The best wedding destinations in Europe.
Photographers guide to the best places to elope and have a destination wedding.
Due to Brexit, you might have to queue a little longer at Europian border control but don’t let that stop you from planning your dream wedding. More and more couples from the UK are planning and researching wedding destinations in Europe and choosing to get married abroad.
With short flight times and good weather pretty much guaranteed, together with amazing venues at fantastic prices and the chance to enjoy a holiday with family and friends either side of the wedding day, it’s easy to see why wedding destinations in Europe are an attractive option for so many couples wanting to elope.
My name is Wes Simpson, I’m a leading UK destination wedding photographer specialising in luxury weddings and emotional images. I have been lucky enough to photograph weddings at some of the best wedding destinations in Europe.
Ironically, I was photographing a wedding in Rhodes, Greece the day the UK went to the polling stations over Brexit so I didn’t get the chance to vote! However, getting married is a special occasion; so it’s worth considering a destination wedding, especially in Europe.
The UK is a fantastic place for a wedding, but the British weather can be unpredictable. And for those adventure seekers amongst us that like the idea of an elopement/destination wedding, it may be time to consider a European setting that is going to have guaranteed weather and all the romantic qualities needed to impress.
For me, planning a destination wedding in Europe is extra special, the added air of excitement of family and friends all being in an unfamiliar environment and there is always an added sense of adventure that makes a destination wedding exciting.
While the continent is filled with love-inducing destinations, it’s important to select the cream of the crop. Ever since my days as a Cruise Ship photographer I’ve always loved combining my love of travel with photography and over the last 13 years I have established myself as a leading UK destination wedding photographer.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel and photograph amazing weddings at breathtaking locations overseas. Here is my guide to the best wedding destinations in Europe and what makes them special.
Luxury Wedding Destinations In Europe
When it comes to the best wedding destinations in Europe, the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini is considered to be one of the most romantic getaways in the world thanks to its stunning sunsets and iconic landscapes.
Santorini has become one of the most popular wedding destinations in Europe for stylish romantics from all over the world, and for a good reason: clear waters, blue skies, famous white buildings and the fantastic food are just some of the reasons that you will find Santorini to be on any list of the best places to Elope to when getting married in Europe.
Even though one of my best friends was due to get married here this year, Santorini is a location that has so far eluded me, however, it’s a destination wedding in Europe that is very much on my bucket list. So if you’re thinking about a Santorini wedding please feel free to contact me to be your Santorini wedding photographer. I would love to hear from you; my passport is ready ;-)
Lake Como, Italy
In Northern Italy’s Lombardy region is Lake Como, an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, a Europian wedding destination that has become a popular spot for the rich and famous.
Lake Como’s picturesque setting is surrounded by lush peaks, and its shores are dotted with extravagant villas. As such, it should come as no surprise that this luxurious wedding destination comes with a big price tag.
Where to get married in Europe on a beach?
Weddings in Cyprus
Cyprus – the island of love will always be a popular location for UK couples looking for sun, sea and beach wedding destinations in Europe. Cyprus is a country which is very close to my heart and I adore photographing weddings here.
I’ve probably photographed more destination weddings in Cyprus than any other place to elope to in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. Cyprus is a very romantic place to get married because it is here that the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born. For this reason, it is often called the Island of Love.
With a very warm and sunny climate, English is widely spoken and with simple legal paperwork, Cyprus has long been one of the most popular wedding destinations in Europe for UK couples.
Some of my favourite locations for a beach wedding in Cyprus include; Paphos, Protaras, Larnaca, Ayia Nappa and Nissi Beach.
I have photographed close to 30 weddings in Cyprus, these include my first ever destination wedding in Europe at the stunning Grecian Park Hotel on the outskirts of Protaras and Paralimni, a Greek Orthodox wedding in Larnaca and my smallest ever wedding with just bride, groom and myself in attendance which took place at the Visarana Hotel in Protaras.
You might like to read these Cyprus destination wedding stories:
Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
The ‘white isle’ is one of the liveliest and picturesque wedding destinations in Europe, it is the perfect location for the young at heart or those wanting a bohemian wedding by the beach.
Known for it’s a warm, Mediterranean climate, Ibiza plays host to many beach-side wedding venues that are perfect for romantic photos at sunset – followed by unforgettable wedding receptions on the party island.
I’ve photographed several weddings in Benahavis and Marbella on neighbouring Island Cosa Del Sol, one of which was a celebrity wedding that featured in ‘The 50 Most Memorable Weddings of The Decade” in Hello! Magazine. September this year will see my first ever wedding in Ibiza when I photograph Mike and Lisa’s destination wedding.
Olu Deniz, Turkey
The white sandy beach and turquoise sea of the Blue Lagoon in Olu Deniz make it one of Turkey’s most spectacular locations and a great backdrop for your big day.
A wedding in Olu Deniz Turkey promises stunning coastal views, tropical weather, delicious food and a beach wedding location – without a hefty price tag.
If you’re looking at beach wedding destinations in Europe and thinking about Turkey, I can highly recommend Liberty Lykia Hotels. Situated in Olu Deniz on a sheltered bay surrounded by gardens and pine forest, Liberty Hotels Lykia is a relaxed all-inclusive resort 61 km from Dalaman Airport.
You might like a read Joe & Melissa Olu Deniz destination wedding photography story.
One of the best wedding destinations in Europe to elope to if you’re looking for a location with guaranteed sunshine is Rhodes. The Greek island boasts a dramatic coastline and a rich history – the island is also UNESCO World Heritage site.
You can choose from a wide range of wedding venues, from traditional tavernas to high-end hotels. St Paul’s Bay in Lindos is a popular Rhodes wedding destination at the foot of the Acropolis. The location makes a spectacular ceremony backdrop for your wedding photography and a great choice for couples looking to get married in Europe on the beach.
You might like to read Beth & Kieth’s Lindos, Rhodes destination wedding story.
Town and city wedding destinations in Europe
Amalfi Coast, Italy
If you’re happy to splash out, Amalfi Coast Italy is becoming one of the most iconic wedding destinations in Europe. Sitting high above the bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometre stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. The region offers host scenic locations with spectacular views.
If planning a destination wedding on the Amalfi Coast expect warm weather, great food and plenty of historic, romantic wedding venues – from cliffside resorts to luxury hotels.
Amalfi Coast is one of my favourite wedding destinations in Europe, and it’s always a real joy to photograph in one of Italy’s most memorable destinations. Here, mountains plunge into the sea in a nail-biting vertical as you make your way around the coastline.
Popular wedding experiences on the Amalfi Coast include Positano, Ravello and Sorrento. For a slightly more glamorous experience, you could take a boat ride over to Capri which is very popular with celebrities, and the rich and famous.
Sorrento in Italy is an increasingly popular wedding destination. Sitting high above the bay of Naples at the top of The Amalfi Coast, the town offers a scenic location with spectacular views, bustling streets and vibrant nightlife.
Expect warm weather, great food and plenty of historic, romantic wedding venues – from cliffside resorts to luxury hotels. One of my favourite wedding venues in Sorrento is Villa Antiche Mura, I am looking forward to photographing another wedding here in the summer.
Rustic wedding venues Europe
The Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
Ireland is a quaint location for a beautiful wedding and has a certain charm that cannot be highlighted enough. It’s authentic, unique, and has an adventurous undertone that is perfect for couples that want to mix things up for their big day. If you’re looking beautiful wedding destinations in Europe that have all the necessary perks to make you happy, The Cliffs of Manor is a great starting point.
These sea cliffs are a thing of beauty and stretch approximately 14 kilometres providing a collection of breathtaking views. Standing right next to the cliff and taking in the romantic sights below can be quite an experience for couples.
Why not plan a memorable wedding along The Cliffs of Moher and truly enjoy what Ireland has to offer? This is an experience of a lifetime and has to be on your list of options. It screams quality, charm, and value that is hard to find in this part of Europe.
Tuscany offers locations and venues for both small and huge budgets. It is not by chance that many celebrities have chosen Tuscany to tie the knot.
If you’re dreaming about wedding destinations in Europe in a romantic city, whereby day you can wander bustling historic streets and you can enjoy the nightlife during your stay, I recommend Florence or Siena.
If you would prefer a wedding in the countryside among vineyards and rolling hills I’d suggest looking at the Chianti region or Valdorcia area.
You might like to read these real wedding stories from weddings I’ve photographed in Tuscany:
Best places to elope in Europe
Lake Eibsee (Germany)
Located in Bavaria, this sparkling lake is often cited as a world-class wedding destination in Europe for eloping. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, memorable, and has this coveted backdrop that is impossible to ignore. Simply spending a few moments along the lake can be more than enough to woo you as a couple.
Lake Eibsee has been heralded as one of the most unique wedding destinations in Europe and is a great spot for your wedding. You are going to have a wonderful mountainous background that will add to your experience right away. When it comes to a contemporary destination wedding in Europe with a naturally beautiful region, this is about as good as it gets.
Ballintoy Harbour (Northern Island)
The Ballintoy Harbour is commonly known for its “Game of Thrones” connection but there’s more to this destination than a fantasy series. It is about spending time in a gorgeous part of Northern Island that is rich in greenery, amazing architecture, and a wonderful community of people that makes hosting a wedding fun.
Whether it is the inspiring backdrop or the natural calmness of Northern Island, this is a gorgeous part of the country worthy of your time when researching wedding destinations in Europe.
Hotel Ville Sull’Arno (Italy)
Italy has often noted as being synonymous with romance and that won’t be changing anytime soon. When you look for the best wedding destinations in Europe, Hotel Ville Sull’Arno has to be right at the top of the list.
This Tuscany-based location is breathtaking, quaint, and has all the advantages of a European-styled wedding venue. As you walk on the premises and spend time appreciating its intricate details, the quality becomes evident right away.
Hotel Ville Sull-Arno is a world-class wedding venue and encompasses everything an Italian wedding venue should offer.
Best hotels to get married abroad in Europe
Hotel Lloyd’s Baia (Italy)
If you’re looking for luxury wedding destinations in Europe; Hotel Lloyd’s Baia is a highly-rated wedding venue located in the heart of Campania along the Amalfi Coast.
Those who want the natural backdrop of coastline as the sun sets will know this has to be an option. There are very few wedding destinations in Europe as alluring as this one.
It is captivating, exquisitely designed, and perfect for a romantic experience like no other. Spending time at Hotel Lloyd’s Baia is all about experiencing its innate luxuries and enjoying the wonderful weather as spring/summer season rolls around. At the right time of the year, this is the ultimate wedding spot.
Chartreuse de Calès (France)
When putting together the best wedding destinations in Europe, there is always space for a French-themed destination. In this case, the Chartreuse de Cales is a world-class wedding venue and has those authentic French-based qualities you can’t find anywhere else.
The country house is well-maintained, spacious, and has a long list of French architectural elements that capture your attention right away.
Whether it’s the wide-stretched lawn or the high-ceilinged rooms, everything about the Chartreuse de Cales is enthralling. You are going to have a wedding of a lifetime here in this part of France and it will be remembered forever.
Cap Rocat (Mallorca)
Cap Rocat overlooking the Bay of Palma in Majorca, is the perfect choice for a unique location. Couples can get married at the embassy in Palma before a ceremony or blessing in the hotel’s little chapel with views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Cap Rocat is a luxurious boutique hotel which was once a former military fortress. The venue has been totally refurbished without altering its unique architecture and its natural environment.
If you’re looking for a luxury getaway or amazing wedding destinations in Europe, Cap Rocat should be at the top of your wedding bucket wish list. It’s on mine!
PLANNING A DESTINATION WEDDING IN EUROPE
When it comes to wedding destinations in Europe, these are just some of the ultimate locations. Whether it is the beautiful venues, gorgeous settings, or the amazing people, there is an allure with having a destination wedding that cannot be praised enough.
If you are lucky enough to be planning a destination wedding at any one of these locations you are going to fall in love with these aesthetically pleasing cities and all that comes along with them.
These are just a handful of amazing wedding destinations in Europe; I have many more on my bucket list. Feel free to contact me if you are planning a destination wedding abroad.
Destination wedding photographer UK
If you are planning on getting married at any one of these incredible wedding destinations in Europe, you will want to capture all of the beauty and excitement in photographs.
The importance of choosing a destination wedding photographer who has experience of travelling abroad with camera equipment and who knows the ins and outs of destination wedding photography is vital.
I have been photographing destination weddings for the last 13 years and in that time I have photographed many weddings overseas. I have lots of tips and advice I’d be happy to share with you.
I believe hiring a wedding photographer you trust and whose style you like is even more important when planning a destination wedding in Europe than getting married at home. Family and friends invest in holiday to see you tie the knot in unfamiliar surroundings and everyone back home will want to experience the excitement of your wedding through your photographs.
I’m based in the UK and available to cover your wedding worldwide. The process of booking me is simple, the adventure will be fun and my passport is ready… Contact me.