Getting married in an enchanting paradise against a fairytale backdrop is often a cherished fantasy for  couples in love. Off late, we’ve seen popular celebrities taking their vows at exotic locations with a glam quotient to match and they’ve honestly been giving us major couple goals. While the Deepika-Ranveer and Virat-Anushka duo chose quaint  Italian towns like Lake Como and Tuscany as their dreamland destination, power couple Nick and Priyanka had an extravagant wedding in the royal city of Jodhpur. If you’ve chosen to tie the knot around New Year’s but worried about finding the right destination, fret not. With the cold setting in, the atmosphere is only bound to get more romantic and with these amazing winter wedding destinations, you have everything you need, to make those dreams come true. 

 

1. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the City of a 100 Spires, is the coming together of cultural and architectural diversity. Centuries-old buildings stand as gloriously as ever, silently narrating  stories of a bygone era. From palaces and churches to gardens and lakes, Prague has a backdrop for all your ceremonies and with the onset of winter, the quaint city only gets more magical.

Where: The Vrtba Garden, a Baroque-style garden sprawled across  the slope of a hill in the midst of the city, is one such spectacular venue for intimate weddings. Flower beds, staircases and a winter sky make for a great photoshoot. A fairytale-like wedding dream with a castle in the foreground  can come true at Hluboka nad Vltavou. Lavish banquets, carriage rides and indulgent feasts – this location will let you live your royal-wedding dream. Yet another grandiose structure is the Troja Chateau, a Baroque-style summer residence that dates back to the 17th century and remains  a preferred venue for pompous and elegant weddings. 

Ithaka’s Pro Tip: The advantage of Prague is its proximity to major European honeymoon destinations. It makes honeymoon-planning much smoother.

 

2. Salzburg, Austria

 

A historic town that’s been the backdrop for movies like The Sound of Music, the birthplace of legends like Mozart and bordered by the mesmerizing Austrian Alps, Salzburg has a hundred reasons to be your ideal wedding destination. The city is dotted with parks, squares, gardens and fountains stitching a beautiful scene from the Baroque era. For an indoor winter wedding, Salzburg’s  castles, ballrooms and magnificent churches have you covered . Staging a fairytale wedding here is a matchless experience with horse carriages, marble halls and mesmerising live music.

Where: The Mirabell Palace encapsulates the best of Salzburg with its grand architecture and a  picture-perfect manicured garden.  

But if you’re someone who wishes to take those eternal vows beneath  an open sky, Salzburg has snow-clad Austrian Alps that bear witness to your matrimony. 

 

3. Dublin, Ireland

 

Irish celebrations are loved for their frolic and jolly vibe. For a sophisticated city wedding with a touch of pep, Dublin has just the right atmosphere. Locally produced food and wine along with  Irish bands playing in the background can jazz up your ceremony all the more. The castles, manors and historic hotels strewn across the city are rich in legacy. The countryside around Dublin has equally idyllic estates, imposing country houses and hotels that are best suited for couples who prefer to have their special day in a quiet getaway, far from the city’s hustle.

Where: Properties like Baberstown Castle, Finnstown Castle Hotel, Palmerstown House Estate and The Millhouse are a year-round choice for weddings and ceremonies. To add to it, ancient stone towers and piers by the sea bring a touch of scenic beauty to any photograph.  

 

4. Hua Hin, Thailand

 

A seaside retreat located along the Gulf of Thailand, it has the best weather from November to February making it an ideal location for a pleasant winter celebration.  It has a wealth of exotic beaches, making for a memorable stay for the couple and their guests too, with no dearth of adventure and amusement. Indian cuisine with a Thai twist is also a big hit with guests and caters to the sensibilities of Indian/Asian weddings. You can choose from a number of premium hotels and resorts that offer wedding packages for a hassle-free experience. Along with great hospitality you also get a budget-friendly deal. 


Where: The Sheraton in this matter stands out as an exemplary property and is known for hosting splendid weddings. In the same list are Anantara Hua Hin Resort, Putaharasca Hua Hin, Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa and Hyatt Regency Hua Hin. For added merriment, you can even turn this into a week-long affair by arriving early for a bachelor’s party. Head to Bangkok or get creative with a Thai boat party to give the bride and groom an electrifying night before the big day. 

 

5. Athens, Greece

 

What better place to wed than in the land of the Olympians. This ancient city that has witnessed history and culture as old as civilization itself. The mild winters and the clear seaside is best for couples  who want to avoid the extremities of other European regions. There are plenty of options for excursions and tours that can be arranged in and around Athens. 

Where: The ruins of the Poseidon Temple, under the hill of Acropolis, Athenian Riviera and luxury properties like Grand Resort Lagonissi  that face the azure Agean are some of the many venues to choose from. After the wedding, you can head to the many Greek islands and extend your wedding trip to Athens into a full-scale Greek honeymoon. You can start off with places like Santorini, Corfu, Plaka, and Mykonos that are a big hit with newlyweds and romantics. 

 

6. Sapa, Vietnam

 

Misty hilltops that are sprawled out for miles and meet the sky at the far horizon, Sapa is a visual treat in every season. In the coldest months of winter, it occasionally receives snowfall for a day or two which leaves the vast rice terraces sprinkled with a layer of white magic, just like icing on a cake. 


Where: Tucked away cosy  between misty rice terraces, are rustic bungalows, homestays and premium hotels with wedding deals that are unbelievably affordable.  You can arrange for a unique wedding in the villages of Sapa in the heart of the Vietnamese countryside. . Topas Ecolodge with its touch of country and friendly hospitality makes it a much-admired wedding venue. Bamboo Sapa Hotel, Sapa Jade Hill Resort & Spa and Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa are known for hosting fabulous weddings.

 

7. Jaipur, India

 

The land of vibrant colours and unparalleled hospitality, Rajasthan has always been a perfect place for culturally-rooted destination weddings. Jaipur’s royalty, opulence, and timeless architecture makes it effortlessly perfect for a grand celebration,  unforgettable in every sense. 

Where: To stage such a majestic event you need an equally impressive venue and Jaipur has an exhaustive list of iconic palaces, havelis, villas and world-class hotels that will leave you spoilt for choice. Decorated courtyards in Rajput and Mughal styles, palatial halls, ornate fountains, and royal durbars paint  you a picture of extravagance. The Jal Mahal Palace, for example, is a 300-year-old monumental masterpiece makes for a great place to have your royal wedding. The heritage property, owned by Taj, can accommodate a large number of guests and has ample place for pre-wedding ceremonies. Similarly, the Rambagh Palace, a lavish royal residence sprawled across 47 acres, exudes elegance and has sites for different ceremonies.  

 

Your wedding is the most special day of your life. What makes it special is not where you wed, but who you wed. Having said that, a beautiful ceremony sets a great precedence for a shared life that’s filled with everyday magic and romance.