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1. Las Vegas
The Las Vegas wedding has long been an iconic part of popular culture, with the home of the infamous ‘Little White Chapel’ offering convenience, spontaneity and romance in one frequently-perceived ‘tacky’ bundle. “We got married in a helicopter in Vegas,” Meg Moore (@meg_coach) shared with us, “It was my husband’s idea and it was awesome… We were already going there on holiday and, 3 weeks before we left, decided to get married!”
Talk about last-minute! We love the novelty factor of Vegas, and refuse to believe being married by an Elvis impersonator doesn’t have something to do with Las Vegas clinching the top spot. Temperatures can soar to the forties in summer, and the desert climate mean it’s dry almost all year round, making it the perfect destination for the 24% of brides and grooms who cited weather as their main reason for getting hitched abroad.
Missing out on the top spot by a whisker: the ancient city of Rome. With its abundance of antiquated town halls, countless churches and colourful history offering a beautiful backdrop for culture vultures, ‘The Eternal City’ is an ideal wedding destination for couples looking to make their love last for eternity. Just a 2½ hour flight away, Rome also boasts the convenience of a short-haul flight that many destinations on this list lack, meaning guaranteed zero jetlag for the big day, and proving you don’t need to fly to a far-flung place for a romantic wedding abroad.
Though weather and exotica were highlighted in our poll as strong factors in choosing an overseas wedding, Ireland’s rainy capital, Dublin, took third place. Boasting considerable amounts of vibrant green countryside, an amazing array of church venues and an effervescent cultural heritage, we think we’d be drawn to the Emerald Isle too. Those with big families needn’t be held back from a wedding abroad, and of course, Dublin after-parties will always promise to be memorable!
It’s surprising that the first of our tropical wedding destinations, Antigua, only took fourth place in our poll. With a balmy year-round climate, crystalline seas and beaches so white they’ll match the dress, it’s no wonder couples choose to unite at this idyllic island paradise. We advise couples avoid June-November due to rainy season, however newlyweds rejoice – Antigua is full of Adult Only hotels, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy your honeymoon in peace.
Another tropical wonder, Jamaica hit number five of our overseas wedding poll. We love the ‘don’t-worry-be-happy’ vibes of this relaxed Caribbean island, which is certain to calm the moods of even the most overwhelmed bridezillas. With secret coves, sugary beaches and stunning waterfalls, a Jamaica wedding provides the perfect backdrop for swapping vows free of usual wedding traditions – sure to satisfy the 33.7% surveyed that are enticed by exotic settings.
6. St Lucia
Keeping it tropical still, St Lucia’s firm sixth place proves that Brits were not joking when they said they loved an exotic destination. With a dry season lasting from December all the way to the end of May, you might want to opt for a wedding early on and start your year on a high. The striking beauty of the island makes for the perfect setting of your dream wedding, while the tropical forests are sure to give you that Caribbean feeling. Walk the soft, sandy beach aisle and say ‘I do’ as the sun sets behind the majestic twin peaks of “The Pitons”!
What better place to get hitched than on the island of love? It comes as no surprise that Cyprus should be one of the ten most popular wedding destinations – the crystal clear Mediterranean waters get to be your something blue and a traditional taverna turns into the setting for your wedding reception. The place to be for the ones who still favour a traditional ceremony, Cyprus is rich with chapels and tranquil churches, offering an intimate experience on your special day.
If hot desert climate and extremely hot, humid summers are what you are after (and apparently you are), than Dubai is the place to get married. Chances are that no hairstyles will get ruined here by an unexpected shower, so it is only natural that a good percentage of the British public chose to marry in the dessert. Better safe than sorry? Weddings in Dubai boast a majestic Arabian grandeur, mixing an exotic location with lavish luxury. An occasion so treasured deserves a lush setting and we completely understand anyone enticed by this shiny golden destination.
Back to the tropics, Mauritius is another popular choice among British couples who chose to marry overseas. With a warm, humid summer and a cool dry winter, there is hardly a wrong time in the year to have a wedding here – just keep in mind that the rainfalls happen in the summer months between November and April. A huge variety of luxurious hotels offer lavishing wedding packages, while the glorious sandy beaches are perfect for the honeymoon – no wonder that so many people opt for a tropical wedding in Mauritius!
Finally, our list would not have been complete without one of the most romantic cities in the world, and the public does not disappoint. As no less than 24% of newlyweds liked the appeal of a small ceremony abroad with only close family and friends, Venice seems like the perfect choice for that. Making an arrival in a gondola and enjoying a ceremony overlooking the stunning Grand Canal is about as Bella Vita as you can get and, with that, Venice deservedly claims its place in the top 10 most popular destinations to get married abroad.
After all, it turns out that Brits do not get scared by a little water and love a bit of old-fashioned Italian romance. Surely if it was good enough for George Clooney, it would do for us, too?
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Written by Nammie Matthews and Mira Kirilova.