Tips for Destination Elopements in Europe

You might be asking, “Why travel miles away from home for a destination wedding in Europe when I can just have a grand wedding at home? That’s easier, cheaper, and more practical.”

Well, that’s what most people think when comparing a big wedding at home to a destination wedding in a faraway continent. But statistics show that you can have an intimate wedding in a gorgeous venue in Italy at a price lower than a wedding in the US with one hundred guests. If you’re having the most special day of your life knowing that the cost of a wedding at home and a destination wedding in Europe will be the same, would you choose a familiar place or a European destination that you’ve always dreamt of seeing?

Let’s take a deep dive into the possibility of having a destination wedding in Europe, and why we think it’s better than a grand wedding at home. In this post, you will learn the advantages of having a European elopement and some tips on how to make the most out of it.

Why does eloping to Europe cost less than a traditional wedding?

Believe it or not, you can have a lovely wedding ceremony inside a castle in Ireland at a lower price than inviting a lot of people to the grandest wedding venue at home.

For one, having a destination wedding means cutting the guest list into one-half or more, because not everyone who “wants” to attend your wedding is willing to pay a two-way plane ticket to Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, or whichever European country you want to get married in.

After all, you wouldn’t invite so many people if you’re having a destination elopement, right? The idea of destination weddings is bringing only a few select and truly special people in your life to witness your special day in a stunning European venue. In fact, most couples eloping to Europe do not bring any guests at all. It’s just the two of them in a faraway European countryside for a wedding and honeymoon that they will treasure for a lifetime.

Having said that, you can expect zero to maybe just a few persons, not more than twenty, to join your dream wedding. If they are kind enough, they can pay for the plane tickets and accommodation, which leaves you with only the wedding venue and the reception food to worry about.

If we are going to calculate it, The Knot says that the average cost of a wedding in the US is $30,000. That includes the fees for the venue, catering, and bride and groom attire, among others. But the cost of getting married in Ireland is only around $7,000, and that amount already includes the wedding planner, celebrant, hair and makeup services, bouquet, photographer, and an on-the-day-coordinator. Even if you add the fees for the venue and expenses for plane tickets, the total amount will still be a far cry from $30,000.

With a lower cost of a destination wedding in Europe versus a US wedding, why not give it a try? Should you start to consider it, here are some tips to plan it out.

Where to have a dreamy European elopement

Europe is full of stunning locations for a dreamy wedding. Wedding venues range from castle ruins, French chateaus, beachside villas, luxury city hotels, cliffs, alpine lakes, Swiss mountaintops, and more. The options are endless, so you’ve got to have a vision of the kind of wedding that you want before looking at the options.

Ceremony in the great outdoors

If you’re dreaming of a nature-inspired outdoor wedding, you can tie the knot in an alpine lake in Switzerland or Germany. You can also check out the scenic cliffs in Ireland where adventurous couples love to say I do. Cliff weddings are best for couples who love the great outdoors and views of the sea and lush green fields.

Romantic vineyards and flower fields

You might be one of those couples who love to get married in vibrant environments amidst a huge flower field. Provence in France is a great choice for outdoor weddings in fragrant and pretty lavender fields. Spain, on the other hand, is notorious for romantic venues that are all wine-related. Couples can get lost inside picturesque vineyards overlooking the Spanish countryside or beside a historic villa.

Historic elopement venues

Ireland tops the list of European countries with the most stunning ruins. You’ll find magnificent church ruins near the sea, abbey ruins hidden inside thick forests, and castle ruins perched on top of a cliff. You can have the most amazing ceremony and wedding photos right next to these century-old derelicts.

Lakes and beaches for stunning elopements

We have seen so many weddings in various nature spots but nothing beats an elopement for two along enchanting European lakes. They are just stunning, unique, and eco-friendly venues without the need of any decor. When you have an alpine lake scenery for a backdrop, that is all the beauty that you’ll need for your big day. The best lakeside weddings that we’ve seen are those in Bavaria, Lake Como, Lake Garda, and the less popular but equally magical, Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Modern wedding resorts and hotels. 

For modern weddings with city views and buzzing crowds, you will never go wrong with Paris and Zurich. They have plenty of open terraces atop hotels and spacious courtyards with plenty of natural light. Have an intimate wedding in open spaces and see the magnificent cityscapes of these European countries. Above all, you can expect the most luxurious amenities and facilities in these grand city hotels, and they are great starting point to explore city living in your chosen destination.

Castle and medieval ruins

Among many European destinations, Ireland has the best wedding castles and medieval ruins for adventure elopements. You will feel transported back in time when you choose a castle among all the available wedding venues in Ireland. Despite their age, these historic castles have been restored to give guests a comfortable and luxurious experience.

Best time to get married in Europe?

Once you have an idea of the type of venue where you want to get married, you can now decide on the wedding date.

Do you want to get married on a date that is special for you and your fiance? If a special date means so much to you, check the weather in your chosen destination so you can make the necessary preparations. 

One thing to keep in mind though is that summer is a very busy season anywhere in Europe. Destination weddings and foreign travels are at their peak in this season, so you might want to either look for an off-the-beaten-path location or just enjoy the crowd on your wedding day.

Spring and fall are better seasons to get married in Europe because tourists are either not coming in yet or are just leaving Europe after the summer vacation. They are also the best seasons for outdoor weddings because nature is at its full bloom in spring, and enchanting autumn colors come out during fall.

If your dream wedding is reciting your vows in a winter wonderland, December to January are great months for a European wedding. You’ll see the alpine peaks covered in snow and join the Christmas festivities in your chosen destination.

Deciding on the date of your wedding in Europe is important, but every season has its own beauty that will make your destination wedding very memorable. With the help of experienced wedding planners in Europe, you can choose the best date to make your dream wedding come true.

What vendors do I need?

Unlike a big wedding, there is no stress in preparing a destination elopement. Since you’re having fewer guests, you can do away with complicated planning and expensive vendors.

Whether it’s an elopement for two or an intimate wedding of up to 20, you will only need the following vendors for a perfect big day.

  • Wedding planner
  • Officiant
  • Hair and makeup artist (for the bride and a few ladies)
  • Bouquet and boutonniere
  • Photographer (and a videographer if you want)

A wedding planner in Europe is the most important vendor because they will take care of scouting and communicating with all the other vendors on your wedding day. That is something that you can’t do perfectly because you are not based in the destination where you want to get married.

Your wedding planner will be the one closely in touch with the venue, officiant, photographer, and all the Europe-based vendors who will make your wedding dreams come true. After all, these European planners know best how to work with the vendors.

Having a great wedding planner will allow you to do whatever you need to do before the wedding while all the puzzle pieces are being sorted out for your special day. 

All that you need to do is to tell your planner about your preferences, and they will turn your wedding into how you want it to be. That’s the dream, isn’t it? To achieve your dream wedding in Europe without having to be there to plan it yourself. 

Views: 157

Comment by corie dogan on February 10, 2023 at 9:22am

I am impressed!

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