Exuding grandeur, drama and elegance, castle wedding venues can provide one of the most unique and atmospheric settings for your big day. As well as awe-inspiring architecture and construction, a castle’s history will provoke interest from all your guests.
There are usually many reception rooms within a castle, often decorated with historic paintings, interesting artefacts and antiques. Impressive staircases, tall ceilings and beautiful windows create many photographic opportunities, as well as the surrounding gardens and extensive parkland.
Here are five castle wedding venues in the UK to consider for your big day.
Wasing Park, Berkshire
This exquisite award-winning venue in West Berkshire offers a stunning combination of traditional and contemporary architecture. Set within the grounds of a privately owned estate, Wasing Park is hired on an exclusive basis.
The barn’s castle-like features, crenelated stone walls and extensive parkland create an elegant and dramatic backdrop for wedding photos. Within the estate, the pretty 15th century parish church of St. Nicholas provides an intimate and romantic setting for religious weddings or blessings. Civil weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can take place in the light and airy Garden Room seating up to 140 guests. Located in the pretty Terrace Garden, the exquisite hand-painted Victorian Summerhouse is an ideal setting for outdoor ceremonies and blessings.
Wedding receptions at Wasing Park take place in the stylish Castle Barn. This spacious room features bespoke Italian mood lighting, oak beams and flooring, a licensed bar, and a large terrace area outside for reception drinks. The venue’s Fine Food team from Galloping Gourmet expertly handle the catering, and offer support all through the planning process too. You can therefore sit back, relax and feel confident that your wedding is in good hands.
Accommodation is also available in the Stables Lodge. This stylish boutique hotel consists of a Honeymoon Suite and 10 en-suite bedrooms for close family and friends. Those staying at Wasing Park can enjoy a cosy lounge/dining area too.
Highclere Castle, Berkshire
Located near Newbury in Berkshire, Highclere Castle is one of the finest Victorian houses in existence. Once home to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who famously discovered the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and now the setting for Downton Abbey, Highclere is rich in history and treasures.
This extravagant Victorian Gothic castle wedding venue bursts with character and charm. Stunning landscaped gardens and sumptuous reception rooms ensure plenty of variety throughout the day and great photographic opportunities. Wedding ceremonies and blessings can take place in the Saloon, where a sweeping staircase provides a wonderful addition to the wedding couple’s grand entrance.
Beautifully lit at night, Highclere Castle provides a dramatic, romantic setting for your wedding.
Barony Castle, Scottish Borders
Set within 25 acres of gardens and woodland, this impressive castle wedding venue offers a modern setting for your big day. Situated just south of Edinburgh, there are magnificent views of the Scottish countryside.
With 78 en-suite bedrooms, there is every opportunity and facility for you and your guests to enjoy your wedding celebrations away from home. Licensed for civil ceremonies, Barony Castle enables you to celebrate every part of your special day in one location.
Skibo Castle, Scottish Highlands
Madonna and Guy Ritchie married in a lavish ceremony at this exquisite and romantic Scottish castle wedding venue. Set on the banks of the Dornoch Firth in the Sutherland Highlands, Skibo Castle is set in a peaceful location of surrounding natural beauty; a wonderful backdrop for wedding photos.
Extravagant reception rooms with Edwardian features and warming fireplaces provide an intimate setting for your wedding. With several luxurious bedrooms available in the castle and lodges too, guests need not worry about taxis. However, guests may wake at 8am the following morning to the sound of a kilted piper playing on the terrace, a lasting tradition at the castle. You and your family and friends can enjoy the castle’s spa and swimming pool, as well as a wide choice of activities such as golf, fishing, falconry, clay-pigeon shooting, tennis, canoeing and horse riding.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Daniel Radcliffe was not the only star in the Harry Potter films. Alnwick Castle starred as Hogwarts School in both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Situated in the pretty Northumberland countryside, this castle wedding venue consists of three stunning wedding locations. The Guest Hall, Hulne Abbey and the Sanctuary are all suitable for ceremonies and reception celebrations.
The Castle’s team of expert chefs can cater for all your dining needs. Whether you’d like a relaxed summer barbecue or an elegant banquet, a range of delicious menu options are available. Steeped in history, Alnwick Castle will provide a magical atmosphere for your special day.
Guest post by Tania Barnes of Country House Wedding Venues
Wasing Park: Studio Rouge
Highclere Castle: David Pullum Photography
Barony Castle: Pearson Photography
Skibo Castle: Ronnie Leask
Alnwick Castle: Flickr by Westy48 (CC BY-SA 2.0 License)