This page features gay-friendly wedding venues in Ireland, Spain and France. Scroll down and you will find wedding planners who can also arrange weddings in other parts of the world. We also provide useful information below about organising your civil partnership abroad.
A 17th. Century House in Wexford, Southern Ireland, Horetown House specialises in intimate weddings, tailoring each package to suit individual couple's needs. The House is exclusive to the wedding party and can be taken over in its entirety for two or three day events.
The Yacht Club Cala D'Or Country Club offers exquisite cuisine served on its splendid pool and garden terraces, on its rooftop patios or inside its new salons - the choice is yours.
The Biniarroca Boutique Hotel is one of Menorca's most romantic hotels, owned and run by two women, a fashion designer and an artist. Featured in stylish magazines worldwide and an inspiration to photographers, the Biniarroca promotes an atmosphere of calm away from the modern-day stress of everyday life.
La Tuiliere is a unique and relaxed elegant wedding venue in France, for those who are looking for something different! It is a place that offers couples the opportunity to celebrate their marriage in beautiful surroundings in the peace & quiet of the French countryside.
Information on gay weddings abroad
If you want your wedding to be recognised in the UK, it has to be in a country that also has a form of civil partnership or gay wedding and is recognised in schedule 20 of the UK's Civil Partnership Act. You can check out the latest list here Schedule 20 countries.
The countries in Schedule 20 include:
New relationships will be added to Schedule 20 as more countries or territories bring in gay marriage or civil partnership schemes.
There may be restrictions within each country about residency requirements. Danny Waine, Marketing and Development Manager at travel agents, Perfect Gay Honeymoons, specialises in helping couples to tie the knot abroad. He says Vermont (USA), Canada and New Zealand are the easiest places to organise the legal ceremonies as the paperwork can all be done in advance. Vermont is particularly easy; as once you arrive in the State there is no residency period, making it ideal for couples who want to elope.
'For Canada and New Zealand we do most of the paperwork here in the UK and send it off before the couple travels, leaving them to simply tie up the loose ends when they arrive,' says Danny. In Canada, it is best to opt for the provinces that offer a "marriage" as opposed to those which have a "union civile" - these come under French law and have a residency period of around 30 days.
Danny says it is much more difficult in other European countries. 'Although the UK will recognise the overseas relationship on return, the laws of the European countries require one of the partners to be a resident of that particular country. Spain is slightly different, if you own a property there you can marry anywhere in their country.'
Two of Danny's clients held their ceremony in a luxury country hotel in Vermont and spent their honeymoon at the lesbian mecca, Provincetown on Cape Cod. Two of his male clients had an open-air ceremony in Vancouver, followed by a slap up meal in a hotel, a whale watching excursion and a honeymoon in Hawaii.
You also need to check out what kind of celebration you are allowed in each country. In Slovenia, for example, the authorities don't allow any guests or ceremony - you just sign a document. The first two gay men to enter into a civil partnership in Slovenia, Mitja Blazic and Niki Kern called the ceremony "humiliating", saying it was more like a car registration than a wedding ceremony.
Under the law same-sex partners must register 30 days in advance and submit documents proving they are sane, in good health and not already married.
If you want to elope to Scotland and you fancy the romance of marrying in Gretna Green, the Anvil Hall is a gay-friendly venue. Ironically, the ceremony takes place in a converted Catholic church! But remember, you still need to allow 15 clear days before you can tie the knot.
If you have any questions about registering a civil partnership abroad, you should contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country concerned. You may be asked to obtain a certificate of no impediment - sounds nasty.
This is a document required by some foreign authorities to enable a British national to register a civil partnership in their country and, under certain circumstances, it can be provided by your local registry office.
You can find out where your local one is in England and Wales, by visiting:
in Scotland, by visiting:
and in Northern Ireland, by visiting:
Once you have tied the knot abroad, you can apply to have your overseas civil partnership documents - with translations if necessary -sent from the country where it took place and deposited with the General Register Office.
Two conditions apply:
- your civil partnership has to have taken place in one of the countries listed above
- one of you must be a British citizen - and only that person can apply to deposit the details
For further information, contact:
Deposit of Civil Partnerships
Passport & Documentary Service Group
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Old Admiralty Building
London, SW1A 2PA
Tel: +44 (20) 7008 0186 (10am to 12am Monday to Friday)