I’d advise looking a little further afield than Blighty for your dream wedding venue. We’ve chosen six sensational wedding destinations, and it should come as no surprise that none of them are in the UK.
After all this moaning about the British weather, you might be surprised that my first dream wedding destinations is Iceland. Surely a north Atlantic island on the edge of the Arctic Ocean is going to be worse off regarding the weather then the UK is? Well, yes it’s going to be a little colder, but the north Atlantic drift does give Iceland a warmish climate. The whole island sits just outside the Arctic circle, so it’s not quite the land of the midnight sun in June. However a trip to the Icelandic island of Grimsey is perfect for a destination wedding in the midnight sun. March and October give more or less equal hours of day and night, and the chances of seeing the spectacular Aurora Borealis are high throughout the winter months. Other backdrops for your dream wedding in Iceland include hot springs, volcanoes, geysers and glaciers.
If Iceland doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about a Caribbean island instead? With literally hundreds of islands to choose from including Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands. Unbroken sunshine throughout most of the year, perfect sandy beaches with pure white or even pinkish sand and some of the world’s most spectacular sunsets, the Caribbean guarantees one thing the UK cannot; a predictably sunny climate.
If that’s a little too far from home, then a quick jaunt across the English Channel to France may be more practical. With hundreds of fairytale French Château available for rent, France offers the ultimate in romantic wedding destinations. Your wedding party can fly or drive, thanks to its close location to the UK, and you can choose to marry in Paris, one of Europe’s most romantic cities, or in a castle or château in rural Brittany, Bordeaux or the beautiful Loire Valley. Once you start exploring the wedding destinations and venues available in France, you’ll be quite literally spoilt for choice.
New York, USA
New York is fast becoming a dream destination for weddings abroad, and Central Park is one of New York’s favourite wedding venues. You may not instantly warm to the idea of getting married amongst the world’s largest concentration of skyscrapers, however those who have visited New York know it to be one of the warmest and friendliest cities on Earth.
You can have a horse drawn trip around Manhattan Island either before or after you tie the knot, have wedding photos taken atop the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Centre with Central Park in the Background, on the Brooklyn bridge or even on Liberty Island. From here you can honeymoon in New England, which is beautiful in autumn, or fly interstate for a pan-American tour.
Often hailed as the world’s most romantic city is Florence in Tuscany, Italy. The birthplace of the Italian renaissance, the city is filled with art and architecture which can only be described as jaw dropping. The wedding venues available in Florence are adorned in neoclassical décor, and your wedding celebration can include a balloon trip over the beautiful Tuscan countryside and the dreaming spires of Florence itself.
Like many wedding destinations in Europe, Florence is easily accessible via low-cost air travel and your party can either stay in hotel accommodation, or in a number or Italian villas which are available for rent at very competitive prices.
Staying in Europe, the last but by no means least place on our list is the island of Santorini. This Mediterranean island offers fantastic scenery, lovely Grecian chapels and fantastic food, all of which add up to the perfect wedding ceremony in the perfect location, with the added advantage of predictable weather (unlike the UK). The main town on this island, Fira, is perched high on the cliffs overlooking the ancient caldera. The tiny whitewashed buildings contrast perfectly with the orange sandstone of the near vertical cliff face, and it all adds up to some fantastic wedding photographs and a day you won’t forget.
It may sound overly extravagant to get married abroad, and you may feel the potential cost to be prohibitive. However when compared to the cost of a venue and catering in the UK, you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how affordable weddings abroad are.
About the Author: This article was written by Lisa Burton, owner of The Bridal Consultant – a specialist wedding planning company for weddings abroad.