Famous TV and Movie Wedding Locations to Visit
Who doesn’t love a happy ending? Just like in real life, the marriage ceremonies seen on the big and small screen often provoke an emotional reaction. So it’s only natural that if viewers enjoyed a particular movie or TV wedding, they might want to see where the event took place for themselves. From the Greek islands in Mamma Mia! to the Austrian basilica from The Sound of Music, toast to these 10 real-life locations you can visit from famous fictional weddings — no invitation necessary.
Mamma Mia: Agios Ioannis Kastri Church (Skopelos, Greece)
Though the happy couple is supposed to be the main focus, the church that featured in Mamma Mia! was easily the star of the show for the movie’s wedding scene between characters Sophie and Sky. Agios Ioannis Kastri is perched on top of a rocky outcrop on the island of Skopelos, reachable by ferry from Skiathos. Thanks to its elevated position, it wows with stellar views that stretch across the island and beyond. When it was built, however, the site was chosen for an entirely different reason: The name means St. John on the Castle, indicating that this was once a defensive stronghold. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination, thanks in part to its role in the first Mamma Mia! film. Once you climb the stone steps, you’ll soon see why. If you can tear yourself away from the views, the interior of the church is decorated with icons, but don’t expect it to look the same as in the film — that was a set.
Downton Abbey: St. Mary's Church (Bampton, England)
It’s common knowledge among Downton Abbey fans that although the popular historical drama was set in Yorkshire, the family seat is actually Highclere Castle in Hampshire. The series’ village scenes aren’t filmed in the north of England, either. Bampton, in Oxfordshire, doubles as Downton, and its parish church was used as a location or backdrop in many episodes. Notably, St. Mary's — which was renamed St. Michael and All Angels in the series — is where Lady Mary marries Matthew, and Sir Anthony jilts a heartbroken Lady Edith at the altar. Situated half an hour’s drive from Oxford and about 1.5 hours west of London, the church is also a great jumping-off point for a road trip through the bucolic Cotswolds.
The Sound of Music: Basilika St. Michael (Mondsee, Austria)
To visit the church where Maria found her happily-ever-after with Captain Von Trapp, you’ll need to travel to Austria. While you can visit many of the filming locations for The Sound of Music in the city of Salzburg, including Leopoldskron Palace and Nonnberg Abbey, the church is a 30-minute drive east, in the village of Mondsee. Even if you’re not a fan of the classic musical, it’s easy to be impressed by the architecture of this splendid place of worship. Basilika St. Michael was built as a monastery in the 15th century; the lemon yellow Baroque façade was added in 1740. Today, it is the second-largest church in Upper Austria, with postcard-perfect 170-foot twin towers. Don’t miss the ornate altar, which doubles as a reliquary housing spooky skeletons.
Four Weddings and a Funeral: Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great (London, England)
Four Weddings and a Funeral propelled Hugh Grant to stardom and gave pop band Wet Wet Wet the biggest hit of their career in “Love Is All Around.” The first set of nuptials in the 1994 British romantic comedy, while set in Somerset, was actually filmed at St. Michael’s Church in Betchworth, Surrey. But you won’t even have to leave the U.K. capital to nose around the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, which hosted the fourth and final wedding in the movie. The church, located in the West Smithfield district, was founded as an Augustine priory in 1123. Today, the photogenic cathedral welcomes visitors, but to host your own wedding here, you’ll need to meet certain conditions.
Sex and the City: New York City Public Library (New York, New York)
When Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big finally decided to tie the knot in the 2008 Sex and the City movie, they chose a classic Big Apple institution: the New York Public Library. However, viewers never got to see Carrie’s dream wedding take place here, as Mr. Big got cold feet on the big day. In the end, the couple managed to get their happily-ever-after with a quiet wedding at Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn, followed by brunch with close friends and family at Junior’s diner. Of course, theirs was not the only on-location wedding to have taken place in Sex and the City (the HBO series): Miranda’s low-key wedding to Steve filmed at Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich Village, open to visitors from April to October.
Crazy Rich Asians: CHIJMES (Singapore)
The 2018 hit Crazy Rich Asians brought CHIJMES, a historic building complex in Singapore, to the world’s attention. In the movie, bride and groom Araminta and Colin exchange vows in its Anglo-French chapel, known for its elegant white spire and flying buttresses. CHIJMES started out as a convent in 1840 and later branched out into teaching as the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School (hence the acronym). These days, the complex has gone commercial, boasting a wedding venue and function hall, as well as a hub for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Once inside, you won’t find the extravagant water-filled aisle or lush vegetation of the movie, though. Instead, head down to Gardens by the Bay, where the couple held their reception. When it’s illuminated each evening, you’ll find it every bit as spectacular in real life as it was in the film.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church (Toronto, Canada)
Two Toronto places of worship were used for the wedding scenes in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the 2002 sleeper hit written by and starring Nia Vardalos, which became one of the highest-grossing rom-coms of all time. The main characters, Toula and Ian, married inside St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church, located close to Trinity Bellwoods Park, while the exterior scenes were shot at the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, near the University of Toronto. If you think it’s ironic that neither were filmed at the city’s Greek Orthodox Church, consider that location scouts have a fair amount of license when it comes to geography. The film was written about Winnipeg, where Vardalos grew up, so you could argue they had no business being in Toronto in the first place.
Bride Wars: The Plaza Hotel (New York, New York)
The magnificent Plaza Hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue is also one of the city’s most famous marriage venues, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this movie’s premise was two brides-to-be fighting over a coveted wedding slot. As Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway both plan the weddings of their dreams, viewers are treated to scenes of the Plaza, including the ornate lobby, the Grand Ballroom, the Oval and Venetian Rooms, and the St. James Ballroom. This rom-com (with a twist) wasn’t the only film to feature a wedding at a prominent New York City hotel. In Serendipity, John Cusack’s character was supposed to get hitched at the Waldorf Astoria but only got as far as the rehearsal dinner.
The Godfather: Chiesa di San Nicolo (Savoca, Italy)
Sicily was the setting for the wedding that took place in the first film of the Godfather trilogy. Director Francis Ford Coppola chose the Chiesa di San Nicolo, located in the town of Savoca, for Michael and Apollonia’s nuptials. Fans of the film will recognize the doorway where the bride and groom knelt before the priest with an audience of wedding guests, altar boys, and armed bodyguards. The church itself dates from the 13th century and was built in Norman-Sicilian style. Over the years, there have been numerous remodels, some due to damage caused by earthquakes, but the church still retains its historic charm.
Friends: A Little White Wedding Chapel (Las Vegas, Nevada)
One decidedly less romantic (but far more hilarious) TV wedding concludes this list. In the fifth season finale of Friends, Monica and Chandler are waiting in the lobby of A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas to exchange their own vows, when their inebriated friends Rachel and Ross burst through the door and beat them to it. Later, Rachel and Ross’ realization of what they’ve done spawns the memorable line, “This is not a marriage — this is the world's worst hangover!” In real life, the chapel is a celebrity favorite: Among the long list of the rich and famous who have tied the knot here are Britney Spears, Paul Newman, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, Bruce Willis, and Demi Moore.