The Tuscan Wedding – Villa La Massa
Villa La Massa is a stunning 16th Century Medici Villa, situated alongside the banks of the River Arno in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, yet just 15 minutes from the centre of historic Florence. With just 41 guest rooms providing an experience akin to staying in a private home, Villa La Massa has a magical atmosphere of historic charm. The rooms and suites are each individually decorated in a Renaissance style, with views out across either the landscaped gardens, Florentine countryside or the River Arno. In the west part of the villa’s garden there is a small, charming chapel with a sacristy dating back to the period of the Rinuccini, which can accommodate up to twenty-five people. Ceremonies can also be organised in the hotel’s gardens full of lemon trees and olive groves, followed by a reception in the banquet room with direct garden access, perfect for cocktail parties.
This summer saw Villa La Massa launch four new suites in a brand new accommodation wing called Casa Colonica, an ancient farmhouse which dates back to the mid 1800’s. The suites are kept within the same decorative Renaissance style as rooms in the main villa, featuring floor to ceiling windows and balconies, impressive walk in wardrobes and exquisite Tuscan baths. Perfect for weddings, the Casa Colonica is ideal for hosting family and friends and may be rented in its entirety to guarantee full privacy to its guests.
Other facilities at Villa La Massa include the Arno SPA, offering signature Chianti beauty treatments and boasting a Turkish bath, sauna, Roman pool with hydro-massage, sensory showers and two treatment rooms. Il Verrocchio restaurant is famed for serving traditional Italian gastronomic fare, including seasonal produce grown in the Chef’s garden, plus the hotel’s own olive oil. The property also features a beautiful Iris Garden, a flower which is native to the region. The atmospheric wine cellar showcases some of the finest Italian wines and is home to numerous wine tastings throughout the year.
The Tropical Wedding – Jamaica Inn
Nestled within a secluded sandy cove, Jamaica Inn is a truly special Caribbean resort just east of Ocho Rios. Combining unrivalled privacy with heartfelt personalised service, Jamaica Inn is a firm favourite among the sophisticated jet set with Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller choosing to honeymoon at the iconic resort in 1957. Spread over eight-acres and boasting a 700-foot private white sand beach, considered to be one of the best in the Caribbean, Jamaica Inn is a timelessly elegant resort and a perfect hidden spot for couples.
Among the swaying palm trees and on the soft sands of resort’s private beach, Jamaica Inn is an idyllic scene for a destination wedding. Against the backdrop of turquoise waters, couples are invited to start their lives together in a paradisaical setting surrounded by their loved ones whether on a manicured lawn overlooking the Caribbean Sea or on the private beach itself. From intimate parties of two to celebrations with 100 guests, Jamaica Inn makes each wedding and vow renewal unforgettable.
This year, Jamaica Inn has taken barefoot luxury to the next level with the launch of their new beachfront villas. Situated on their own private stretch of beach away from the main resort, the three exclusive villas are perfectly positioned for newlyweds seeking solitude and privacy. Providing soaring sea views as well as direct access to the sparkling, crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea, the villas comprise one bedroom with a king size bed, en-suite bathroom, dressing area and a separate living room and kitchenette. Moreover, the villas lie adjacent to the hotel’s Ocean Spa where couples are invited to enjoy locally-inspired treatments in a tranquil outdoor setting with sweeping sea views.
The Country House Wedding – Ballyfin Demesne
Home to the illustrious Coote Family for 100 years, Ballyfin has long been admired as one of the most distinguished late Georgian houses in Ireland. Located at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, a 1.5-hour drive from Dublin airport, the hotel boasts just 20 individually designed bedrooms and The Gardener’s Cottage, giving guests a homely environment with the comforts of an international luxury hotel. Today’s guest can enjoy formality blended with a relaxed and easy-going approach that is wonderfully warm and welcoming.
At Ballyfin, romance is very much part of the scenery and the house and demesne act as a spectacular backdrop for a wedding. Ballyfin is an exclusive five-star wedding venue where there are no interruptions or distractions. The beautiful and relaxing surroundings, the privacy, the luxuriously comfortable accommodation, and the fine food and wine provided by the hotel’s superb chefs and sommelier, make Ballyfin the perfect place for a wedding.
Couples are able to choose from a selection of stunning spaces from an impressive ballroom ideal for wedding receptions accommodating up to 130 guests to a grand State Dining Room with views over the water cascade accommodating up to 70 guests. In addition, there are elegant rooms for more intimate pre-wedding celebrations, dinner or parties as well as vibrant outdoor terraces or garden spaces for the afternoon.
After the wedding, newlyweds have the option of hiding away in Ballyfin’s newest and most exclusive accommodation – The Gardener’s Cottage. The Gardener’s Cottage is Ballyfin’s first standalone, private residence and is utterly charming. It is perfectly positioned for couples looking to enjoy all the amenities and luxurious afforded by a stay at Ballyfin yet also wish to have a little more privacy. It is located adjacent to the main house with accommodation spread over two floors and boasts glorious views out across Ballyfin’s 614 acres of private parkland, walled gardens, ancient wood and 28-acre lake.
The Italian Lake Wedding – Villa D’este
Located on the shores of Lake Como, one of the most romantic settings in the world, Villa d’Este is surrounded by ten acres of enchanting park with centennial trees, statues and colourful flowers. Built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, it was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873, becoming a favourite destination for royalty, Hollywood legends, musicians, writers and discerning travellers.
Once a former residence of a Cardinal and then the summer residence of British royalty, the hotel sits regally on the shores of the lake, with spectacular gardens and is home to the iconic heated, floating pool on the lake. The addition of four stand-alone private villas completes the ultimate Villa d’Este experience, combining the renowned classic service and amenities of the hotel with the seclusion of one’s own villa. Interior décor is the perfect combination of classic charm and modernity, history and sophisticated technology and, importantly for weddings, embellished with streams of nautral light. Each of Villa d’Este’s 152 rooms are uniquely and elegantly furnished with antiques and vintage articles, with many also offering awe-inspiring lake vistas from a private balcony.
Villa d’Estes’s 25 acres of landscaped gardens, flowing fountains, dramatic mountain views and intricate architecture appear to be beautifully carved from a favourite fairytale. Noted for its exquisite gardens, the backdrop for wedding photography is unparalleled.The hotel offers an array of venues ranging from the sixteenth century Mosaic House, the jewel of Villa d’Este, to grand dining rooms adorned with marble floors, crystal chandeliers, floor to ceiling windows and frescoes. For a more understated yet equally stunning venue, there is a secluded and intimate lakeside terrace tucked away in the corner of the garden. Moreover, after the wedding, the beautiful outdoor terraces are the perfect areas for stylish aperitifs and canapes.
After the ceremony, for those wishing to make the most of the Italian outdoors, boat tours can be arranged to discover the lake and the beautiful villas and gardens, such as Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, Villa Balbianello in Lenno and Villa Melzi d’Eril in Bellagio. Moreover, for something a little out of the ordinary, Lake Como is also the home to the oldest seaplane school in Europe and seaplane training facility in Italy. Newlyweds are able to book scenic seaplane tours of the lake with the Aero Club Como.
The City/heritage Wedding – The Phoenicia
Built in 1939, The Phoenicia was Malta’s first luxury hotel, giving it a wealth of history and a unique charm standing proudly on the doorstep of Valletta. With 300 days of sunshine, Malta is the perfect destination for a wedding and The Phoenicia is the perfect venue. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Phoenicia’s interior harbours an imposing Art Deco influence sustaining 128 bedrooms and 8 suites, affording some truly majestic views from most rooms and terraces. With plentiful elegant dining rooms, expansive gardens and a prestigious reputation, The Phoenicia is one of Malta’s most iconic wedding venues. Suitable for groups of 10 to 300, celebration dinners, receptions and galas can be held in the hotel’s manicured gardens or in one of the customisable dining rooms. The hotel encompasses a great variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the hotel’s most sought after reception venue: the Bastion Pool. The Bastion Pool offers soaring sea views and has a unique backdrop of St Michael’s bastions.
One of The Phoenicia’s most iconic venues is the the Grand Ballroom, which once hosted Queen Elizabeth II herself, and offers a stunning balcony and private entrance for a true sense of regality. The hotel’s iconic, lush 7.5-acre garden is undoubtedly one of the hotel’s romantic highlights and an understandably popular setting for wedding photographs. In addition, the hotel also boasts a full civil ceremony license and an in-house wedding planner, who is at hand to ensure that the happy couple’s day runs smoothly. Whether planning an elaborate celebration with hundreds of guests or an intimate family dinner, The Phoenicia is a faultless wedding venue.