So you’ve decided on a destination wedding, and narrowed it down to Europe. The inevitable next question is: where? After all, the location of your wedding will set the tone for the whole event, and put into motion so many other aspects of your wedding planning. But with the whole of the continent at your fingertips, how do you find the place that’s right for you? A beach in the Algarve, maybe. A castle in Ireland. An elegant chateau in the Dordogne. Or maybe even a glacier in Iceland? With so many fabulous European wedding destinations to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some things to consider, that will help you turn an endless list of possibilities into a more manageable shortlist.
Decide on a backdrop
The best place to start is with yourselves. What sort of backdrop do you envision? What sorts of places do you love to travel and what are your passions? Whether you dream of mountains or ocean, sun or snow, a secluded country venue or a vibrant city spot, the place you choose for your wedding should reflect YOU. And with so many European wedding destinations to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Sit down as a couple and discuss your dreams and expectations. Then make a list and start researching which locations fit your criteria.
Consider your guests
Choosing a wedding destination is far easier when you have an idea of how many people will be on your guest list. If it’s a larger one, this may allow you to eliminate locations that don’t have enough accommodations nearby, or that are hard to get to. It’s also important to consider the ages of your guests and whether you will be inviting children or elderly people. Creating a first draft of your guest list will give you a lot of information to apply to your destination search.
Think about season and weather
Another aspect of European destination weddings to consider is the season, and the weather you can expect during any month. This is especially important if you want an outdoor ceremony or reception. The weather here in Ireland is known for being a little eccentric, so we always prepare for showers, whatever the month! That said, the second half of the year is generally wetter and windier. August and December are typically the rainiest months and we do get plenty of pretty days throughout the year too!
The small print
When planning a destination wedding in Europe, it’s vital that you research the legal requirements. Each country has its own requirements and these often change. Of course, you can also get around this by having a legal ceremony in your home country, followed by a symbolic ceremony at your destination wedding. Also, be aware that if you want a religious ceremony, there are additional rules to follow in most countries and churches.
Destination weddings are more than a single event. They’re a chance to share an experience with your favourite people and explore a beautiful place together. That’s why it’s important to choose a location that has plenty to offer. Fortunately, many European wedding destinations fit the bill, with everything from historic sites to culinary adventures for all to enjoy!
Once you’ve narrowed down your location, it’s time to move on to the next exciting part: venue hunting!
Slán go Fóill,