The French Riviera and its surrounding area is filled with highly desirable wedding destinations. There really is something for everyone from glitz and glam seaside towns, to Provencal countryside getaways and romantic medieval villages. I have picked out a few of my favourite wedding destinations on the Cote d’Azur and in Provence that you may wish to consider for your wedding. You might prefer to decide upon a destination based upon the location of a particular venue that you have in mind. Please see my pick of the best wedding venues in the area in the Recommended Wedding Venue section of My Riviera Wedding.
- Cannes & surrounding: Cannes encapsulates the glitz and glam associated with the Cote d’Azur. the city and its surrounding neighbourhood has an extremely vast selection of fabulous venues suitable for weddings. From chateaus (Chateau de la Napoule), to stunning hotels such as the Martinez , the Carlton, the Majestic and the 1835 White Palm Hotel, trendy hangouts (Le Baoli and Palm Beach), beach restaurants to name but a few l’Ecrin and Vega Luna as well as an abundance of modern private villas.
- Mougins & Mouans-Sartoux: Situated just outside of Cannes in the Provencal countryside, Mougins and its neighbouring village Moans-Sartoux are ideal wedding destinations away from the hustle and bustle of the busy coast. With a golf and country club, The Royal Mougins, several private domains and country residences such as the Manoir de Letang, the simply amazing Château de Castellaras, a luxury hotel with Michelin star restaurant, Le Mas Candille and several well-known fun restaurants for example Le Park and the Moulin de Mougins, Mougins and Mouans-Sartoux both offer a wealth of possibilities.
- Antibes Juan-les-Pins: With over 30 private beaches, one of them belonging to the lovely family run hotel the Belle Rives, Juan-les-Pins has a great deal of great wedding venues. Located on the border between Juan-les-Pins and the Cap d’Antibes a new luxury boutique hotel, the Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel, has recently opened its doors after almost a year’s construction. The Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel has been built onto the already existing beach restaurant and night spot Les Pecheurs, which has also been given a facelift. The Cap d’Antibes, a peninsular between Juan-les-Pins and the old town of Antibes is home to some of the world’s most wealthy people; Arabian princes, celebrities and top business men. It is most famous for the exclusive Hotel du Cap Eden Roc a favourite A-class celebrity hangout during the Cannes Film Festival. The Cap d’Antibes has several superb waterfront venues such as Keller beach as well as some fantastic villas such as the Domaine la Dilecta.
- Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat: With Apple’s Paul Allen amongst the many high-flying property owners, the peninsular of Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat is considered as being THE ultimate destination in the South of France for those seeking privacy, luxury and exclusivity. Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat has some breathtaking wedding venues such as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild the fabulous Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, and the Villa Kérylos in nearby Beaulieu sur Mer, It also has two wonderful private beaches; Passable Beach and Paloma Beach (Tel: +33 (0)4 93 01 64 71 open from Easter to the end of September).
- Saint Paul de Vence: The medieval village of Saint Paul de Vence is a real gem. Made famous in the mid 20th century by the passage of world-renowned artists such as Picasso and Russian painter Mark Chagall who is buried in the village’s cemetery, Saint Paul de Vence still today promotes arts and crafts and is filled with independent galleries and artist’s workshops. Saint Paul de Vence is for me a perfect example of a well-preserved, picture perfect typical French village. With a beautiful little church, two Relais & Chateau hotels (Le Mas de Pierre and Le Saint Paul) as well as the top class restaurant La Colombe d’Or. In nearby Vence one of the most fabulous hotels in the area can be found; the Chateau Saint Martin which is part of the same group as the legendary Hotel du Cap Eden Roc.
- Grasse: For me Grasse is highly underrated as a wedding destination. The town offers greater value for money than some of the nearby towns and villages and the events service at the Grasse Tourist Office is more than happy to help prospective clients discover the many delightful venues that Grasse has to offer. Grasse is most famous for its perfume industry, with 4 large perfume factories in the town, a perfume museum, many beautiful flower gardens and fields where flowers are cultivated for the production of perfume some of which double up as wedding venues such as The Bastide du Parfumeur or the Domaine de Manon. Not forgetting of course a superb Relais et Chateaux hotel and Michelin star restaurant, the Bastide Saint Antoine and the stunning Chateau Diter.
- Monaco: Even the most luxurious addresses on the Cote d’Azur tend to have a relaxed sea-side feel to them, something that can not necessarily be said for the many preened and polished wedding venues Monaco has to offer. Depending on what floats your boat, Monaco may conjure up a mixed bag of emotions. Some feel that Monaco is a cold, soulless, ‘fake’ town while others are in awe of its grandeur and pomp. It is safe to say however that the quality and range of venues in Monaco is unrivalled most of which are grouped under the Monte Carlo SBM umbrella, a holding company which owns and manages most of the Principalities leisure and tourism venues. Amongst the best hotels in Monaco are the Hermitage, Monte Carlo Bay, Hotel de Paris, Le Meridien, Vista Palace and Monte Carlo Beach. Great beach restaurants are La Reserve de la Mala in nearby Cap d’Ail, Anjuna Bay in nearby Eze sur Mer and K Beach. Great restaurants and lounge bars include Maya Bay, La Chaumiere and the Pacific.
- Provence: Provence includes the territory inland of the French Riviera and the countryside of the Var region of the South of France, the next department along from the Alpes Maritimes (06 post code area) beginning west of Cannes just after the small seaside town of Theoule. Provence with its many vineyards, lavender fields and country escapes is a fabulous wedding destination and a cheaper, less crowded alternative to the Cote d’Azur. Here are just a few of the many stunning wedding venues in Provence to wet your appetite: Commanderie de Peyrassol, Château Font du Broc, Magnanerie de Saint Isidore.