From Poppy Delevingne’s bash in Marrakech to the Clooneys’ Venetian wedding, the world’s most stunning wedding settings aren’t just for celebrities. So if you’re looking for somewhere a little more exclusive to spend your big day, why not consider one of these star-studded, unique wedding venues - or take things a little slower with our pick of Europe’s lesser known luxury venues.
Follow the stars to Europe’s most stunning locations
Like the call of the wild, the glamour of old world Europe keeps drawing back those planning the most romantic day of their lives. The variety of the landscape and its cultural offerings means that there’s a whole universe of magnificent wedding locations to choose from, with castles seeming to possess a special magical quality.
Florence: Forte di Belvedere
The image of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West saying yes in front of a grandiose 20 feet wall of white roses, peonies, and tuberose became one of the most popular of 2014, gathering a spectacular 2.4 million likes. The unique wedding venue? Florence’s 16th Century Forte di Belvedere, which sits atop a hill near the river Arno overlooking the iconic Italian city.
Where mere mortals may have been content with tying the knot at the ancient fortress, Kimye (as they are dubbed) splashed out on further lighting and construction upgrades - rounding up the total cost for the wedding venue alone to a smashing $410,000.
Marrakech: La Mamounia
If you thought Kimye’s wedding was extravagant, Poppy Delevingne - socialite and sister to model and actress Cara - decided that one wedding ceremony in London’s St Paul’s church wasn’t enough, and promptly threw a second wedding bash at Marrakech’s La Mamounia.
Boasting its own book, published by Assouline, the famed hotel promises its guests a stay in “a contemporary tale of the Arabian nights” - a theme embraced by Delevigne, who walked the aisle of La Mamounia’s Eternal Palace in a long- sleeved floral hippie chic frock by Peter Dundas for Emilio Pucci, alongside real live camels. Sunday saw the wedding party, consisting of Princess Beatrice, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung, being treated to a desert rave. This is a bride, after all, that had her bachelorette at Coachella.
Vienna: Palais Pallavicini
Have your hopes set on a stylish wedding? Vienna could be the perfect location, giving you the chance to model your wedding after fashion stylist and Chanel brand ambassador Caroline von Westenholz (née Sieber) who married her Fritz (Head of Business Development at Troy Asset Management) in Vienna’s Michaelerkirche.
Not content with just a service in one of the city’s oldest buildings, the couple held their wedding reception at the spectacular Palais Pallavicini, nestled in the very heart of Vienna’s famous first district. This elaborate palace, which was built by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg in 1784, and featured in 1949’s famous Orson Welles movie The Third Man, is now a popular wedding destination for many of society’s elite.
Venice: Aman Grand Canal
The weekend-long wedding extravaganza of George Clooney and his bride Amal Alamuddin included stops at Harry’s bar and the Cipriani Hotel, but the main event went down at the luxurious Aman Grand Canal. This 16th-century palazzo house sits directly on the Grand Canal, and offers sumptuous interiors, two private gardens, wall paintings by Venetian master Tiepolo and a lavish Piano Nobile.
Capri: Punta Carena Lighthouse
When W Magazine fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia wed Swedish realtor Oscar Englebert, it was never going to be a boring affair. With four dress changes, from a custom-made Alaia to an Alexander McQueen gown, the #gioandoscar wedding was without a doubt one of the most stylish weddings in recent memory.
The day before, attendants ranging from Natalie Massenet to Anna Dello Russo and Sabine Getty took to the island of Capri for a rehearsal dinner at Piazza Umberto, while the ceremony itself was performed on a sun-drenched clifftop in front of the exquisite tower of the Punta Carena Lighthouse.
Italy: Odescalchi Castle
With Andrea Bocelli echoing through the castle halls, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married in the 15th Century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, in front of 150 wedding guests. This romantic castle is maintained to the very highest standards, and boasts a breathtaking view out over Lake Bracciano that’s perfect for celebrating those vows in unforgettable style.
Ireland: Luttrellstown Castle
When British footballer David Beckham married Victoria Adams in Ireland’s Luttrellstown Castle, they modeled themselves after the royal family and took their rightful place on two gold thrones, to the sound of an 18-piece orchestra. With twelve bedrooms, an awe-inspiring library, fabulous ballrooms and a charming garden, the picturesque Luttrellstown Castle seems lifted straight from a fairytale, making it the perfect location for a classical wedding.
Austria: Mittersill Castle, Salzburg
Not far from Kitzbühel lies Mittersill Castle, long known for its popularity amongst the European aristocracy and jet set. Although not yet graced by any celebrity weddings, its illustrious history includes playing host to Coco Chanel and Clark Gable to name just a few. Today, the castle functions as a hotel available to rent for weddings and more, majestically overlooking the picture-perfect town of Mittersill - which combines the chocolate-box prettiness of Austria’s landscape with all of the conveniences of modern life.
The best of the rest
Provence: Villa des Lys
Want to feel truly at home in your chosen wedding locale? Why not join the biggest trend in vacation rental and opt for a luxury Airbnb. One of our favorite options is the Villa des Lys, a picturesque home overlooking the deep turquoise of the Mediterranean, set amidst a fragrant lavender field and rose-stocked walled gardens. As well as being a perfect romantic getaway, it can also help to house a wedding party, with space for 14 adults to enjoy an idyllic evening before the big day.
Cotswolds: Home Farm
If you’re looking for a more bucolic experience, this English farm house is a traditionally beautiful location for an intimate ceremony. Home Farm can be rented for up to 13 people and enjoys uninterrupted views over the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, with immaculate gardens, a tennis court and a large gated pond providing plenty of space to celebrate.
Austria: Castle Rosenburg
Picture a renaissance fairytale castle, and chances are that something very like Castle Rosenburg will come to mind. A unique monument overlooking the river Kamp in the Waldviertel region of Austria, the castle offers space for up to 350 people, as well as a terrace perfect for watching a celebratory firework display.
Austria: Mailberg Castle
This well-kept secret is located just an hour’s journey from Vienna, but grants idyllic seclusion in the midst of rambling vineyards. Family and friends can stay at the Mailberg Castle hotel, while a baroque chapel for the ceremony is located in a central courtyard.
Austria: Gamlitz Castle, Southern Styria
Why travel all the way to Tuscany if you can have a Mediterranean wedding in Southern Styria’s Gamlitz Castle? You can take advantage of the perpetual good weather to celebrate out in the open, or make use of a lavishly decorated interior courtyard dating back to the 17th century.
Summer weddings are beautiful, but not always the most original choice if you’re looking for an adventure to start you on the road to marital bliss. For a truly unique experience, the Icehotel in Sweden’s Lapland province provides the ideal setting for an intimate Arctic wedding. The domed Ice Church opens every year on December 26th, before turning back into a river when April comes around. Accommodating 35-40 people, the chapel features an ice altar and reindeer-skin-covered pews.
Paris: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre
Located squarely in the center Montmartre - arguably Paris’ most romantic district - the Hôtel Particulier’s most beautiful hidden gem is a stunning courtyard reminiscent of a secret garden. With a truly exceptional setting, both the courtyard and the hotel as a whole are available to hire, and offer some truly Parisian flair to any wedding day.
Santorini: Katikies Hotel
When you close your eyes and think of a wedding in Santorini, what do you see? If the image you’ve conjured is of vows made against the background of perennially gleaming white-washed buildings set against turquoise water as far as the eye can see, Katikies Hotel could make that dream come true.
Sitting atop a dramatic cliff in the village of Oia, an infinity pool completes the magical backdrop, and cave-like rooms offer a cool and peaceful retreat from the Greek sunshine.