In my nearly twelve years as a wedding photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to work at some really lovely romantic destination wedding venues here in the states. On top of that, my travels across the US and Europe have allowed me to explore places that are incredibly beautiful and often find their place on my venue bucket list! So, from the rolling vineyard-covered hills of California to the colorful streets of Charleston to the historic beauty of France, here are a few my favorite romantic destination wedding venues!
All images are shot on film and were developed/processed by the amazing team at Photovision Prints!
Sunstone Villa | Santa Ynez, CA
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone Villa and Winery is among the most notable and beautiful venues California has to offer. Modeled after a French villa, the main house was built using reclaimed materials sourced from throughout France. Surrounded by vineyards and valley views, Sunstone Villa offers couples a romantic and luxurious experience.
William Aiken House | Charleston, SC
Take a stroll down Charleston’s famed King Street and you’ll eventually come to a butter yellow historic mansion – the William Aiken House. Take a peek through the wrought iron gates and you’ll find quant grounds, classically Southern wraparound porches and a healthy dose of historic charm. Top that off with ornate ballrooms and it’s no wonder it’s one of Charleston’s most sought-after wedding venues.
The Cotswolds, England
While technically not a venue itself, The Cotswolds is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is home to countless historic properties that make for incredible wedding venues. Offering actual castles (like Sudeley Castle or Clearwell Castle) as well as expansive estates and manors (like Hamswell House or Euridge Manor), the Cotswolds has lots of romantic destination wedding venues to choose from. Plus, the Cotwolds is less than two hours from bustling London, which make it easily accessible for guests traveling in for the wedding.
Musée Rodin | Paris, France
Rich in history and Parisian charm, the Musée Rodin in Paris, France is the perfect backdrop for couples who want an elegant and romantic affair. Once the workshop of famed sculptor, Auguste Rodin, this space now houses the nearly his entire collection of sculptures, as well as pieces by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. A dream venue for art lovers, the Rodin Museum also offers extensive gardens and beautiful architecture, making this venue one of my absolutes favorite on this list. Which, given my tremendous love of art museums, is no surprise!
A Private Villa in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
A tropical location had to make this list, of course! And while I’ve seen many beautiful beaches, my heart really loves Costa Rica. The town of Tamarindo along the western coast is known for fun nightlife, great surfing and expansive beaches – all of which will make an incredibly fun experience for your guests. And with villas dotting the hills above, it’s perfect location for an elopement or micro wedding. Just be sure to schedule around the rainy season (September and October) as we learned during this shoot from a few years ago! Stay in Tamarindo has a number of exclusive homes available for events, many with beautiful views of the beach and bay below.
Scribe Winery | Sonoma, CA
Ideal for smaller or micro weddings, Scribe Winery is perfect for couples hoping to have a laidback, yet elevated wedding. The wedding I shot here remains one of my very favorites to this day! Imagine sipping chilled rose as the sun sets over acres of vineyards, surrounded by your nearest and dearest. If that sounds like your dream wedding, then look no further.
The Hilltops of Tirol, Austria
If soaring epic views and lush golden sunlight stretching across quant towns is more your style, then the Tirol region of Austria is absolutely sublime. My favorite backdrop is from just above the town of Ellmau – it the perfect setting for intimate vows and family-centered celebration.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens | Miami, FL
Located just south of bustling Miami, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens offers couples Old World charm with coastal romance. Towering oak trees provide ample shade (and that gorgeous dappled light I love so much) over wandering pathways that lead to quant, hidden gardens. The property’s Mediterranean-style architecture makes it the perfect venue for couple’s who want a European taste to their stateside wedding.
The South of France
I know, another region, not a venue, but can you blame me?? In my opinion, I’ve save the best for last :) With luxury farmhouses and chateaus aplenty, the South of France (most notably, Provence) is perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world for a wedding. A few notable venues in the area are Le Mas des Poiriers, Château d’Estoublon, Château Martinay and Château de Fonscolombe. And if another region of France is calling you, then Château de Mairy in Champagne and the Château de Carsix and Château de Village outside Paris are all amazing!
So many beautiful places to choose from – how will you ever decide? And the amazing things is that these locations are just the tip of the iceberg. The world is a beautiful place – there are countless locations on every continent (ok, Antarctica might be tough) that are home to romantic destination wedding venues. And once you find the perfect venue for your wedding, I’ll be right here with my passport ready to document every bit of that incredible day!
Emily is a destination wedding photographer based along the Carolina Coast. She loves natural light, colorful flowers and is available to travel worldwide. Inquire to receive a custom wedding photography proposal and reserve your date below.