One of the most dreamt of wedding destinations is certainly a fairytale castle, an enchanting and especially romantic venue to seal the bond of a couple’s love. Castle weddings are not merely in storybooks; you too can waltz like a princess in a glamorous ballroom, sip champagne on a terrace overlooking vineyards, dine on the finest gastronomy in a gilded grand salon or enjoy luxurious surroundings fit for a king – and queen! Make your wedding dreams come true at one of these breathtaking castles in France, Spain, England, Ireland and the Czech Republic.
The Chateau Grande Merveille – Loire Valley, France
The valley of the French Kings, the Loire, has hundreds of enchanting castles and one of the loveliest for a fairytale wedding is the Chateau Grande Merveille, available through Carpe Diem Luxury Travel. Described by the Architect of French Monuments as one of France’s “most precious elements of architecture of the French Enlightenment, this classy 15-bedroom castle is around an hour from Le Mans and three from Paris and is set in a massive park on the outskirts of a small and charming little French town.
Previously owned by the French government, the Chateau Grande Merveille is now privately owned and has recently been carefully and exquisitely restored. Built in 1760 on the grounds of a 10th-century chateau, the castle was intended to serve as the summer palace for a nobleman who governed over all of Eastern France under the reign of Louis XV, as such it hosted such luminaries of the French enlightenment as Voltaire and Diderot.
Its owner, a world-famous interior designer who has designed the homes of European and Middle Eastern royalty as well as some of today’s biggest stars, has perfected the interiors of the chateau, filling them with museum-quality art and antiques.
With 42 acres of formal gardens, fields, woods and a lake there is plenty to do at the chateau. Whether biking through the trails in the woods, feeding the swans and geese on the lake, exploring the two greenhouses, lounging by the heated swimming pool or venturing into the maze of garden rooms, you will never be bored at the chateau.
Just near the side entrance at the Lower Courtyard, you will find the original 18th-century chapel that has just been restored, the quintessential venue for your wedding ceremony. The chapel was removed during the French revolution when all religion was outlawed in France, so it has now been dedicated to all religious faiths.
Guests can meander the grounds, ideal for wedding photos, and enjoy a cocktail before dinner al fresco in the beautiful stone-vaulted Orangery. Following on, the grand salon is an impressive venue to host your dinner. The chateau itself sleeps up to 30, however, there is a variety of other accommodation in the area for larger groups.
Take the first step in arranging a marvelous wedding at the Chateau Grande Merveille by contacting Carpe Diem Travel here.
Masia Rosa – outside Barcelona, Spain
The vast history of Spain is retained in its historic architecture throughout the country and the 14th-century noble home Masia Rosa is a testament to this. Situated close to the vibrant city of Barcelona, this unique venue, available through El Sol Villas, offers the opportunity to celebrate your union in the charming Catalan countryside with the modern convenience of the recently added hall specifically designed for events.
Masia Rosa consists of a main home and a casita. The centuries-old stone towers will take you back to the middle ages when this estate was constructed. The buildings feature traditional terra cotta ceilings, exposed stonework and luxurious but relaxing decor that are inviting and welcoming to all. Accessed by an unpaved road, Masia Rosa is wonderfully secluded and private.
It sleeps 20 in eight ensuite bedrooms, all with air-conditioning (other accommodation can be arranged in the vicinity). An indoor spa with a Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, and a fitness room are all at your disposal. With multiple dining areas and relaxing living spaces spread over three floors, everyone will find a space suited to him or her. The area is filled with fascinating sites and places to explore, along with restaurants and water activities to keep you occupied.
What makes this villa all the more exceptional for weddings is its new events space, opened in autumn 2015. This brand new area can hold up to 200 guests. Amenities include an industrial kitchen, big screen and projector, and tables and chairs for 100.
Start planning your original Catalan wedding with the help of El Sol Villas at this link.
Le Chateau Enchanté – Nearby Paris, France
In less than an hour’s drive from Paris is this amazing chateau, a secret find from our expert Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad. Tucked behind tall stone walls and within a vast park featuring a lake, moat, ponds and several acres of designed gardens, the magical castle has gathered over nine centuries of history – the perfect place to embark on this new chapter of your own story. Sylvia tells us more about it here:
“The chateau dates as far back as the 12th century and while it has been totally updated to the finest of 21st-century levels, it has also maintained the luxurious, richness and lavish styles over the various periods. Beautiful rich fabrics, marble floors, decorative walls and columns, and elaborately carved details add more to its grandeur, with weather-worn ancient statues in the gardens and entrances.
“But there are dark corners as well holding forbidden secrets of the past, hidden behind sealed doors that lead into dark rooms through narrow hallways that have been still for centuries. Beneath the lake, labyrinths of alleyways lead to the castle’s dungeons and prison, and, not to be forgotten, the wine cellar. Those areas and others now exist as a rich part of the history of this intriguing place hidden behind stone walls deep in the 500 hectares of parkland.
“Fast forward over centuries, and today you are entering a place of splendor and richness, the epiphany of what supersede a true five-star luxury hotel with all the bells and whistles imagined. A gorgeous swimming pool, state of the art elevator, several elegant and luxurious living rooms and lounges, various dining rooms, two handsome libraries, spa, theater, four professional kitchens outfitted with top brand appliances and cookwares, as well as an up to date, sophisticated communications system as well as a state of the art music system. Everything that touches the skin is of the finest quality. Everything speaks to all the senses of the highest note.
“There is a private chapel in the castle where the wedding ceremony takes place or any other interior room or a spot in the beautiful park and gardens. The wedding planner can cater for beautiful affairs at the Chateau which could include a divine meal prepared by a Michelin chef and his team. An amazing team to create your dream wedding, designed just for you. I cannot think of a more perfect venue to stage your beautiful fairytale wedding.”
Many thanks to Sylvia for her lovely description of this fabulous venue. For more information and to check availability, contact Sylvia Delvaille Jones at Villas and Apartments Abroad.
Grade II Listed Manor House – Oxfordshire, England
Dance like Cinderella on your wedding night in the storybook ballroom of this alluring 16th-17th-century manor house in the scenic English countryside, a special find of Loyd & Townsend Rose.
Situated very close to Chipping Norton, the aristocratic house dates back to the 16th century, with a dining room and library paneled in about 1640, and 17th-century stables and dovecote.
The manor sleeps up to 24 guests in 12 bedrooms, including four double ensuite rooms on the first floor. The highlight of the interior for weddings is decidedly the exceptional ballroom which is ideal for large dinners as well as dancing.
This is the quintessential English country estate in an extremely tranquil spot with very little traffic, therefore providing a highly private environment. The vast bucolic grounds feature formal gardens, ponds, walled gardens, a small village (owned by the family) and a 2,000-acre estate. There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool, sauna, and tennis court.
Located on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border, guests can easily access Oxford, Cheltenham, Stratford on Avon and all the pleasures that the Cotswolds has to offer. Local attractions include the award-winning Daylesford Organic Farm Shop and many attractive local towns such as Chipping Norton, Stow on the Wold, Moreton in Marsh, Charlbury and Chipping Camden.
A happy ending is guaranteed at this extraordinary property. Explore your options with Loyd & Townsend Rose at this link.
Chateau de Falisa – Burgundy, France
In the heart of Burgundy, the intriguing Chateau de Falisa is the ideal wedding venue for wine lovers, bookable via Carpe Diem Luxury Travel. Enjoy the finest in local Grand Cru wines with your guests as you relax high above the Burgundian countryside at the confluence of the Yonne river and the Canal Nivernais, with this magical castle as your backdrop.
Originally a fortified stronghold and still encircled by its medieval walls, it offers unobstructed views stretching miles around featuring prehistoric rock formations, undulating fields with cow-dotted pastures and surrounding forests. The estate is organized into several distinctive sections, offering great privacy. In total, it can sleep up to 40 people in 20 bedrooms with 20 bathrooms.
Built by the Heurtebise family in 1848, the nineteenth-century residence stands on the ruins of the chateau fort. On the ground floor are the living areas which include a large salon, a study with its own private terrace, a billiard room, and a large country kitchen which opens out onto a balcony where one can enjoy breakfast in the morning sun, with lovely views of the cliffs in the distance.
Other accommodation includes two suites in the caves of the 13th century chateau-fort, three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a full kitchen in the former stable block, two individual pavilions next to the terraced rose garden, and a beautiful 18th-century maison bourgeoise, the Guest House, with eight ensuite bedrooms, a delightful garden and a large hot-tub.
The gorgeous grounds, landscaped with beautiful gardens on several levels, offer a wide variety of magnificent terraces and outdoor spaces and an 18m x 6m pool.
The Commons building has various rooms which have been renovated with events in mind, consisting of a large conference/reception room, two adjoining reception rooms, and a fabulous converted barn with a magnificent 25ft high wood beamed ceiling.
Guests can make the most of the many activities of the region such as visiting the world-famous basilica of Vezelay where the Second Crusade was launched, wine-tasting in nearby Chablis or the Nuits d’Or vineyards, in addition to plenty of sporting activities or some leisurely cycling along by the river or strolling in the quaint neighboring villages.
Discover more about this one-of-a-kind venue by reaching out to Carpe Diem Luxury Travel.
Ballyfin House – Ireland
Ireland has some of Europe’s most enchanting castles and you can be sure to have a “happily ever after” wedding at Ballyfin Demesne, named one of the top 12 romantic spots worldwide in 2013 by Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons magazine.
In the carefully selected repertoire of Elegant Ireland, Ballyfin Demesne is an exclusive wedding venue with luxuriously comfortable accommodation and is located in the most beautiful and relaxing surroundings.
The bride and groom have the choice of several different spaces for their special day. For example, the impressive ballroom which can accommodate up to 130 guests, or the regal State Dining Room with views over the water cascade for groups of up to 70. Likewise, find equally as inviting rooms for more intimate pre-wedding celebrations and vibrant outdoor terraces or garden spaces for gatherings and photographs.
Ballyfin’s superb chefs and sommelier can create custom-designed menus to suit your tastes. Plus their friendly team will assist you or your wedding planner from the first steps of planning through to execution. Your wedding day will be nothing short of magical at Ballyfin.
Learn more about this stunning destination wedding venue in Ireland through Elegant Ireland at this link.
Spa Chateau – Normandy, France
The refined Spa Chateau, available through Villas and Apartments Abroad. Tublends the best of what any stay in France should jnclude such as fascinating history, glorious gastronomy and the art of fine living, here with the added bonus of pampering spa treatments. All of this makes for an elegant and relaxing destination wedding venue.
The chateau is owned by two successful partners, who started and operated a “hands on” beautiful boutique hotel overlooking the sea in Southern Italy who eventually returned to France to fulfill their ultimate dream, restoring and transforming their historic Chateau into “The Spa Chateau.”
Dating back ten generations, the chateau with towers, moats, parapets and other surprises, takes you back into your childhood fantasies of fairies and sorcerers, magicians and ghosts, knights and nobles! Today, with 17 individually decorated bedroom suites set in 88 acres of parkland and gardens, the entire chateau has retained much of its past with precious antiques, intricate tapestries and priceless artwork all the while presenting a fresh, airy contemporary feel.
Marvel your guests on your special day with an opera or ballet performance with guests participating in full costumes. Tantalize their palates With the culinary delights of local Michelin-starred chefs. Introduce them to a family
member of the 7th generation of the inventor of the hot air balloon, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, with a beautiful rainbow display in the skies with taking off and landing in the 88 hectares parkland of the Chateau. The amazing activities are endless, notwithstanding the fabulous spa treatments they can arrange such as massages in a secret spot in the gardens, poolside indoors and outdoors by the area’s top massage therapists before relax in the warm indoor pool with a fireplace.
Pamper yourself like on prince and princess for your wedding at this lovely chateau check via Sylvia Delvaille Jones at Villas and Apartments Abroad here.
Chateau Prague – Czech Republic
Within just one hour’s drive from Prague, time travel to the Golden Age of the Czech Republic at this sophisticated chateau, another by Carpe Diem Luxury Travel. Restored to 21st century standards, this 23-room castle embodies contemporary 5-star luxury with a deluxe spa, award-winning chef, refined English garden and an abundance of local culture to explore, making it the perfect place for a couple who love all the finer things in life.
The hotel’s interior is furnished with great care in a “modern chateau” style, with attention paid to every detail. Each room has its own individual style and name and is carefully furnished with a discerning eye for detail. The first floor is called the Floor of the World and has rooms such as the mysterious Orient, elegant Europe, the Southern Seas suite, as well as the Legend suite with its enchanting bathroom and balcony. Whereas the second floor follows the theme of Time and houses rooms named after months of the year like the wonderful Mark Twain luxury suite and the Rilke double room.
Food lovers will regale at the chateau’s restaurant, named the best restaurant in the country in 2014. Its talented chef prepares seasonal á la carte dishes using top quality ingredients, primarily from local suppliers. These gastronomic creations are paired with the perfect wine from the impressive wine cellar containing more than 1,000 bottles.
When you’re not out exploring the property or the area’s historic sites, relax at the natural herbal spa which has its own line of pure natural skincare. The spa also includes a sauna with outdoor whirlpool, a natural biotopical swimming lake, and a natural fitness center.
Enjoy some time outdoors in the five hectare English park playing some croquet, pétanque, badminton or tennis on the multifunctional sports court. There is also a special children’s playground onsite. Connect further with nature at the nearby St. George Forest, excellent for walks, jogging, bike rides, or mushroom picking.
Guests can get a taste of local life at the neighboring village. Alongside its original, historical wooden buildings features a 16th-century Baroque church which can host the wedding ceremony. The chateau staff is ready to assist with preparing your perfect fairytale wedding in the land of fairytale dreams.
For further information about this splendid castle, contact Carpe Diem Luxury Travel here.
Chateau Gascogne – Southwestern France
Resting majestically atop the rolling hills of the Bordeaux wine country sits the graceful 18th-century Chateau Gascogne. Another castle in Carpe Diem Luxury Travel‘s repertoire, it provides a sophisticated venue in an unspoiled part of France, perfect for gastronomes seeking a flawless storybook wedding.
Overlooking the Landes and Gers in the Southwest of France, the Chateau Gascogne, which sleeps 16, is a mere 10-minute drive from the famous spa town of Eugenie-les-Bains (named after the Empress Eugenie who loved spending time there), 85 minutes from the seaside resort of Biarritz, 90 minutes from Bordeaux, two hours from the Pyrénée Mountains and two hrs from San Sebastian.
Originally dating from the 18th century, the chateau is unlike any other luxury castle in the region. The owners personally selected the elegant furnishings and decor, highlighting original elements of the chateau and creating a refined yet unique atmosphere.
Upon entering through the main doors, you’re met with a sweeping oak staircase dominating the entrance hall with its double height ceiling and chandeliers. The winding staircase leads you to the second floor where you will reach the eight deluxe ensuite guest rooms, beautifully appointed with fine antiques and comfortable beds and the added advantage of magnificent views of the estate. One room is set up as a romantic honeymoon suite, another stands out with its private rooftop terrace.
The ground floor has several inviting common rooms for relaxing or dining; a formal drawing room, a grand salon with monumental stone fireplace, a cigar and billiards salon, an Asian-inspired red lounge as well as a sunny modern kitchen with a chef’s table and a grand dining hall with original stone floors, fireplace and authentic decor with spectacular stuccos depicting the four seasons. Works of art collected during the owners’ extensive travels from all over the world are on display throughout the castle. The ancient stone floor is indicative of the T-shape of the original 1700’s chateau.
The salons open up to the grand lawn, from where you can stroll through the picturesque grounds and enjoy the five-acre French garden, restored to capture its 1790 design, with manicured hedges. Unwind on the outdoor terrace with a fire pit or cool down in the heated pool which overlooks grasslands, trees, and wooded lake.
The Aquitaine region is one of France’s gastronomic epicenters. Each meal, including that for the wedding reception, can showcase these culinary delights, served, of course, with the finest bottles of Saint Emilion, Chateau Margaux and Bordeaux Grand Crus. The ultimate way to celebrate the start of your married life together.
Book your beautiful Bordeaux wedding through Carpe Diem Travel here.