While France and Italy have proven themselves popular wedding destinations for couples looking for luxurious old-world European charm, neighboring Spain continues to fly somewhat under-the-radar, offering great value for discerning couples who seek rich history, natural beauty, and—let’s face it—pretty epic wedding day pics. Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, a sophisticated country estate set on over 1,700 acres in Duero wine country, is the crown jewel of such Spanish nuptial spots, offering you and bae all three, and then some.
Located two hours north of Madrid and easily accessible by car or train, the former 12th-century abbey sits in Castille & Leon, a region known for its abundance of castles. Close by to the small city of Valladolid, it’s where Spanish tradition remains anchored in days past, but where a new wave of restoration—combined with the social and cultural energy of contemporary Spain—have contributed to the birth of an exciting new travel region.
yThose who fall in love with this Spanish wine country and LeDomaine do so at first sight: As you approach the 900-year-old abbey—nestled in gentle rolling hills and surrounded by vineyards on almost all sides—it’s easy to see why LeDomaine's expansive size and stature have made it local legend. It’s also evident how all-around spoiled you and yours will be if you celebrate your I do's here. Just a few prime examples: the 12th-century cloister courtyard, lined by tall cypress trees and handsome hedges; the grand Baroque-Romanesque Iglesia, built of stone with impressive vaulted ceilings that begs to be lit by candlelight; or the lawn and garden just outside the church, blanketed in shade from the warm Iberian sunlight by large umbrellas.
Despite all the wedding creativity that Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine offers, there are few wedding venues with so large that will feel as intimate to you and your guests. The property requires a buyout for weddings, but your crew will enjoy a sense of privacy thanks to only 30 rooms and suites and its thoughtful, deliberate spread-out design. Your squad will instead find many large common spaces to wander through within the walls of this magically restored abbey, where you’ll be tempted to eat or congregate in the same rooms the monks once did.
There’s Refectorio, the original dining quarters that now houses an elegant, unpretentious Michelin-star restaurant. Lined with a 17th-century fresco, the restaurant doubles as an astonishing space for a more intimate gathering, rehearsal dinner, day-after brunch, or even a small wedding party. An obvious stop for your friend and family to gather will be the Sala Capitular, an original meeting room of the abbey now home to a very comfortable and handsome bar.
And really, what wedding party wouldn’t want to take a dip in the outdoor pool in the summer, or spend a day at Abadia’s insane 10,000-square-foot subterranean spa? The latter was built below the original stables and boasts a huge indoor pool and saunas, steam rooms, and aqua therapy—but that’s not even the best part. Here, you and your guests can work with a spa sommelier (yes, you read that right) who, through a pre-treatment wine tasting, customizes your relaxation time. And considering that Abadia produces some pretty incredible wines—namely its red blend Selección Especial, an intense Petit Verdot, and a possibly too-easy-to-drink white—you’ll be sipping and spa’ing in no time.
See more: A Romantic Wedding in Northern Spain
The tranquility of Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine’s spa is equally matched in each of the guest rooms and especially in the large bridal suite. Your guests can relax or pamper themselves pre– or post–big day in any of the posh guest rooms, each with its own soaking tub and gorgeous vineyard balcony views. The best part? You’ll all be well taken care of, thanks to the property’s full service butlers, who are easily contacted by a private phone that can ring for requests—big and small—24 hours a day.