BDW BLOG

Castle Weddings

From a horse drawn carriage to the grand staircase, a castle wedding set’s the ideal theme for the perfect fairytale wedding.

More and more castles are doing weddings, giving the bride and groom so much more choice when it comes to a destination wedding. Destination weddings in the past have typically been a beach venue but as it becomes more and more popular, the venue and destination are becoming more and more unique.

Brides and Grooms no longer have to choose a beach wedding during the winter months for the best weather, with more and more tour operators offering reasonably priced flight to Europe; they can now opt for a summer destination wedding.

Castles vary and can offer a traditional rustic look or a modern hotel like amenities for your venue, allowing you to have an intimate wedding or a lavish affair with many guests.

If you are looking for a castle for your wedding, here’s a few that I have found that may interest you.

Bodelwyddan Castle:
Situated in Denbighshire, North Wales, UK. This Castle is set in 260 acres of parkland and is open to the public; it is also a part of the National Portrait Gallery.

A perfect setting for your wedding day, there is a choice of venues for your civil ceremony and each venue offers something a little unique.

To download a brochure visit:
http://www.bodelwyddan-castle.co.uk/PDF/Bodelwyddan%20Wedding%20Brochure.pdf

Coombe Abbey:
Coombe Abbey has been restored, originally a 12th century Cistercian, the property now offers you luxury with a taste of History for your special day. Set in Warwickshire, a part of historic England, this property sits amongst 500 acres of parkland that includes a moat and a lake, what a perfect setting for your fairy tale wedding.

For more information visit:
http://www.celticcastles.com/castles/coombe-abbey/weddings.aspx

Blairquhan Castle:
A uniquely secluded castle, spacious and elegant and one that is still owned by the same family.

This castle has been modernized and you can hold your cemetery in the castle or the nearby church in the village of Straiton, The Castle itself can accommodate up to 100 guests for your wedding day, however if you need more space a Marquee is available .

For more information visit:
http://www.celticcastles.com/castles/blairquhan-castle/weddings.html

Cabra Castle:
Less than 1 hour from Dublin airport set in County Cavan, this castle dates back to 1760, giving you a truly historic feel for your wedding day. Magnificent hallways and staircases provide a perfect backdrop for your special day. They show experience in weddings and have packages for you to choose on with venues that hold up to 350 guests.

For more information visit:
http://www.celticcastles.com/castles/cabra-castle/weddings.html

Chateau de Bagnols:
Dating back to the 13th Century, and more recently discovered by Lady Hamlyn in 1987 who restored this magnificent property to its former glory revealing the Renaissance wall and ceiling paintings created during the chateau’s finest period when nearby Lyon was one of Europe’s great Renaissance cities. A perfect venue for your Castle wedding. Set amongst a vineyard, forests and green hills and a dramatic entrance across a drawbridge, fairy tale weddings will most definitely come true.

For more information visit:
http://www.celticcastles.com/chateaux/chateau-de-bagnols/weddings.html

An Interview with a Bride

Being a previous destination wedding bride myself and speaking with a friend who also had a destination wedding, we both agreed that times have changed so much from when we did it almost two decades ago, there was no such person as a specialist to help us, we did it all ourselves, from the cake to the wording, visits at the local city halls and finding witnesses locally. Whilst my friend eloped and found the most wonderful local people to help her at every turn, we both found an angel in someone at the properties we chose that helped our weddings go without a hitch. These days there called onsite wedding coordinators and only work on weddings, for us they were the representative of the property chain who went beyond their job description, for which we will be forever thankful!

There is nothing better than firsthand knowledge in any industry but when it comes to your wedding, firsthand knowledge can be considered at times, priceless!

When it comes to a destination wedding, most couples have not been to the destination before and have many questions, do they or don’t they hire a specialist, can they do it themselves, will the resort be as helpful, how does the planning go when you are so far away?

My bride’s name is Nicola and she and her husband Stuart were married in Antigua.
Here is there view on their recent destination wedding.

A wedding at home would have meant a big wedding, lots of guests, and as we all know the more guests you have the more costly the wedding becomes. They were looking for something a little more intimate for their very special day, somewhere special and unique, just like them. They had travelled to many places over the years and they looked at many options from a cruise wedding to Australia and finally settled on the Caribbean Island of Antigua, somewhere neither of them had previously been.

Booking their wedding approx 6 months prior, they decided to go with a company that offered a wedding specialist to help them with the planning of the travel arrangements and wedding details. With them both working fulltime, they felt having someone look after all the arrangements and their all the guests was what they needed to stay hassle and stress free. So they chose a package the company offered that suited their needs.

The most important thing to both of them when it came to the planning of their wedding was the cost of the wedding and the location, not just for them but their guests too. The specialist had recommended a property that gave them options when it came to their wedding package and they only needed to add on a steel band for a wedding march, which kept their wedding budget intact.

Working with the specialist ensured that they had all the information beforehand along with their needs and wants for their special day planned and ordered in advance, this ensured that on arrival there were no hidden costs when it came to signing their wedding package contract, everything they had pre- done was exactly as had been ordered and promised.

All the travel arrangements were straight forward and the specialist took care of everything, some guest opted to book elsewhere and not as a part of the wedding group but everyone was there for the wedding and they specialist answered all the questions they could not, making everything seamless for the bride and groom to be. They had a legal ceremony, so a visit to the city hall was necessary and once again everything was explained thoroughly.

Their special day went without a hitch, the colors, cake and flowers were exactly as planned, the dinner and reception were perfect! The only worry was the time of day and there not being enough light for the wedding photos. If they had to give you one piece of advice it would be:

“Hire a professional photographer, ours was okay but we felt the photos could have been so much better and make sure you find out what time the sun goes down, so the photo sessions does not seem rushed oh! & upgrade wherever possible, it is your wedding after all and you’re not guaranteed one from the resort “

Planning a destination wedding to them seemed less stressful and more exciting. They had someone who looked after the entire process as a package and they felt if they would have had a wedding at home, they would have been dealing with many guests personally making the whole process a lot more stressful for them both.

Nicola and Stuart have been enjoying wedded bliss ever since and have no doubts that the decision to have a destination wedding was the right one.

Trash the Dress

Do you or don’t you?

For many brides it’s a definite must but there are those like myself who held on to the dress and have kept it in pristine condition. Sadly mine sit’s in its box knowing it will never be worn again, not even by my daughter who will most likely want her very own. It’s been 12 years since I got married and I think if I could decide again, I may actually trash my dress.

So where did all this start?

Some sources claim it was started in 2001 by a photographer, Michael Cooper.
However in Hollywood during October 1998 Meg Cummings of the show “Sunset Beach” ran into the ocean in her dress after her wedding was interrupted. Since then brides have been trashing the dress.

Usually brides decide to have pictures taken on a beach, but other locations include city streets, rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings.

Your Beautiful Face

Looking through a local magazine this afternoon, I came across an article on make-up for brides of all ages.

I could not help but agree on the article as to how important it is to make sure that “wedding day beauty is a priority” after all it’s your day and you are the centre of attention.

Working on Destination Weddings I have found a question I get asked again and again is “are they any good at doing make up? & will it last all day in the heat?” Where I have never had a complaint from any bride about the spa services and make-up artists in the resorts I have sold, some brides are still skeptical about letting someone they just met do something so personal on such an important day in their lives.

But I ask you, did you ever consider taking a make-up artist with you?

The make-up artist featured in the article I was reading was a local lady & guess what? She travels with weddings!

Julie Brown of www.letsfaceitbeauty.ca

In the article she gave great tips and advice on make-up wedding for our bride’s to be from your 20’s through to 50’s. You can subscribe to her weekly newsletter on make-up tips, something I definitely did, at my age I need all the help I can get 😉 and I know have a whole new make-up draw and love the way my new make-up looks, so thanks Julie, I will most certainly be following you!