Though Bratislava is a popular hen do destination, its romantic scenery is even better suited to the big day itself. We've rounded up our top tips for your destination wedding.
You don't have to be a princess to plan a fairy tale wedding. Consider a destination ceremony in a historic city like Bratislava: with its charming mediaeval streets punctuated by the glittering Danube, there's no more romantic backdrop for your big day.
The perfect ceremony
Situated on the main square in Old Town - just below the castle - St Martin's Cathedral is one of Bratislava's most picturesque venues for a wedding ceremony. With its large, dramatic interiors and surrounding quaint, cobbled streets, you'll be guaranteed a stunning wedding album.
The Catholic Church of St Elisabeth is known as the "Blue Church" thanks to its storybook facade, painted powder blue with a high domed tower like a fairy tale illustration. Dainty embossed walls distinguish this church from the more traditional gothic design popular throughout Europe. With plenty of painted interior detail to match, brides certainly won't have any trouble finding "something blue" here.
A reception to remember
Just steps from Old Town, Carlton Hall dates back to 1837 and features a stunning ceiling. The oval-shaped ballroom in our Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava was designed by renowned architect Henry Prueger and accommodates up to 140 guests for a sit-down dinner, perfect for larger destination weddings with the extended family.
Smaller wedding parties and nautical enthusiasts might consider a day on the Danube. Board an elegant steamer and take in Bratislava's most beautiful asset up close. Spending the day floating along the river will provide endlessly changing backdrops for photos, and you can arrange fireworks displays and live music for a magical evening of entertainment.
Ask for help
We find that weddings always run a little more smoothly with the right professional help. The best of the bunch can be found at the annual Bratislava Wedding Fair from 14-15 February at the Exhibition Ground. Here you can source dressmakers for any last minute alterations, jewellery designers for authentic local pieces or bridal party gifts, caterers, hair and makeup artists, florists and photographers.
If you're enlisting a wedding planner, consider going with a local agency like Weddings in Slovakia, who know the city well and have existing contacts with venues and suppliers. When working with a wedding planner from your home country, be sure to ask about their experience with destination ceremonies and discuss costs like airfare and liaising with venues up front.
Try local traditions
At Slovakian wedding receptions, it's customary to smash a plate at the feet of the bride and groom, who must then clean up the pieces together to establish their ability to work together in marriage. A bib symbolising unity is also draped around the necks of both the bride and groom, worn until they finish a bowl of soup using one spoon.