There are many reasons to get married in Europe. From its scenic nature views, world-class hotels, historic castles, and mouth-watering cuisines, Europe guarantees a beautiful and unforgettable wedding.
Many couples are getting married in Europe because for them, the most special way to celebrate their marriage is through a wedding ceremony in a gorgeous European destination, followed by a European honeymoon. A combined European wedding and honeymoon in one trip makes a lot of sense, especially when the cost is almost the same or even lower than a grand wedding at home.
Whether it’s an elopement for two or an intimate wedding, getting married in Europe is not a distant dream anymore. There are European destination wedding planners who can arrange your special day even when you’re on the other side of the planet during the whole planning period.
Choosing a destination
Cost. “How much will it cost if I go for a destination wedding?” This is the first question that comes to mind when a couple considers getting married overseas. The truth is, having a European wedding with a few or no guests can be cheaper than a grand wedding at home.
According to The Knot, the average cost of a US wedding is $30,000, including venue fees, catering, and wedding attire, among others. On the other hand, getting married in Ireland costs an average of $7,000 including a wedding planner, a photographer, a celebrant, hair and makeup services, and bridal bouquet. If you add venue fees and transportation, that’s roughly around $10,000-$20,000, depending on the number of guests that you’re bringing.
The total wedding cost depends on the European destination that you will choose, but the amount is not far from the cost of a wedding in your home country. Try to see destination wedding cost estimates here to compare from one destination to another.
Language spoken. Even if you will spend only a week or two in your chosen destination, the language barrier can get you in trouble if you’re not prepared. You can hire a wedding planner who provides on-the-day coordination so they can communicate directly to the vendors for any of your requests on the day. But the best would be to choose a European destination where most people speak English, like Ireland, Switzerland, or Italy.
Types of venues. This is the most important aspect to think about. You should choose a destination with the venues and locations where your dream wedding will come true. If you want an outdoor wedding with scenic alpine views, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have the best venues for you.
If you’re looking into an adventure wedding in the mountains, on top of a cliff, or near a historic castle, Ireland and Spain are great options. If it’s a summer wedding with sea views that you’re dreaming of, the Amalfi Coast in Italy and the golden coastline of Portugal are unbeatable! Still, many couples dream of a romantic elopement in a faraway chateau in the quiet European countryside, France is a perfect choice for this kind of wedding.
Before engaging a wedding planner for your big day, we suggest that you make a decision on the type of venue that you want. Here’s an overview of the different types of wedding venues in Europe that will help you reach a decision.
Deciding on the date
Once you have an idea of the type of venue where you want to get married, you can now decide on the date of your big day.
Do you want to get married on a date that is special for you and your fiance? If a special date means so much to you, check the weather in your chosen destination so you can make the necessary preparations.
One thing to keep in mind though is that summer is a very busy season anywhere in Europe. Destination weddings and foreign travels are at their peak in this season, so you might want to either look for an off-the-beaten-path location or just mix with the crowd on your wedding day.
Spring and fall are better seasons to get married in Europe because tourists are either not coming in yet or they are leaving Europe after the summer vacation. They are also the best seasons for outdoor weddings because nature is at its full bloom in spring, and enchanting autumn colors come out during fall.
If your dream wedding is reciting your vows in a winter wonderland, December to January are great months for a European wedding. You’ll see the alpine peaks covered in snow and join the Christmas festivities in your chosen destination.
Deciding on the date of your wedding in Europe is important, but every season has its own beauty that will make your destination wedding in Europe very memorable. With the help of experienced planners, you can choose the best date where your vision for the wedding will come true.
Dreamy elopement spots in Europe
Europe’s dreamy landscapes and historic buildings are the biggest reasons why it’s a favorite wedding destination. There are just tons of elopement spots to choose from, but before you drown in the long list of venues, take a look at the venue categories that we prepared for you.
Romantic chateau and vineyards. South France is dotted with many chateaus ranging from medieval buildings to riverside residences. Vineyards are scattered all over Europe, mostly in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and France. It’s nice to have your wedding ceremony outdoors overlooking a picturesque European vineyard.
Cliff and mountaintop elopements. Ireland is the best destination for cliff weddings. It’s a top choice for many couples who want a wild outdoor wedding with scenic views of the sea. Outdoor weddings on top of a cliff are most preferred by US couples who are getting married in Ireland. Mountaintop elopements, on the other hand, offer a unique experience of having the Alps as your ceremony backdrop. Whatever season of the year you choose, mountain weddings in Germany or Switzerland are perfect for adventurous couples.
Historic churches. Spain, Italy, and Portugal are the best places to have a solemn wedding ceremony inside a historic church. You can find the most historic Catholic churches in these destinations, especially because Italy and Spain are predominantly Catholic.
Beach and lakeside spots. Lakeside venues in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are unbeatable. You can find mystical lakeside elopement spots with alpine views in Germany and Austria while Italy’s famous Lake Como is surrounded by wedding villas and hotels that always exceed expectations. Swiss lakes are also famous elopement locations, especially this lakeside wedding castle in Lausanne with elegant interiors.
Modern resorts and hotels. Paris in France and Zurich in Switzerland have lovely hotels for city weddings in Europe. Many of them have terrace ceremony spots for weddings overlooking the beautiful city. Portugal is famous for golf resorts and modern beach hotels that remain unparalleled anywhere in the world. These venue types are perfect for sunset weddings.
Castle and medieval ruins. Ireland dominates all European countries when it comes to castle ruins and medieval ruins. These unique elopement venues are usually located in the midst of a vast open field or atop an Irish cliff. They are wonderful options for intimate weddings and elopements for two of adventurous couples who love history and the outdoors.
Suppliers you will need
When the date and place for your destination wedding in Europe are all set, the next thing to look at are the suppliers that you will need for your big day.
Here’s a list of essential suppliers for intimate weddings and elopements for two:
- Wedding planner
- Wedding celebrant
- Hair and Makeup artist
- Bouquet and boutonniere
Believe it or not, these five wedding vendors are enough to make your wedding dreams come true. If you choose the right wedding planner for your special day, they can recommend the best venue after listening to your vision, connect you to the appropriate wedding vendors, and make the day run on its own even without a coordinator on your big day.
These are the important things to keep in mind and plan ahead if you will proceed with a destination wedding in Europe. If you want to make the planning process smooth and easy, make sure that you have done enough research on these matters before hiring a wedding planner for your destination elopement in Europe.