Most of us spend our lives dressing up dolls in dresses, writing diary entries describing what our groomsmen or bridesmaids will wear, and dreaming up the most lavish of locations in which to say our “I do’s”. And, luckily, the globe is littered with paradisiacal islands that weave into any dream wedding stereotype, from white sand beaches on Fiji’s Turtle Island, to fantastical flora and fauna pouring out of Italy’s Borromean Islands. If you’ve always dreamt of a luxury wedding atop an island straight out of a glossy magazine, then here are some to cast your eye over…
Borromean Islands, Italy
Italy is famed for more than just its divine pizza and pasta past, but weddings galore too. If you’re craving a Clooney-esque extravaganza then why not head to the pretty Borromean Islands? Once described by Gustav Flaubert as ‘heaven on earth,’ the tiny islands reside on the Western side of Lago Maggiore and are speckled with palm trees, flora and fauna and lemon groves, making them utterly idyllic for the exchange of vows. Albeit optional, a championed place to say I do is the Stresa town hall, a former ancient fisherman house. Then, flee to the surrounding alcoves and expansive gardens – Flaubert wasn’t far wrong in his commendation.
Little Palm Island, Florida
Elegantly positioned just at the end of U.S. Highway 1 in the Lower Keys, Little Palm Island, Florida, ticks all the “when I grow up, I want to get married in…” boxes! The oasis oozes romance, with lagoon-style pools, deck side hot tubs, private beaches, and other paradisiacal elements to boot. The resort allows for guests 16 and above, so Flora the flower girl might have to stay at home or, alternatively, you can rent out the entire property for 41 to 60 guests. Either way, key lime pie is absolutely essential, as is snapping a photo by a palm tree for the Gram!
Cayo Espanto, Belize
The circumference of Cayo Espanto is peacefully littered with fishing boats and pontoons that stretch elegantly into the ocean. Located below Mexico, bear to Guatemala, this Caribbean spot in Central America captures sunrises and sunsets that are enough to blissfully distract any visitor. The luxury island makes for a perfect spot for those who want to stir away from tradition, with piers to put a ring on it on, and snorkelling on the second largest barrier reef in the world on offer. A fish supper will delight the taste buds for the post-ceremony meal as fresh catches are reeled in from fisher men bobbing up and down on the water.
Turtle Island, Fiji
There’s something oh, so alluring about Fiji. The name itself excites the wanderlust inside us as we dream of those wooden docks and blue seas. All in all, it’s a divine place for love birds to begin the creation of their nest, especially Turtle Island, an utterly dreamy South Seas island. And, it seems, the Fijians know a thing or two about holding an epic wedding ceremony. The bride arrives by raft and is carried in by two warriors to the sound of thundering drumbeats – no, we’re not kidding!
At the on-island resort, a maximum of 14 guests can stay, making it an idyllic destination for those who want an intimate, yet luxurious gathering. However, we must say we’re already cringing at the drama of whittling down the family and friends list! Further highlights, bar the highly Instagrammable destination itself, include canopied king beds, jacuzzis, and verandas that offer coveted South Pacific views.
Paradise Island, Bahamas
With a name like Paradise Island, you know you’re likely signing up for something pretty amazing, especially as this luxury oasis sits snug in the Bahamas. The Bahamas sells itself with turquoise waters and white sand beaches galore. The Atlantis is the ‘place to be seen’ wedding destination once there, oozing elegance across its 20 contrasting wedding and reception venues. Pad barefoot down to the beach, equipped with family, friends and Champers and enjoy a vow exchange on a secluded white sand beach, with tropical settings engulfing the surrounding areas. Simply dreamy!
The Isle of Mull, Scotland
Travel to The Isle of Mull and get married in the spellbinding Duart Castle. Home to sea, scrag and ancient structures, this island will see you lose your Wi-Fi but gain some epic images set against moody and creative backdrops. The Scottish island immerses you in all things nature, and the castle can be seen as you approach by sea. There are two gorgeous spaces for small ceremonies, The Sea and Drawing Room, or marry inside the beautiful Banqueting Hall that presents the Clan Maclean regalia. It’s a Game of Thrones-esque place to wed, and one that will inevitably take the breath away.