Have Your Special Day in a Fantasy Setting
If you’re still looking for a place to swear eternal fealty to the one you love, have I got a list for you! Here are fifteen of the best wedding venues for fans of all things sci-fi and fantasy!
Warning: Most of these locations are super exclusive/out of the way so these are more like “for our dream wedding/elopement” rather than being realistic. But we do so love to dream. If nothing else, maybe you could do a tour for your honeymoon.
Lord of the Rings/The Chronicles of Narnia
For fans of all things fantasy, Oxford, England is an excellent choice; not only were multiple scenes of Harry Potter shot in the libraries and colleges, but the OGs of High Fantasy, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, taught at the school and lived in the town while working on the manuscripts that would create entire genres. If you’re more a fan of Wonderland, Lewis Caroll (or rather Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) taught at the school and it’s rumored that the gardens of Oxford were of partial inspiration to him while writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Of course, if you’re a big Tolkien fan (or if you’re able to get to New Zealand without breaking the bank), you can get married at Hobbiton and have your reception at the Green Dragon Inn. Need I say more?
Though seriously, there are a host of recognizable locations all throughout New Zealand that many High Fantasy fans will recognize. Don’t like Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit? There are also locations from The Chronicles of Narnia; while the buildings were all sets and CGI, the breathtaking scenery is magical all on its own.
If you’re looking to make your day a fairy tale come true, then I’d take a look at Disney’s wedding venues in the happiest places on Earth. They have dozens of venues available at their parks in Florida and California, at their resort in Hawai’i, or on their cruise line, all of which make for a magical experience. They also do engagements, vow renewals, and honeymoons too and have a whole TV show devoted to Disney weddings on Disney+.
For those who prefer real-life inspirations for Disney’s castles, then Neuschwanstein Castle (Sleeping Beauty’s castle), Chillon Castle (Little Mermaid’s castle), Chateau De Chambord (Beauty and the Beast’s castle) Mont-Saint-Michel (the castle/kingdom from Tangled), Eilean Donan and Dunnottar Castle (the castle from Brave), and Hotel De Glace (Elsa’s Ice castle) all offer wedding packages. While the Taj Mahal (the inspiration for the palace from Aladdin) does not offer weddings, there are photographers that specialize in doing couples portraits on the site.
You don’t have to go to a galaxy far, far away to find a great Star Wars wedding venue. For those who hate sand, we suggest Padme’s Naboo retreat Varykino also known as the Villa Del Balbianello on Lake Como (also the site of a few scenes from Casino Royale for the Bond fans).
For those who like more trees in their landscape, there are also many different forests used throughout the series. Del Norte County has multiple wedding venues for those who want to get married on the Forest Moon of Endor. The Forest of Dean, which was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was also the filming location for scenes of Takodana in The Force Awakens.
I will say that the remote locations of some sites make them more suited to elopements; if the many filming locations of Tunisia are a bit too out of your way, Death Valley and/or the Imperial Sand Dunes can give you the sands of Tatooine (though you’ll have to photoshop the twin sunset yourself).
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones may not have a good history with weddings, but it does have some very romantic locations. Perhaps the best place to search for Westerosi wedding venues would be Dubrovnik, Croatia, which has appeared as both Canto Bight in The Last Jedi and as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones (as well as many other locations across both Westeros and Easteros). They have museums of props and tours of the many filming locations. Emilia Clarke spoke in an interview with Conan O’Brien about how she and some other cast members almost crashed a Games of Thrones-themed wedding while staying at a hotel during filming.
If you’re looking for someplace a little more North, then Castle Ward is the wedding venue for you, having played Winterfell in the show. Another option is Tollymore Forest Park, the filming location for many scenes both North and South of The Wall. If you’re a Tyrell Stan, then Castillo de Almodóvar is probably more your speed.
If you’re looking for something with a little more ‘shine’ to it, The Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel) and the Timberline Lodge (the hotel where Kubrick filmed wide exterior shots from the opening credits) are both beautiful scenic wedding destinations… as long as you don’t get caught there in a blizzard.
If you’re a fan of Picard, Temecula Winery Weddings at Callaway (or Picard’s Winery) does indeed host weddings.
There are also many resources for those who are looking for Castle Weddings or for weddings in museums, national parks, or a host of other locations that are frequently filmed.
What’s your fantasy wedding location? Comment below!
(featured image: MACALL B. POLAY/HBO)
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