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These days, couples looking to celebrate their marriage in an alternative way often choose symbolic rituals like the handfasting ceremony.

This ancient Celtic ritual adds depth to the wedding proceedings, and involves the couple’s hands being bound by a cord, ribbon, or even a scarf. It is a beautiful representation of a couple’s sealed union.

For couples interested in having their destination wedding in Europe, we have put together a list of destinations that will be perfect for your wedding and handfasting ceremony. Some of these venues even assist in organising the ceremony, as they are well versed in this unique and alternate wedding style.

So, to have your European wedding in a grand fashion, consider some of these locations.

Best Destinations for a Handfasting Ceremony in Europe

St Nectan’s Glen

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Situated in Cornwall, England, St Nectan’s Glen is a beautiful and tranquil location in an outstanding Cornish Valley. With ancient woodland, waterfalls and ivy clad trees, it is a perfect space for any type of celebration.

It would be especially picturesque for handfasting ceremony whether for a wedding or vow renewal, with the fairy tale ambiance created by animals, birds and flora.

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its rare specimen of plants, it is a beautiful location to behold. Even better, the staff are accustomed to organising handfasting ceremonies, and can ensure that yours goes on without a hitch.

Lough Cutra Castle

If you fancy castle wedding venues Europe, then the Lough Cutra Castle in South Galway of Ireland might be just the place for you.

This exclusive and private lakeside location is perfect for a unique and personal affair. The historic and beautiful scenery surrounding the castle, which is set on a 1600-acre estate, also provides the perfect backdrop for a handfasting ceremony.

Porto Carras, Greece

Couples seeking a beach wedding Europe for a handfasting ceremony will love the Porto Carras Grand Resort in Greece. With two five star hotels, a luxurious villa, casino and spa centers, it is the perfect location for destination weddings Europe.

With numerous picture perfect spots, and an events team that can handle all the details of your special day, you can be sure that your ceremony will go on without a single worry.

Herstmonceux Castle

Located in East Sussex, England, Herstmonceux Castle is one of many amazing wedding destinations in Europe. The castle boasts a variety of exquisite rooms to hold different numbers of guests, from a huge ballroom to intimate rustic rooms with open fireplaces and high ceilings.

There are also acres of parkland outside for outdoor occasions, a castle moat with a bridge over it, and an enclosed courtyard. This location has all the makings for a most beautiful and memorable wedding and handfasting ritual.

The Solis Lough Eske Castle

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Named Ireland’s Wedding Venue of the Year twice in a row, this five star venue offers seductive natural scenery, majestic views and a historic castle.

These all provide perfect spots with picturesque backgrounds for a fairy tale wedding. Situated in Donegal, Ireland, it is definitely one location t consider for a destination wedding ceremony in Europe.

Langjökull Glacier Cave

Is there anything cooler than getting married in a man made cave within a glacier?!

This Glacier ice tunnel in Iceland has a chapel at the end, complete with an attractive seating area and special light effects. This would be the height of uniquely spectacular wedding photos.

Just be sure to rent a 4×4 to get there, or monster trucks, and make sure your guests are dressed in warm layers.

Castello di Montignano

A castle with origins that date back to 962, Castello di Montignano used to be a family residence in Italy, but opened to guests in 2009. If you are looking for an Italian venue for a grand reception, then this should be on your list.

With twelve bedrooms and a spa, it can also be hired exclusively for your entire event. A historic and unique location for unique weddings in Europe.

A great way to celebrate and record your special day, a handfasting ceremony gives you something extra to remember. You might also want to keep the cords used from your destination wedding in Europe as a special keepsake. 


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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