For some couples, a romantic wedding means being in a place rich in centuries-old traditions. Others just prefer the idea of a tropical beach, a piña colada in hand and the waves lapping at their feet.
What is decidedly not romantic, though, is spending top dollar on a destination wedding that is either a bit too trendy or so fashionable that thousands of other couples have chosen the exact same place. You want your wedding to stand out from the crowd.
The following venues cater to a wide variety of tastes, and they also offer something a bit out of the ordinary – in some of the most romantic venues in the world.
Northeast Harbor, Maine, the United States
Going to Northeast Harbor is like stepping back to a time of simple elegance. There are no take away places or traffic lights, just an intimate village nestled like a gem in a setting of hills and seascape. With close proximity to both the ocean and Acadia National Park, there are opportunities for hiking, biking, sailing, fishing, and whale watching. Changing foliage makes this rugged maritime landscape an especially beautiful backdrop for your wedding portfolio in September and early October.
Originally built in 1883 and a favourite of summer people for over a hundred years, the Asticou Inn has recently been restored to its full beauty. You can arrange to have your ceremony outdoors, in the Inn’s Azalea Garden or Thuya Gardens, a formal garden tucked in the woods nearby. Seafood lovers can even enjoy an authentic lobster bake for their reception dinner!
Spodnja Idrija, Slovenia
Located at the foot of the Alps, in a region renowned for its natural beauty, Spodnja Idrija is a village of 2,000 residents that dates back to the twelfth century. For those who like the idea of a winter wedding, the town is only 30 kilometres from Ski Center Cerkno, making it possible for guests to get in some time on the snowy slopes.
Kenda Manor is one of the finest and most picturesque hotels in Slovenia. This restored medieval manor home has an outdoor garden that is perfect for civil ceremonies. Wedding guests can explore the area or just relax on the grounds of the former estate, which boasts excellent views of the surrounding hills and one hundred year old apple trees.
With its chateaus, great cuisine, and fields of sunflowers and lavender, France is one of the most popular destinations in the world. But for couples who want their wedding celebration to take them someplace more authentic and unique, Corsica offers a wilder side of romantic France. Bonifacio, a medieval city on the southern tip of this Mediterranean island, has a picturesque charm that is reminiscent of Greece and Italy. There are prehistoric caves and beaches of stunning beauty to explore close to the famous harbour town.
A short drive from Bonifacio, Villa Spérone is a holiday rental property that sleeps a party of 12-14. The villa overlooks the Natural Reserve of South Corsica and includes open access to the Spérone Golf Resort, an 18-hole course with spectacular views. White sand beaches and beautiful gardens give you a choice of where to hold the perfect wedding ceremony, and the owners are happy to make arrangements down to the last detail.
Caye Caulker, Belize
If getting married in a church or formal garden is really not your cup of tea, a destination wedding in Belize may be just the thing for you. This Central American country became an independent commonwealth in 1981 and has since evolved into a mecca for eco adventurers and those looking to settle down in a casual atmosphere. It packs a lot of interest into its small size – jungles, Mayan ruins, and the world’s second largest barrier reef.
Caye Caulker, a small island right off the coast of Belize, is known for its laid-back ambience. With prices lower than many tropical destinations it is good value as well. Seaside Cabanas, a hotel of only 18 rooms — one of them a luxury suite — is the perfect size to accommodate a small to medium-sized guest list. The hotel owners will help you to plan every detail of your wedding and reception, and also assist those who wish to snorkel, dive, and explore the aforementioned ruins on the mainland.
Of course, you can spend your days doing absolutely nothing but napping in a hammock on the beach. At least you will look relaxed and happy in your wedding photos!