Everyone wants their wedding day to bememorable, but for travel and adventure junkies that can mean something slightly different from most. Here’s our pick of the world’s 30 most extreme wedding destinations that will have you leaping towards the altar…
In Space, The Universe
Believe it or not, two bookings have already been made for truly out-of-this-world weddings. Virgin Galactic is already taking reservations for the first ever tourist space flights and apparently two of those have been from loved up couples keen to celebrate their nuptials among the stars.
Getting married under the sea may sound like a scene from The Little Mermaid, but it is very much a reality these days and is something that hordes of couples will be doing this Valentine’s Day. More than 30 couples are set to take part in the annual ceremony which is now in its 17th year and will see the betrothed divers enjoying a parade through the streets of Trang and engaging in traditional Thai celebrations on the beach before literally taking the plunge to complete the wedding formalities
Mount Everest, Nepal
If you thought your own wedding left you feeling on top of the world, then what about the Nepalese couple who became the first people to wed on the world’s highest peak back in 2005? It was something of a shotgun affair, with the ceremony lasting just 10 minutes and the bride and groom briefly removing their oxygen masks to say their vows.
Point Imperial, USA
If you want to keep your ceremony small and intimate then making your guests trek to the highest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon National Park is one way to achieve it. Special permits are required for weddings in the park but the breathtaking views make it a popular choice. Just 10 people can fit on the 8,800ft high Point Imperial viewpoint, but there’s space for 10 more in the nearby picnic area.
Death Valley, Nevada, USA
If you do want to venture into the desert to get wed, then you may as well go the whole hog and hit Death Valley. Only available from October to March due to the extreme heat during the summer months, the stark landscapes make for a sinister yet beautiful backdrop, while photos in the gold rush ghost town of Rhyolite add a stylishly creepy edge. Plus, you can celebrate in exuberant style in nearby Las Vegas afterwards.
Ice Hotel, Lapland, Sweden
If you want your wedding to be unique then you can’t beat knowing that the church where you exchanged your vows will have melted away by the springtime. This snow-covered landscape gives new meaning to the phrase ‘white wedding’ and is one of the most tranquil and naturally beautiful spots imaginable for a ceremony. The incredible Icehotel, nestled away in remote Swedish Lapland, is constructed from snow and ice from the nearby River Torne in Jukkasjärvi, while the chapel has a clear ice altar.
Haunted Tutbury Castle, UK
The medieval ruins of Tutbury Castle in Burton-on-Trent is thought to be one of the most haunted castles in the UK and is a regular haunt (sorry) for ghost-hunters, hosting regular ghost walks and spooky events. If you’re brave enough you can get married there in the dead of night too with special midnight ceremonies in the castle grounds, as if getting hitched wasn’t scary enough anyway.
Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Head deep into Australia’s largest rainforest in the Daintree National Park for a fairytale wedding against a beautiful waterfall or on a platform alongside a pond filled with giant lily pads. Guests can stay in aboriginal houses and you can throw a traditional aboriginal smoking ceremony into the celebrations too. The stunning Port Douglas region in Queensland lets you enjoy the beauty of the ocean and flawless beaches, alongside the natural wonder of a tropical rainforest.
Shark Tank, New York, USA
A pair of diving enthusiasts embarked on their own unique version of an underwater wedding in 2010, surrounded by sharks and watched by 75 onlookers peering through the glass at New York’s Atlantis Marine World. You can dive right in for a wedding with real bite. This article from Thingstodo.viator.com can fill you in on all the details you need to get in amongst the sharks at the aquarium in Long Island.
Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, USA
If you really want to get away from it all for your big day, then climbing to the top of a 900ft summit should do the trick. That’s exactly what rock climbing enthusiasts Bob and Antonie Ewing did last year, even taking Antonie’s mum to the peak to enjoy the ceremony with them. After a handful of climbers enjoyed the clifftop ceremony, they returned to the safety of the ground for a party with friends.
Ash Cave, Ohio, USA
If rustic and simple is what you want, then it doesn’t come much more rustic and simple than getting married in a cave. But with beautiful sunrises, a large open area, mystical waterfall and a large overhanging shelf, Ash Cave makes a wonderfully serene and naturally beautiful location, plus there are plenty of cabins in the area for your guests to stay. See more pictures from the incredible cave at www.examiner.com.
Lake Louise, Canada
For a real winter wonderland wedding you can’t beat an alpine ski resort nestled high in the mountains. The resort of Lake Louise in Canada offers one of the most stunning snowy wedding destinations, with incredible views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains and the lake itself, while you can marry in the comfort of a luxury hotel, rustic charm of a ski lodge or go all out for an adventure wedding, being helicoptered to far flung reaches of the mountain range to tie the knot on skis.
Ayers Rock, Australia
A journey to the heart of the Aussie outback is well and truly worth it when you clap eyes on the magical natural wonder that is Uluru, or Ayers Rock as it is also known. This red, rocky outcrop appears to rise mystically out of the desert and is surrounded by incredible wildlife and plenty of surprises. Sunsets and sunrises here are unforgettable and unsurprisingly it has also become a popular backdrop for adventurous weddings with a difference and adds a real rustic beauty to the ceremony.
Hilden Brewery, Northern Ireland
If you can’t organise a wedding in a brewery then you must be doing something wrong. This quirky brewery not only makes its own great beer and cooks up tasty treats in its restaurant, it now caters for couples looking to get married surrounded by party fuel. Set in the gorgeous Georgian grounds of Hilden House, weddings come complete with stunning tipi tents to add another touch of unique charm.
Singapore Zoo, Singapore
For a really wild wedding, enjoying your nuptials surrounded by lions, tigers, monkeys and more will make for something truly memorable. Luckily, you can head to the zoo to do it in relative safety, without fear of an animal attack ruining the wedding dress. Singapore boasts one of the world’s finest and largest zoos with the animals housed in natural surroundings. They make an effort with weddings too, even letting you arrive by elephant.
Governor's Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
If a zoo seems a little tame, then you can really get out amongst the wildlife on an African nature reserve. The Masai Mara is one of the most spectacular reserves and gives you the chance to marry your loved one while floating silently above the plains by hot air balloon or under canvas at Governor’s Camp, with a wedding breakfast for all your guests on the bride and groom’s veranda. See Christope Viseux for more inspirational images.
Scott Island, Antarctica
Would you travel to the ends of the earth for your husband or wife? Well some couples literally have, braving the extremities to tie the knot in Antarctica. Scott Island is about as extreme as they come, only accessible by helicopter, but that didn’t stop MY Steve Irwin shiphands Andrew Perry and Molly Kendall becoming the first people ever to exchange vows there when they did it in fetching orange thermal suits in 2009.
La Montana Magica Lodge, Chile
This volcano-shaped hotel is straight out of fantasy land and would make for a fantasy wedding location too. It’s an adventure in itself to get there, with the lodge hidden away at the heart of a 120,000 hectare UNESCO-protected forest but once you arrive it will leave you speechless. The rooms are dotted up and down the sides of the man-made volcano, which spews natural spring water from the top and down it’s moss-covered exterior.
Burning Man Festival, Nevada, USA
It’s fair to say that Burning Man is one of the world’s more extreme music festivals so it stands to reason that it also makes for one of the more extreme wedding venues. A celebration of the bizarre and the decadent in an alien landscape, cutting edge music fills the air, art installations surround you and burning effigies are the norm. And if this all-round assault on the senses sounds like the sort of environment in which you’d like to pledge your everlasting love then you’re in luck!
Crocodile Farm, South Africa
A great way to scare off unwanted guests, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you won’t get too many gatecrashers wading through the croc-infested waters to make it to your celebration. Of course, the big mouthed beasts are kept at a safe distance while the nuptials take place, although guests can get hands-on by handling baby crocs and enjoying guided tours of the farm. Wild animals aside, the function hall is in a stunning setting with views of South Africa’s far-reaching landscape.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Billed as the world’s most luxurious hotel, extreme opulence is the name of the game here, so you can enjoy butlers, a fleet of Rolls Royce cars, jacuzzis in every room and the most attentive service imaginable. If you’ve got a head for heights you can have a ceremony with panoramic views from an upper floor or outside on the beach or in the glamorous garden alongside the hotel.
Draculas Castle, Transylvania, Romania
Horror fans can tie the knot in the ultimate creepy haunt, the imposing Bran Castle, better known as Dracula Castle due to its links to Vlad the Impaler, the warlord who inspired the vampire tales.
Treehouse, Lochgoil, Scotland
For a fairytale ceremony, getting married in a treehouse is the stuff of dreams. Luckily, The Lodge overlooking the beautiful Loch Goil helps you achieve just that with a treehouse large enough for 24 guests. Understandably, it’s hailed as “the perfect setting for a relaxed, intimate wedding.
Battersea Power Station, London
This disused power station was once the beating heart of 20th century London but now remains one of the most iconic buildings in the city, nestled on the banks of the Thames. Unique spaces are available to hire deep within the power station or from the impressive View space, with floor to ceiling windows giving panoramic views of the Art Deco building.
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, USA
If you’ve always dreamed of a wedding straight from the movies, then you can’t get much closer than staging it in a real life film studio. Be Hollywood superstars for the day by starring in your own romantic drama within the heart of Paramount Studios in glamorous LA, which hosts special events with an extra sprinkling of movie magic.
Aviator Hotel, Hampshire, UK
You’ll feel sky high with a wedding at one of the most glamorous and striking hotels ever opened in England. Designed by premium lifestyle brand TAG Group, the hotel was designed for the world’s elite travellers and overlooks the TAG-owned private airport in Farnborough. The airline-themed hotel embraces style throughout, from the luxurious furnishings to the sumptuous food and is perfect for weddings for beautiful people.
Oxara Waterfall, Iceland
If you want a beautiful wedding then going to one of the most naturally beautiful countries on the planet is a great way to start. This land of fire and ice is full of mystery and intrigue and there are breathtaking sights to enjoy around every corner. You’ll be surrounded by mountains and glaciers in the stunning Thingvellir National Park, which offers a charming wooden church for religious weddings, or civil ceremonies are allowed at the water’s edge.
The Subterranean Lake, Cornwall, UK
Go underground for a magical ceremony that will astound your guests when they lay their eyes on this mystical underground lake within a candlelit cavern. The happy couple can travel by cute rowing boat while the nearby Rum Store cave – used by the navy to store rum during the Second World War – is perfect for a reception.
The Great Wall of China, China
For a wedding with wow factor, choosing a venue that is visible from space certainly is one way to plan a day that will be out of this world. The wall has been the scene of love stories galore over the centuries and these days ceremonies can be performed the Commune villas, modern private villas that are as striking as the landscape that surrounds you.