One of the main reasons to tie the knot abroad is to bag a view that’s a world away from Britain’s green and pleasant – albeit a tad predictable – land. El Berwick from Thomson Weddings reveals 8 of the most stunning backdrops for your nuptials…
Suites of the Gods, Santorini
Never has a wedding venue been so aptly named – talk about a heaven-sent vista. Perched regally on a cliff side, the hotel blends effortlessly into the white sugar-cubed landscape, offering up a head-spinning setting for your big day.
It’ll leave your local town centre seriously wanting. Throw in sweeping views over Santorini’s caldera and a tie-dye sky at sunset, and we’re talking epiphany-inducing stuff. Especially when the fireworks start popping.
Villa Fondi, Sorrento
When it comes to romance, Italy knows what it’s doing. Villa Fondi is a case in point – it’s home to a king-of-the-castle terrace where you’ll exchange rings. Over your other half’s shoulder, you’ll glimpse the dark denim waters of the Bay of Naples twinkling in the sunshine.
And afterwards, you can head to the surrounding parkland, where crooked lemon tree branches provide a natural frame for your first photos as man and wife. #nofilter required.
Sensatori Resort, Mexico
If you feel like professing your love from the rooftops – and who doesn’t on their special day? – this is the venue for you. You can wed on the roof of this luxurious Sensatori resort, with the ludicrously blue waters of the Riviera Maya stretching out to the horizon behind you.
Back on ground level, you’ll find daybeds lined up on the water’s edge, a beach butler service that’ll keep you topped up with celebratory Mojitos, and all the trimmings for candlelit dinners on the shore.
And did we mention luxury suites complete with hot tubs and spa treatments for 2? If there’s a place more suited to starting a marriage on the right foot, we’re yet to find it.
Winter Wonderland, Lapland
Not everyone lusts after a beachy backdrop – some couples go gaga over a snow-dusted scene. Enter ‘Winter Wonderland’. You’ll feel like you’ve disappeared through a coat-filled wardrobe and emerged in Narnia, thanks to its fairytale feel. Think frosty forest, icy lake and a cosy gazebo draped in glittering lights.
We bet you won’t even feel the cold as you arrive on a traditional reindeer sleigh then make your pledges looking out towards the lake. And if you do, a hearty meal and a visit to the hotel’s lakeside sauna will warm you up in no time.
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, Dominican Republic
The Cayacoa commands the top spot in Samana Bay. The hotel boasts a widescreen view of the shoreline in all its glorious technicolour, meaning it’s perfect for a wedding with oomph.
Swap vows in the garden gazebo with a backdrop of palm-fringed sands and surrounding hills smothered in greenery. The outlook from the pool is just as peachy – especially since you can grab a cocktail at the swim-up bar as you take a dip. Well, it would be rude not to.
Couples Sans Souci, Jamaica
If you’re looking for a laid-back venue with a calming outlook to match, this place ticks all the right boxes. The rocky outcrop where you’ll get hitched watches over a pristine white beach that errs on the side of Zen. It’ll put you firmly in the Jamaican ‘no worries’ state of mind.
For more in the way of relaxation, you can take a pilates or yoga class run by the hotel. And if that’s too much effort, unwind in one of the three restaurants, with the help of some chilled Prosecco.
Wat Bang Rieng Pagoda Hill Temple, Thailand
When it comes to a wedding with oriental flavour and one hell of an aspect, the Wat Bang Rieng Pagoda Hill Temple holds the trump card. After you’ve paid your respects to the image of Buddha inside a prayer room, you’ll step out to the pavilion. You’ll be met with tropical forest and blue-hued mountains that go on for days – it’s near on impossible to suppress an ‘ooh’.
Once outside, you’ll be joined by a group of golden-robed monks and they’ll begin a traditional blessing. Then your final transition to Mr and Mrs will take place in the inner sanctum of the temple, where you’ll make wishes about your future life together. Your friends will have a tough time outdoing this one.
Cala Tarida, Ibiza
The White Isle may have a rowdy reputation, but when it comes to settling down, we can’t think of a more fitting place to saunter down the aisle. Cala Tarida is the longest and widest ribbon of silvery sand on the island’s west coast, so there’s plenty of room for your nearest and dearest.
The coastal setting has ‘sunset ceremony’ written all over it, with the sky melting from hazy peach in to hot pink as you say your ‘I dos’. Then it’s time for Ibiza to show exactly why celebrations are part of its fabric. Crack open the bubbly over a table-load of tapas, keep it casual with a beach barbeque, or make a bee-line for the legendary clubs and stay up to see the sunrise on your first day of married life.
Longing for a stress-free wedding abroad? We have lots more top tips on how to plan your celebration overseas right here.