Below are ten offbeat locales around the world to consider for your big day, ones entailing cowboy boots in the wilderness, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and the big cats of the African wild. Whichever you fancy, this is sure to be the beginning of a beautiful adventure.
When you find your person, you want your forever together to start right away, beginning with that walk down the aisle into each other’s arms and souls. A day that outshines all those that have come before.
1. Say “I do” on a farm
Where: In the heart of Montana's legendary countryside, The Ranch at Rock Creek stretches across 2,500 hectares of lush prairies and rolling hills with snow-capped peaks in the background.
Why: In one of the most stunning natural environments in the American West, your wedding here takes place over 10 square miles of river, forest, valley and vista with several opportunities for breath-taking ceremonies, intimate brunches and festive receptions. Let the Ranch handle all the planning for your big day – suited to your wishes and with all the special touches, such as farm-to-table meals, premium wine, live music and dancing and awe-inspiring photography.
2. A Waterside Wedding
Where: Imanta is tucked away in the equatorial forest sheltered behind the Punta de Mita Mountains, in Mexico, with jagged stone buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Why: Ease into your wedding day with spa treatments or strolls through the surrounding wilderness or along the private beach. The tranquillity of the region will dissolve any of wedding jitters, as will the team as they arrange it all for you – the welcome party, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and post big day brunch.
3. Wed in Wine Country
Where: Château Cordeillan-Bages is a 17th-century charterhouse with its vineyard, setting on the edge of Pauillac, between the Gironde and the Atlantic, 45 minutes from Bordeaux, France.
Why: Make a grand entrance to this newly-renovated haven by helicopter and celebrate with meals by new chef, Julien Lefebvre, who is in charge of the gastronomic restaurant and Café Lavinal. Savour wedded bliss relaxing in the outdoor pool, sauna and patios alongside the vineyards, or on castle tours, tasting classes and strolls through the village. Best you have the honeymoon here as well.
4. Blessed by Romeo and Juliet
Where: This neoclassical gem lies on the shores of Lake Garda, in Villa Fiordaliso, a 40 minute drive from Verona.
Why: Prepare for your special moment in one of the six delightful rooms. For the ceremony, be escorted to the local town hall or Lutheran church of Gardone Riviera and return to the hotel’s outdoor lake-side terrace for an exclusive wedding reception. Celebrate with your wedding party in the Art-nouveau style restaurant, with the accompaniment of soft music, sophisticated cuisine and superb wines.
5. A peaceful getaway in Slovenia
Where: Otočec Castle rests on an island right in the middle of Krka River.
Why: Take a quiet morning stroll to the tune of chirping birds, before you tie the knot in this unique medieval castle. Helping to create a memorable experience, the hotel has experienced wedding planners who cover every little detail to your liking. This includes the post-ceremony banquet, the wedding cake, exclusive use of the castle, a band or pianist and fireworks. And a few unusual additions… like the announcement of the newlyweds by the Count, the traditional throwing of wheat symbolising fertility, a ceremonial opening of a bottle of champagne with a sword and a horse-drawn carriage ride.
6. Get married in the sky
Where: In the heart of Turkey’s Cappadocia region, the Museum Hotel rests atop ancient ruins, built on former ruins, a short walk from Uchisar Castle.
Why: Tie the knot in a boutique wedding beside the hotel’s Roman pool or on the terraces with their views over Cappadocia. Enjoy sunset cocktails before the ceremony, a wedding dinner prepared by the chefs and featuring cuisine rooted in the cultural heritage of Anatolia and Cappadocia, a Chef’s special wedding cake, and a Honeymoon suite adorned with flowers and Champagne, along with other wedding essentials, from the hairstyle to the photo album.
7. In the African wild
Where: Londolozi Private Game Reserve lies in the middle of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve of South Africa, with three lodge camps on the banks of the Sand River – Tree, Pioneer and The Private Granite Suites
Why: Run by the Varty Family for 89 years, the lodge offers the blessing of a family spirit and a chance to say I do while at one with nature. Invite your guests to join you in the sanctity of this sanctuary with the hums and echoes of wildlife as your soundtrack. The team go all out to attend to each detail of your wedding dream, with a time-honoured elegance – from the walk down the aisle under African skies to the clink of champagne glasses at a dinner party to follow.
8. A Polynesian ceremony in the middle of the ocean
Where: Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa is located on the island of Patio-Taha'a, in French Polynesia, in the heart of the Society Islands archipelago.
Why: Treat yourself to a most romantic stay under the starry sky of Polynesia in an intimate and idyllic setting. You can even seal your love in a traditional Polynesian ceremony, on your private island surrounded by dancers and to the sound of local songs. Everything is done so that you spend an unforgettable moment in the middle of crystal clear waters and coral gardens.
9. An Eastern Experience
Where: Asaba, 500-year-old ryokan, is a 90-minute train ride to the south west of Tokyo on the Izu peninsula, in a small village called Shuzenji.
Why: Ease into the big day with an open-air bath filled with healing hot spring water and then slip your kimono back on to stroll through the garden and the sweet fragrances of nature. Then get ready for a rare and deeply moving experience of a traditional wedding celebration at Asaba, where, as they describe, the groom awaits his bride as she arrives by boat to seal their union with a kiss on stage. Revel in traditional dishes to add the perfect end to your new beginning.
10. An Outback Dream
Where: Perched on the Cedar Mountain plateau, Spicers Peak Lodge features magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and pristine nature and wildlife in the National Park.
Why: Begin your forever in a secluded hideaway 1,100 metres above sea level on a beautiful grassy plateau, with Hatted chefs and the freedom to help create the menu for the wedding reception. In their own words, Why just walk down the aisle when you can walk amongst the clouds? The Lodge creates the ideal scene for your big day, with the Australian outback and its rock wallabies offering you their blessing.