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Want to incorporate your love of travel into your destination wedding? Forget the beach and the all-inclusive Mexican and island resorts that offer wedding packages—that's old news. Instead, consider Madrid, a city whose beauty, history and elegance are only matched by its plethora of things for you and your guests to do on your visit.

Before we get into the wedding venues, activities and honeymoon excursions, we should mention that a wedding in Madrid does come with a few strings attached. Specifically, civil or religious weddings are only permitted among couples where one has lived in Spain for a minimum of two years prior.

However, symbolic ceremonies and religious blessings, which is still an attractive wedding option, is open to anyone.

The Venues

Madrid offers no shortage of destination wedding venues. Here's a look at a few:

  • Buen Retiro Park: this is the most popular park in Madrid. The weekends can get crowded when many street musicians, sidewalk painters, fortune tellers and street performers animate the crowds. 
  • Hotel Ritz: If you don't want you and your guests to brave the outdoor conditions, consider a more traditional venue, such as Hotel Ritz. It's a beautiful, elegant hotel surrounded by gardens for photos and guest mingling. It has romantic written all over it.

Activities

Madrid offers no shortage of attractions and things for you and your guests to do while you're out there for the big wedding. Take a stroll for instance down the Avenue of Art and stop into one of the several museums and art galleries along the way to get in touch with the history and significance that art plays in Madrid's past. The Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen are all must-see museums. Also, don't miss a visit to the Plaza de Oriente, which offers breathtaking looks at the Royal Palace. At night, head down to Madrid's entertainment district for dancing, drinks and fun. Madrid is one of the best musical cities in the world and guests can hear anything from classical to hard rock music live just about any night of the week in one of the many entertainment venues.

And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the stores and shops that the city has to offer, perfect for picking out wedding guest dresses. And don't think that your guests have to stay in a hotel—serviced apartments are also an ideal option.

Honeymoons

Spain offers a bit of everything for just married couples in terms of a honeymoon. If you want to sight see and get in touch with the Spanish culture, consider sticking around in Madrid for a few days and checking the sights that you haven't yet. For instance, Madrid's Museo del Prado features a wide collection of European art. Nearby Barcelona also offers a lot of art and history on showcase.

But a honeymoon isn't complete without a little R&R as the newlyweds wind down from the hectic planning. For this, we'd recommend a trip to the white beaches of Costa del Sol, which is to the east of Gibraltar. Beach resorts are plentiful along this portion of the Mediterranean Sea for you to stay. Get your tan, swim on and partake in water activities during the day. —Melissa Bell

Photo by Mike Licht via Flickr

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