Ah, Valentine’s Day. That time of the year when the cost of roses skyrockets and thoughts of popping the question spring to mind…

Kele Scheppers, marketing manager for The Travel Corporation and parent company to Contiki, takes a look at some of the more unique places to propose and indeed get married around the globe.

1.     Get hitched Middle-Earth style

Kicking off in the top slot is a little place that Lord of the Rings fans hold dear – The Shire (aka Hobbiton). So if you’re keen on a wedding that’s Middle-Earth style then read on.

Far from the Orcs or the wrath of Mordor, citizens of The Shire were enjoying the good life while surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills and adorable tiny houses (which always seemed to be massive on the inside). “We’ve all wanted to visit Hobbiton once in our lives, but did you know you can actually take it one step further and get married on the iconic real-life movie set in New Zealand,” says Kele.

The Hobbiton movie set lies in Waikato, on New Zealand’s breath-taking North Island. With no power lines, buildings or roads in sight, stepping into Hobbiton truly feels like you’re leaving the chaos of the modern world behind and becoming immersed in the magic of Middle Earth. Today, the area boasts 44 Hobbit Holes nestled cosily in the lush green pastures.

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Number 3 Bagshot. #hobbiton #hobbitontours #nzmustdo

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Loved up Lord of the Rings fans can say their “I do’s” in the handmade gardens, which lie right in the heart of Hobbiton and boast vibrant colours and wildlife. Set against a backdrop of detailed and iconic hobbit holes, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Hobbit-folk are likely to pop out at any moment. As if that wasn’t enough, you can even host an intimate ceremony next to ‘The Party Tree’ which features in the first movie, surrounded by authentic barrels and canvas tents for added effect.

 

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Who would you share this banquet feast with? #hobbiton #hobbitontours #realmiddleearth

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2.     The Crypt at Bleeding Heart

You just can’t beat the atmosphere of a crypt that is over 600 years old. Especially one that has entered the realm of legend for hosting King Henry VIII (he was a big fan of weddings) and one of his three-day wedding feasts. In 1509 King Henry married Catherine of Aragon, the first of his six wives.

The Crypt at Bleeding Heart is located in Hatton Garden in London’s famous Jewellery Quarter. Apart from hosting King Henry (they don’t say how many times he used their facilities…) other celebrities of the more modern era have also used the Crypt in St Etheldreda as a venue to wow their guests.

“With stone floors, high beamed ceilings and decorative stained glass windows dating back to the 12th century this Crypt is Instagram-worthy and sure to be a talking point for years to come,” adds Kele.

3.     Cuddle up and get hitched on a glacier

There’s glacier in Juneau, Alaska near Pearson’s Pond Inn where couples can tie the knot. Set against the pristine beauty and gob-smacking scenery of America’s northern most state couples who want to make the ultimate commitment are flown in by helicopter and wearing the warmest of clothes they get to say their vows in front of friends and family.

All guests have to wear crampons (seriously ugly but practical spiked boots) to prevent slipping, falling and generally ruining those prized wedding shots.

4.     Viva Las Vegas

Elvis may have left the building, or be living on another planet depending on which conspiracy theory you best relate to, but weddings in Sin City most certainly have not.

Said by those that know (i.e. with a vested interest) to be the ‘wedding capital of the world’ why not consider getting married in Las Vegas by The King himself?  With a variety of Elvis styled weddings to choose from you’re sure to have a day that is both memorable and unique.

Our favourite wedding package is the Pink Caddy Wedding. For a cool $777 (about R9,300) Elvis will drive you down the aisle in a Pink Cadillac, sing three songs for you and even perform the wedding ceremony. You get to walk away with a bona-fide Elvis Certificate to boot.

 

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For more information on Contiki’s trips throughout Australia & New Zealand, Europe, USA, Canada, Asia & India and Latin America check out contiki.com.

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