At Sunshine Weddings in Spain, we’ve helped couples from all over the world get married in this beautiful country. Whether it’s on a beach beside the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean in Mallorca or at a rustic farmhouse in the picturesque countryside of Malaga province, we’ve seen many international couples say “I do” at wedding venues they once only dreamed of. We’ve organised more than 1,000 weddings since 2002, but in the past two years we’ve noticed an uptick in American couples turning to us to help them get married along the sunny reaches of Spain’s stunning coastline in Malaga, or on the sandy shores of Mallorca.
There’s a few reasons for this, in addition obviously to our 20 years knowledge and experience of seamless wedding planning, working alongside the best providers and venues, Spain is being marketed as a tourist destination in the USA and North America more now than ever before. It only takes one wave of tourists to discover a place, upload stunning photos to Instagram with hashtags and geo-tags, before a second wave of visitors arrive. Before you know it, it’s on most people’s travel bucket lists, and airlines are scrambling to capitalise by offering new flight routes.
This has been the story of Mallorca and Malaga. Traditionally hot spots for European tourists, particularly the Germans, Dutch and French, or the Brits and Irish in Malaga, you can now find a much more international crowd of people and all year round.
American actor Joey King, who first shot to fame for playing Ramona Quimby in the comedy film Ramona and Beezus, had a destination wedding fit for a princess. She said “I do” to film director Steven Piet in Mallorca in September last year. The wedding venue, La Fortaleza was built in 1628 and is a historic fortress high on a hill. It afforded the newlyweds the perfect location to capture the sunset as they exchanged self-penned vows in front of around 100 guests. “We were looking for something unique and private and that felt grand yet intimate at the same time,” King told Vogue of the venue. “We found La Fortaleza in Mallorca, and it feels like the Spanish version of The Great Gatsby. It’s historic without being dated. It felt timeless, the same way we feel about our love for each other.”
Acclaimed luxury catering company Fosh Catering, who Sunshine Weddings Spain also partners with, provided the food at their wedding, showcasing their beautiful Mediterranean menu where everything is handmade, starting with a rigorous selection of the finest ingredients available.
Their fairytale is just one example of so many couples in the States living the American dream with their life partner, but looking abroad to dreamy places like Mallorca for the ultimate way to consolidate their love for each other.
Getting to Malaga from USA
A new direct flight between New York and Malaga launched by United Airlines last summer kick started the arrival of swathes of Americans on the Costa del Sol. The route, which started on 1 June, was the first direct flight between the two destinations in four years which paved the way for record numbers of Americans and Canadians to visit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and explore wider Andalusia. The flight, which separates Malaga from the Big Apple by just six hours, resulted in 17% more visitors from the US in 2023, with the province’s hotels and tourist flats registering 8,800 more bookings in July alone compared to the same month last year. But it won’t stop there, with United Airlines confirming it would resume the route again for the high season this year following its success last summer. Flights will kick off from 30 May until some time in September.
More destinations on the cards
The success of the New York route has also brought into the equation other destinations in America. At the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) in Madrid just last month, Andalusian tourism officials revealed they are working to secure direct flights to Miami, as well as Mexico City and Buenos Aires – its part of a new strategy to improve air connectivity between now and 2025.
Flying to Mallorca from USA
United Airlines also started offering direct flights between New York and Palma de Mallorca, but this kicked off a year earlier than Malaga, in 2022. Its inauguration was a roaring success which sparked another year of flights, but last year, the carrier offered three flights a week instead of two. This year, United Airlines plans to increase capacity again. The airline wants to increase the capacity of its planes on the New York-Palma route by 12%. United will operate a Boeing 767-400ER which has capacity for 240 passengers, 26 more than the 767-300 that has been used until now. In 2024 there will be three weekly flights – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – between May 25 and September 25. Tourism officials have indicated that if the success of the route continues, there may be the possibility of year round flights, so watch this space.
Why pick Mallorca or Malaga for a destination wedding?
We’ve covered this in detail in previous blogs about why more and more people are opting for destination weddings in Malaga and Mallorca, but particularly for Americans, the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and the rolling hills of Andalusia is just around a 7-8 hour flight away, depending on where in the USA you’re travelling from.
These two destinations are fabulous places to show off to your guests the classic Mediterranean gastronomy, with the cuisine centred around fish, vegetables and pork, and with generous use of garlic and olive oil. The landscape is also stunning. Mallorca is characterised by its very different types of landscape such as its rugged mountain ranges that line up alongside the coast, and sit alongside valleys and agricultural plains. Wide stretches of beach and small bays sit beneath a backdrop of an undulating and mountainous landscape. Meanwhile, in Malaga, it similarly boasts kilometres of golden coastline and rolling hills that offer stunning views of the land and across the sea.
They are also the two locations where English is spoken the most in Spain, so no need to worry about a language barrier. And if weather is a concern, then worry not, because these two destinations are the sunniest corners in Europe, as they see over 300 days of sunshine a year, and even in winter, are still some of the sunniest areas of the continent, perfect for your own Great Gatsby moment in the sun.