At last, the wedding season has arrived, and the time has come for many couples to join hands and live in matrimony. For those of you wondering where to tie the knot this winter, here is a selection of some of the most unusual and beautiful venues around the world to ensure you have a ceremony to remember.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, USA
This intellectual landmark in the Big Apple is the perfect place for booklovers and old souls to wed. The library’s Stephen A. Schwartzman building is celebrated for its leading research, exceptional historical collections and dedication to providing free access to its resources. The library houses about 15 million items, including priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, and contemporary novels and poetry. The building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, emanates splendour, with its exterior and interior architecture reflecting the height of the Beaux-Arts style and every delicate detail having been hand-carved by talented artisans of the era. Having a wedding at this iconic venue will lend a sophisticated air of grandeur to your nuptials, with rows and shelves of great literary genius surrounding you.
VILLA SOLA CABIATI, ITALY
This exquisite masterpiece of a location can prove to be the ultimate wedding venue for couples looking for the height of class. With halls bedecked with stuccoes and frescoes by famous artists of the Belle Époque art period, as well as invaluable collections of paintings, tapestries and crockery, this historical manor is one of the most opulent places to say ‘I do’ to the one you love. Once belonging to a family of dukes, the venue is saturated with the atmosphere of Milanese aristocracy, who escaped to summer residences like Villa Sola Cabiati, the epitome of neoclassic style. The Villa is also famed for housing the bed that belonged to Napoleon and his wife, which was saved from bombing in Milan during World War II. Perched on the edge of the beautiful Lake Como, the residence flaunts an elegantly manicured Italian garden, with steps going down to the water, offering a majestic view of the lake.
BRAN CASTLE, ROMANIA
Dracula’s castle might be the most unusual wedding venue globally. Infamous for its eerie tales of Count Dracula in the 1897 gothic horror novel by Bram Stocker, it holds great historical symbolism. It is part of Transylvanian history, Romanian culture and Victorian gothic literature and is perfect for those looking for a touch of mystery and thrill along with elegance for their special day. Built on a towering rock, the castle commands a feeling of awe, with labyrinthine structures and thick stone walls elevating its mightiness. In terms of wedding décor, picture exquisite flower arrangements, old-fashioned candles, elegant glassware and silverware, embroidered napkins and the trill of sopranos in the background.
DOMAINE DES EVIS, FRANCE
This idyllic location serves as the ultimate venue for intimate weddings in the countryside, a quaint barn that lies at the centre of the Perche Regional National Park. Surrounded by a moat, pond and century-old trees, this venue offers tailor-made ceremonies. Previously a fortified farm dating back to the 15th century, its old-fashioned architecture and personalised design, with two pepper towers guarding its gates, will give you the feeling of returning to simpler times. Restorations done in the 20th century lent the main hall its current form, topped with a roof shaped like an upturned ship’s hull. The 180sq/m ballroom, named ‘La Grange sur l’Eau’ or The Barn on the Water, offers a capacity of 180 seated guests and has a glass roof, letting the light pour in.
GOVERNORS’ CAMP, KENYA
If you’ve ever dreamt of a safari wedding, Governors’ Camp is the place for you. Located in the Masai Mara, Africa’s first permanent luxury camp is surrounded by abundant wildlife, grass plains and aged trees. The destination was set up in the 1970s to create a traditional tented camp experience. It houses spacious canvas tents, individual stone cottages and farmhouses. Whether you choose the ceremony to take place in the camp or by the Mara River, you will be escorted in a private decorated vehicle and be greeted by a troupe of Masai dancers. Couples also get to enjoy a private candlelit dinner on the veranda of their tent as well as breakfast in the bush of the Masai Mara. Additionally, they will be given a chance to plant an indigenous tree in celebration of their nuptials, a perfect finish.
FINCA CORTESIN HOTEL, SPAIN
Located in the southern city of Malaga on one of the most sought-after Spanish coasts lies Finca Cortesin Hotel, a 532-acre ‘finca’ or ranch built and designed in the classic Andalusian style. This pocket of paradise is for couples who prefer a laid-back, serene, yet luxurious setting. Built around two main courtyards, the hotel includes 67 suites with antique terracotta floors, original carved wooden doors salvaged from ancient European castles, hand-painted wall coverings in soft pastel tones, exquisite furnishings and large windows. Outside the estate lies 23,000sq/m of verdant gardens, swimming pools and tennis courts.
ANANTARA MAIA SEYCHELLES VILLAS, SEYCHELLES
Located on the island of Mahé, Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas welcomes the sounds of the sea on its secluded grounds adorned with palm and Takamaka trees. The resort offers a Tropical Wedding Package set in the beautiful gardens and a Premier Wedding Package on the beach with additional luxuries like a deluxe wedding cake and helicopter ride.