Moroccan weddings are amongst the most enchanting in the world. From snake-charmers to belly-dancers, the opulence of the North African ceremony has become iconic, engendering it with a bewitching attraction for couples seeking a truly exotic destination wedding.
For those desiring decadence, it is hard to beat the ceremonies of Morocco. Brides are carried on thrones, heralded by trumpeters. Acrobats perform implausible feats to traditional folk songs. Succulent tagines and fresh mezze platters create sumptuous feasts, making traditional dishes ideal for large wedding banquets. From the glamorous bustle of Marrakech to the raw grandeur of the Atlas mountains, the country’s diverse landscape provides the ideal setting for weddings of all sizes and tastes.
1. Marrakech It is easy to see why the fashion world adores Marrakech. Everything about this ancient city is extravagant: multicoloured tiles adorn floors and walls alike; souks overflow with scents and spices. Bustling and beautiful, a wedding here is a taste of true exoticism. Owned by Yves Saint Laurent from 1980 until his death in 2008, Marrakech's 12-acre Majorelle Garden makes the most of the city’s valley location, which creates a climate more suited to lush vegetation than most of the barren country. Although not accommodating actual ceremonies, the garden’s stunning botanicals make it an appealing setting for pre-wedding photography. The epitome of boho-chic, Poppy Delevingne’s 2014 marriage to James Cook at the Beldi Country Club became the envy of the globe with their opulent celebrations. Similar glamour and exclusivity are guaranteed at La Mamounia, a former palace with exquisite architecture and traditional interiors.
2. Atlas mountains Only an hour from Marrakech, the dramatic Atlas mountains could not feel further away from the commotion of the city. For those preferring simple elegance to the excessive opulence, the stunning scenery of the region features exposed peaks of ochre stone, into which the small towns and villages blend seamlessly. Whilst leaving the city allows an escape from its crowds, couples seeking a luxury ceremony need not compromise in the rural location. The Kasbah Tamadot, with its spa and cookery school, is perfectly situated for day trips both into Marrakech and to the neighbouring traditional villages, whilst the service and facilities are exceptional. Culturally, a more reserved outlook is found in the nation’s countryside than in its cosmopolitan areas. Though inherently friendly and welcoming, guests must expect to observe local customs, including more conservative dress, when exploring the region.
3. Essaouira Under a three-hour drive from Marrakech, Essaouira has long been a favourite of those wishing to enjoy the stunning sunshine on the nation’s coast. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, the charming streets are adorned with colour - lined by market stalls, displays of fresh produce and local craftsmanship make for hours of browsing. Haggling, a sometimes unpleasant Moroccan necessity, is instead amusing and orderly with the town’s friendly vendors. For those with guests seeking a more active beach experience, surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and camel rides are all widely offered in the area, which also boasts a number of excellent golf courses. As a cultural melting pot of Arab, Berber, Gnawa and European influences, it is unsurprising that the medina’s many art galleries display an exquisite collection of local painters’ work. Combining the nation’s French and Arabic influences with seamless elegance, the Sofitel Essaouira's stunning views of the ocean and golf course make it the perfect setting for a luxury celebration. With a dedicated and expert team on hand, the dream Moroccan wedding is easily made a reality at this stunning coastal location. Can I legally get married in Morocco? Conducting the legal part of the ceremony in Morocco is a complicated and lengthy procedure, hence many couples’ decision to formally wed in their home country before travelling for their ceremony and celebrations. However, if you do wish to marry in Morocco, both you and your partner will need to contact both the relevant embassy or consulate and the Moroccan authorities. More information on this procedure can be found on our Legalities pages. What’s the best time of year for getting married in Morocco? Whilst year-round sunshine is one of the country’s virtues, summer temperatures can be scorching. Reaching 38°C, July and August are too hot to be either practical or popular for celebrations. The slightly cooler temperatures of May-June and early-September to October make the beginning and end of summer more suitable times for weddings.