Europe is composed of many countries, each with its own unique history, heritage and superb splendor. While Canada and the US pale in age compared to countries in Europe, it is this fact alone that offers one of the most appealing reasons to marry in Europe. History and tradition abound in Europe with the great arts of France, the bagpipes of Scotland, and the gondolas of Italy.
Since Europe is a continent, it is not possible to state the requirements for marrying in Europe. One first must decide upon a country then inquire to the relevant organizations. Some of the more important points that should be discussed regardless of country are:
- How long are the residency requirements if any?
- Are non-nationals permitted to marry in a civil ceremony or church ceremony?
- What is the weather like at the time of the year you would like to get married?
- Ensure that, before making any inquiries to a specific country, the couple’s country of residency accepts marriages from the country chosen.
- Must one apply in person?
- Does one of the bridal couple need to be a citizen of the country?
Greece attracts many couples who have decided upon a destination wedding abroad. The islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete are perfect for weddings on land as well as wedding yacht charters. In addition to the islands, the Helenic Ministry of Culture allows couples to apply for and receive special permits to hold their weddings in national parks and monuments. And do not forget about the traditional breaking of the plates at the wedding reception!
Another romantic and extremely popular destination wedding location is Italy. Civil and church ceremonies are both permitted in Italy but this is one country where the couple and two witnesses must appear in person with their application and documents. Unlike other countries where the legal age to marry is eighteen, the legal age in Italy is twenty-one. For wine lovers, the Tuscan countryside dotted with vineyards provides a glorious setting for a wedding. And for something different, marrying on the coasts of Sorrento among the beautiful smell of lemon blossoms will delight. And of course who could resist the wonderful waterways of Venice complete with private gondolas?
Although, many people prefer to choose a destination wedding that is hot, many others prefer the stunning beauty of Switzerland in the winter. A romantic fire, an old castle and fresh white snow outside the window is a beautiful setting for any couple that enjoys the outdoors in the winter. In addition to the ski runs, the bridal couple and their guests will experience world renowned chocolate and cheeses, fruit flavored white wines and fresh baked breads. Lastly, to make your fairy tale complete, arrange a fun and romantic sleigh ride for your wedding transportation to the church.
One country that very few couples think of, as a destination wedding location is Portugal. Yet, it has been referred to as the secret waiting to be told. While relatively easy to marry in Portugal, church weddings do require a baptismal certificate among the other standard documents and civil ceremonies require a small residency requirement for at least one of the couple. The heritage is truly unique, as Portugal was the center of many battles for ownership by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and the Moors. Each of them has influenced Portuguese traditions and its surroundings.
Clearly, Europe has many fine wedding destination locations to offer. Do your research thoroughly and choose a beautiful setting in which to hold your special day.