A lot of people planning destination weddings more or less wind up looking for traditional honeymoon locations. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, and in fact you can plan the two – a destination wedding and honeymoon – all at once! However, honeymoon resorts, tropical getaways and the like aren’t the only options for destination weddings, just as they aren’t actually the only options for honeymoons. Sometimes an interesting city abroad can be a perfect alternative.
Destination weddings in major cities actually carry a lot of benefits. They’re packed with suitable venues and should provide various accommodation options for guests. Cities also have plenty of built-in activities that guests can enjoy when official wedding business isn’t going on. And for that matter, if you’re asking guests to travel for your wedding, they might be able to make more of an extended vacation out of it in a city – where there may be other places to see or neighboring cities to check out – than they can at, say, an expensive beach resort.
For these reasons, we’re doing a look at four cities in Europe specifically that can make for beautiful and enjoyable destination wedding locations.
1.) Hvar, Croatia
All the rage in traveling to Croatia surrounds Dubrovnik, and we certainly wouldn’t try to take away from the glory of the capital. It’s a spectacular city in large part because of its scenic position on the coast and its legendary city walls. However, Dubrovnik has also become a rather crowded spot, which is why Hvar Town is a nice alternative. This is actually a city that essentially occupies its own island off the Dalmatian Coast, and many see it as the nicest place in the country to visit.
Wedding venues around the town are frankly spectacular, from restaurant terraces with seaside views, to old, pretty ruins, and even the Spanish fortress that stands tall over the bulk of the town. The truth of the matter is it’s hard to find a single spot in Hvar that isn’t beautiful, so your wedding would be sure to have a gorgeous backdrop. And beyond the wedding, your guests will undoubtedly enjoy exploring not just the town, but the beaches and waters around it. Sailing and boating options from the island are perhaps its best activities, and will provide unforgettable experiences for all involved.
2.) Paris, France
Not too much needs to be said about Paris’s desirability as a wedding destination. It’s commonly cited as the most romantic city in the world, or at least one of them, and you need only spend a day and a night there – if that – to understand why. Naturally the venues are somewhat competitive, but as with Hvar, in a different sort of way, you can’t really go wrong with any options.
It also nearly goes without saying that your guests will want as much extra time as they can get, given the chance to visit such a spectacular city. All of the normal tourist highlights – scaling the Eiffel Tower, walking beneath Arc de Triomphe, touring Le Louvre, and even venturing out of the city to see Versailles – are reasonable expectations with even an extra two days of time. Not to mention, part of the joy of being in Paris is simply exploring on foot and trying a café or sharing a bottle of wine here and there.
3.) Stockholm, Sweden
From a standpoint of beauty, Stockholm may be the most underrated city in Europe – or is at least one it feels like we should all appreciate a little bit more! It’s located quite literally on the Baltic Sea, and occupies a cluster of islands that comprise an archipelago. And during the summer months in particular you get wonderful warm (but not hot) temperatures that make it easy to set out and explore the city. It’s not a city known specifically for weddings, but there are some lovely venues nonetheless – particularly in elegant hotel spaces such as Berns.
As for additional activity, your guests might enjoy some basic sightseeing and museum tours, as well as walking around the Old Town area. For entertainment, there’s actually a fabulous casino in town as well. Stockholm has been identified as a leader in the surge toward mobile and online gaming in Europe, but Casino Cosmopol is the real thing, and gives your guests a nice way to go out and have fun in their spare hours.
4.) Rome, Italy
Like Paris, Rome more or less speaks for itself. The Eternal City is one of the few that occasionally rivals Paris in polls or studies on the most romantic cities, which means it’s understandably high on a lot of couples’ lists of places to travel together. So why not get it done when you’re getting married? Destination venues around town include St. Peter’s Basilica (yes, people actually get married there!), a few famous temples, squares, and villas, and even the lovely Castello di Tor Crescenza, which makes for a jaw-dropping wedding scene.
Your guests will be happy with the destination because as with Paris it checks off a bucket list travel spot for a lot of people, as well as because just about everything about Rome save the occasional traffic is enjoyable. Terrific food, breathtaking scenery, ancient sites, and even some of Europe’s best guided tours can all occupy a few hours here or there.