A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that couples should feel free to splurge without feeling anxious about every detail. Having a destination wedding – with help from a travel agent – can decrease your stress level, and if planned right, it will be a celebration that you and your guests won’t soon forget. So, let your imagination run wild and dream big! Vacation will help you get started with a few ideas for couples contemplating the idea of tying the knot in Europe. Before you start planning, consider these recommended luxury hotels as places to host your nuptials. And remember, it’s not only just about the venue, but it’s about the jaw-dropping locales, too!
Monastero Santa Rosa (Amalfi Coast, Italy)
Perched on a cliff-side overlooking the Mediterranean, the Amalfi Coast’s stunning beauty makes it a “honeymoon central.” But whether you want to tie the knot or are looking for a post-nuptial getaway, Italy’s charming coastal towns like Amalfi, Positano and Ravello will make you feel like a teenager again with their postcard-perfect winding roads and jaw-dropping sea views. And this youthful zeal comes in handy when exploring narrow alleys, lanes, villas, churches and marvelous villa gardens. Getting lost in these enchanting villages is the only way to discover their real character. Driving around is only for the brave; so, renting a car isn’t a necessity.
Why: This area has attracted the rich and famous for decades, but you can make your fairytale wedding come to life with help from an expert travel agent. Located from the crowd along the Blue Highway, you can tie the knot in privacy in this 17th century convent transformed into a lavish property that includes a beautiful four-level terraced garden. An awarding-winner full-service spa, gourmet restaurant and library are just a few amenities designed to entertain and relax your guests.
Best Time to Visit: Amalfi and its coastal neighbors pretty much shut down during the winter, so plan your big destination wedding between April and October – though you’ll have to share this idyllic travel destination with the rest of the world.
Villa d’Este (Italian Lakes, Italy)
The Italian Lakes region proves that Italy is more than art and architecture. When people talk about “The Lakes” here, they mean the slice of heaven encompassing four major lakes: Como, Garda, Lugano and Maggiore. And the lakefront towns have enticed globetrotting celebs, like George Clooney, to put down roots. Lake Como usually gets all the love, but don’t skip gems like the smaller Lake Orta, whose fairytale island houses a monastery. This breathtaking region is the perfect setting for a destination wedding for couples who’ve dreamed about tying the knot in a lakefront setting.
And there’s no shortage of things to do and see in the area, such as a private boat tour of Lake Como to see the many beautiful villas and gardens, and spending an evening in Milan to catch a performance at the prestigious La Scala opera house!
Why: The mountain or lake views from the rooms are amazing, but it’s your big day. Go ahead and splurge on one or both of the two exclusive villas located inside the 25-acre heritage park. This exceptional property offers endless high-end amenities, including an award-winning Beauty Center, eight tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course and much more!
Best Time to Visit: Spring and autumn are great times for a visit, as is the summer, though you may have to cope with some thunderstorms as the humid air hits the edges of the Alps.
NOTE: JK Place (Capri and Ischia, Italy), Belmond Villa San Michele (Florence, Italy) and Baglioni Hotel Luna (Venice, Italy) are a couple more recommendations if you are planning a destination wedding in Italy. One of Vacation.com’s expert travel agents can help you arrange your big day!
Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo (Monaco)
Monaco was first brought to the attention of the wider world when silver screen actress Grace Kelly married and became Princess Grace of Monaco. This miniature principality knows how to do luxury well, attracting everyone from multi-millionaires to A-list celebrities. Go shopping in the high-end shops found along Cercle d’Or, Avenue de Monte-Carlo, Avenue des Beaux Arts and Allées Lumiéres. Explore the glamour of the French Riviera and hire a private boat to take you along the coast or into the ocean. For a little sunbathing, take advantage of access to the private Monte-Carlo Beach club with posh beachside cabanas, watersports and in-tent service.
And don’t miss having a three Michelin-Star dining experience with your new spouse at one of the best restaurants in the world – Le Louis XV. If you’re both luxury travelers, you can’t possibly go wrong picking Monte Carlo as your wedding destination.
Why: From the helicopter drop-off service to the art nouveau Winter Garden to the Crystal Bar and Terrace (with access to the world’s largest hotel wine cellar), we’re not sure why you wouldn’t want to plan your wedding at the Hotel Hermitage. Opulent accommodations, Michelin-starred dining, access to the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo, and one of the world’s top 10 spas, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. If nothing else, you should spend a few nights in the hotel’s Diamond Suite Duplex that features a Jacuzzi, panoramic terrace with a solarium, a dining area and a whirlpool. An expert travel agent can help you plan these once-in-a-lifetime experiences to create your dream destination wedding.
Best Time to Visit: Plan an unforgettable destination wedding during the Monaco Grand Prix in May! Attend one of several balls held as part of this annual event to party with Hollywood’s acting nobility and European royals.
Grand Hotel Wien (Vienna, Austria)
If you’re a couple of classical music lovers, then you should consider a destination wedding in Vienna. At your reception, consider the Viennese Waltz for your first dance in the birthplace of the ballroom dance genre. This city is also known for its local composers (including Bach, Mozart, Handel and Haydn), first-class music halls and the Vienna State Opera. And there’s no shortage in historical, artistic and cultural offerings with museums such as the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, Natural History Museum Vienna and the Liechtenstein Museum. One of the best ways to become familiar with this beautiful city is through its coffee houses. Each has a personality of its own and menus that vary from ham and eggs to exquisite pastries, but the main staple (coffee) is always served.
Why: For almost a century and a half, Grand Hotel Wien has been among the city’s poshest hotels with an elegant, almost regal ambience and plush rooms with amazing city views. Wedding couples can indulge in the Grand Spa No605’s range of treatments (among the most extensive in Vienna), sauna, steam bath and relaxation zone to decompress before and after their big day. Revel in grand, historic luxury complemented by state-of-the-art technology and outstanding service.
Best Time to Visit: Make the traditional celebrations part of your destination wedding stay! Visit Vienna in May to see the Wiener Festwochen, a festival of music and dance. And for a magical Christmas, visit the Christkindlemarkte advent markets from mid-November.
Hotel Barriére Le Fouquet’s Paris (Paris, France)
From the iron pinnacle of the Eiffel Tower to the white stone domes of the Sacre Coeur and the multi-colored pipes of the Centre Pompidou, Paris is not short of iconic and instantly recognizable architecture. It’s known as one of the most romantic cities in the world; so, consider this hub of French history and culture as a prime location for your nuptials. Spend a day visiting a few museums, including the Louvre, Picasso Museum and the Musée Rodin, where you marvel at the sculptor’s exquisite mansion and artwork, including “The Kiss.” For a more leisurely trip outside of the city, head to Chateau de Versailles, to take a tour to see its lavish and ornate décor, to stroll through the manicured gardens and to spend some quality time together in a paddle boat. And no trip to Paris is complete without an evening cruise on the River Seine to see landmarks like the Notre Dame, the Louvre and Pont Neuf.
Why: This is the first luxury hotel in Paris to receive a fifth star! Splurge and stay in the 108-square-foot Eiffel Duplex which features an upper floor lounge and a large balcony with incredible views. All the rooms at Hotel Barriére Le Fouquet have complimentary 24-7 butler service. Although it offers a tip to the hat to history, its modern sensibility includes being on the forefront of sustainable development – perfect for eco-friendly couples who enjoy the luxury hotel experience.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Summer are the best times to visit the City of Light. For sport fans, consider visiting in July to witness the spectacle of the Tour de France when the city’s famous street transforms into a race track for lycra-clad cyclists. And even if you’re not into the race, you can shop at the high-end designer stores located along the Champs Élysées.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable destination wedding in Europe? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.