8 top spots for destination weddings and honeymoons

Destination weddings give you the opportunity to get hitched in extraordinary settings that you can explore afterwards during your honeymoon. Whether your style is barefoot on the beach or haute couture on a stately palace terrace, we’ll help you find the perfect backdrop for your perfect event, as well as the best holiday rentals for the happy couple and their guests to enjoy during their stay.

1. Tradition and tapas in Tenerife

With year-round balmy weather and awesome volcanic landscapes, Tenerife is a superb location for a sun-drenched wedding on a palm-fringed beach or by the sea. Embrace the Spanish vibe by adding on live flamenco dancing and guitar music and serving tapas and paella slow-cooked over a charcoal fire. After the big event, stay on and enjoy all that Tenerife has to offer, from wine-tasting to whale- and dolphin-watching trips, Jeep safaris, and diving. And whatever else you do, don’t miss an evening’s stargazing on the top of Mount Teide.

2. Sunset scenes in Santorini

One glance at the landscapes of this southern Aegean island and you’ll be sold: Where else can you marry on a clifftop terrace overlooking the glittering Med, with mind-blowing volcano and sunset views? Other luxurious possibilities for wedding venues in this almost impossibly romantic location include sailing ships, catamarans, and even a black-sand beach. Optional extras can include Greek dancers, white doves, and fireworks. Stay on for your honeymoon and explore the old fishing harbours, archaeological sites, and hiking trails.

3. The charm of County Donegal

A country of majestic landscapes and famed hospitality, Ireland can be a fairytale setting in which to say “I do”. Rugged landscapes, rustic stone barns, or remarkable castles all make spectacular backdrops for an Irish country wedding. Romantic escapades in this mountainous region include horse-riding on the beach, mountain-biking, and rounds of golf on world-class links courses, while evenings are the time to soak up live folk music in convivial pubs.

4. Wedded bliss in Bavaria

Tie the knot German-style with the country’s highest mountains as the dramatic backdrop to your wedding photos. In summertime, open-air locations around the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen include an Alpine meadow on the Zugspitze mountain itself. In winter, couples pose for pictures in snowy landscapes and celebrate with family and friends in cozy Alpine chalets with views of the snow-clad peaks. Serve Bavarian specialities like a wedding cake covered in fresh fruits with different-flavoured tiers. As newlyweds, wander the region’s walking trails or hire a vintage car to explore the surrounding valleys with their sparkling lakes.

5. Marital magic in Marrakech

Western Morocco’s former imperial city is an atmospheric spot for an urban wedding all year round, with wildly romantic venues including ancient riads, sumptuous palaces and private villas, gorgeous rose gardens, or even tents under the stars. Local customs and entertainment you may wish to take on board include traditional musicians and acrobats, shisha pipes, belly-dancing, snake-charmers, and henna tattoo artists; and among regional specialities to serve are roast lamb, tagines, mezze, and mint tea. When your guests have left, explore the city’s compelling souks, mosques, squares, and alleys, or venture into the desert or the Atlas Mountains.

6. Boat trips and thermal baths in Budapest

From riverside terraces to elegant ballrooms and breathtaking palaces, the Hungarian capital is a plum spot for a city wedding. Prime locations include the terraces of Buda Castle and the neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House, but you can also opt for a church or even book a ceremony and/or dinner and party aboard a Danube cruise. Linger in the city to discover its many other delights, which include several historic thermal baths—make sure to book a decadent couple’s treatment at the Szechenyi Spa Baths, where you can float alfresco amidst classical statuary.

7. Vineyard vows in Tuscany

Getting married in the midst of the glorious wine estates of Chianti in central Tuscany—on the grounds of wine-producing farmhouses, villas, or castles or in their private on-site chapels—is heaven on earth. Divine food and drink are all part of the reason for getting married in Italy—and in summer, wedding banquets are usually served on terraces against an iconic canvas of rolling hills, cypresses, and olive groves. Afterwards, tour the region’s medieval towns and discover its rich art and architecture; wine tours, cookery classes, and horse-riding will add spice to any honeymoon.

8. A perfect Provence pairing

Lush lavender fields are among the unique wedding venues available in this gorgeous region of southern France, with your alfresco ceremony rounded off with a picnic of champagne and macaroons as the sun goes down. There are also wonderful country houses, châteaux, and vineyards to choose from as the venue for your super-special event, including Château les Crostes in Lorgues. And the region is spot on for honeymooners: Think awesome countryside and coastal scenery, Michelin-starred dining, wine-tasting at every turn, and to-die-for art and architecture.

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