My fiancé, Thomas is from Sweden, and we met through an online dating site in December 2015. On January 6, 2017, we got engaged. Though the proposal wasn’t fairy-tale like - no kneeling or popping of the question - we are both thrilled to be engaged and set to marry this October (hopefully).
Due to many factors - money, time constraints and living situations - we both agreed upon a civil wedding. It’s simpler, faster, more convenient, and budget-friendly. However, given the chance to have a traditional church wedding, I’d love to have it in the most beautiful church there is. And although I will not have the chance to marry in a church, it doesn’t mean I can't daydream of doing so. I've researched some of the most beautiful and romantic churches across the globe. Below are 15 magnificent buildings that are picture-perfect for a traditional ceremony.
Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy
Also known as "Chiesa d'Oro" (Church of Gold), St. Mark's Basilica is one of the most famous churches in the world. I love the opulent design and the gold mosaics. When it was built in the 11th century, this Roman Catholic church was a symbol of power and wealth. Its exterior features a lower and upper façade with domes, portals, marble columns and statues. The amazing interior is shaped like a Greek cross with 3 naves, a marble floor and stunning mosaics and paintings.
Barceló Bavaro Palace in the Dominican Republic
The Barceló Bavaro Place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is a dream place to marry for a destination wedding. The tropical environment and pristine beaches create a beautiful background for friends and family to join together on your wedding day. The island offers amazing sites and an abundance of luxurious amenities.
St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
When you think of Moscow's Red Square, you automatically picture the colorful St. Basil's Cathedral with its multiple layered towers. When it was built in the mid-1500's, the Byzantine Church was meant to look like a flame rising to the Heavens. The bright colors were painted between 1680 and 1848. Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia, ordered the cathedral built.
St. John's Episcopal Church in Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia is the epitome of a southern United States' city with old town southern charm. The large church was designed by Buffalo, New York architect Calvin N. Otis in 1841 as the Episcopal Church was growing. St. John's was consecrated in 1853. The Neo-Gothic Church has a ship's mast in the center of its mast and the bells chime melodically. The simple arches and single-aisle make this large church feel quaint.
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
Inspired by Rome's Vatican, this Roman Catholic Church was designed by Francisco Paula di Villar and Antoni Gaudi. The Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau architecture, popular in the 1880's, features 6 large towers and mosaics of Christ's birth through the Passion. The interior is a Latin Cross with 5 aisles and a large central nave that rises 150 feet. I have always dreamed of getting married in this breathtaking church.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas
This church was designed and built in 1926 in a Neo-Gothic style. The façade features beautiful stained glass windows with stories from the New Testament of the life of Christ. The interior is rich and warm and known to have amazing acoustics, which is the perfect setting for the 95 rank pipe organ. Highland Park Presbyterian Church is located in one of the most affluent Dallas neighborhoods.
Basilica Minore de San Sebastian in Manila, Philippines
This Roman Catholic Church was completed in 1891. The basilica that stands on the site was made with strong steel in the Gothic Revival style. The stained glass windows are from Germany and much of the church was prefabricated in Belgium. There are rumors that Gustave Eiffel, the architect of Paris' Eiffel Tower, had a hand in the design. The stunning basilica features 2 open towers with steel vaulting, a 39-foot high nave with a dome above and soaring twin spires. The interior steel columns were painted to look like marble. This stunning church is the perfect place to marry in the Philippines.
Los Lajas Cathedral in Narino, Colombia
One of the most amazing cathedrals in the world, Los Lajas was built above a gorge formed by the Gucitara River at the border of Colombia and Equador. The cathedral rises 100 meters above the canyon floor and features a 50-meter tall bridge that extends to the ravine. The site of the cathedral was chosen because in 1754 a mother and her deaf daughter sought shelter from a storm there between flat rocks ("Lajas") and witnessed a miracle.
Cathedral of John the Divine in New York City
The Episcopal Church is located in the Morningside Neighborhood of New York City and was designed in 1880. Originally designed as a Byzantine-Romanesque Revival cathedral, it became a Gothic Revival under Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram. The cathedral is 601 feet long and the nave rises 124 to 230 feet. St. John's Cathedral has the longest nave in the United States. The famous Rose window was made with 10,000 pieces of glass and there are 7 distinctly styled chapels.
The Marrakesh International Protestant Church in Morocco
The Marrakesh Protestant Church in Morocco is an inter-denominational church located in the heart of Morocco. The church welcomes people of all faiths to worship, making it a wonderful place to marry no matter what your religion is. This North African church is both simple and majestic. It's large and imperial yet classic and beautiful.
St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England
This Anglican church is an iconic part of the London skyline. Many royalties have wed there, and several politicians have been buried in the crypt. The original church was built on the site in 1087 by the Normans. After the Great Fire of London gutted the church, Sir Christopher Wren designed St. Paul's Cathedral in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. With its iconic dome flanked by two spires, St. Paul's dominates Ludgate Hill.
Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary
This Roman Catholic Church was built in 1015 in the traditional Romanesque Style and was named The Church of Saint Mary. The existing church was built in the late 14th century in the Gothic Style, though at one point, it was used as a mosque. The pulpit and parapet were built in medieval style. There are 7 bells in the church. The ornate church features beautiful columns, paintings, and mosaics and would make an amazing place to wed.
Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France in New Orleans, Louisiana
Known as the oldest cathedral in the United States, this Roman Catholic church was built in 1718, then expanded and rebuilt in 1850. The exterior features 3 spires and a white palace-like façade, while the interior is open, and spacious with beautiful art work. The winds of Hurricane Katrina tore a hole in the roof. The organ suffered water damage, but it was sent back to Holtkamp for restoration. The historic cathedral would make the perfect backdrop for a wedding ceremony.
Notre Dame in Paris, France
Located on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris' Seine River, the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Originally built in 1345, the church was desecrated during the French Revolution but was fully restored in 1845. There are flying buttresses around the nave and choir loft, magnificent stained glass windows, and bell towers, which made famous by Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Anyone who's climbed the 387 winding stone steps of the towers can attest to the tight and dangerous climb. The gargoyles on the façade of Notre Dame are iconic and were actually placed for water runoff.
Duomo di Milano in Milan, Italy
The Gothic cathedral of Duomo di Milano took six centuries to complete. It is the largest Italian church and the fifth largest in the world. Construction began in 1386 and was completed in 1965. There were many architects who several alterations during the construction. Today the Duomo di Milano has a central nave with four side aisles. The nave sores 148 feet. The cathedral's roof is spectacular and open to the public. Its filled with openwork pinnacles and spires, which are connected by delicate buttresses. An Italian wedding will definitely be perfect in this church.
If you decide to marry in one of these churches, hiring professional wedding photographers will be a must. They can capture all the beautiful moments on your big day, and you can expect high-quality still shots and videos from them. Although you may be spending anywhere between $2500 to $10000 for their services, it's going to be worth it.