5 fabulous wedding spots around the world
Marry like royalty at these great wedding destinations
Every couple needs the perfect spot for their wedding. From a small church to a sunny beach, everyone wants something different.
While Prince William and Kate Middleton chose Westminster Abbey for their royal nuptials, both Madonna and actress Ashley Judd wed at Scotland's Skibo Castle. Meanwhile, actress Nicole Kidman and country star Keith Urban picked Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, a Gothic cathedral atop a cliff in Sydney, Australia, for their June 2006 wedding.
But those three fabulous destinations are just three among hundreds of ancient and majestic wedding venues around the world.
From London to the deep jungles of South America, fairy-tale churches have played host to millions -- not just royalty.
Anyone marrying between towering the gothic spires of ancient cathedrals and castles can't help but feel like royalty themselves.
Take a look at some of the most massive historic buildings from around the world and see some of the most fabulous places anywhere for a wedding.
No. 5: Odescalchi Castle in Italy
Not much is more fabulous than a royal wedding, but Hollywood royalty comes close.
When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married, it had everyone else glued to the coverage. The wedding was an intensely private affair, it even had a no-fly zone around the wedding site. So where was this fantasy wedding? Near the middle of nowhere in the small town of Bracciano, Italy.
The small town of about 15,500 is home to Castle Orsini-Odescalchi, an imposing military castle that TomKat spruced up with eager approval of the town. The pair invited just 150 A-list celebrities to the glamorous affair.
Ancient castles across Europe may be derelict, but the small towns surrounding them provide picturesque backdrops impossible to find at the popular churches closer to civilization.
No. 4: Las Lajas Cathedral in Colombia
Couture couples looking for a little wilderness for their fabulous wedding should head south to the South American mountains of Colombia.
The gorgeous gothic-inspired Las Lajas Cathedral was built near the border between Colombia and Ecuador in a teeming jungle canyon.
The church stands on stone stilts spanning a raging river and the view includes dense forest and a towering waterfall. Legend has it that the church was founded on the site after a deaf-mute girl spoke for the first time, saying that the Virgin Mary was calling to her.
There are few spots in the world that hold such splendor, and anyone looking for a fairy tale wedding location would be hard pressed to find a more fabulous spot.
No. 3: The Duomo Milan in Italy
In the middle of romantic Milan, the Duomo Milan is unlike any church in the world.
The largest Gothic cathedral in the world was also unlike any architectural undertaking ever.
It took hundreds of years of technical problems, wars and lack of funds to complete the gargantuan fantastical cathedral. But when it was finally completed in 1965, the Duomo Milan was a grand homage to the gothic style.
The cathedral stands at the center of Milan and is often the site of throngs of tourists and sometimes soccer fans when the church puts up a giant screen.
The history and central location might not be intimate, but couples looking to get married at the Duomo probably won't care -- and they can take in a soccer match to kick off their honeymoon.
No. 2: Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York
Nothing says a high-class American socialite wedding like Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
The towering 330-foot spires of the church were built between 1858-1878 just across from Rockefeller Center, covering an entire block between ritzy Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue. The cathedral has played host to countless socialite weddings, including the extravagant marriage between Liza Minnelli and David Guest.
Such a swanky wedding isn't cheap, though. Couples need to be a member of the parish and donate at least $2,000 -- on top of decorations and everything else that goes into a wedding. And since the cathedral is in the heart of New York, tourists will be elbowing in to get a glimpse.
But for couples looking for a glamorous wedding -- paparazzi included -- Saint Patrick's Cathedral is the spot for the socialite treatment.
No. 1: Westminster Abbey in London
Westminster Abbey is steeped in royal history, so there is little wonder why Prince William and Kate Middleton chose it for their wedding. The London church, dating back to the year 1050, has seen the coronations of kings and queens throughout history.
The church also served as the site for royal weddings since King Henry the First to its most recent wedding, the 1986 marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew.
Westminster Abbey also houses a massive and historic organ and one of the world's foremost choirs. Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding may have had an intimate guest list of 600, but the Abbey can seat up to 2,000 and saw 8,200 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
Few places hold so much royal history and the most recent royal nuptials only added to the grand royal history.
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