Where to get married: World’s best wedding venues
If your big day’s approaching you’ll be asking yourself: where to get married?
We’ve put on our wedding planner shoes and stomped around the world (virtually speaking anyway) searching for the best wedding venues offering tailored packages.
We discovered a few that will impress you, your spouse and maybe even the cranky mother-in-law.
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Where to get married
1. Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia
Here on the southern tip of this lovely island, the Ayana Resort offers both pre- and post-nuptial pampering for couples wondering where to get married, as well as a breathtaking villa location complete with wedding gazebo for the ceremony.
There’s a choice of traditional Balinese or contemporary wedding decor, and the package also includes tropical flowers, a rose petal cascade, four Balinese bridesmaids, 60 canapés and 50 tropical drinks. A capella music throughout the ceremony is also provided.
From US$12,401; ayanaresort.com
2. Wilson Island, Australia
With just six luxurious tents on a tiny tropical coral cay within the Great Barrier Reef, this is arguably the most romantic campsite on Earth; a perfectly natural solution if you’re wondering where to get married.
Each tent is positioned moments from glistening white sands and pristine blue seas containing a plethora of colorful underwater wildlife. The emphasis is on simple indulgence – lounging in hammocks, snorkeling and indulging with gourmet picnics on the beach.
Nature provides a honeymoon cabaret in the endangered green and loggerhead turtles which come ashore to give birth between December and April.
The Wilson Island wedding package incorporates minister’s fee, bouquet and buttonhole, wine, wedding cake, accommodation and transfers.
Around US$3,350; www.wilsonisland.com.au
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3. Tanjung Rhu, Malaysia
This luxury resort in Langkawi offers a traditional Malay ceremony complete with costumes. Weddings can be held at a choice of venues including the two-kilometer white sandy beach, or gardens overlooking the sea.
Everything is themed down to the flowers in the wedding arch, the music played during the ceremony, the romantic meal which follows the service and the Malay massage for bride and groom in the hotel spa. Malay not your style? No worries -- the resort offers the whole package with a Chinese or Indian theme too.
From around US$3,430; www.tanjungrhu.com.my
4. Half Moon, Jamaica
Stop asking where to get married -- head to Jamaica instead. The Half Moon resort in Montego Bay is the place to bring 30 or more of your nearest and dearest for an overnight wedding bonanza that includes a morning-after brunch.
Nestled on 1.6 square kilometers with a three-kilometer, white sand beach, the resort will marry the happy couple beneath a centuries-old waterwheel, beside a natural waterfall, in tropical gardens, on the beach or beside the pool of a private villa.
Prior to the wedding couples can entertain their guests with a welcome reception. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are laid on, followed by a four-course sit down dinner, wedding cake and Champagne -- plus a generous five hours’ worth of open bar.
US$475 per person for the wedding (based on 30 minimum), plus US$269 per double room; www.halfmoon.rockresorts.com
5. Rocky Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand
Buddhist monks conduct the ceremony on a beautiful secluded private beach while Thai musicians play and a traditional Long Drum Parade plays its own part in the proceedings.
After a traditional water blessing, there’s a Thai dance celebration, buffet for 30 guests, cake, fire-jugglers and fireworks over the beach.
Flowers and bubbly await in the bridal suite of the resort, where the happy couple will have been treated to pre-wedding pampering.
Lotus Wedding Package for 28 guests, US$9,322; www.marryabroad.co.uk
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6. La Maltese, Santorini, Greece
This five-star hotel on the world’s favorite Greek Island sleeps up to 24 and its wedding package includes three days’ hire of the entire hotel with free use of the spa – conversations about where to get married begone.
After the ceremony, a reception for 20 guests is laid on with sumptuous buffet and wine. The wedding cake, photographer, flowers, Champagne, DJ and all documentation are laid on as part of the package.
US$22,220 including three nights’ accommodation for 24; www.ionianweddings.co.uk
7. Palm Island, Grenadines
This 0.5 square kilometer private island is famous for the white sands of Casuarina Beach, skirting the entire west coast. The resort sleeps 40, most romantically in lofts that sit above the water on 1.5-meter stilts and have vaulted ceilings, huge verandas and hammocks.
The Palm Island Wedding Package includes ceremony, cake, bouquet, buttonhole and Champagne -- and is totally free to bride and groom staying eight nights or more in the lofts or beachfront rooms, where there’s a choice of themed honeymoons, focusing on either spa and relaxation or action and adventure.
8. Coconuts Beach Club, Samoa
Where to get married if you want something a little different? Try this immersion experience in which bride and groom get "adopted" by Samoan families and treated as if their own child was getting married.
Both are dressed in traditional costume and the festivities begin with the blowing of conch shells, followed by a procession to the wedding site with Samoan serenades.
After speeches by the “talking chiefs” representing each family, a string band plays a soft backdrop to the ceremony performed by the village priest. Then it’s a Samoan-style reception, with exchange of traditional gifts, dinner, cake and Champagne and a 10-day honeymoon with kayaking, snorkeling and drinks all included.
9. Big Island, Hawaii, United States
When figuring out where to get married, it’s pretty hard to overlook the waving palms of Hawaii, famous for its waterfalls and wedding songs, as a bridal setting.
The Fairmont Orchid in Mauna Lani on the Big Island will lay on either a morning or sunset ceremony here with all the trimmings for a bride and groom prepared to book in for at least two nights.
A romantic three-course meal follows the ceremony, which can be held in a variety of settings, a circle of flowers and beautiful tuberose leis for bride and groom to exchange are all included.
From US$2,011, plus US$698, www.fairmont.com
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10. Chateau in Burgundy, France
French wedding planners Et Voila ! Weddings has the answer for any Francophiles wondering where to get married -- they organize nuptials amid the world’s greatest vineyards at the stunning Château de Varennes in Burgundy.
The five-figure bash for 100 includes ceremony in the private chapel or grounds, with a string quartet accompaniment, cocktails and sit-down dinner for 100 guests in the orangery, DJ, hair and make-up and a photographic record of the whole event.
There’s room for 30 to sleep over in the chateau, and bed-and-breakfast in nearby chateaux for the rest. Two nights’ accommodation for the happy couple in the bridal suite is included in the cost.
From US$55,000; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.evoila-weddings.com
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