Planning a wedding on Lanzarote? Not so long ago getting married in an exotic location seemed to be the sole preserve of the rich and famous.
But now we´re all at it, according to market research experts Mintel. Last year just over one in ten of all British couples said “I do” abroad – a figure which has risen by an incredible 56% since just 1998.
As a result, destination weddings on Lanzarote are now becoming commonplace and are evolving into a specialized sector of the island’s tourist industry.
Most of the big tour operators have their own specialized wedding departments and offer their customers the option to marry here. There are also independent planners, such as Rocks & Roses .
So why are more and more women opting to become bikini brides and tie the knot in places such as Lanzarote?
The Price of Love
Well, according to Mintel this trend can largely be attributed to the fact that it costs more to finance the romance in the UK than it does abroad.
The average cost of a wedding in the UK now stands at a budget busting £16,000 – and that’s before you factor in the cost of the honeymoon. Your average overseas do however comes in at a father-of-the-bride friendly figure of just £5,825 – with the honeymoon built-in.
Add to that the fact that most holiday companies will also take most of the stress of organizing the event off your plate and it’s a nuptial no contest.
Lanzarote is also starting to win a bigger slice of the wedding cake business as the island offers some truly memorable locations for both ceremonies and receptions.
For example, couples can exchange vows in any number of unique locations- from some of them islands best known tourist attractions, such as the Cuevas de los Verdes to a simple blessing on the beach. Even a maritime marriage is possible on board one of many luxury vessels.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land though there are some other excellent options such as the beautiful and historic rural hotel Casa Tegoyo in Conil. Here couples can experience a really intimate ceremony in a small chapel before enjoying their reception in a private dining area and romantic sunken courtyard.
Church weddings are particularly easy to arrange for Catholics, as Lanzarote and hence most of its church buildings are of the Roman Catholic faith. Only one of the happy couple need be Catholic and both parties must be non-divorcees.
There are some extremely beautiful churches dotted around the island – such as the cliff-top chapel at Las Nieves or the historic and the picturesque church at Femes, built in the early 1700´s, where services can be staged.
Other denominations are not so well served for churches on the island though so non-Catholics are restricted to either a registry office wedding or a blessing ceremony.
As registry office weddings for other denominations are only possible if either the bride or groom has been resident on Lanzarote for a minimum period of two years many couples opt to treat their blessing as the main event, having already taken care of their legal marriage in their country of origin.
There are no legal or religious restrictions on where a blessing ceremony can be held. Hence, the only real constraint is one of imagination, as the happy couple can enjoy their ‘marriage’ in pretty much any location – from a helicopter hovering over the island to a camel back ceremony in Timanfaya.