A destination wedding is a wedding held in a location other than where the bride and groom live. It can be a fantastic way of celebrating your marriage, and there are many options for choosing the perfect place to tie the knot.
Europe has some of the best destinations on earth, and they can provide you with a fantastic experience at an affordable price. With so many gorgeous cities across this continent, there's no shortage of beautiful cities you can choose as your wedding destination.
What is a Destination Wedding?
A destination wedding is a wedding that takes place in a location other than the home of the bride and groom. This can be a beach, forest, church, castle, hotel, or restaurant. Fundamentally, destination weddings exist so the happy couple can have their special day in a truly special place.
If your dream wedding venue is a foreign getaway, looking into a destination wedding is essential. Many people have these weddings in the Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico, Cancun, Florida, or Hawaii. However, Europe is full of incredible, affordable destination wedding packages with natural beauty and character.
Best of all, many European countries have budget-friendly and affordable wedding packages to help ensure that your big day can save money. Thanks to local year-round wedding coordinators in Europe, you can ensure your wedding cost isn't too high, no matter where you are in Europe.
Why Have a Destination Wedding?
There are countless perks to saying "I do" at a destination wedding. When doing the wedding planning for a destination wedding, there are lots of things to look forward to:
Destination weddings are always much more intimate, simply because there tends to be a much smaller guest list of people. Most people are less likely to travel to a destination wedding, meaning the wedding party is generally much smaller and more close-knit. The wedding ceremony is often just the couple's loved ones, family, and closest friends.
This helps to ensure that the wedding day is much simpler, and the wedding planner doesn't have to stress out as much. While the wedding likely won't be a massive occasion, it is much easier to have all the people that matter the most, and that's what really matters.
Also, if you're aiming to do an elopement, a destination wedding is incredibly easy to handle and can enable you to have much more affordable wedding venues. Many people will even just look at free wedding packages and beach weddings in public places. No matter what, a destination wedding has the potential to be much more intimate and exciting in its location.
Since destination weddings involve a lot of travel, there is almost always a much larger and longer marriage celebration. While the average local wedding is just a couple of hours long, the destination wedding celebration can often last for several days or even weeks if you have the budget.
Many people will have a destination wedding in the Caribbean islands or New York but spend the preceding and following days celebrating with their wedding guests. The idea is that if you're already out there, why not extend the celebration as long as you can?
Because of this, you don't need to worry about having a rehearsal, ceremony, reception, and wedding photos within a couple of hours. Instead, you can spread all of that over several days, relieving the stress and frustration of planning countless things into just an afternoon or evening.
Honeymoon Built In
Since a destination wedding will likely already be in a unique location, you can take your honeymoon simultaneously. If you love spending time in foreign places, marriage can be the start of your adventure, and then you can spend the following days and weeks visiting blue waters, white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and other beautiful places.
If you're already planning on an exciting honeymoon, it frankly lowers the overall price tag to have a destination wedding. Make sure the wedding dress can fit inside a suitcase, and you can have the wedding of your dreams, having your nuptials in a truly magical place.
Best Places In Europe for an Affordable Destination Wedding
If you're looking for a city in Europe to start planning your wedding ideas around, look no further. We've got a great list of cities and locations that will blow your mind but won't break the bank.
When looking for the best destination wedding locations, make sure to check out these places first:
Prague is a city like no other. With extraordinary history and culture, this European capital has managed to preserve its baroque architecture while modernizing it into a beautiful destination spot for couples looking for their dream wedding.
Prague is also known as "The City of a Hundred Spires" and offers plenty of places you can call home. The Charles Bridge offers stunning views over the Vltava River, while Old Town Square offers cobblestone streets and historic buildings that will make any bride swoon.
One thing we know about brides? They love shopping. So go ahead and shop to your heart's content at Prague's many boutiques or head over to Wenceslas Square, where there will be even more choices for every style imaginable.
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Here you will find many churches, museums, and galleries. The city has a rich history, which you can experience by visiting different palaces and buildings. The culture here is also very diverse; this makes Budapest an exciting place for tourists and locals alike.
The food scene in Budapest is fantastic. You can find traditional Hungarian cuisine everywhere, but there are also plenty of international restaurants where you have the opportunity to try new things from around Europe or even farther away, like Asia or South America.
There's more than enough nightlife activity available in Budapest, too - from bars & clubs to live performances at theaters/concert halls - there's something for everyone.
Copenhagen is Denmark's capital, one of the most affordable and beautiful cities in Europe. Copenhagen has a lot of green spaces, such as parks and gardens. It's also home to the famous Tivoli Gardens, making your wedding feel like a fairytale. Copenhagen could be your perfect choice if you're looking for an affordable destination with lots of history.
The city is also fairly safe. You usually do not need to worry about theft or robbery while you're on vacation. This is one of the most exciting places for an outdoor wedding in a gazebo, an all-inclusive resort wedding, or even an indoor wedding during the off-season.
Seville is a vibrant and exciting city with a rich history. It is located in southern Spain, near the coast. The weather is mild almost year-round, making this an ideal destination for a destination wedding in Europe. In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Seville also has many things to see and do for visitors.
Seville has excellent shopping options for those who want to bring home souvenirs from their trip. There are also many good restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Spanish cuisine while you're there.
Paris is arguably the most romantic city in the world. A wedding in this city will be unforgettable and a honeymoon. Paris's sights, sounds, and smells are perfect for creating memories that will last you a lifetime. From Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower, there are so many unique places to visit with your new spouse while on your honeymoon that you may never want to leave.
Barcelona is an excellent choice for a destination wedding. The city offers beautiful architecture and many affordable venues, plus the beach is just minutes away. Barcelona has four seasons, with warm temperatures during the summer (June to September) and cooler weather during the winter (December through February). If you prefer warmer weather or want to have your wedding in late spring or early fall, consider booking an earlier date than June 1st.
Destination weddings can seem daunting when dealing with airfare, foreign décor, and other cultural shifts. However, when it comes to European travel authorizations, things are getting slightly trickier. The launch of the ETIAS in 2023 means Americans, Canadians, Australians and citizens of roughly 60 countries need to apply online for clearance to enter the EU. So, there will be an extra planning step.
International travel, especially if you're coming from a place in the USA like California, Arizona, or New Orleans, can be difficult for novice travelers. When planning your destination wedding, make sure to review the current entry requirements to ensure you’ve got the travel authorization you need to enter your selected European destination.