Europe is a place that draws travelers from all over. With history, beautiful architecture, and gorgeous views in seemingly every direction, the continent has an allure of its own. However, travelers shouldn’t be the only ones benefitting from the appeal of Europe — you can have your wedding there, too! So if you’re considering a destination wedding, our guide to the best European wedding destinations will help you narrow down which location is perfect for you.
Before heading off to a European destination wedding, know the requirements to be legally married in your country of choice. Check the country’s website and consult with your wedding venue or planner about the details. You need to be aware of how long it takes to obtain a marriage license, when the permit is valid, and whether you can apply online or need to sign documents in person. Start doing your research ahead of time to avoid potential pitfalls leading up to your big day.
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is one of the highlights for tourists in Ireland. It’s no wonder as the view of the coastline is unmatched, and wedding photos are stunning when set against the cliffs. But, of course, Ireland has many other areas perfect for your special day. Couples can wed in a nearby castle or head to an Irish city for urban and hotel venues.
If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Europe is beautiful architecture combined with a gorgeous coastline, Edinburgh is the place. Feel like royalty and get married in a castle, or choose a posh hotel venue. Couples can also wed at the botanical gardens, a lavish estate, or vaults that were once cavalry stables.
Of course, England has an allure all its own. Although London is gorgeous, if you want to get out of the central hub, Manchester is a lovely place to say, “I do.” The canals running through the area make it the perfect backdrop for wedding photos. So if you have your heart set on getting married at a museum, Manchester has several for you to hold your European wedding ceremony and reception.
The European country of Iceland is growing in popularity for destination weddings. Much of the region is untouched. However, for the sake of convenience — travel and obtaining a license — the capital city of Reykjavík is an ideal place. If you want a more private event, you can get away from the city and have a wedding on a glacier or a black sand beach. Just be aware that daylight can vary from 4 hours to 22 hours per day, depending on the season. It also gets especially chilly in winter.
When it comes to European wedding destinations, Italy has many options. However, the Amalfi Coast offers coastal views, rustic venues, and a laid-back — yet luxe — vibe. Unique venue choices include getting married on a boat, in lush gardens, or on a sprawling historic property. It’s also the perfect place for couples to spend a few days relaxing post-wedding day.
Spain has a vast history and gorgeous waterside views, and Barcelona offers both. You and your significant other can choose a castle, villa, boat, hotel, or restaurant overlooking the city for your venue. In addition, Barcelona is in northern Spain, making touring Spain or the surrounding countries easy for honeymooners and wedding guests alike.
Water-loving couples will adore all that Dubrovnik has to offer. Not only is it coastal, but many inlets make the city feel like an island. If you and your partner love history, Old Town is a perfectly quaint area by the water. However, there are also several traditional churches to hold a wedding ceremony. You and your guests can also ride cable cars or tour the walls of the city.
Although most folks immediately think of Lisbon, Porto is a city that has started to get more attention. And rightfully so. Porto has an old-world feel with its wandering streets, stately bridge, and winding river. Of course, you can have a wedding and reception in the city. However, the outskirts also have many large villas (called Quintas) wedding venues. In Europe, it doesn’t get more beautiful than a sprawling estate.
Santorini is an easily recognizable European destination with white-walled, blue-domed buildings set against the beautiful coastline. The summertime attracts many tourists. Therefore having a spring or fall wedding in Santori means having privacy. The island of Santorini also has multiple wedding venues that include chapels, hotels, and beachfront vistas.
If you crave a European destination wedding but are afraid of the cost, Budapest is the perfect option to consider. Weddings are a bit less expensive in this Hungarian city, yet it is bustling with culture and gorgeous buildings. Because Budapest is on the water, many venues overlook the Danube River. However, couples can also get married in a traditional hotel or museum if they choose.
Prague is the perfect place for those who want a European honeymoon and wedding all in one. The city is central, which means that touring is convenient for guests and newlyweds alike. There are also a variety of venues available. Couples can even get married in Prague Castle, which also has a vineyard for wine lovers to hold their ceremony.
St. Petersburg is Russia’s Paris when it comes to romantic destinations. Although this city often flies under the radar where weddings are concerned, Russians have long flocked to the area to say, “I do.” Whether you love art, history, or architecture, St. Petersburg has it all with fantastic venues to match. So get married in Europe by choosing a palace, museum, or park in this spectacular Russian city.
Like most European destination wedding locations, Amsterdam gets chilly in winter, but it’s beautiful all year long. If you love nature, plan to marry during the tulip blooming season (March through May). Another option is to have your special day during the change of leaves from mid-September to early November. Amsterdam is also a lovely place for touring, and you can treat your guests to a view of the city via a canal boat.
Germany has a culture all its own, making German weddings incredibly unique. Not only can you have an Octoberfest-style wedding with beer, brats, and German music, but Hamburg makes a gorgeous backdrop. It also attracts nature lovers with its hundreds of canals, lakes, and beautiful parks that host European wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Perhaps the most apparent European wedding destination, Paris has a history of exuding romance. From the mystery of the Eiffel Tower to the most delectable foods and pastries, couples love including French touches in their Parisian weddings. So whether you want to elope in a city park or have a lavish hotel wedding, Paris offers it all.
Wed in Princess Grace style in the gorgeous city-state of Monaco. Long known for its luxe atmosphere and magnificent coastline, the best venues are the posh hotels along the water in Monaco. One point to note is that you need to be a resident for 30 days to get married in Monaco. For that reason, many choose to legally marry in their home country and then have a symbolic ceremony in Monaco. It’s the perfect solution for those who have already eloped, had an intimate pandemic wedding, and want to celebrate with family and friends.
Having a wedding in a different location can seem a bit intimidating. However, Zola provides all the advice you need for the perfect big day! Whether you want to get married in Europe or need general destination wedding advice, Zola has it all. Learn how to choose your wedding location, guest book ideas, and how to curate a website for your destination wedding (hint: use Zola!). Zola is here to help you plan the perfect big day from start to finish.