Think castles are just for princess style weddings? Wrong! Castles provide the perfect space for precious celebrations in beautiful, historic settings - that is perhaps one reason they’re as popular as ever amongst modern brides-to-be. Castles add a real sense of grace and grandeur to your big day, making your wedding a truly unforgettable event for the two of you and all your guests.
Clearwell Castle and Highclere Castle are just a few of the castle wedding venues we offer to brides and grooms at Country House Wedding Venues. We doubt you’ll need convincing of their merits, but here are just a few reasons our brides and grooms adore them along with some top tips from the team about castle styling…
A royal for the day
Since the royal wedding and the arrival of British drama Downton Abbey, there’s been a resurgence in interest in all things royal, regal and British. And what could be more British than tying the knot in a wonderful part of our national heritage?
You can even get married at Downton Abbey – the filming location is Hampshire’s Highclere Castle! Whilst at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, features like the impressive gateway that greets you and your guests as you arrive, leave you with no doubt that you’ll be treated like a royal all day long.
Highclere Castle image © Ryan Browne Photography
Clearwell Castle image © Gemma Williams Photography
Getting married in a castle adds an extra bit of beauty to your day and gives you some pretty amazing photo opportunities. Top spots are the Victorian Library and parklands at Highclere castle – for those who don’t mind heights! One of our favourite settings though has to be the 35 acres of beautiful grounds at Chiddingstone Castle, Kent. Here you’ll find luscious lawns, a lake with a footbridge leading to the village, a rose garden and enchanting woodland. Your wedding day photos also won't date like those taken in contemporary settings, as castles will look the same in centuries to come.
Highclere Castle image © Ryan Browne Photography
A ceremony to remember
Holding your civil ceremony in one of the castle’s grand rooms, like Clearwell Castle’s unique Ballroom is quite an experience – but it’s often not the only option you’ll have available to you. Clearwell Castle also has St Peters church at the end of its long driveway, so you can hold your nuptials in a religious setting before making your way by foot to the castle. Likewise, Chiddingstone Castle has the ancient parish church of St Mary’s nearby, as well as the option to enjoy an outdoor ceremony in the breath taking grounds during the summer months.
Clearwell Castle image © Phil Chappell Photography
Chiddingstone Castle image © Laura Dodsworth Photography
Castles offer you the luxury of keeping your wedding private as they're well away from cities or towns and are often closed to the public - especially for your wedding day. Castles like Clearwell Castle also offer up magnificent accommodation for your wedding night. And, as any royal would expect, you’ll be able to retire to luxury too at the end of your celebrations. The glorious Gresham bridal suite at Clearwell Castle boasts a grand 4-poster bed and spa bath. Utter bliss!
Image © LJ Photographics
Sensational styling for a sensational setting
The grand nature of a fine castle often means there’s little need for décor at all. However, there are a few key themes that can enhance the beauty of your day and add interest to the castle setting around you:
Dress your day with powdery pastels and gold accents, and add pretty features like feathers, pearls, flowers and fans to your tables. The French, Marie Antionette style is both dramatic and feminine and must be paired with a drama filled dress – think Ian Stuart bridalwear.
Indulge your guests with the sweetest of French delights like light pastel coloured macaroons and pastries, all served up on gorgeous vintage crockery. And when your evening party starts, perhaps enjoy a masquerade ball, providing masks to your guests as your wedding favours.
Antoinette by Ian Stuart
Image © Ikonica
1920’s Gatsby chic
Deck out your day with black, white, gold and pearls as you enjoy an art deco inspired 20’s wedding. Celebrate your marriage walking through metallic confetti before enjoying a spot of croquet, just like the 1920’s socialite would have done, during your drinks reception.
Vintage glassware and metallic sequin tablecloths are an extra special way to add that Gatsby touch to your tables. Or for a more subtle look, floral centrepieces of white roses infused with metallic details alone are also perfect for creating this decadent theme.
Find more Gatsby inspiration from Pinterest.
Rose red and regal
Adorn your tables with red roses and choose a striking bouquet to match. Like one would in the military, cut your wedding cake with a sword for that all important cutting of the cake shot, before enjoying a banquet and champagne with close friends and family.
Add red rose centrepieces to your tables, scatter the tables with petals and enhance your chairs with bold red sashes. For your favours, why not provide king and queen playing cards to keep guests in the spirit of your day too?
Image courtesy Colin Cowie Weddings
Dreaming of your own castle wedding? Why not browse the castle wedding venues we have available to find the nearest one to you…