If you’re having a winter destination wedding, you don’t have to choose a location abroad where it is going to be hot. Imagine the perfect frosty scene for your ceremony with snowy slopes, log cabins or dramatic icicles as the backdrop…
Weddings with guaranteed snow — or even ski resort weddings — are perfect if you’re both fans of hitting the slopes, and a winter destination wedding to a cold location means you’re in the perfect place for a honeymoon in the snow.
We’ve chosen 10 of the coolest destinations the world has to offer for picture-perfect winter weddings abroad.
Best for: Winter Wonderland
Staying within the Arctic Circle you’ll find ice hotels, romantic reindeer sledding, husky rides through the snow and snowmobiling, plus plenty of skiing. Lapland itself covers four different countries, but Sweden and Finland are the best choices for some luxury and style as well as a snow-kissed landscape.
You’ll have to apply earlier for a marriage permit in Finland than Sweden.
Image credits: Lola Akinmade
Best for: Ski and romance
Head to Austria’s Tirol region for a snowy mountain wedding with a twist: as well as the lovely Innsbruck, or the medieval town and ski resort of Kitzbühel, you can take the Zillertal wedding gondola right up into the mountains for fantastic photos.
How about saying your vows in a fortress before adding some sparkle with celebrations at Swarovski Crystal Worlds?
Image credits: Top — ANTO – Popp Hackner; Bottom-left — ANTO – Ascher; Bottom-right — ANTO – Peter Burgstaller
Best for: Adventure
If you’ve ever dreamed of marrying on a snow-covered volcano, this is the place to come. Geysers, thundering waterfalls, the famous Blue Lagoon and the chance to see the Northern Lights make Iceland a honeymoon with added adventure.
Combine a stay at one of the luxurious Scandi chic hotels in Reykjavík with an adventure further off the beaten track.
Image credits: Visit Iceland
Destination: Yukon, Canada
Best for: A wild escape
The Yukon instantly conjures up ideas of Canadian wilderness: this is the perfect spot for an outdoorsy adventure with anything from dog sledding to snowshoeing. Check into a luxuriously cosy log cabin for your first days as newlyweds, while keeping an eye out for the northern lights.
If you’re hoping to spot any of the area’s bears, they’ll be hibernating until the spring.
Image credits: Top — Government of Yukon, Fritz Mueller; Bottom — Government of Yukon, Cathie Archbould
Destination: Bled, Slovenia
Best for: A romantic location
On the island in the middle of Lake Bled sits one of Europe’s most picturesque churches — and probably one of its loveliest places to marry as well, overlooked by the medieval castle and surrounded by sparkling emerald water.
Snow in the town of Bled itself varies from year to year, but you can easily head into the surrounding mountains for guaranteed blankets of powder at the ski resort.
Best for: Fairytale romance
Mountain chapels in the hills, frozen lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountains, even ice igloos where you can get married — Switzerland’s bureaucracy might take a while, with up to four months needed for the paperwork, but it’s worth it for the fabulous scenery.
For some of Europe’s earliest guaranteed snow, the ski resort of Zermatt is known for the Matterhorn towering above it and some fabulous food.
Image credits: Switzerland Tourism
Destination: Mammoth Mountain, California
Best for: Snow and heat
The Sunshine State isn’t the first place you might think of for a snowy winter wedding. But Mammoth in California is one of America’s top mountain resorts, especially for snowboarding — and if it gets too chilly, head to the hot springs in the nearby town of Mammoth Lakes.
San Francisco and Los Angeles are both close enough for a twin-centre trip if you fancy some honeymoon sun.
Image credits: Visit California
Destination: Niseko, Japan
Best for: Snow with an exotic twist
On the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido, Niseko has gained a reputation among skiiers for some of the world’s best snow, but you can also find active volcanoes and thermal hot springs, plus the chance to discover a very different culture.
Weddings in Japan are not legally binding for non-residents, but you can have a symbolic ceremony anywhere you choose.
Destination: Moscow, Russia
Best for: History and culture
Few places do snow quite as stylishly as Moscow, where white winters are guaranteed even if you’re planning an early ceremony. Those freezing temperatures create magical city scenes; the bright domes of St Basil’s cathedral are the perfect backdrop to a snowy Red Square with ice skating rinks and frost-covered parkland nearby.
There are plenty of treasures to discover in the museums when you need to thaw out.
Destination: South Island, New Zealand
Best for: Summer snow
One of the few places you’ll get guaranteed snow during the UK summer, it’s perfect if you’ve set your heart on a winter wedding but want to avoid Christmas and New Year dates.
Head to the South Island, especially around Queenstown, where you’ll find the incredible scenery of the Fiordland National Park, alpine lodges near Christchurch and delicious wines from the local vineyards.
Image credits: Tourism New Zealand