Increasing numbers of couples are getting married abroad, but if you want to avoid a ceremony in the grounds of a resort hotel, you could opt for a romantic wedding chapel.
There are some spectacular options around the world. Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons, selects ten of the best.
Cloud Nine Chapel at the St. Regis Bali
The Indonesian island of Bali is renowned as one of the most romantic places on earth for its natural beauty and spiritual people.
Have your wedding here and it will be memorable. The Cloud Nine Chapel at the five-star St. Regis Bali in Nusa Dua has Swarovski crystal chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling and the magnificent ocean views which give a sense of occasion – even if it’s just the two of you (though the chapel can seat 30).
The chapel is surrounded by a pond which features four water fountains and water that overflows and cascades down steps, giving a calming feel – good for wedding nerves!
A wooden terrace, the Cloud Nine Terrace, sits beyond this pond right at the beachfront, providing guests with an ideal venue to have pre-dinner canapés and beverage or simply a champagne wedding toast.
The Lovely Lillies wedding package at Cloud Nine Chapel costs from £1,824 and including a night in a suite with indulgent breakfast served by your personal butler.
The Greek Orthodox Church at Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
This gorgeous church in the style of a traditional Byzantine Basilica with an impressive iconostatis inside, as is typical of the Greek Orthodox churches, gives couples a real sense of place.
If you are not Greek Orthodox you can exchange vows in the small atrium right outside the church, something that everyone loves, because of the outdoor set-up and the views over the Aegean Sea.
The Sani Resort offers a specialist wedding package that can be tailored to suit individual tastes and needs. Everything from the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonnière to romantic candle-lit dinners for two and indulgent couple’s spa treatments can be organised. Weddings start from €300 (£249).
Byzantine Chapel at Marti Hemithea, Turkey
Marti Hemithea is one of the most beautiful spots on the Turkish coast nestled secretly on the Hisaronu Bay. The chapel is a Byzantine ruin that looks out to sea and is a truly romantic spot.
The hotel is very much under the radar and really is one of the most beautiful places spots in Turkey – the scenery around here is absolutely stunning with private beaches and cliffs.
It’s great for adults looking for a really relaxed isolated spot. The spa is also absolutely divine. Weddings are priced on application.
Angsana Wedding Chapel, Phuket, Thailand
Situated on the most desirable part of Phuket’s west coast with a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, Angsana Laguna Phuket offers a picturesque setting for a romantic wedding or renewal of vows.
The function spaces include Angsana Ballroom, Poolside Garden, XANA Beach Club as well as impressive Angsana Wedding Chapel – the only lagoon chapel on Phuket Island.
With space for up to 50 guests, the Angsana Wedding Chapel is a charming, Thai-styled chapel surrounded by stunning panoramic views of the sparkling lagoon and white sandy beach.
Weddings cost from £1,171 including private ferry arrival and photographer.
Infinity Chapel at the Conrad Bali
If you like striking architecture, the interfaith Infinity Chapel at the Conrad Bali could be your dream wedding setting.
The setting is idyllic. Tanjung Benoa is a lovely limb of land just off the southern end of the island, with a stunning beach facing the harbour; a breakwater keeps the surface as smooth as glass.
Floating two metres above sea level with an ensemble of overflowing reflecting pools and marble walkways, the chapel has a floor to ceiling ocean-facing glass frontage. The message is of course, that marriage is forever!
Harmony wedding packages start from US$3,500 (£2,120) and include a two night stay in a deluxe ocean room.
The Ice Church at the Ice Hotel, Romania
For ice maidens, the Ice Church at the Ice Hotel in Romania is perfect. Made entirely of ice including altar, pews, organ and collection box with intricate carvings, this chapel is set 2,000 metres above sea level between the peaks of the Fagaras Mountains.
It is only accessible by cable car making it only for adventurous couples. Your wedding night is spent in a private igloo.
Weddings costs from £1,000 including four nights with breakfast.
The Chapel at One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
All the romance and drama of Mexico is wrapped up in this imposing, historic chapel, which sits on a hill overlooking the resort’s tropical gardens and beaches, giving guests a wonderful vista when they leave the church after the ceremony.
It can seat up to 44 and the bridal couple may arrive at the chapel by horse-drawn carriage.
A four-night wedding package starts from £4,686.
Santorini chapels, Greece
Santorini is considered as one of the top wedding destinations in Europe. Its blue-domed chapels situated in Fira and Firostefani are the most popular and among the most photographed spots on the island.
Here it’s not only about the religious sentiment, but also about aesthetics and the development and preservation of a unique architectural pattern that makes the island stand out. The famous sunset and the sparkling Aegean Sea, 300 metres below, should also charm the newlyweds and the guests.
Packages with Mystique Weddings start from €1,900 (£1,576).
Villa La Massa Chapel, Tuscany
Villa La Massa is a stunning 16th-Century Medici Villa, located alongside the banks of the River Arno in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, just 15 minutes from the centre of historic Florence.
Dating back to the days of the Rinuccini, this chapel where David Bowie married Iman, can hold a maximum of 25 people. Symbolic ceremonies can also be organized in the hotel gardens full of lemon trees and olive groves, followed by a reception in the banquet room with direct garden access, perfect for cocktail parties. Weddings are bespoke and prices on application.
Chapel on the island, Lake Bled, Slovenia
You won’t get much more dramatic than this chapel set on a tiny island in Lake Bled. Couples can either marry in the Church St Martin on Lake Bled and get a blessing in the chapel on the island or get married in the registry office and get a blessing in the chapel on the island.
After the ceremony couples take the horse and carriage down to the lakeside and board a Pletna boat (local gondola) across the lake to the island where they ascend the 99 steps to the church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary, where, as is tradition in Bled, you ring the wedding bell and make a wish for the future.
Church wedding packages from £1,492. Registry office wedding packages from £1,066. Holiday packages available with Inghams.
(Featured image: ilovebutter)