There’s something quite spectacular about the thought of a castle wedding that captures the imagination. It seems almost fairytale like and offers the possibility of a unique wedding day filled with romance. Castle wedding venues are typically unrivalled in their beautiful surroundings and historical sentiment so there really is no better way to make your special day any more enchanting. Both the happy couple and all of the guests will find it hard to forget such a castle wedding and the stunning photographs will provide magical mementos.

If you are considering a castle wedding venue here are some of the plus points you should consider:

  • Most castles are located in the United Kingdom and Europe, which is where you will find the best medieval architecture in the world.
  • There are many unique castles available for you to choose between – whether you want an intimate wedding with just a few guests to a more lavish affair with a few hundred of your friends and family; whether you want a civil service or a full religious ceremony; whether you want a traditional private castle or a castle hotel with all of the usual luxury accommodation and amentities or perhaps additional spa facilities; whether you want Michelin star cuisine, a normal restaurant or a simple BBQ – there is a castle hideaway waiting for you.
  • When comparing private castles to luxury hotels, you will find greater privacy and more attentive service from the castle and its staff. The bride and groom and their guests will usually enjoy the castle and its grounds all to themselves, whereas in a hotel, they would be confined to their function rooms and accommodation. Paying for exclusive use of a hotel for a private wedding would be immensely expensive.
  • Castles often have long sweeping driveways, which open up to reveal the impressive castle frontage and gardens, transporting guests back into ancient times as they make the drive from the main road.
  • The wedding ceremony can be held in many stunning locations – how about in front of the fireplace in the Great Hall or on a roof top by the battlements?
  • The wedding reception decoration budget can be kept quite small as the look of the location will provide most of what is needed. Simplicity is the order of the day and large floral arrangements should be limited to the main entrance and the formal rooms. Imagine the ballroom decorated with tulle and silk flowers, white table linens, chair covers and bows. Imagine yourselves sat on King and Queen chairs next to a suit of armor. Imagine your wedding cake sitting majestically under a crystal chandlier decorated with more tulle and twinkling lights. You could also use music as a decoration, so hire a harpist, a piper or a string quartet. Don’t forget the candlelight too. It is very romantic and creates mysterious shadows to add to the medieval mood.
  • Wedding photography opportunites are fabulous and unique with a castle wedding venue. They typically have huge grounds with many beautiful areas such as waterfalls and croquet lawns as well as impressive halls and staircases for indoor shots.
  • Why not consider going the extra mile and having a medieval themed wedding at a castle? Find yourself a period wedding dress and encourage your guests to dress up in medieval costumes. Hire minstrels, jesters, jugglers, fire eaters, sword fighters and medieval magicians to take your breath away. Have a proper banquet using medieval pottery and even have the groom arrive on horseback. Themed events are so visually stimulating that your day will never be forgotten.
  • With the rise in popularity of castle weddings, many such venues these days can offer castle wedding receptions and on site accommodation for the bride and groom and guests. Imagine the romance of spending your wedding night in a castle. Many also offer wedding packages that their on site co-ordinator can tailor to suit your specific requirements. Finding a castle with their own member of staff dedicated to arranging weddings can also do away with the need for your own private wedding planner.
  • There are many opportunites to make your special day that little bit more unique. How about a red carpet welcome or a candlelit barbecue in the private courtyard garden?
  • Castles wedding venues can offer more unusual optional services including chauffeur driven transport for guests, a horse and carriage arrival for the bride or departure for the bride and groom, a red carpet on arrival, a Master Of Ceremonies for the day, entertainers who can open the toasting wine bottles with a sword and an outdoor activity program for guests.
  • There are often many activities to take part in once the wedding is over. Fishing, sailing tennis, horse riding and golf are often on site or close by in these countryside locations.
  • Complete the experience by buying a title and become a real Lord and Lady.

Photo by Wedding Photography by Jon Day.

While the advantages of have your wedding in a castle are very persuasive, there are of course some reasons as to why you might want to steer clear of a castle wedding venue:

  • Accessibility – castles are typically in the middle of the countryside in remote locations, whereas weddings are generally more guest friendly when close to big towns or cities with transport links. If you do your research though, you can find some castles in very civilised locations, some are even within 15 minutes of an airport.
  • Your largest choice of castles is found in the UK and Europe. Finding such a venue in the US is not impossible and this list of castles by state may help you if you prefer not to travel a long distance for your wedding. (Beware some of the links in this list are out of date but it is still a good starting point.)
  • Whatever venue you choose for your wedding, it is always advisable to visit the location. This can prove expensive if the wedding castle is not in your home country but if you go off season you can get cheaper fares. This is your big day so do not rely on internet photos to confirm your love of the location. Visit the venue, ask lots of questions and give yourself some peace of mind.
  • Not all castles are licensed to hold weddings so you may only be able to hold your reception there. If so, make sure you can have your actual wedding ceremony somewhere nearby.
  • If the castle does not provide wedding packages, the costs and organisational headaches can soon mount up. As well as hiring the venue, you will have to arrange and pay for caterers, waiting staff, marquees, florists, musicians etc etc. An on site co-ordinator would be well worth the money in this instance.
  • Private castles for weddings often have a minimum number of guests and/or a minimum number of nights accommodation to give you exclusive hire.
  • If the castle is not a hotel but you or your guests are planning on staying there on the night of the wedding, ensure the accommodation and bridal suite is up to standard.
  • Popular European castles can be very expensive so if you are looking for cheap castle weddings, try some of the less well known countries such as Slovenia.
  • you will need to book early to avoid disappointment.

Photo by glenjdiamond.

Famous castle weddings

If you are thinking of a castle wedding venue you will be joining a long list of the rich and famous who enjoyed stunning castle settings for their big days.

  • Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes wed at Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy
  • Madonna & Guy Ritchie married at Castle Skibo, Scotland
  • David Beckham & Victoria Adams got married at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland.
  • Will Smith & Jada Pinkett tied the knot at The Cloisters, Maryland.

What better way to make the bride feel like a princess than to celebrate her big day in the magical atmosphere of a castle? This unique and special venue will provide the memories to be treasured for years to come, but research and plan carefully to ensure your dreams do come true.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • email
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

Tagged with:

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more FREE!