Getting hitched in a castle is about as fairy tale as Snow White kissing the Frog Prince while clacking the golden slippers. Indeed, nothing says “big day” quite like a big castle, complete with turrets, battlements, capacious ballrooms and even, in some cases, water-filled moats and drawbridges!
Granted, castles won’t necessarily be every couple’s cup of tea: many a lovestruck pair need little more than a rose or ring to signify their love. If you want your ceremony to be conducted in a regal setting, though, there are countless castles throughout Europe ready and waiting to take your booking. Whether you prefer your castle old or, well, really, really old, you’re spoiled for choice in Europe.
That the UK is home to dozens of castles is no secret, but the tapestry-laden Roman castles in Italy provide a similarly rich historical setting. Your storybook wedding is certain to require a lot of planning, but before you venture down the rose-petal strewn aisle, have a look at our top European destinations for castle weddings.
HomeAway has an array of castles dotted around the continent. Simply click into your destination using the links below, then filter your search to only find castles. Booking up, meanwhile, is about as easy as saying, “I do!”
Getting married in a castle in Italy
Sicily, Tuscany, Veneto, Friuli, the Amalfi Coast — just some of the Italian locales vying for your castle wedding booking. The impossibly romantic Miramare Castle in Trieste is one such property; this 19th century cliff overlooks the Adriatic Sea, and its rich interior is furnished with ornate furniture and delicate ornaments. The 13th century Chianti Castle, just outside Gaiole, is another splendid choice. Surrounded by vineyards, grounds lined by juniper and cypress trees, its frecoed halls and Catholic chapel marks it the perfect venue for a most romantic engagement. Perhaps the most dramatic choice would be Castello Aragonese, in Ischia. Standing on a volcanic rock, connected to the island by a 15th century bridge, this one definitely has the wow factor.
Getting married in a castle in Spain
Many Spanish castles started life as Arab forts, or as the residences of emirs and kings during the late Middle Ages. Nowadays, though, some of them make perfect wedding venues. The narrow spires of Alcazar of Segovia, perched high above the town of the same name, even hosted the wedding of Philip II. Home to a museum, an armoury, a throne room and, of course, a chapel, the venue’s yours - at a rather steep price, of course! There’s a fine selection of more affordable castles to rent at HomeAway. The mightily impressive Les Oluges, in Segarra, might be the one for you. Lodged in the medieval fort of montfalco, this stone castle sits on a hill, and dates from the 11th century. A modest, fenced garden, and a generous balcony that overlooks fields as far as the eye can see, make this a venue you won’t forget in a hurry.
Getting married in a castle in France
There are no shortage of castles in France, ideal if you’re keen to make a dramatic statement on your wedding day. The magnificent Chateau de Cey in Cote-d’Or is a stunning building that’s likely to be at the top end of just about everyone’s budget. Set in 40 acres, boasting 15 bedrooms, a swimming pool and furnishings befitting of 18th century aristocracy, you could marry your worst enemy in this place! Of course, there’s castles from the Loire Valley to the Rhone-Alpes. Between Lyon and St Etienne, you’ll find a stunning private castle set within five acres of parkland. After the nuptials, why not throw the after party at the private pool?
Getting married in a castle in Germany
Many people consider Neuschwanstein, in Germany, to be Europe’s most beautiful castle. Rising out of the forest, this 19th century building was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, as well as Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. There’s always a drawback, though, isn’t there? No weddings are permitted directly within the castle - but you can arrange for your ceremony to be held in the grassy area in front of it, or in the chapel of Hohenschwangau Castle, with a view of Neuschwanstein. Alternatively, have your pick of over 50 castles from Bavaria to Saxony at HomeAway.