50 best wedding locations (26-50)
Saturday 08 April 2006
26. GLAMIS CASTLE, FORFAR
This royal residence since 1372 was the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, birthplace of Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret and the legendary setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth. Tie the knot in the historic Glamis Kirk, surrounded by the flower borders, yews and gazebos of the peaceful Italian Garden, or in the intimate atmosphere of the Medieval Kitchens.
Where: Glamis Castle, Glamis by Forfar, Angus, Scotland (01307 840393; www.glamis-castle.co.uk).
How much: facility fee is £2,500 plus VAT. Wedding packages start at £70, plus VAT.
27. SURFING PARADISE, HAWAII
For surf lovers and adrenaline junkies, Hawaii offers you the chance to ride the ultimate wave and exchange your vows, as you take off on a surfboard into life's endless summer of matrimony. Safety is assured and there will be help on hand, including the Minister, to make this the most thrilling, and safest ride of your life. Hawaii's dedicated wedding planners are available to tailor- make wedding arrangements that pack a punch.
Where: Hawaii, for further information visit www.gohawaii.com. Holiday can be booked through Page & Moy (0870 010 6456; www.pageandmoy.com). Page & Moy can put clients in touch with local wedding coordinators who tailor-make individual itineraries as above, prices vary.
How much: Seven-night room-only break costs from £999 per person, including return flights and transfers (staying at 3* Ohana Waikiki West Hotel, Oahu).
28. THE SAGE GATESHEAD, NEWCASTLE
Situated at the heart of the Gateshead Quays, the Sage Gateshead is the north east's new home for music and musical discovery. This alternative, modern venue can host civil marriages or partnerships in addition to receptions. The venue offers fantastic photographic opportunities, award-winning dining and links with some of the most creative musicians the region has to offer.
Where: The Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead (0191-443 4600; www.thesagegateshead.org).
How much: on application. Room hire from £650.
29. THE CULLODEN ESTATE AND SPA, BELFAST
This former Bishop's Palace is set in 12 acres of beautiful gardens, with stunning views over Belfast Lough and is one of Northern Ireland's leading five-star hotels. The Culloden caters for both intimate and large weddings alike and offers a team of experienced wedding coordinators. The Stuart Suite has seen some of Northern Ireland's smartest society weddings and hosts up to 400 guests. The Cumberland Suite is suitable for 150 guests.
Where: The Culloden Estate & Spa, Bangor Road, Holywood, Belfast (028-9042 1066; www.hastingshotels.com).
How much: on application. Room hire ranges from complimentary for the Cultra Inn Station Room, which holds up to 30 guests, to £895 for the Stuart Suite.
30. PARROT CAY, TURKS & CAICOS
Head to Parrot Cay in the Caribbean, where Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner recently tied the knot. The resort is renowned for fine dining, with Asian-influenced food at Lotus and Mediterranean fare at the Terrace. Chill out in the Eastern-inspired, award-winning COMO Shambhala Retreat spa and bathe in petal-strewn plunge pools after each treatment. Wedding packages are bespoke to suit the needs of individual couples.
Where: Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos, book through Caribtours (020-7751 0660; www.caribtours.co.uk).
How much: a seven-night, dinner, b&b break costs from £2,156 per person, including return flights, champagne on arrival, yoga and pilates classes, one hour massage per person and boat trips. Wedding costs on application.
31. YORK REGISTER OFFICE, YORK
This Grade II Georgian listed building in Bootham in the heart of the city boasts a splendid marriage room and beautiful garden, just moments away from the Minster. The building was refurbished in 2004 and The Bootham Suite has a traditional aisle, York stone floor and state of the art sound system, and can accommodate up to 50. For a small wedding, hire the office of the superintendent registrar which seats up to eight people.
How much: from £43.50 to £120.
32. LEGOLAND, WINDSOR
For couples who are still kids at heart, St Leonard's, the 18th-century Georgian mansion house at LEGOLAND might fit the wedding bill. During the park's open season (25 March to 29 October), the bride, groom and guests can enjoy the rides and attractions after the ceremony. These include three roller coasters, a log flume, Wave Surfer, Digger Challenge and the Fire Academy, where guests can race each other in LEGO fire engines to put out a burning building.
Where: LEGOLAND, St Leonard's Mansion, Winkfield Ro ad, Windsor, Berkshire (0870 781 5175; www.legoland.co.uk/groups/corporateevents/weddings).
How much: from £50 per person. Cost includes exclusive hire of St Leonard's Mansion House rooms throughout the day, access to LEGOLAND theme park during operating times and venue for evening function until midnight. (Minimum 60 people, maximum 100).
33. SCHONBRUNN PALACE, VIENNA
Get the full princess treatment at the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. Built in the mid-17th century as a summer residence for the Austrian imperial family, the palace is one of Vienna's most impressive sights. Ceremonies take place in the private rooms of the Empress Elisabeth. Wedding hire includes flowers, ceremony, facility hire of private rooms and services of a wedding planner on location.
Where: Imperial Private Rooms, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, book through Austria Travel (01708 222000; www.austriatravel.co.uk), who can also book accommodation, catering and any other arrangements.
How much: on application, from £1,930.
34. BAILIFFSCOURT HOTEL AND SPA, WEST SUSSEX
Bailiffscourt looks like a medieval manor house, but was built in 1927 using genuine material collected from 13th-century buildings. It oozes romance with its oak beams, wood-panelling, roaring log fires, four-poster beds, antique gothic furniture and tapestries, large comfy sofas, cream teas and wood-panelled dining room. Exchange vows in the Music Room, which seats up to 40, then have a blessing in the chapel. The hotel has 39 rooms and can seat 75 for the wedding feast.
Where: Bailiffscourt Hotel and Health Spa, Climping, West Sussex (01903 712565; www.hshotels.co.uk).
How much: on application, from £12,000 per night for exclusive use.
35. MANDAI ORCHID GARDEN, SINGAPORE
Hold your wedding among the myriads of orchids that grow on the open hillside. Ceremonies take place at the beautifully serene Water Garden or at the Vintage Garden with its breathtaking backdrop of over 200 varieties of orchids. The Mandai Orchid Garden offers two wedding packages: the Glamour Package includes a sumptuous buffet dinner menu; the Garden Package offers a simpler high tea menu.
Where: Mandai Orchid Garden, 200 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore (00 65 6269 1036; www.mandai.com.sg).
How much: prices vary and packages can be tailor-made for overseas guests. Glamour package costs from £100 plus £25 per person; Garden Package costs £100, plus £12 per person.
36. LEEDS CASTLE
Rising majestically from a moat and surrounded by 500 acres of parkland, 900-year-old Leeds Castle was the favourite home of Henry VIII and is steeped in history and romance. The castle has extensive facilities and offers two atmospheric rooms for ceremonies and a banqueting hall for receptions. Wedding parties can enjoy the luxury of the castle's four-poster beds, breathtaking views across the moat and parkland and 1920s Art Deco marbled bathrooms.
Where: Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent (01622 765400; www.leeds-castle.com).
How much: on application, facility fee from £1,900.
37. GRAPEVINE CANYON RANCH, ARIZONA
What could be more romantic than a Ranch Rider wedding on horseback in the heartland of Arizona, amid the oak groves, manzanita and mesquite trees? The ranch has great views and locations, so couples can tie the knot in true Arizona style amidst the rolling plains. Accommodation is based in casitas or cabins, with private facilities, air conditioning and a private sundeck for starry-eyed rancher newlyweds.
Where: Grapevine Canyon Ranch, Pearce, Arizona, book through Ranch Rider (01509 618811; www.ranchrider.com).
How much: Seven-night all-inclusive break costs from £1,204 per person, including return flights, transfers and all ranch based riding. Weddings cost from £60 per couple including minister, bottle of champagne and wedding cake.
38. ELTHAM PALACE, LONDON SE9
Weddings take on Hollywood-style glamour in this striking 1930s mansion meets medieval royal palace, which retains many original Art Deco features. Ceremonies take place in the circular domed entrance hall, with drinks receptions in the Italian Drawing Room or on the terrace overlooking moated gardens. Larger ceremonies and receptions can be set in the grandeur of the adjoining Medieval Great Hall, all that survives of Henry VIII's childhood home. The Great Hall can hold up to 300 guests.
Where: Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, London SE9 (020-8294 2577; www.elthampalace.org.uk).
How much: on application. Hire charges from £4,500, plus VAT.
39. THE WEST WING AT ICKWORTH, SUFFOLK
With its striking Rotunda and curved corridors, Ickworth House has been described as the National Trust's "sleeping giant", situated in 1,800 acres of gardens and wooded parkland. Finally completed after 200 years, the West Wing at Ickworth now offers the Gallery and the Court for ceremonies and receptions. Champagne receptions overlook the Italianate Gardens and there is seating for 220 dinner guests.
Where: The West Wing, Ickworth House, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (01284 735957; www.nationaltrust.org.uk).
How much: from £3,000, plus VAT.
40. GOLDENEYE, JAMAICA
The Goldeneye estate stretches over 18 tropical acres and includes the famous Fleming house, where Ian Fleming penned most of his Bond novels. Couples can have their ceremony on a private beach, followed by a candlelit reception at one of the villas or in the Fleming house itself, which is large enough to accommodate family members. Weddings can be tailor-made to suit the bride and groom's individual needs, including beach barbecues, live bands or simple quiet dinners.
How much: on application.
41. THE ROYAL PAVILION, BRIGHTON
The famous seaside residence built for George IV in the 19th century is a wedding venue fit for a king. Marriage ceremonies are conducted in the historic Red Drawing Room, which retains its original 1820s decorative scheme, red dragon wallpaper and palm tree pillars. Receptions take place in the Chinese-decorated King William IV Room, with private entrance from the Regency gardens.
Where: Brighton Pavilions, 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton (01273 292813; www.visitbrighton.com).
How much: on application. Room hire from £430.
42. SUNSAIL'S CLUB COLONNA, ANTIGUA
Tie the knot aboard a yacht in the bay, then have your reception on dry land in the club. The club offers newlyweds the opportunity to sail round Antigua on a yacht or to soak up the rays on the palm-fringed beaches at the club, before getting active with an array of water sports. The club caters for weddings from two to 100.
Where: Sunsail's Club Colonna, Hodges Bay, Antigua, West Indies (0870 112 8487; www.sunsail.com).
How much: £848 per person per week on a half-board basis, including return flights, accommodation and use of sailing equipment. Wedding packages from £499.
43. HOTEL VILLA LA MASSA, FLORENCE
Secluded in gorgeous grounds on the banks of the River Arno, just minutes away from the centre of Florence, Villa La Massa is a vast Medicean villa, dating from the 16th century. David Bowie tied the knot to Iman here and there is even a small chapel in the grounds for intimate ceremonies, with seating for up to 25.
Where: Hotel Villa La Massa, Florence, book wedding packages through the Magic of Italy (0870 888 0222; www.magicofitaly.co.uk).
How much: Seven-night b&b break costs from £1,359 per person, including return flights and car hire. Basic wedding package from £1,565.
44. WHATLEY MANOR, WILTSHIRE
This beautiful Cotswold stone boutique hotel in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside provides a romantic retreat for weddings. Ceremonies take place in the Bishop's Suite complete with Gothic-style leaded windows, visible beams and private vestibule entrance. Newlyweds can spend their wedding night in the suite with guests staying in the other 22 rooms. Expect four-beds, roll-top baths for two and a Michelin-starred dining room.
Where: Whatley Manor, Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire (01666 822888; www.whatleymanor.com).
How much: on application, exclusive use of the hotel costs £13,500 per night.
45. LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Dive into married bliss on what is one of Australia's most luxurious islands. There are over 24 powdery white beaches on which to tie the knot, then newlyweds can luxuriate in the Pavilion, which has a large day bed, private infinity pool and secluded outlook. The island offers superb diving and water sport facilities for honeymooning couples. Wedding ceremony packages include marriage licence and the services of a wedding coordinator.
Where: Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia (00 61 2 8296 8010; www.lizardisland.com.au). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much: Basic wedding package from $2,220 (£899).
46. THE BELFAST CASTLE, BELFAST
Steeped in tradition for over 120 years, Belfast Castle, which has unrivalled views over the city, is now licensed for wedding ceremonies. There are various atmospheric rooms and suites to choose from including the 18th-century-style Chichester Room. The Castle offers personal wedding management to suit individual couples' needs. The manicured gardens provide plenty of photo opportunities.
Where: Belfast Castle, Antrim Road, Belfast (028-9077 6925; www.belfastcastle.co.uk).
How much: on application. £675 for a 10-hour block booking of the Chichester and Donegall Rooms, cost includes bridal changing room for use throughout the day.
47. THE ROYAL SCOTSMAN
This luxury train can accommodate a maximum of 36 guests within its comfortable Edwardian styled carriages and can be privately charted for weddings. The train has its own registrar, so marriage ceremonies can take place in the Observation lounge or on the viewing veranda. The couple can then celebrate with a champagne reception and party with their guests into the night as the train speeds through the Scottish wilderness.
Where: the Royal Scotsman (0845 077 2222; www.orient-express.com).
How much: £24,000 for one night, for accommodation for 36 guests and all drinks and food on board. Excludes all other wedding costs.
48. GRACELAND WEDDING CHAPEL, LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world, with more than 125,000 marriage licences issued annually. A marriage licence only costs $55 and there's no minimum stay required. Get hitched in the original Graceland Wedding Chapel, one of the most quintessential chapels on the Las Vegas Strip. Follow in the footsteps of many music legends who have tied the knot here, such as Jon Bon Jovi.
Where: Graceland Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, USA, book through Bon Voyage (0800 316 0193; www.bon-voyage.co.uk).
How much: from £525 per person for a five-night room-only break at the three-star Imperial Palace hotel, including return flights. Wedding packages from £207 per couple, includes music, flowers, button holes, photos, marriage certificate and limousine service.
49. LUMLEY CASTLE, DURHAM
Set within nine acres of parkland overlooking the River Wear, Lumley Castle is a magnificent monument to a bygone age of chivalry and honour. Couples can hold their special day in a number of different rooms, including the grand Garter Room, the Scarborough State Room or the Barons Hall. First nights can be spent in the King James Suite and guests can be accommodated in the 59 bed chambers.
Where: Lumley Castle Hotel, Chester-le-Street, County Durham (0191-389 1111; www.lumleycastle.com).
How much: on application.
50. PIMALAI RESORT & SPA, KOH LANTA, THAILAND
Pimalai is located in the lush Ba Kan Tiang bay on the south west coast of Koh Lanta. The Thai wedding ceremony takes place near the beach under a small gazebo decorated with tropical flowers. Wedding packages include flower decorations, Buddhist monks from Krabi Temple to conduct the ceremony, bouquet and corsage, bottle of sparkling wine for the toast and a wedding cake.
Where: Pimalai Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta, Thailand, book wedding packages through Thomas Cook Signature (0870 443 4482; www.tcsignature.com).
How much: from £3,450 per couple for a nine-night wedding break.
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