With wedding season in full swing, together with the recent popularity of wedding TV shows such as ‘Four Weddings’ and ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’, engaged British couples are continuing their quest for a truly unique ceremony, says leading destination wedding website MarryAbroad.co.uk.
The website has recently experienced surges in enquiries for more off-the-beaten-track destinations, which reflects this trend.
Here’s MarryAbroad.co.uk’s Top Five Unusual Wedding Destinations:
As a recently added destination, MarryAbroad.co.uk has witnessed a surge in interest in Japan, with more brides wishing to get married in a bridal kimono, or have a private ceremony at a Zen temple. Other trends are for couples to take exclusive dinners with geisha, or kimono photography photo sessions, for Wedding albums with a difference.
Site Founder Steph Bishop says: “For a culture which is far removed from the UK, Japan is becoming popular with couples wanting a completely unique wedding. The rise in the Japanese concept of "kawaii" - meaning loveable or adorable, with a younger British generation, has in turn, lead to a greater interest in this country and its traditions. Here couples can even opt for their own Hello Kitty wedding”.
“However, for those couples wanting a less kitsch ceremony, Japan offers a combination of tradition, heritage and beautiful landscapes. Whether couples choose to marry in springtime when the cherry blossom is out, summer when it's clear and warm, autumn when the leaves turn and fall, or winter in the snow - Japan has a season to suit every ceremony,” Steph said.
One of the newest countries available on the site, for an exotic wedding abroad, Cambodia is increasingly enquired about.
“Many couples are enquiring more about incorporating their wedding ceremony into travels that they may have already planned,” said Steph. “South East Asia is a popular travelling destination, gaining clout with couples wanting to get married with minimum fuss, but maximum enjoyment.”
“Exchanging vows at the ancient Cambodia temple of Angkor Wat or becoming ‘Mr & Mrs’, whilst sailing on a junk around Ha Long Bay in Cambodia, are both more tempting than a white wedding at home these days, which may explain the increase in interest,” she added.
Another unusual destination on the up is Vietnam. Although generally Couples have a wedding blessing rather than ceremony, as there are residency requirements.
However, Steph said: “Couples travelling around the country for some time may be able to legally marry in Vietnam, if they can prove “residency” for a certain period of time. From the gorgeous Halong Bay and frenetic city of Hanoi in the North, to the silk town of Hoi An and the white sandy beaches of the south, Vietnam makes a truly unusual location for a wedding abroad, and couples would definitely have plenty of fabulous pictures to share with friends.”
"We’ve seen an increase in interest in South America in the last two months – with the most enquiries coming through for Argentina, which is ideal since the country has just changed the law last week, to allow non-residents to Marry legally there", Steph said.
Argentina is well known for its mountains and wine, and marrying in a vineyard or up a mountain is a real possibility for those Couples willing. Wedding planners The Grapevine Argentina can organise a wedding with a view of the snow-tipped Andes.
Closer to home, the country of many islands, Denmark has also surged in popularity. Couples can easily get married on a beach, in a forest, or in one of the pretty Danish towns dotted around this coastal country.
Steph said: “Not many UK couples have discovered the delights of Denmark yet, so marrying here offers an unusual solution which is close to home, yet completely different to any other ceremony. And the Marriage legalities are simple too.”