If you’re looking to infuse culture, sophistication, and some flair into your nuptials, you’re probably scouting every potential European wedding venue from across the Atlantic. The good news is there is an endless number to choose from. The bad news is it might take a lifetime, if not longer, to whittle down your choices.
To help streamline the process, we’ve done some research for you, selecting some of the most majestic and dramatic venues across Europe. From hotels nestled on winding cliffs overlooking picturesque villages to straight-up castles that will give your guests the history lesson of a lifetime (not to mention serve as the most stunning backdrop for your photos), we've curated some truly magnificent spots for your European wedding.
Read on for our top eight breathtaking destination wedding picks in Europe.
This 18th-century château (French for castle) in the Loire Valley has survived wars and revolutions, hosted nobles, writers, and philosophers (we’re talking Voltaire himself), and can serve as a truly spectacular backdrop for your wedding. With 15 suites, a grand salon, formal and informal dining rooms, orangeries and, of course, magnificent gardens, this is the spot for an intimate and unforgettable European wedding. Although it’s been around since the 1700s, the hotel was restored by award-winning designer Timothy Corrigan (and boasts gardens that are better groomed than David Beckham).
Just imagine how absolutely stunning your wedding pictures would be if they were taken in this city with no roads, just canals. Connected by more than 100 tiny islands in the Adriatic Sea, Venice is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and picturesque spots on the planet. For a wedding fit for a Venetian princess, consider the ever elegant Ca’Sagredo Hotel, which leans majestically on the banks of Venice's Grand Canal. The hotel also serves as a museum, with its lavish décor, stucco works, frescoes, and paintings galore. The main hall offers a rare chance to relive the opulence of a centuries-old Venetian Palace, marked with significant masterpieces on the ceiling and walls. There’s also a rooftop terrace suitable for smaller ceremonies, cocktail receptions, and brunches.
If you and your soon-to-be spouse are looking to get married in an exotic yet under-explored location in Europe, one place to consider is the Balkan country of Montenegro. The coastal town in the southwestern part of the country draws lovers from around the world for its serene beauty. The Regent Porto Montenegro is one of the most popular spots for weddings since it’s set along a posh promenade of bobbing super yachts on the Adriatic Sea. The venue is surrounded by lush greenery and statuesque water fountains, which provide countless options for portraits and late-night festivities.
Imagine getting married in a castle that overlooks the bustling city of Zurich but is still surrounded by the expansive Swiss countryside. Sounds amazing, right? That’s what you’ll get when you choose The Dolder Grand as your venue. Melt that wedding-planning stress away at The Dolder Grand's spa with a couple's celebration package, where newlyweds-to-be can sit side by side and indulge in steam baths, massages, and R&R. Talk about a way to shake off pre-wedding jitters. The Dolder Grand’s 400-square-meter ballroom has a modern touch with its imposed cupola ceiling that can be lit in various colors. The parquet makes a killer dance floor and the adjoining terrace is perfect for guests who would like a breath of fresh air mid-reception.
The French Riviera is absolutely jaw-dropping in its own right, but Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, which juts into the pristine waters of the Ligurian Sea, is next-level. Perhaps that’s why it has served as the choice spot for a handful of celebrity weddings. The secluded grounds include exquisite gardens, private coastline, restaurants, terraces, and large event spaces, all overlooking the French Riviera. The Salon Iles de Lérins can host a banquet for 200 guests or be divided into three distinctive spaces, transforming the atmosphere throughout an event.
If it was good enough for Princess Grace...well, you get the idea. In the independent city-state along the Mediterranean where the actress served as princess for decades, there are hardly any spaces that aren’t picture-perfect for an over-the-top luxury wedding. But perhaps the the most prestigious of them all is Monte Carlo’s Villa “La Vigie,” thanks to its history, architecture, and unique location. (It was even home to Karl Lagerfeld for over a decade in the 1990s!) Today guests can tie the knot among panoramic views of the Mediterranean, in the Principality of Monaco and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Bay, surrounded by a beautiful tree-covered park. Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, the iconic spa of Monaco, also offers various services to ensure that the couple is prepped and taken care of for their wedding day.
The scene in this historic fishing port along Sicily’s southern coast is ideal for a destination wedding that will truly wow guests. Make the enchanting, open-air amphitheater at Verdura Resort—surrounded by the natural beauty of Sicily, olive trees, and citrus groves—your spot to say “I do.” The resort offers 203 bedrooms with championship golf course views and a 4,000-square-meter spa complete with four outdoor Thalassotherapy pools overlooking the famed Italian scenery. Plus, there are plenty of on-site activities and experiences available including cooking classes, mixology classes, wine tasting, horseback riding on the beach, golf, hiking, and more.
Whether you’re looking for an enchanting, fairy-tale wedding venue or one that’s modern, urban, and chic, Conservatorium can serve as the backdrop. Located in the very heart of Amsterdam’s famous museum district, next to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum, is this opulent hotel that once served as a bank and music conservatory. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for weddings, with stunning contemporary interiors and staggering views of the city. To top it off, they’ll provide you with a wedding coordinator who’ll handle everything from the flowers and wedding cake to the decorations and DJ.