DESTINATIONS

Brides around the World: Travel Memories

March 20, 2016
Destination wedding at Grand Fiesta Americana, Coral Beach, Cancun
Bride and Groom at the altar in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico

Bride and Groom at the altar in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico

There is something irresistible about bumping into brides around the world on their wedding days.

When you spot a bride and groom on one of the most special day of their lives, it’s impossible—for tourists or other strangers—to suppress the impulse to participate in some way: by congratulating the couple or their family; snapping a photo; slipping into a church to hear a portion of the service; or simply observing for several minutes with a wide smile.

The rituals, customs and attire associated with weddings around the world differ by virtue of where they take place, religious choices of the couple, social class, and personal tastes. But these ceremonies are also universal —they remind us of the joys of love and romance.

These are a few of the weddings we were privileged to spot during our travels—

Destination wedding at Grand Fiesta Americana, Coral Beach, Cancun

Destination wedding at Grand Fiesta Americana, Coral Beach, Cancun

Destination wedding at Grand Fiesta Americana, Coral Beach, Cancun

This couple’s excitement was palpable even in the heat of the day. Hotel guests stopped them for photo ops as they glided by the pools and beach (shoeless) in oppressive humidity at Grand Fiesta Americana, a popular honeymoon spot in Cancun.

Wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wedding party in St. Petersburg, Russia in front of The Bronze Horseman statue

Wedding party in St. Petersburg, Russia in front of The Bronze Horseman statue

Touring St. Petersburg, we noticed that on weekends, scores of newlywed couples drive around the city in motorcades (with their wedding parties and photographers) snapping photographs in front of the city’s major monuments and historical attractions. The two couples above were posing near the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. The group was photographed as we drove past The Bronze Horseman statue of Czar Peter the Great.

Wedding in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico

Wedding in Ciudad Obregon (Sonora), Mexico

Wedding in Ciudad Obregon (Sonora), Mexico

Close friends (Italians living in Italy) invited us to their son’s wedding to a Mexican-American bride. The family made the wedding in her hometown, Ciudad Obregon in Sonora. The Catholic service was held at Santuario de Guadalupe followed by a lively reception at Senor Steak (meat is a specialty of this region).

Bridal shop in Avignon, Provence, France

Bridal shop in Avignon, Provence, France

Bridal shop in Avignon, Provence, France

France manufactures beautiful bridal attire often created with handmade lace. We paused at the window of this shop in Avignon (Provence), France to admire the wedding gowns.

Wedding in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

 Wedding in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Wedding in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

We were walking on busy Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen, which is lined with shops and souvenir stands, when we noticed a tiny white church, Capilla de Nuestra Senora del Carmen. Sunlight was streaming through the window behind the altar, with views of the aquamarine Caribbean in the distance. We stepped inside as the wedding was about to begin.

Wedding in San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato), Mexico 

Wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

Wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

With a pink limestone façade and architecture inspired by Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, the Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel is the tallest building in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Located near El Jardin, the large public square, there always seems to be a wedding or other event taking place inside and/or outside. The handmade dresses of the guests at this wedding were as eye-catching as the bride’s gown.

Photo shoot at The Resort at Pedregal, Cabos San Lucas, Mexico

Photo shoot at The Resort at Pedregal, Cabos San Lucas, Mexico

Photo shoot at The Resort at Pedregal, Cabos San Lucas, Mexico

The Resort at Pedregal is one of the most posh, romantic and elegant properties in all of Mexico, a site for many destination weddings. With stunning architecture and design, we weren’t surprised to find this bridal shoot for a magazine taking place in front of one of the stone staircases.

Wedding in Shanghai, China

Wedding in Shanghai, China

Wedding in Shanghai, China

We were walking along the The Bund, the waterfront area in Shanghai on the bank of the Huangpu River, when we saw this bride and groom stop for wedding pictures with the Shanghai skyline behind them.

Wedding in Orvieto, Umbria, Italy

Wedding in Orvieto, Umbria, Italy

Wedding in Orvieto, Umbria, Italy

We sat down inside this 12th century church, Chiesa di Sant’Andrea, located in the Piazza de Repubblica and watched the entering wedding procession that included these two cute little flower girls.

If you’re a romantic married boomer, scenes like these may make you think about renewing your vows!


  • Brides Magazine also compiled photos of fascinating wedding traditions around the world.

Do you have a wedding picture to add to this Pinterest Board? Email me and I’ll invite you to add your pin.

Weddings around the World on Pinterest

  • Reply
    Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets)
    March 21, 2016 at 9:11 am

    What a charming post – great idea! Your photos of St. Petersburg reminded me of a visit to Kiev where we couldn’t believe the number of bridal parties pausing for photos in front of one of the gorgeous old churches. Yes, everyone wants to offer good wishes and snap a photo too!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 22, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Yes, seeing a bride really can help make for a happy day!

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    March 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I was just talking to someone about how we like running into bridal parties when we’re traveling and taking pics. I was also just working on an article that has a Portuguese bride pic in it. Love your shots — the flower girls are so sweet.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 21, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      I didn’t realize how many brides I had run into recently until I put the post together!:-) It may be a byproduct, in part, of visiting so many historic churches when we travel.

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    March 21, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    What a lovely post idea! In the past year, we’ve encountered wedding parties in Fiji, Brussels, Sarajevo, Thailand and three cities in Vietnam! There must be something to this idea of marriage! 😀

  • Reply
    Jo
    March 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    What a fantastic idea for a post! I’ve often snapped brides in unbidden moments and then wondered what to do with them, thinking it’s such a shame to ‘waste’ such precious memories – and as you say, all brides looks so beautiful and radiant on their wedding day. I loved all your photos but particularly the one of the flower girls – too cute!

  • Reply
    Donna Janke
    March 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    What a great collection of wedding photos. It always feels so happy to come across a bride and groom being photographed somewhere

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Glad I could share my happiness (and theirs) with you!

  • Reply
    Sheryl
    March 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Love this! It’s always so exciting to see a bride and groom when you’re away somewhere – even when you’re not! This is such a fun rundown of things that make everyone smile. We’re heading to Charleston, S.C. for a destination wedding in a few weeks – very excited.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 22, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      I guarantee that you will see many brides in Charleston! It is such a popular wedding destination.

  • Reply
    Michele Peterson ( A Taste for Travel)
    March 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Wow, this is such a romantic post! Seeing a bridal couple on their wedding day is surely to bring good fortune and make you feel good inside. I too saw a couple in St. Petersburg and the bride was posing for photos outdoors in the middle of winter with a fur coat wrapped around a white confection of a dress and it was truly a spectacular sight. .

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      That’s funny! It seems like it’s easier to spot brides in Russia because they are posing in so many public places.

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    March 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    What a fun post! We have run into weddings a few times in our travels. In Shanghai we saw many brides taking photos but they were always dressed in red. It was before the wedding though, so maybe that is why.

  • Reply
    Janice Chung
    March 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I am so impressed that not only did you think of this unique theme for a post, but that you have such great photos from around the world! The picture in Cancun is really great and spontaneous. And talk about good timing: the photo shoot in Mexico!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      Now that I put this post together, I’m sure I’ll see more brides:-)i

  • Reply
    Nathalie
    March 22, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Great post, it’s always such a treat to see a wedding when traveling, especially in countries with cultures different from our own.

  • Reply
    Vicki Winters
    March 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    My niece was married this past weekend, so I was really happy to read your post! I took some beautiful black and white shots and wold love to share them with you. I love the Mexican couple in the sombreros the best!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 22, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      What’s really nice are the traditions that pervade these ceremonies!
      How wonderful to have a wedding in your family~

  • Reply
    jane canapini
    March 24, 2016 at 11:08 am

    So true! We’ve spotted Brides in Egypt, in Myanmar, in Ireland, and had to stop and watch and grab a photo! Who doesn’t love to feel like part of a celebration of love!

  • Reply
    Karen Warren
    March 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    The most memorable weddings I’ve spotted recently were an Indian wedding in a London hotel (think lots of jewellery and sumptuous saris…) and a wedding party in New Zealand where women in high heels were walking carefully across the beach for their photos.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    March 24, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    How fun! There is something about seeing a wedding unexpectedly that brings hope to this world and a smile to your face. The world always needs a reminder of all the love that exists out there.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 27, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Especially with a geopolitical climate like the one exists today…

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    March 24, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    We simply love watching celebrations from other cultures when we travel! What a great idea to focus on weddings – I imagine you did see quite a varied selection, as your pictures show as well. Our most unique experience with weddings was probably in Romania where Saturday weddings in the summer were so popular the brides and grooms were literally standing in line outside the church awaiting their reserved time slot!

  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    March 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    What a delightful post! You’ve witnessed many lovely couples around the world celebrate their love publicly by getting married :-). The two little flower girls are adorable. In Malacca, we saw two bridal couples in different locations, and were surprised because the brides each wore red (instead of the western white).

  • Irene S. Levine
    Reply
    Irene S. Levine
    March 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Well now I’m going to be on the lookout for a bride in red! 🙂

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