for old-school romantics

Cloisters of San Francesco, Sorrento

If you’ve been harbouring fairytale fantasies since your other half got down on one knee, Sorrento’s Cloisters will be right up your street. It packs a serious punch in the romance stakes – you’ll be saying I do in the pocket-sized courtyard of a Medieval monastery, surrounded by vine-draped arches. And, as a bonus, you’re only a minute’s walk from the clifftop, where you can have photos with Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples in the background.


Best for snow bunnies

Snow Village, Lapland

Go for a white wedding with a difference in Narnia-esque Lapland. At the Snow Village – made entirely of snow and ice – you can go the whole hog and marry in an ice chapel, complete with snuggly reindeer skins and flickering candles. Carry on the theme with dinner and dancing in the ice bar – we’d suggest giving your guests a ‘wrap up warm’ dress code – followed with a night with your other half in an igloo-style bedroom. You’ll be sleeping on a giant slab of ice – we’ll leave it up to you to think of ways to keep warm…


Best for adventurous types

Prospect Plantation, Jamaica

If you want your entrance to have real impact, forget walking up the aisle. At Jamaica’s Prospect Plantation, you can channel Lady Godiva (albeit with clothes on) as you ride in on horseback. And as your other half, guests and the minister will all be on horseback, too, you won’t have to worry about awkwardly clambering down in your dress in front of everyone. After swapping vows, you can trot off for a romantic ride around the plantation’s grounds and tropical gardens – very Pride and Prejudice.

Are you planning an unusual wedding ceremony? Is your wedding venue a little out of the ordinary? Let us know in the Wedding Ideas Forum today.