Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Regardless of where in the world that you hail from, a destination wedding in the South Caucasus is what dreams are made of. From perfect weather, stunning views, to the luxury and tradition of the local nations, your wedding here will be one that everyone will remember for the rest of your lives.
A Caucasian wedding (that is, a wedding in the Caucasus region) is one of the most spectacular events thanks to their traditions, colourful national clothes, and delectable treats. If you want your wedding to be particularly special and unforgettable, you may consider organizing a traditional wedding in either Armenia, Georgia, or Azerbaijan. As a “wedding planner,” Travel Armenia can help show you some of the most interesting wedding traditions and locations to spend your very special day.
If you don't plan to organize your wedding in the Caucasus and just want to go there for your honeymoon, this is also a great idea! Some interesting thematic options for that can be found by clicking here.
An Armenian wedding
Family is the most important national value, which is respected above all. Moreover, the family is the key to national unity and heritage preservation, which is why the wedding is so special for Armenians. The traditional wedding has many details, beginning with the meeting of guests at the bride’s house before welcoming her into the groom’s house. Armenian traditional bridal dress is made of expensive red fabric, decorated with golden lace tape; the red colour of the dress symbolizes both femininity and passion. The groom is dressed in green, the colour of fertility.
The first part of the ceremony involves welcoming guests into the bride’s home. Traditionally, the guests (khnami) bring presents and the wedding dress for the bride, then women gather in a closed room for the ceremony of dressing the bride. At last, the groom is welcomed in the room to meet his 'queen'.
The next part of the wedding is the church ceremony: Bride and groom are wearing crowns, as the symbol of entering their new little kingdom of marriage and a lifetime of love together. Both the newlyweds and the guests can finally celebrate the big day in a restaurant or hall.
In the country that was the first to adopt Christianity, there is an ancient monument of paganism found at the awe-inspiring Temple of Garni. It looks so impressive on the background of a magnificent mountain range and the gorge; indeed, such amazing natural beauty would be a perfect complement to a romantic wedding ceremony. For spring, summer, and autumn weddings, it is a great location to join yourself with the love of your life, when the gorge is engulfed in deep green or yellow colours and the weather is suitable for an open-air ceremony. For another unique wedding ceremony background, you can travel down the gorge, to the rock monument of 'Symphony of Stones'.
For an authentic wedding party, there is a gorgeous location close to another historical monument, the Geghard Monastery. The restaurant for the wedding is located right on the cliff, with a fantastic view of the majestic gorge.
Another wonderful location for a wedding ceremony is the seventh-century Zvartnots Cathedral. This is one of the most important examples of pre-medieval Armenian architecture, the living proof of the local developed civilization and culture. Though it is in ruins now, you can still admire the beauty of the temple, with its ornamental columns standing on the platform. There is hardly any better location for a wedding ceremony than Zvartnots Cathedral, with its ancient mystery.
For a wedding party, you can consider one of the luxurious restaurants and halls in nearby Yerevan. There is a great choice of restaurants for any taste and any budget.
The last (but no less interesting and fascinating) destination for an Armenian wedding is situated in Dilijan, a green paradise in the land of rocks and mountains. For the ceremony, you can choose one of the ancient monasteries, either Goshavank or Haghartsin. Both monasteries have the most perfect location; they are surrounded with mountains and deep woods, the silence of nature interrupted only by the exchange of your wedding vows and the consequential applause of your loving guests.
The wedding party can be celebrated on the bank of the river, at the Flying Ostrich Restaurant, the best venue for such special occasions. The restaurant has a terrace, a large garden magically illuminated in the evening, and an inner hall to shield your party from cold weather. You can trust the party decoration within the garden and tables to local professional wedding planners, including those working for the restaurant itself.
A Wedding in Georgia
True Georgian weddings are the brightest and the most joyful of events. If you are lucky enough to take part in a traditional wedding, you will never forget it. Just like in all Caucasian countries, a wedding in Georgia has its own set of interesting traditions. The great day begins in the groom’s house, with a white bird that is set free from the roof. To commence the ceremony, the groom puts the wedding ring in a glass of wine and passes it to his bride. She drinks the wine and puts on the ring.
The wedding ceremony within the church is the most important part for Georgians, which is finally followed by the happiest of parties, featuring with national dances, songs, and flowing wine.
A beach wedding is perhaps the best option for a couple to have the most romantic and unique day of their lives. Luckily for you, Georgia has a series of amazing (and more important, isolated) seashores to organize the big day. One of the popular venues that can organize a truly unforgettable and fairytale-like wedding is Castello Mare Hotel & Wellness Resort in Tsikhisdziri, Adjara (located within a historical, geographic, and political-administrative region of Georgia). The hotel has its own private beach, meaning that no one can, nor will, disturb you. Moreover, the hotel is located on the edge of a cliff, with a beautiful terrace and outdoor pool overlooking the sea. Its bamboo grove, beautiful garden, panoramic elevator, and decorations are all present to make for the most ideal wedding photoshoot.
The terrace will be the location of your official wedding ceremony. While for the wedding party, you can choose either their indoor or outdoor restaurant, both located at the hotel.
If you want to be a part of history and turn your wedding into a truly 'historical moment', Mtskheta is a must. It is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, as well as its former capital. Besides being a beautiful city situated just on the bank of the rivers, here, you can admire an interesting phenomenon: from the Jvary Monastery, you can watch how two rivers meet, just as you and your spouse will join together and meet as one.
For the wedding ceremony, there are more than five ancient monasteries that you can choose for the official segment. A plethora of medieval churches are the perfect spot to get blessed; thus, regardless of your final choice, you will be bound to have a picturesque wedding.
There is a City of Love in the land of wine and winemaking. Kakheti is one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia, within fertile lands of Alazani Valley. All the best châteaus and wine producers all located here, so you can take a wine tour either before or after the wedding takes place.
Signaghi, the town of love, is a romantic small town that will elicit thoughts of a quaint Italian provincial town, thanks to its narrow streets, small houses, and tiled roofs. The religious part of the wedding can be organized in the Bodve Monastery, and the most spectacular views for your wedding photo shoot will be amidst the cotton candy sunset.
A Wedding in Azerbaijan
The last destination idea for your perfect wedding is Azerbaijan. The traditional wedding looks incredibly luxurious, with all the shiny clothes, posh decorations, tasty festive dishes and, of course, the most beautiful bridal dresses to select from. The traditional wedding has so many customs, but even today, couples still try to incorporate most of them into their big day.
The day before the wedding, women gather in the bride’s house to paint her hands and feet with henna. Тhe next day, guests join the groom at the bride’s house with accompanying presents, a mirror, candles, and sweets. Today, more modern weddings are celebrated in restaurants; after the traditional ceremony begins, the most exciting and joyful part ensues.
Caspian Seashore, Azerbaijan
Nothing can compare to a romantic wedding ceremony on the beach, with a light breeze gently moving through the bride’s hair. The Caspian Seashore is a wonderful choice for a dream wedding, and Bilgah Beach Hotel is an ideal location for the wedding party. Its open-air Promenade Lounge with a breathtaking sunset will be flooded with wedding flowers and decorations, creating an ambience that won't soon be forgotten.
For a tremendous wedding party, the hotel has an elegant Bilgah Ballroom, with a garden and fountains. Professional wedding planners and assistants are ready to make any dream come true, making consideration of the Caspian Seashore in Absheron peninsula a must.
The most beautiful and popular place for a wedding in Baku are the Flame Towers. These huge skyscrapers are visible from any corner of the city and thus, having your dream wedding within one of the three towers will be truly memorable.
5-star Fairmont Baku Hotel is located in one of these towers, offering the best view of the whole city and the Caspian Sea. Its poolside Terrace with a romantic view facing the sunset is a perfect place for a wedding ceremony, while the Grand Ballroom banquet hall of the hotel will make the wedding party truly unforgettable. In-house wedding specialists will be glad to organize the most important day in fine detail, starting from guest accommodation in the hotel and ending with a tremendous firework display.
The nature of Azerbaijan is truly impressive. Another location for an open-air wedding with breathtaking views to the mountains, this may be a great idea for a creative wedding ceremony. Qabala is situated in a mountainous area with the richest nature, including jaw-dropping views of the mountains and forests. For a comfortable stay and an exciting wedding party, there is the wonderful Chenot Palace Health Wellness Hotel, featuring a huge terrace and pool (the ceremony can take place near the pool, if you wish!). The wedding party can be organized on a beautiful terrace, that will be illuminated with festive lights or within the hotel restaurant.
Wherever you choose to host your wedding in the South Caucasus, you won't be disappointed. From the area's rich history, perfect weather, stunning views, and the luxury and deeply-rooted traditions of the local nations, your wedding here will be one that everyone will remember for the rest of your lives... especially you, the newlywed couple.