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Weddings Abroad in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italian Dolomites

The pretty town of Cortina D'Ampezzo in the Dolomites is a two hour drive north of Venice Marco Polo airport. Famed as a winter sport destination, this area and the town, nestled in a valley between the towering mountain peaks, makes an idyllic location for a wedding.

Italy's popularity as a wedding destination continues to grow, so if you would like to marry in Italy but do not want your wedding to be in one of the “traditional” Italian locations, then try Cortina. Pretty mountain lakes with turquoise water, surrounded by pine trees and jagged peaks above, make an atmospheric ceremony choice, especially at Lago Ghedina. In summer the mountain flowers turn the meadows into a picturesque backdrop, and during the winter the snow turns any lodge or refuge into a cosy place to marry.

Summer sees the area full of mountain bikers, runners and hikers all eager to explore these spectacular mountains at their sunny best. While winter sees skiers and snowboarders return and soar down the slopes, stay in the mountain refuges and celebrate with apres-ski.

Cortina makes a beautiful wedding location for couples who love the outdoors and are searching for that slightly different destination to celebrate. The 3 and 4 star refuges dotted around the mountains are far more luxurious than you might think. Excellent cuisine (some of which was even mentioned in the New York Times), comfortable accommodation, and welcoming people, all perched atop the mountains in strategic locations for skiing and hiking, makes any of these refuges an ideal setting for a wedding with a view. Some, like Scoiattoli, have a civil marriage licence so you can have the ceremony and reception there, overlooking the Cinque Torri (five peaks). Others, like neighbouring Averau, don't hold a marriage licence, but do create stunning receptions, either on their deck or in the wood-panelled restaurant.

Cortina town has a lovely mix of Italian style tinged with the occasional flavour of Austria. This area was ruled by the Austro-Hungarian empire for over 400 years, so it's quite surprising that it remains as Italian as it is today. Lasagne and Weiner Schnitzel, Tiramisu and Sachertorte sit side by side on menus, and the food is generally excellent regardless of its heritage!

Plenty of hotels in Cortina hold a wedding licence, and the local wedding planners are happy to suggest other locations around the area. Claudia at Fiori and Annette Gottmann have both had many years' of experience in planning local weddings and can make some excellent suggestions as to the best place to marry, according to your wishes.

There are also many chalets close to town with great views that you can drive to rather than hike to, such as Baita Fraina, a short drive up the mountain with stunning views. Many of the refuges at the top of the mountains surrounding Cortina also hold a licence, Faloria is one and it easily accessed via cable car direct from town, and Lagazuoi, another refuge across the valley was the location for some of the scenes from the movie Cliffhanger.

So, if you're searching or a unique but absolutely stunning wedding destination (perhaps you'd like to arrive by horse-drawn carriage (or by sled in the winter), become Mr and Mrs by a shimmering lake with snow-tipped peaks in the background, or just enjoy the spectacular scenery as you say your vows), then try Cortina D'Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites.

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