5 European Destination Wedding Locations You May Not Have Considered
Planning a destination wedding is all about choosing a location you love and sharing it with your guests. So what better experience to give them than a romantic European destination wedding? Europe has it all: chic cities rich in culture and history, tranquil countrysides, drop-dead gorgeous beach, lake, and mountain scenery. Not to mention magical venues like castles, chateaux, and grand country houses. As a specialist European wedding planner, I’ve created extraordinary celebrations across Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, and beyond. And, while I love the classic European destination wedding locations like Tuscany, Paris, and the South of France, there are so many more countries and regions to explore! To get you feeling inspired, I’ve rounded up five fabulous European wedding destinations you may not have considered – yet!
Puglia, in the south of Italy, is a less obvious choice of Italian wedding destination than the Amalfi Coast, the Lakes, or the Tuscan countryside, for example. But it’s no less amazing! In fact, with its sandy beaches, whitewashed hill towns, and iconic cone-roofed Trulli, many people consider Puglia to be one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. Couples often choose to have their wedding at a traditional Masseria, as many of these charming local farming estates have now been transformed into luxury hotels and resorts.
European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Be sure to plan a wedding weekend itinerary that gives guests the chance to experience some of Puglia’s many delights, such as cooking classes, olive oil, and wine tastings, or chilling out at a glamorous beach club.
When it comes to European destination wedding locations, Ireland is up there with the best of them. Wherever you choose to host your Irish destination wedding, you’ll find breathtaking scenery, a rich history and cultural traditions, gourmet cuisine, and luxury dream venues like ancient castles and grand manor houses. But we also have that extra special something that’s hard to define. It’s in the warmth of our welcome, the friendliness of our people, and the way you and your guests will leave feeling like you’ve found a second home.
European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Plan for rain! Sometimes it’s four seasons in one day here in Ireland, so we always make sure we have a backup plan in place, especially for outdoor ceremonies. And don’t forget the umbrellas!
Loire Valley, France
World-famous for its wine, the Loire Valley region is also one of France’s most romantic destinations. It’s home to hundreds of fairytale castles and chateaux, including the one which inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty. Summer days here mean clear blue skies, balmy evenings, and air that is fragrant with flowers and vines. Plus the Loire Valley is only a couple of hours from Paris, making it ideal as a European destination wedding location.
European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: While many chateaux have accommodations on-site, unless you’re having an intimate wedding, some of your guests will probably have to stay nearby. Be sure to factor transport into your plans for the wedding weekend.
Over the last few years, Croatia has become one of the hottest newer European destination wedding locations. If you can’t choose between a beach and city wedding, it’s a great option, as places like Dubrovnik have cobbled streets and picturesque medieval architecture as well as crystal waters and a glamorous Mediterranean vibe. There are some truly special venues here, from ruined abbeys to island villas, and lots of beautiful churches if you plan to have a religious ceremony.
European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Aim for the months of June, September or October for your summer wedding. July and August can be unpleasantly hot and are also peak tourist season.
If you’re looking for a European city destination, Lisbon is a great choice. It’s the kind of place that you fall head-over-heels in love with, and there’s so much for your guests to explore and enjoy, including gourmet cuisine and a bustling nightlife. As Portugal’s capital, it’s vibrant and modern but filled with history, culture, and gorgeous architecture. It’s also easily accessible and has a wide range of wedding venues, including beachside forts, palaces, and luxury hotels.
European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: If you prefer a beach wedding vibe, choose beautiful Sintra just outside of Lisbon. This resort town is a magical destination close enough to the capital to experience the best of both worlds.
Of course, the best advice I can give you for planning a European destination wedding is to hire a planner. It will make the whole process so much easier and more enjoyable, and cut out a huge amount of research and admin time. An expert European wedding planner will help you choose the perfect location, venue, and vendors. All you need to do is say “I do!”
Slán go Fóill,
Images: Brosnan Photographic, Lisa O’Dwyer