European weddings are en vogue.
The destination wedding market in Europe is a multi-million industry that’s projected for a five-fold increase in the next decade, according to a report from Future Market Insights.
It’s no wonder so many wedding planner clients have their sights set on European venues: From stunning Mediterranean coastlines to historic, cobblestone cities, several destinations throughout the continent make magical backdrops for exchanging vows.
From coastal jewels in Croatia and Turkey to weddings in known romance destinations like Venice and London, here’s seven sizzling European hot spots for 2023 and beyond.
What’s more romantic than getting married on Istria, which is Croatia’s heart-shaped peninsula?
With olive groves, truffles, vineyards and craggy coastlines, Istria feels familiar to those who have spent summer vacations in Italy. But the Adriatic breeze, limestone summits and the medieval towns in the peninsula’s interior make Istria its own unique destination, and a nice alternative for couples looking to exchange vows in a destination that hasn’t gone viral on Pinterest boards (just yet).
The seaside Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Istria Croatia is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and has its own private stretch of shoreline. Couples can have their pick of scenic outdoor wedding venues, including the private beach with salt and lavender-tinged breezes and receptions that can be synced up with beautiful sunsets.
From beautiful beaches to a chic, cosmopolitan city, Turkey could be poised to be the next “it” destination for stylish weddings.
Looking for an alternative to the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast? Direct your clients to Bodrum, a seaside Turkish city that’s across the way from Kos in Greece. The Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum is set on cliffs, overlooking the vivid blue Aegean Sea and lush green hillsides and providing jaw-dropping scenery for ceremonies.
For a fairytale-like wedding, guide your clients to Istanbul where the palace-turned-hotel Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul. The 310-room Ottoman imperial palace is considered the “grand dame of the Bosphorus” and has several gorgeous venue options, including a terrace overlooking the strait. The property recently completed an extensive redesign project, including a new entrance, lobby, rooms, suites and two new restaurants.
Or, for white sand beaches and gin-clear waters along the Turkish Riviera, turn your client’s attention to Kempinski Hotel The Dome Belek. Wedding photographers have lots of options here: From the manicured, palm-studded grounds to the Seljuk dynasty-influenced architecture and stained-glass dome in the lobby.
As a bonus to having a Turkish wedding? Couples and guests can disperse throughout the country for honeymoons and romantic vacations. Glide above the fantastical landscape of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon or enjoy hammam spas and high-end dining in Istanbul, where you can take a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait that splits Europe and Asia.
East of the mainland, Spain has a chain of gorgeous islands. The largest of these Balearic Islands is Mallorca, which has a mountainous interior, cute villages and is dotted with swimming beaches and coves. Thanks to new non-stop routes from the United States, Mallorca is growing in popularity with American travelers.
The design of the Cap Vermell Grand Hotel reflects that of a Mallorquin hilltop village and, surrounded by the mountains and the sea, provides a canvas for dream weddings. Venues for wedding guests include a terrace with valley views and olive trees and a courtyard with a cobblestone patio and central fountain. Mallorca’s mild and sunny weather makes alfresco wedding celebrations a breeze.
With stunning Baroque architecture, hundreds of bridges, and gondoliers crooning Italian love sonnets in the Venice canals, this Northern Italian city is ready-made for romance.
For wedding guests interested in a Venetian wedding, the San Clemente Kempinski Palace Venice is a luxury hotel located on its own private island in a Venice Canal lagoon. Hotel guests can ride in style and take a complimentary boat to the Piazza San Marco.
Couples can exchange vows at the 12th century San Clemente church, and then move onto the terrace for spellbinding sunsets. Before the big day, wedding parties can get pampered at The Merchant of Venice Spa, which is inspired by the perfumeries of Venice.
Couples who set their sights on Budapest for their big day are delighted by how lovely Hungary’s capital city is—from the warm hospitality to the stunning, castle-like architecture as well as the fine dining and historic thermal baths.
Set in the heart of the city, and a perfect destination for a wedding is Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, which has lavish event space to host ceremonies and receptions. Guests love the special meals they can have here, from Japanese dishes at Nobu and Hungarian-Viennese fare at ÉS Bisztró.
The Danube River and other tourist must-sees are close by, including the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, which would be a serious contender for the city’s official postcard if such a thing existed.
One of the world’s most iconic cities, London inevitably conjures up images of royalty and style, which go hand-in-hand with nuptials and wedding ceremonies. When it comes to exchanging “I do’s,” couples traveling to London to get married have their pick, from traditional venues to contemporary ones.
For an exceptionally stylish event, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square is located in the heart of the chic Marylebone area. Signature dishes like black cod miso from Nobu, a celebrated new-style Japanese restaurant, can be served at the reception dinner.
Couples preferring a royal experience can choose a venue like the Royal Garden Hotel, which is located in the Kensington neighborhood and at the doorstep of Hyde Park. The flexible Palace Suite can host large weddings.
Or, choose from 19 wedding venues at The Langham, London, which has a chandeliered Grand Ballroom and a lush, rose-filled garden. The luxury hotel blends British heritage and modern elegance.
Prague, Czech Republic
When it comes to love and rituals, there’s no place quite like Prague.
Post wedding day itineraries for couples can include encouraging them to “lock in their love” by leaving a signed padlock on Lovers’ Bridge. It’s also said to be good luck to exchange a kiss in front of the bronze statue of Karel Macha, a romance poet, at Petrin Hill Park.
As for the actual ceremony, guide couples to Almanac X Alcron Prague, which shows off views of Prague’s church steeple-studded skyline and tile rooftops. The hotel has a one-of-a-kind wedding venue: The Crystal Ballroom, which has a glass roof and a rooftop bar.