Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
The Italian Villa in Poole, Dorset is perfect for a UK destination wedding. Photo: Mark Fenwick

Looking for destination wedding glamour? We’ve picked out six treasures – from stunning British beaches and a perfect Italian villa to exotic island escapes

The perfect destination wedding needs to feel exotic and we’ve picked out six of our favourites for a romantic party. They include stunning beaches, a little Italy and glamorous island settings. Best of all, four of the venues are located right here in the UK, even though their stunning surroundings offer picture-perfect photo opportunities.

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
The Beach Club at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, a venue that has a pristine beach and its own private yacht

Cornish escape

Overlooking a stretch of Blue Flag beach Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate is a truly exceptional choice for a UK destination wedding. Located close to St Ives, it is also known for its exceptional spa and fabulous food, so it’s a great place to make a weekend or longer stay part of your wedding and honeymoon plan. The hotel even offers the option to do a bit of exploring on its private yacht if you want to book it for private or wedding party sightseeing. The on-site wedding planning team are capable of organising everything from a special cocktail arrival party to a beach barbecue, so there are lots of opportunities to tailor the celebration to perfectly match your dream.

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
Exclusive Yacht Weddings offers glamorous spots for a destination wedding in balmy Cyprus

All aboard

Located in Cyprus, Exclusive Yacht Weddings specialise in both yacht and beach weddings. In fact, whether your dream is a rustic church, a traditional Cypriot town hall, a deserted beach or floating lazily on the Med, they can organise the legalities, plan the occasion and ensure you have a memorable celebration. Founded by Sharron Barsby-Masoura – who has a deep understanding of both British wedding tradition and Cypriot hospitality – it brings together a team of specialists so you can be sure that your wedding will go to plan. You have a range of vessels to choose from and they can organise everything from a small and intimate celebration up to a huge party for 150 guests.

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
The Gallivant near Rye offers an idyllic beach and great food. Photo: David Long

Sussex bolthole

It may be a short hop from London, but The Gallivant is jewel of a spot for getting hitched. Located very close to Rye in East Sussex, it also sits across the road from one of Britain’s most famous stretches of beach – Camber Sands. With miles of sand and dunes to tempt you in summer, it also makes a great venue in winter, when its New England-style interiors, cosy bar, log fires and heated marquee give it a magical atmosphere. The team here are super attentive and the food has won numerous accolades – including being named among the UK’s top 100 restaurants by Square Meal and Sussex Restaurant of the Year by Sussex Life. Oh, and The Times named it among the coolest beach hotels last year, so you’ll want to stay over in one of its cosy rooms with fine linen sheets and high-pressure showers. It even has a treatment room for pre-wedding pampering – in a beach hut – how cool is that?

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
Sanchaya Bintan offers an island setting, just half-an-hour by water from Singapore

Paradise in the east

Couples lwho love the idea of a wedding plus honeymoon in an exotic small island should check out Sanchaya Bintan, a tropical paradise just 45 minutes by catamaran from bustling Singapore. This luxury boutique hotel sits in a lovely estate overlooking one of the most stunning beaches you’ll find in the region. With a clubhouse feel and superb service, this is the place for a paradise wedding on the powdery white sand, or intimate celebration in one of its restaurants or villas. The property has its own VIP lounge if your guests are travelling in by ferry. Arrive in even finer style on the estate’s private yacht direct from Singapore.

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
Solent Forts is an out-of-this-world destination in the waters off Portsmouth

Island life

Solent Forts offer something completely different and it’s a memorable destination by anyone’s standards. Effectively, you are sitting on the Solent on your own private islands. These Victorian sea defences have been converted into exclusive hire properties suitable for weddings – and they are luxury event and accommodation spaces, complete with hot tub and spa treatment rooms. No Man’s Fort is the largest, with 22 bedrooms and space for up to 200. Spitbank is more intimate (up to 60 guests), with rooftop sauna, lighthouse and a wine cave. Each wedding party has its own crew to manage the proceedings and, if you want to retreat from your guests, you can even hire both forts.

Destination wedding: six exotic venues for a perfect party
A slice of Italy on the Dorset coast, The Italian Villa has exotic formal gardens

Little Italy

A destination wedding needn’t mean a long flight – the Italian Villa is the most spectacular slice of Italy on England’s Jurassic coast in Dorset. Licensed to perform civil ceremonies and partnerships, it is exclusive hire offering three floors inside and a stunning Italian garden – complete with grotto – outside. The venue can cater for 60 people inside, but if you combine this with the Italian Garden you can extend this to 250 guests. While it may be a period gem, it has state-of-the-art facilities, including lifts, air conditioning and excellent sound systems. Catering is provided by Beales Gourmet, offering exceptional menus from a dedicated team to match your taste and the occasion. Italian Villa hosts regular open events if you want to check out the location and admire this stunning slice of the Med in Dorset.


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