When it comes to tying the knot, location is important. From gathering your loved ones in one place to achieving the perfect backdrop for your wedding photo album, selecting the spot for saying your vows is your chance to shape the happiest day of your life. Your local church or 5* hotel is all very well, but with reports of a 30% increase in overseas weddings last year*, perhaps it’s time to widen the search a little?
We’ve searched every nook and cranny to bring you some of Europe’s most breathtakingly, unique and romantic, secret wedding locations – just say ‘I do’!
1. Aman Sveti Stefan
A sundrenched private island sweeping out into the Adriatic Sea, Sveti Stefan island is a wedding location worthy of any romantic Hollywood movie. Due to its status as an up-and-coming holiday hotspot, the coastal resort of Budva is still relatively undiscovered and completely unspoilt. Book your little slice of Slavic paradise through the A man Sveti Stefan hotel’s website and sail away into marital bliss in the most idyllic of settings.
Book Aman Sveti Stefan here.
2. Oxararfoss Waterfall
Thingvellir National Park , Iceland
If you’re outdoorsy and dream of saying your vows surrounded by the majesty of nature, then how about naturally enchanting Iceland. Only a 35 minute drive outside of Reykjavik, the sublime Oxararfoss Waterfall will provide the perfect setting for your big day, complete with a cosy chapel in which to seat your guests. Create the magical ceremony of your dreams in one of Iceland’s most breathtaking settings – just remember your woolly socks!
Book your Reykjavik hotel here.
3. Victoria Baths Gala Pool
For a timeless wedding ceremony full of old-school glamour, Manchester’s Victoria Baths Gala Pool offers just the right combination of vintage romance and quirky charm to make your big day extra special. A beautifully preserved Edwardian swimming pool, this unusual venue oozes culture and history and is a delightfully original place to take the plunge. The Gala Pool can be hired through the Victoria Baths website.
Book your Manchester hotels here.
4. Castillo de Santa Catalina
Tie the knot in your own medieval fortress on Spain’s sun-kissed south coast. Castillo de Santa Catalina is a historic hotel, with oodles of faded grandeur and gorgeous grounds, overlooking the rolling waves of the Alboran Sea. Take your pick from endless extravagant halls, or bring the ceremony outside amongst the castle’s picturesque, seafront gardens. And when you’ve danced ‘til dawn, you and your guests can rest your weary heads in some of the magnificent hotel rooms on offer!
Book the Castillo de Santa Catalina here.
5. Lake Bled Church
Have you been yearning for a real fairy tale wedding? Slovenia’s enchanting Lake Bled could easily have been lifted straight off the pages of any Hans Christian Andersen story. Surrounded by glistening waters and snow-capped mountains, you’ll find Bled’s beautiful island church, complete with a ‘wishing bell’ to send you on your way. Saying ‘I do’ here is as simple as b ooking a service on the island – let your own magical fairy tale begin!
Book your Bled hotel here.
6. Cave Bar, Hotel More
Ensure your big day is effortlessly cool with a ceremony in Dubrovnik’s incredible underground cave bar. Hidden within sunken chambers underneath the Adriatic Sea, and complete with glass floor over the ocean, this is a subterranean wonderland with countless beautiful backdrops for a wedding with personality. The cave bar can be hired through Hotel More .
Book Hotel More here.
7. Dingli Cliffs’ Chapel
The rocky coastal region of Dingli is home to one of the most breathtaking wedding venues in the country – St Mary Magdalene Chapel. Perched on the edge of a sheer cliff and staring out to sea, this tiny structure dates back to 1777. Recently restored and available to hire through the local council, this is a locale with plenty of stunning vistas and quaint, cosy charm, sure to make your wedding day truly unforgettable.
Find a Malta hotel here.
8. Cochem Castle
For a truly legendary wedding, and get hitched inside Germany’s dreamlike Cochem Castle. Nestled on the meandering River Mosel, this Romanesque beauty is overflowing with romance and is available to hire for your own magical day. Choose from banquet halls, towering turrets and sweeping archways – this enchantingly grand setting looks even more alluring in the snow (if only you could reserve some of that!)
Book your Cochem hotel here.
9. Benagil Cave
If walking down a traditional aisle isn’t exactly your thing, why not leave footprints in the sand and tie the knot in the spectacular coastal surroundings of the Algarve’s Benagil Sea Cave? With its sweeping curves providing a domed interior, this is a secluded and dreamily romantic wedding location like no other – grab a registrar, charter a fishing boat and make your vows in nature’s very own chapel.
Book your Algarve hotel here.
10. Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Why not start married life surrounded by hundreds of years of history? Belfast’s Ulster Museum is a quirky wedding venue, with the added benefit of being situated amongst the blooming beauty of the city’s Botanic Gardens. The impressive palm house provides the perfect background for post-wedding photos – where better to let love blossom than at the end of a sweeping gravel pathway embellished with decorative palm trees?
Book your Belfast hotel here.