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News and articles from our featured castles.

Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding?

Image courtesy of: Michael Dean of Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding?

Have you considered a traditional Celtic Handfasting ceremony?

A Handfasting ceremony is not recognised as a legal marriage ceremony, however in Scotland, the celebrant is authorised by the Registrar General, so officially recognised for Scottish couples. In the wider community, the handfasting ceremony can be used to strengthen your vows or to show commitment to your married relationship.

Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition that involved tying the hands of the betrothed together. This type of ceremony is very popular in Scotland and Ireland.

The tying together of hands with a ribbon or sash and exchanging of vows is believed to date back to late Medieval times deriving from the Old Norse; hand-festa. Handfasting then represented the betrothal (or engagement to be married) of the intended couple, not the actual marriage itself.

Today the ceremonies are tailored to the wishes of the celebrant couple and can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.

Several of our Scottish and Irish castles are happy to offer this traditional ceremony, which blends nicely with the castle theme.

Featured Castle: Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, ScotlandFeatured Castle: Glenapp Castle, AyrshireScotland

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5-Star Aikwood Tower Celebrates 500th Anniversary - Upto £500 Off 2017 Weddings!!

This exceptional sixteenth century Scottish Castle has been lovingly renovated to accommodate up to ten overnight guests in authentic, relaxing and comfortable surroundings. Aikwood Tower, the former home of Lord Steele, is located just 40 miles south of Edinburgh. It is in the heart of the beautiful Ettrick Forest - the ancient hunting ground of Scottish royalty up to the days of Mary Queen of Scots. The stunning local landscape around Aikwood Tower offers some of the finest shooting and fishing in Scotland, among many other leisure activities.

2017 marks a landmark year for the five-star wedding venue Aikwood Tower, nestled in the heart of the Scottish Borders. It is the 500th anniversary of King James III granting the lands of Aikwood to the Scott family – and it has been owned within the Scott clan since then.

To celebrate the Quincentenary, couples booking a wedding in 2017 will be offered discounts of up to £500 off the standard function hire price. Weddings with up to 30 guests will receive a £250 discount, with £500 off larger weddings of more than 30 guests. Dates are available for 2017 weddings during late summer, autumn and winter.

Owner Vicki Steel said: “This is a very special year for us as we celebrate our 500th anniversary and so we’re looking forward to making new history with this year’s couples. Aikwood is an incredibly beautiful place to say 'I do', and with our dedicated wedding team on hand to put together the wedding beyond dreams, this could be the best year yet for making special memories.”

Aikwood Tower is a perfect marriage of ancient and modern, making it the ideal venue if you’re looking for a unique, intimate Scottish castle wedding with five-star style. Steeped with history and romance, the striking Grade A-listed Scottish tower house is set amongst the peace and tranquility of stunning woodland. It has been sumptuously renovated and restored into five-star boutique accommodation and function spaces, without comprising on the integrity of the original building.

For weddings with a difference, the rustic Cart Shed is a bride’s blank canvass: seating up to 70 guests, its exposed stone walls and wooden beamed ceiling are given a 21st century face-lift with a striking glass frontage, creating a real impact and WOW factor. Whether your wedding style is traditional, rustic, bright & colourful or Hollywood glamour, Aikwood Tower’s Cart Shed can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams. An experienced wedding team is on hand to provide specialist and creative advice on all aspects of the wedding day – from venue styling to lighting, flowers to photographers, drinks to music.

Aikwood Tower is just an hour’s drive from the north of England or south of Edinburgh and is easily accessible by car, train and air.

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Lumley Castle Wedding for Two Package

Located in the North of England, with its stone walls, knights in shining armour and authentic historic feel, Lumley Castle is a truly special option for your big (or little!) day. The packages below are perfect for a wonderful intimate wedding.

The Feature Package 

Feature bedrooms are located both in the courtyard and castle and give you an opportunity to make yous stay extra special. Many of the rooms have four-poster beds, feature baths or you may find little surprises like discovering your bathroom behind the wardrobe door!

The package includes:

Room hire;

Private bar;

Order of the day;

Chair covers;

Use of CD player;

Bottle of Champagne and two engraved flutes;

Overnight accommodation in a Feature bedroom with dinner (allocation of £39 per person);

Full English breakfast the following morning.

Total Price: £850

The King James Package

The King James Suite offers a remarkable experience. The suite includes a magnificent 20ft high four-poster Queen Ann bed and reception room. Formerly the chapel of the castle, it boasts its own lounge area, en-suite bathroom and Jacuzzi bath.​​The package includes the following:

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Thornbury Castle Intimate Wedding for Two Package

Thornbury Castle Hotel resonates with history. But step behind the heavy oak doors and you'll find a magnificent hotel with roaring fires, delicious modern cuisine and sumptuous bedchambers. Perfect for a romantic wedding.

Rich in history and romance...where better to elope to than Thornbury Castle? 

This wonderful wedding for two package includes the following:

Three nights' accommodation in a Deluxe bedchamber;

Breakfast each morning;

Full afternoon tea on your arrival day;

Ceremony hire of the Library on your second day;

A long and low flower arrangement for the registrar's table;

Two witnesses provided for your ceremony;

A bottle of 'house' Champagne to enjoy after your ceremony;

3 course dinner in the Oriel Restaurant on the night of your wedding;

A bottle of Thornbury Castle wine to take home.

Priced at £2,000 Monday - Thursday, subject to date availability.

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Intimate Wedding for Two Package at Glenapp Castle

Glenapp Castle is a luxurious castle hidden on the beautiful Ayrshire coast in Ballantrae, Scotland. It's a truly romantic venue for your special day. 

The romantic 'Wedding For Two' package, detailed below, is ideal for couples wishing to elope for their Big Day. The package includes the following:

- A three night stay in either The Earl of Orkney or Earl of Inchcape 'Master' bedrooms;

- Full Scottish breakfast each morning;

- A three course gourmet dinner on their first and last evening;

- Preparation of the ceremony room;

- A traditional piper for the wedding and reception;

- A master of ceremonies;

- Two glasses of Champagne served with canapés after the wedding ceremony;

- A five course celebration dinner with coffee and petits fours on the evening of the wedding;

- Half a bottle of high quality wine to accompany the meal, per person.

All this and priced at just £2,625.

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Wonderful Wedding for Two Package at Dalhousie Castle, Edinburgh

Dalhousie Castle Hotel is steeped in a wealth of history - indeed Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott have payed visits. The friendly atmosphere of Dalhousie Castle is created by the relationship between the staff, management and guests who aim to make your weddings day a unique and special one. 

Dalhousie Castle Wedding for Two - £1500

'His & Hers' separate Themed Double Rooms for night before the wedding;
2 course meal in Orangery Restaurant on night of arrival;
Full Scottish breakfast each morning;
Wedding ceremony in Castle Chapel;
Two witnesses for ceremony;
Castle piper for ceremony; 
Bottle of Sparkling Wine after ceremony; 
Wedding breakfast in the Dungeon Restaurant;
Themed Suite for wedding night.

Dalhousie Castle 'Luxury' Wedding for Two - £2000

'His & Hers' separate Themed 4 Poster Rooms for night before the wedding;
Afternoon tea on arrival; 
3 course meal in Orangery Restaurant on night of arrival;
Full Scottish breakfast next morning;
Wedding ceremony in Castle Chapel; 
Two witnesses for ceremony; 
Castle piper for ceremony; 
Owl ring delivery during ceremony; 
Bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne after ceremony; 
Wedding breakfast in the Dungeon Restaurant; 
Themed Suite for wedding night; 
Champagne breakfast in bed the next morning.

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Wedding Gift List Idea

Your wedding day is booked. All the big decisions have been made and now it's time to decide on the finer details. One of those is trying to politely steer your guests into purchasing the right gift for you. Well, no need to deliberate any longer; I have the answer! Celtic Castles vouchers are a brilliant present for wedding couples who want a unique and special memory-making gift. The vouchers can be used as part or full payment towards any of the castles featured on our website. You can choose the perfect property for your romantic stay. We have castles located throughout various countries, ranging in price, and they vary greatly in terms of the type of experience they offer, so you're bound to find something that you'll love. 

And aside from being a wonderful present, to purchase the vouchers is all-so-easy. Simply give the link to the Celtic Castles voucher page to your guests, let them know if you'd like a bed and breakfast gift voucher (you can stay at one of 4 selected properties with this voucher) or a monetary one (these denomination vouchers can be used for any of the castles featured on our website), they fill in a form, complete their order and voilà, a voucher purchase is made!

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Why Get Married in a Castle?

For brides-to-be, choosing your wedding location is one of the most important decisions you will make for your "big day"... aside from perhaps choosing your dress and, oh yes, the groom!

So what does a castle have to offer?

For many, marrying in a castle satisfies a childhood dream of being a princess for a day. Most castles offer fabulous backdrops, both inside and out, to frame your perfect day. From turrets to keeps, thrones to great halls, moats to walled gardens, the architecture and history can transport you back to a bygone era in an instant, where lords and ladies sat in waiting for their kings and queens.

Many castles can offer a full destination wedding package, where you say your 'I do's', stage a stunning photo shoot, enjoy a sumptuous wedding breakfast and dance the night the away, before retiring to your bridal suite…..all in the one location. Many castle properties have designated spaces in which they are licensed to conduct wedding ceremonies on site; this may be in a secret chapel, great hall, or perhaps outside on a lawned terrace.

Exclusivity is often of great importance to a bride and groom; they want to enjoy their wedding celebrations in the company of just their special friends and family; castles can often be booked exclusively, meaning that you have the place to yourselves for the duration of your stay... now this really does make you feel like a king and queen!

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Weddings for Two at a Majestic Welsh Castle from just £900

Château Rhianfa stands proudly amidst spectacular gardens on the isle of Anglesey with views over the Menai Strait and the towering peaks of Snowdonia. The château has 22 stunningly decorated rooms, as well as self-catering cottages for additional privacy and seclusion. Six function rooms also make this a superb venue for weddings and corporate events.

Château Rhianfa is a perfect choice for a romantic, intimate wedding. With prices starting from just £900, the 'Wedding for Two' package is competitively priced. 

The 'Wedding for Two' package is competitively priced, starting from £900 and includes the following:

  • Civil ceremony room hire;
  • Champagne afternoon tea;
  • Romantic dinner in one of the castle's many dining venues;
  • Overnight accommodation in a beautiful bedroom;
  • Full Welsh breakfast the following morning.

The above package is based on two guests. Additional guests can be invited to join the bride and groom on their special day and will be charged accordingly.

Other castle wedding opportunities.

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Traditional Scottish Castle Weddings

If you’re in the planning stages for your 'Big Day', then why not consider a traditional Scottish Castle wedding? Scotland is a beautiful country and there is a certain romanticism surrounding it, especially when linked with a castle. Rich in history and steeped in tradition, you can understand its unwavering appeal. 

So, if you’re on the hunt for that perfect property, the one to make your wedding a 'wow', then look no further. We have 2 venues located close to Edinburgh, one of the most popular cities in Europe and each offers brides and grooms the opportunity to have a castle wedding in Scotland

Carberry Tower

The tradition of the property stems from its rich royal history. It dates from the early 16th century and most recently has been the former home of the late Queen Mother's sister. It has also played host to Her Majesty The Queen on numerous occasions.

As well as its royal connections, Carberry Tower's various function rooms, numerous dining packages and range of bedrooms, plus its close proximity to Edinburgh, will tick a lot of boxes for those couples looking to get married in a castle. 

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Castles available to book through Celtic Castles

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