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Combine the panoramic views and crystal clear waters of top wedding destinations with a single home to tie the knot, hold the reception and honeymoon, and couples have the newest formula for a picture-perfect ‘destination wedding’.

With weddings at home getting increasingly expensive, one in four UK couples now opt to tie the knot abroad* for a sunnier and cheaper alternative. For the most private and intimate destination weddings, brides and grooms increasingly turn to holiday homes instead of hotels, which offer significant cost savings and a great environment to enjoy their special day with close family and friends.

Holiday rental sites, such as make the search easy, listing thousands of castles, villas, and holiday homes ideal for weddings and honeymoons.

"There's nothing better to me than seeing the joy of a bride and groom getting married in front of my home, with their toes in the sand and the waves as the music," says owner James Leavitt who has hosted more than a dozen weddings in his luxury Grand Caymans estate (property 51295, pictured right). The estate includes accommodation for 18 guests in the castle and guesthouse, two private pools and an aisle made of 300 feet of white sandy beach for the bride to take her first steps to wedded bliss.

In locations as diverse as Croatia and Thailand, or closer to home in France, Spain or Portugal, couples are turning to holiday properties rather than hotels for these top five reasons:

1. One special place. With multiple bedrooms and amenities including private pools, the bride, groom and their guests can enjoy all the wedding and honeymoon festivities in one location.

2. Intimate and personal. While beach destination weddings are the most popular, holiday rentals provide celebration back-drops based on personal tastes and styles. Homes in the wine country, ski towns and the most romantic cities in the world provide alluring alternatives to cookie-cutter ceremonies at hotels. For example, property 62099, a 15th Century chateau in the French countryside even features its own private chapel.

3. One-on-one attention. When you rent holiday homes, you deal directly with homeowners and property managers who provide tips and recommendations on caterers, florists and photographers that only a local would know.

4. Pristine memories. From a bridal party brunch at the private pool to a bachelor's day of golfing right out the back door, holiday homes allow for pristine memories free from the hordes of guests who share those same facilities at hotels.

5. Save money for the happily every after. Holding all the wedding festivities in one location means saving money on the exuberant fees for multiple venues and hotel rooms. Plus, the one-on-one relationship with homeowners is one of the best perks of renting a holiday home, giving couples the ability to negotiate rates and make special requests.


- East End, Grand Cayman – 6 bedroom, ocean-front ‘castle’. With 2 beautiful pools overlooking the sea, large patio and private 300 foot white sand beach.
Rental rates from £3,490 to £4,500 per week. Full catering and wedding arrangements on request

- Dubrovnik, Croatia – 5 bedroom, former Ukrainian millionaire’s villa, overlooking the sea, surrounded by over 4,000sqm of terraces and lush gardens. Features deluxe guestrooms, elegant dining room and salon, private beach access, swimming pool and whirlpool.
Rental rates from £27,000 per week, or £3,900 per day (a la carte breakfast and maid service included. Full catering can be provided on request)

- Phuket, Thailand – 5 bedroom, Ayutthaya period-style teak villa. Set on Chalong Beach in extensive tropical gardens overlooking the bay. Consists of 3 suites, each with its own facilities, private pool, Jacuzzi, and daily maid service.
Rates for larger groups on request. From £160 per night for 4 people

- Normandy, France – 20 bedroom chateau with medieval banqueting room, just 20km from the beach. Set in a green valley within walking distance of the village of Brix. In a peaceful setting, with extensive, pretty gardens featuring a little stream and two fishing ponds.
Rental rates from £2,210 per week, or £545 per night. Caterer and photographer available for weddings

- Dordogne, France – 5 bedroom, 15th Century château with pretty, private chapel. This chateau is a working vineyard and complimentary wine tastings and tours are available. Guests can also relax in the tranquillity of the walled garden, lounge by the pool, or enjoy a game of snooker.
Rental rates from around £3,000 per week, or £613 per night, including welcome hamper, shopping and daily maid service

- Sitges, Spain – 9 bedroom, “Neo-Mudejar” villa with large pool, tennis court, fish pond, children’s play park, gym and BBQ area. Just 30km from Barcelona, which is easily accessible by train. Special activities, such as helicopter and hot air balloon tours of Barcelona, and parties with DJ can be organised on request.
Rental rates from £5,440 to £10,885 per week, or £1,700 per night, including daily maid service and staff

- Algarve, Portugal – 9 bedroom villa with pool, tennis court, large courtyard, ‘nightclub’ with professional DJ and lighting system and karaoke system, games room, gym and in-house English concierge service. Cook service available for £350 per week.
Rental rates from £3,250 to £8,750 per week

- Costa Verde, Dominican Republic – 7 bedroom beach-front villa with access to secluded white sand beach and private golf putting and chipping greens. 12 minutes from the Robert Trent Jones 18-hole golf course.
Rental rates from £9,500 to £11,600 per week, or £1,360 to £1,660 per night

- Umbria, Italy – Converted 12th Century convent, sleeping up to 24 in 7 suites. Banqueting hall seats up to 32 guests and catering can be provided. Large outdoor pool and hottub, and a range of relaxing treatments available on request.
Rental rates from £3,700 to £4,350 per week

* according to research by Direct Line Home Insurance: see

Media contact:

Sarah Chambers, PR Officer,
Tel: +44(0)20 8740 2472 Email:


Based in London and founded in January 1996, was acquired in 2005 by US-based HomeAway, Inc., a global network of industry leading ‘for rent by owner’ holiday home sites. Each year, more than 100 million travellers visit the HomeAway global marketplace that comprises more than 170,000 holiday rental properties across 100 countries., together with the European HomeAway sites, forms Europe’s largest marketplace for holiday homes. has many years’ experience successfully marketing holiday rental properties online and won a New Media Age Award for Effectiveness in Travel in 2003.

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