You Can Have a Fairy Tale Castle Wedding

You Can Have a Fairy Tale Castle Wedding: Tips and Advice

A fairy tale castle wedding brings to life every bride’s childhood dreams of being a princess for a day. With soaring turrets, rustic stone walls, and opulent ballrooms, historic castles provide the perfect backdrop for an enchanting and unforgettable wedding. Planning a fairy tale castle wedding takes time and creativity, but the effort pays off for a celebration as magical as the castles themselves. This guide covers everything you need to know to plan your own fairy tale castle wedding, from choosing the perfect venue to decor, catering, attire, and more.

We’ll walk through how to select a castle venue, design an atmosphere that looks straight out of a storybook, and arrange all the details fit for royalty. With this advice, you can ensure your special day lives up to your vision for a romantic, elegant wedding in a centuries-old castle.

In addition to stunning castles, couples also choose unique venues like train stations and private islands to host their fairy-tale weddings.

Finding the Perfect Castle Venue for Your Fairy Tale Wedding

Your wedding venue sets the stage for your entire celebration, so finding the perfect castle to host your fairy tale nuptials is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. When envisioning exchanging vows in a centuries-old stone castle, several options exist to make this medieval dream a reality.

Finding the perfect castle to host your fairy tale

Historic Castles for Rent in the US and Abroad

Renting a standalone historic castle for your wedding provides the most authentic ambiance. Some popular options include:

  • Ashford Castle – This iconic Irish castle dating to 1228 provides the ultimate fairy tale setting. The grounds feature rose gardens, wooded areas, and lakefront views.
  • Alnwick Castle – Located in northern England, this dramatic Harry Potter filming location allows buyouts for weddings. The space accommodates up to 120 guests.
  • Castello Di Amorosa – Nestled in Napa Valley, California, this Tuscan-style castle was built recently but looks straight out of the 13th century.
  • Castle Hill Resort – Set on 330 acres in Vermont, this manor house has a historic stone exterior and elegant interior event spaces.

When considering castles for rent:

  • Inquire about date availability – Historic venues book up fast, so contact them early. Fridays and Sundays are less competitive.
  • Clarify rental fees – Rental costs range widely based on the location, size, and extras included in the package.
  • Factor in travel costs – If selecting a destination venue abroad, account for guests’ travel expenses.

Castle Hotels and Resorts Offering Wedding Venues

Many castle hotels offer all-inclusive wedding packages that simplify planning:

  • Ashford Castle (Ireland) – This iconic castle has a 54-room 5-star hotel and full-service wedding packages.
  • Chateau Mcely (Czech Republic) – A luxurious Baroque castle hotel providing wedding planning, catering, and 70 rooms for guests.
  • Castello Di Casole (Italy) – A restored Tuscan castle on a 4,200-acre estate with a wedding coordinator included.
  • Waterford Castle (Ireland) – This private island castle has an on-site church and can accommodate 48 overnight guests.

Castle resort benefits include:

  • Accommodations – Built-in guest rooms eliminate venue hotel blocks.
  • Coordination – On-site planners assist with arrangements.
  • Activities – Provides entertainment with spas, golf, boating, etc.
  • All-inclusive – Simplifies budgeting when packages bundle food, rentals, etc.

Estimating Costs for Your Dream Castle Wedding Venue

When budgeting for a castle wedding, consider:

  • Rental fees – For full buyouts, often start around $10,000 – $30,000+
  • Food/beverage minimums – Typically $25,000 – $50,000+ for 100 guests
  • Hourly ceremony fees – Around $5,000 for a short, separate ceremony
  • Travel costs – For destination venues, factor in 30-50% extra

Tips for managing castle wedding costs:

  • Have an off-peak Friday or Sunday wedding
  • Limit guest count to reduce food minimums
  • Get quotes from multiple venues to compare pricing
  • Ask about inclusions to prevent surprise fees

With strategic planning, you can afford your storybook castle without breaking the bank!

Beyond castles, consider an estate with sprawling gardens or a botanical garden with beautiful backdrops for your photographs.

Designing the Fairy Tale Wedding Decor of Your Dreams

Transforming a medieval castle into an enchanting wedding venue is all in the details. Your decor, lighting, colors, and other design choices come together to create a magical atmosphere straight from fantasy. Follow these tips to decorate your castle venue with elegance and romance.

Designing the Fairy Tale Wedding Decor of Your Dreams

Lighting Sets the Mood

Lighting casts both your venue and wedding in a dreamy glow. Consider:

  • Hanging lanterns – Dot stone walls and walkways with cascading lanterns.
  • Chandeliers – Highlight soaring ceilings with grand chandeliers.
  • String lights – Line courtyards with draped bistro bulb lighting.
  • Candles – Place taper and pillar candles in vintage holders throughout.
  • Wall sconces – Accent hallways with medieval-style torch sconces.

Pro tip: Install dimmers to control lighting brightness for both daytime and evening.

Fairy Tale Wedding Flowers and Greenery

Florals add elegance and romance to your castle celebration:

  • Hydrangeas – Cluster giant pale hydrangea blooms in arrangements.
  • Roses – Scatter roses in cream, blush, and pale pink hues.
  • Peonies – Incorporate voluminous peony blooms in soft colors.
  • Eucalyptus – Accent with trailing eucalyptus and greenery garlands.
  • Floral walls – Hang a backdrop of flowers on the ceremony or sweetheart table.

Pro tip: Schedule a flower trial to test designs and hues in your venue’s lighting.

Regal Fabrics and Furnishings

Further your medieval vibe with fabrics:

  • Velvet – Use lush crushed velvet on upholstered chairs and linens.
  • Brocatelle – Drape stone walls in this ornately patterned fabric.
  • Tulle – Swath ceilings and chuppahs in dreamy tulle.
  • Tapestry – Hang bold tapestries as unique ceremony backdrops.
  • Throws – Toss fur or velvet throws over farm tables.

Pro tip: Rent specialty linens, furniture covers, drapes, and fabrics through wedding décor companies.

Bring your fairy tale castle decor vision to life with these enchanting details!

Catering a Royal Feast: Castle Wedding Menus and Cakes

After saying your vows, it’s time to feast, dance, and celebrate like royalty in your castle’s soaring ballroom or riverside courtyard. Castle wedding catering balances traditional flavors with modern presentations. Follow these tips for a cuisine and cake fit for a king and queen.

Castle Wedding Menus and Cakes

Castle Wedding Catering Tips

Consider these factors when selecting your caterer:

  • On-site castle caterers – Many venues have preferred or required caterers familiar with the kitchens and event spaces.
  • Catering coordination – If hiring an outside caterer, ensure they can coordinate timing and setup with your venue.
  • Cuisine expertise – Seek caterers experienced in both classic and innovative menus tailored to castle venues.
  • Service styles – Castles suit family-style, stations, or plated formal service.
  • Tastings – Schedule a menu tasting at your venue with your top caterer contender.

Crafting the Perfect Castle Wedding Menu

Design a menu that balances elegant cuisine with comfort food favorites:

  • Appetizers – Begin with light bites like charcuterie, bruschetta, or prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
  • Salad course – Offer a refreshing salad like watercress, spinach, or seasonal greens.
  • Entrees – Feature regal options like chateaubriand, rack of lamb, or seared salmon.
  • Sides – Complement with sides like roasted potatoes, risotto, or grilled vegetables.
  • Late-night snacks – Serve pizzas, sliders, or fries late at night for easy snacking.
  • Kid’s meals – Cater to children with kid-friendly fare like chicken tenders, mac and cheese, or hot dogs.
  • Special meals – Accommodate dietary needs with vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options.

The Castle Wedding Cake

Your cake provides the crowning focal point:

  • Styles – Consider a classic round-tiered cake or a creative shape like a hexagon or pyramid.
  • Flavors – Choose 1-3 gourmet flavors like salted caramel, pistachio, or espresso.
  • Frosting – Pair flavors with options like vanilla buttercream, whipped cream, or fondant.
  • Decor – Adorn with fresh florals, cascading icing, metal filigree, or other ornate designs.
  • Display – Stage your castle cake on a gilded table or ornate cake stand.

With the right caterer and mouthwatering menu, your guests will dine like royalty at your fairy-tale wedding!

Fairy Tale Wedding Dresses, Beauty, and Accessories

On your special day, you want to look and feel like the princess bride you are while marrying your prince charming in a storybook castle. Your bridal look sets the tone, so choose an elegant gown and accessories to complement your venue. Here are tips for attire, hair, makeup, and jewelry perfect for a fairy tale wedding.

Fairy Tale Wedding Dresses, Beauty, and Accessories

Selecting Your Castle Wedding Dress

Your gown is the centerpiece of your look. Look for:

  • Silhouettes – Consider A-line, ballgown, or mermaid shapes ideal for castles.
  • Fabrics – Luxe satin, tulle, lace, and chiffon make romantic statements.
  • Necklines – Flattering castle options include off-the-shoulder, sweetheart, V-neck, and illusion.
  • Sleeves – Sheer, flutter, lace, or cap sleeves offer great castle style.
  • Trains – Make a dramatic exit down castle stairs with cathedral or royal trains.
  • Embellishments – Add sparkle with beading, jeweled accents, or embroidered lace.

Pro Tip: Schedule your first fitting 8-10 months out and leave ample time for subsequent alterations.

Dressing Your Castle Wedding Party

Attire your bridesmaids and groomsmen to complement your look:

Bridal PartyPopular Attire Choices
BridesmaidsMismatched chiffon gowns, convertible wraparound dresses, satin A-line dresses
GroomsmenNavy or charcoal suits, black and gray tuxedos, medieval-style tunics
Flower GirlSparkly tulle dress, flower crown
Ring BearerMini tuxedo, suspenders and bow tie

Pro Tip: Select a color scheme and share it with your party to coordinate outfits.

Fairy Tale Beauty – Hair, Makeup and Jewelry

Complete your magical look with these beautifying touches:

  • Hairstyles – Wear your hair down in soft curls or waves or in an elegant updo or braided style. Add hair combs or floral accents.
  • Makeup – Get professional makeup in natural, glowing tones or with bold lashes.
  • Jewelry – Adorn yourself with dazzling earrings, a necklace, crystal hair pins, and a tiara if desired.
  • Shoes – Choose comfortable heels or flats adorned with rhinestones, bows, flowers, or lace.

With thoughtful wedding day style choices, you’ll feel like the dazzling castle bride of your dreams!

Capturing Your Fairy Tale Castle Wedding with Stunning Photography

Your wedding photos will be prized memories, so be selective in choosing a talented photographer to beautifully capture your castle celebration. Follow these tips for fairy tale wedding photos you’ll cherish forever.

Choosing Your Castle Wedding Photographer

Seek these traits when selecting your photographer:

  • Castle venue experience – Prioritize photographers familiar with your castle’s spaces and lighting.
  • Photo styles – Review portfolios to find one whose wedding photo aesthetic you love.
  • Lighting expertise – They should have skills in both outdoor and indoor castle lighting scenarios.
  • Personality fit – Ensure you connect well with them so you’re comfortable on your big day.
  • Package options – Compare wedding collection options and à la carte services.

Pro Tip: Book your photographer 12-15 months in advance as top options get booked quickly.

Capturing Your Fairy Tale Wedding Moments

Capturing Your Fairy Tale Wedding Moments

Ensure you get photos of all your special moments:

Getting Ready: Candid shots as you dress, put on your gown, toast with bridesmaids, etc.

First Look: A private first glimpse of your groom before the ceremony.

Ceremony: Aisle moments, exchanges of vows and rings, recessional walk.

Portraits: Romantic couple and bridal party portraits on castle stairs, grounds, etc.

Reception: Grand entrance, first dances, toasts, cutting cake, dancing, etc.

Details: Dress, décor, rings, cake, favors, invitations, etc.

Pro Tip: Create a must-have shot list to share with your photographer to ensure important photos.

With an experienced castle wedding photographer, your photos will reflect the enchantment of your fairy tale celebration.

Planning Epic Entertainment for Your Castle Wedding Celebration

After an elegant fairy tale ceremony, it’s time to let loose and dance the night away with unforgettable castle wedding entertainment. Follow these tips to plan music, dances, and other amusement fit for royalty.

Ceremony Music Sets the Mood

Create an atmospheric ceremony with music like:

  • Solo guitar, harp, or piano for prelude songs as guests arrive
  • String quartet or trio playing classical processionals
  • Bagpiper for a dramatic Scottish castle wedding
  • Harpist performing Disney songs at a whimsical castle ceremony

Pro Tip: Hire an additional sound system if your ceremony musicians won’t amplify well in a large outdoor castle setting.

Cocktail Hour Music and Entertainment

Keep your guests delighted during cocktail hour with:

  • A jazz trio, string quartet, or other ensemble
  • Solo lute, harp, or classical guitar players
  • Roaming medieval instrumentalists or violinists
  • Jesters, magicians, or other medieval-style performers
  • Lawn games like oversized chess, croquet, or horseshoes

Pro Tip: Place your musicians or performers near the bar and appetizer stations so guests can enjoy the entertainment while they mingle.

Reception Music and Dancing

Keep the celebrations going with:

  • A DJ to announce special dances, play song requests, and keep the dance floor pumping
  • Live band for an energetic vibe, especially pop, funk, or swing bands
  • First dance to a romantic ballad like “A Thousand Years” or “At Last”
  • Father-daughter dance to “Butterfly Kisses” or other meaningful song
  • Lucrative late-night food stations (like sliders, fries, or pizza) to keep guests fueled for dancing

Pro Tip: Provide a list of “must play” and “do not play” songs to your DJ or band to make sure the music fits you.

With the right mix of castle wedding entertainment, your guests will delight in your enchanting celebration from the ceremony to the last dance!

Fairy Tale Castle Wedding FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

Planning your dream castle wedding comes with lots of questions. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about having your fairy tale wedding at a storied castle venue.

What if it rains on my outdoor castle wedding day?

  • Confirm backup indoor spaces at your venue for the ceremony and reception in case of rain.
  • Have a rain plan detailing how and when the call will be made to move indoors.
  • Prepare lovely clear umbrellas just in case of a light drizzle.

How do I choose the best month for a castle wedding?

  • Research weather averages to find the best historical months at your location.
  • Avoid peak seasons when venue rates are higher.
  • If outdoors, aim for spring to fall when the weather is mildest.
  • Discuss date flexibility with your venue to expand options.

How do I arrange guest accommodations at a destination castle?

  • Use room blocks at nearby hotels for overflow if your castle doesn’t host all guests.
  • Offer a room sharing service to help guests coordinate shared accommodations.
  • Recommend rental home or Airbnb options for large family/friend groups.
  • Suggest arriving early or staying after to extend the castle trip!

What vendors do you recommend for castle weddings?

  • Caterer: Used to working in castle kitchens and event spaces.
  • Photographer: Familiar with castle architecture, outdoor areas, and lighting.
  • Transportation: Large coaches that can navigate tight castle driveways and roads.
  • Rentals: Companies with an inventory of rustic wood chairs, vintage china, chandeliers, etc.

How can I personalize my castle wedding?

  • Show your style in décor details like signage, napkins, cake toppers, etc.
  • Choose meaningful ceremony readings, vows, or songs.
  • Select a custom cocktail, beer, or wine representing you as a couple.
  • Feature your love story through wedding photos, programs, or reception displays.
  • Infuse fun cultural traditions that honor your background.

By knowing potential questions ahead of time, you can feel prepared to plan your fairy tale castle wedding with ease! Let us know if you have any other castle wedding questions we can help answer.

Bringing Your Fairy Tale Castle Wedding to Life

Planning a wedding in a storied castle venue takes time, passion, and imagination to infuse romance into every detail. But the effort pays off for an enchanting celebration filled with medieval charm and magical ambiance.

By finding a venue that speaks to your style, decorating it to match your visions of grandeur, and designing an elegant affair in unforgettable surroundings, you can have the fairy tale wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

Keep your faith through any planning challenges that arise. Stay focused on your love and commitment as you exchange vows with your soulmate. That’s what matters – not centerpiece details.

Most importantly, take moments throughout your special day to soak it all in. Share intimate laughter with your new spouse, dance enthusiastically with your best friends, and accept heartfelt well wishes from family. Cherish each memory you create in your sublime castle setting.

Let your guests marvel at how you flawlessly pulled off a wedding worthy of royalty, all while feeling like a blissful bride relishing each magical moment. By embracing the process with imagination and joy, you can have the fairy tale castle wedding that lives up to your happiest dreams.

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