Top 20 royal wedding destinations
Think of an elopement to the Rock of Gibraltar as a more scenic alternative to Las Vegas. (Press Association)
While Prince William and Kate Middleton may be the only ones allowed to hire Westminster Abbey for a private wedding, couples with money to spend have their choice of a number of royally refined venues around the world.
Whether you are planning a high-end wedding or you just enjoy daydreaming, here are our picks for the classiest places to pledge lifelong commitment.
Skibo Castle, Scotland
Join the ranks of Madonna and Ashley Judd, and marry a man in a kilt at the idyllic Skibo Castle. The 12th Century castle, once home to industrialist Andrew Carnegie, is set in the Scottish Highlands. The gorgeous estate offers 21 luxury rooms to house your guests.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rajasthan, India
It took more than a decade to build this palace for Umaid Singh, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, and it was well worth the wait. Among the many features of the stone structure is a museum and artwork from the Sanskrit epic the Ramayana.
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
Surrounded by 8,000 acres of land, the Biltmore Estate is a picturesque castle hidden away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ride to the altar in a horse-drawn carriage for a fairy tale ceremony. In addition to royal suites for your guests, the estate's attractions include a 94-acre vineyard along the glistening French Broad River.
Le Chateau d'Esclimont, France
Another storybook wedding venue can be found just outside Paris in a location that will transport you back in time. Le Cateau d'Esclimont is a Renaissance-era castle located between the Versailles Palace and the Chartres Cathedral.
Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Built for King Kalakaua in 1882, this fortress-esque palace hosts outdoor wedding receptions in its historic Iolani Barracks. Soak in history while you soak in the tropical sun in this unforgettable venue.
St Paul's Cathedral, London
Charles, Prince of Wales made Lady Diana his princess in this beautiful cathedral in 1981. St Paul's is a truly exclusive venue. Those who wish to wed in the chapel must be approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, by way of an application process. According to the cathedral: "This privilege is extended only to members of the Order of St Michael and St George, the Order of the British Empire, holders of the British Empire Medal, members of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor and their children (but not grandchildren)."
Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, Sydney
This Gothic cathedral is perched upon a cliff in Sydney. Having hosted the ceremony portion of actress Nicole Kidman's $250,000 wedding to country music singer Keith Urban, Cardinal Cerretti is no stranger to stylish affairs.
Same-sex friendly options
Hacienda La Alhaja, Spain
Exclusivity can be found on the Andalucían countryside at Hacienda La Alhaja, located within El Torcal Natural Park. Unspoiled by tourism, the retreat offers beautifully designed villas with lovely mountain views and activities including motorcross biking, golf and horseback riding.
Four Seasons, Buenos Aires
This luxury hotel built in the style of a French mansion is an extravagant escape from the nonstop vitality of Argentina's capital. With a grand staircase, a grand gazebo and a grand ballroom, weddings here are certainly royal occasions.
Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Choose South Africa for a mountainside wedding in Cape Town. Choose either an outdoor wedding, overlooking the mountains and the beach, or an indoor wedding in Mount Nelson's ballroom.
Hotel Bel Air, Los Angeles
There are several luxury hotels to choose from in LA, but the historic Hotel Bel Air is currently undergoing renovations (to be completed this year) to add even more elegance to its suites, restaurant, bar and spa. Bel Air's Spanish colonial architecture, Canyon View suites and outdoor gardens are major draws for royal couples.
Aman-e-Khas Resort, New Delhi
Go all out at the Aman-e-Khas wildlife resort in India. When pop singer Katy Perry married comedian Russell Brand there last year, their wedding unfolded into a six-day celebration featuring a procession of 21 camels, elephants and horses.
Sandy Lane Resort, Barbados, Caribbean
Get a jump start on your honeymoon by hosting a destination wedding in a refined Barbados resort. Prepare for your wedding by unwinding in the spa at Sandy Lane, which offers hydrotherapy, steam, hot and cold treatments and a range of options for massages and facials. By the time all your guests arrive, you will be ready for anything.