Of all the countries in the world that claim to be the most romantic the Czech Republic is one of the top places. The gas-lit cobbled streets of Prague are steeped in the past, while the walls of its elegantly-designed buildings echo with imagined voices from a romantic age and trumpeted fanfares from a castle balcony proclaim that age isn’t dead. Beyond the city, its outlying unassuming villages coexist in quiet deference to the Gothic castles dominating their landscapes – where kings, aristocrats and Teutonic knights once held domain. And so it goes on, far beyond the capital region to outlying provinces such as Moravia.
As if these surroundings are themselves not enough to cast an eternal love-spell, there’s more. Just imagine a couple, after a day soaking up scenery, returning to their honeymoon suite to find the bed strewn with rose petals, surrounded by flickering candles, champagne, chocolates and romantic music. Or discovering a balloon and bouquet left strategically on Prague’s grand Charles Bridge while walking back to the hotel. Perhaps even a fireworks display accompanied by a violin serenade. Either way, the fairytale needn´t end there. If there’s a wedding in the offing, this is the place to be.
The Czech Republic has carved out something of a niche for itself as a wedding venue, attracting an estimated 525 British couples in the past 10 years – quite an achievement for a destination once the haunt of Brits ‘stag’ breaks. The gap in the market since the pre-nuptial ‘rowdies’ moved on had been filled by a variety of romantic holidays, from short breaks in a palatial hotel, to pre-wedding inspection trips leading to the full works.
The most popular wedding venues include: Prague’s Old Town Square, for civil weddings in the Old Town Hall, and St Nicholas Church for religious ceremonies. The Old Town Hall is famous for its astronomical clock, and the Baroque St Nicholas Church is also a major venue for concerts. But for the full works in a fairytale castle setting, the most popular option is Konopiste Castle about 30 miles (30 minutes’ drive) south of Prague. The 13th-century fort – featured in the 2006 movie The Illusionist – has a beautiful castle chapel which can be used for the ceremony.
Find out more at Czech Tourism!