6 Beautiful Locations For A Dreamlike Wedding Abroad - The Gloss Magazine

6 Beautiful Locations For A Dreamlike Wedding Abroad

Eva Berg stepped in to help her son source some wedding venues abroad when he could find nothing available in Ireland …

Both of my sons are over 6ft tall, astute pillars of Scandinavian calm and men of few words (the complete opposite to their mother). So when Firstborn informed me he was getting engaged to his beloved Anna, I was, needless to say, over the moon. I very carefully asked the question if there was a possible date in mind for the wedding – I was desperately trying to stop myself from exploding with joy, switching into full organisational mode and calling every single person I knew to tell them the news. I was expecting the usual response of “steady on there now and calm down.” Instead, surprisingly, I was informed that they would have loved to get married in 2023 but they had been searching and couldn’t find anywhere that they liked, or could afford, in Ireland until 2025. Reality dawned: Covid-19 and delayed weddings have scuppered the plans of enthusiastic couples all over the country. And so a plan was hatched to look abroad for options. I took it upon myself to ask friends and consulted my little black book of clients [Eva is owner of The Secret Pilates, Rathmichael, Dublin 18] for wedding venue information. To our delight I found some amazing places – some well over, and others well within budget – all were fabulous and most importantly available.

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WHERE Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Itay. AIRPORT Milan Malpensa, transfer time is a very picturesque one hour by car. ACCOMMODATION 84 rooms and suites. WEDDING PARTY CAPACITY Up to 100 guests. BUDGET From €200 per person for a five-course wedding banquet. CUISINE Contemporary Italian by famous Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi who is best known for creating new Italian cuisine (la Cucina Italiana). Have pre- or post-wedding gourmet pizza, jazz and Gin Rickey cocktails by the dark blue pool or invite friends for a very cool champagne “Chic-nic” in the terraced gardens with cushions, fringed sun brollies and baskets. VIBE Hollywood Belle Époque. From the moment guests step from the water taxi onto the hotel marina (picture staff in linen waistcoats, huge daybeds and cushions in bold candy stripes) the sense of excitement and anticipation builds. A mirrored lift takes guests up to the romantic reception rooms with flickering candles and lots of Art Deco features. This opulent grand hotel is not just for weddings, it is for every milestone and celebration in life. Everywhere you look there are views of Lake Como and glamorous interiors. The smaller villa, which houses the three-storey spa, is exquisite. DRESS Gatsby glitz and glam. FLOWERS Plum calla lilies. www.grandhoteltremezzo.com.


WHERE Vila Vita Parc, Portugal. AIRPORT Faro, transfer time 50 minutes. CAPACITY Up to 250 guests. ACCOMMODATION There are ocean-inspired rooms, suites, spacious whitewashed villas and chic apartments to accommodate all of the wedding party. VIBE Luxe fivestar resort with a sandy cove, stylish pool and fun beach club, perfect for a boho beach wedding. The on-site wedding planner can help with everything you may need for a very elegant beach ceremony under a flower chuppah. BUDGET €270 per person for cocktail reception, wedding breakfast, post party snacks and complimentary night for bride and groom. CUISINE There are six bars and ten restaurants, from Mediterranean to Japanese cuisine, including an incredible wine cellar. DRESS Elegant boho style with relaxed lace with light beading. FLOWERS Long-stemmed dog daisies with wild blue grass. www.vilavitaparc.com.


WHERE Château Estoublon, Fontevieille, France. AIRPORT Marseille, transfer time by car just under one hour. ACCOMMODATION Ten suites accommodating up to 20 guests. RECEPTION CAPACITY 130 guests inside, 200 outside. BUDGET A staggering €250,000. VIBE Enchanting 18th-century fairytale domaine surrounded by acres of vineyards and olive groves. There are lots of seriously romantic options for a reception party; choose from either the elegant château terrace or the charming courtyard. There are three excellent restaurants and a delightfully quiet pool area for Day 2 relaxation. CUISINE Refined, seasonal and organic Provençal dishes served with wines from the estate. CEREMONY Tie the knot in the shade of the mature olive groves or in the pretty on-site chapel. BRIDE’S DRESS Feminine and French. FLOWERS An armful of seashell pink peonies tied together with a string of pearls. www.chateau-estoublon.com. 


WHERE Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, Dubrovnik. AIRPORT Dubrovnik, transfer time 20 minutes. RECEPTION CAPACITY 200. ACCOMMODATION This venue is an amazing wedding location: I would opt to stay in its newly-renovated sibling Hotel Bellevue just minutes away. BUDGET €80 per person. VIBE Dreamlike fantasy. The outdoor setting at the Dubrovnik Palace hotel on Vala beach took my breath away. The bleached white rocks, deep blue sea and steep dramatic cliffs provide an almost mythical backdrop. It is no wonder Game of Thrones was filmed minutes from here – when the sun sets everything turns to glowing amber. CEREMONY In front of the imposing high walls or by the fort in the UNESCO Old Town. CUISINE Contemporary Croatian with seafood a speciality. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton loved dining in Dubrovnik. DRESS Cersei-inspired vintage red silk. FLOWERS Dragon’s breath with giant wild ferns. www.adriaticluxuryhotels.com.


WHERE Pyrgos Ralli Estate, Aegina, Greece. AIRPORT Athens, then ferry to the island of Aegina, which takes 40 minutes. CUISINE Authentic Greek food and wine. ACCOMMODATION There are lots of different types of hotels from budget to five-star within minutes of the venue. WEDDING PARTY CAPACITY Up to 120 guests BUDGET From €80 per person. VIBE Simple, rustic and authentic. This 19th-century neo-gothic villa stands at the centre of a small bay overlooking the sea on the island of Aegina (where the ruins of the temple of Apollo are found). This island is the closest to Athens but is completely different to the bustling city. Choose wooden trestle tables, mismatched vases with wild flowers and have simple lanterns hanging from the trees. The sunset, warm sea breeze and simplicity of this small intimate venue is everything a Greek wedding should be. DRESS Tea dress with pumps. FLOWERS Wild powder blue lupins. www.pyrgosralli.gr.


WHERE Grantley Hall: a majestic stately home on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with its own English-Heritage listed Japanese garden. AIRPORT Leeds Bradford with a transfer time of 45 minutes by taxi. WEDDING BREAKFAST CAPACITY From two to 180. A winter wedding for 80 guests starts at €25,000 for nearly everything plus four suites including the presidential suite. VIBE Combines the old worlde charm of Downton Abbey with the youth and glamour of Bridgerton. This is the perfect winter wedding venue with beautifully restored dining rooms, roaring fires and champagne bars. ACCOMMODATION 47 exquisite rooms and suites. CUISINE Five restaurants, serving modern British, pan-Asian specialities, and one by Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. DRESS Regency-inspired or antique ivory. FLOWERS Lilac. www.grantleyhall.co.uk


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