Magical Castle Winter Wedding Venues in the UK and Ireland
Why choose to have a winter wedding?
People sometimes imagine castles are cold in the winter-time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Those thick, ancient stone walls are perfect for retaining the heat and there’s nothing like relaxing by the warmth of a giant, open fireplace.
Summertime may bring sunshine and bouquets of roses but winter can conjure up romantic, moonlit moments, spectacular winter wonderland settings and the cosiness of a roaring log fire. Here are just some of the ways in which we think winter weddings are something special.
Festive weddings: magic, sparkle and colour statements
As Christmas approaches, you could use this to enhance your own theme. Alongside traditional decorations, create a winter wonderland adding a white-carpeted aisle dotted with pine cones and holly, frost-tinged evergreen foliage sprinkled with flowers of gold and silver for table centrepieces and plenty of sparkling jewels throughout your own wedding attire.
Rich colours and brighter hues contrast perfectly against cool, wintry settings; from shade of reds from crimson to berry and burgundy, or emerald to forest green. A richly-hued bouquet looks show-stopping against a white wedding dress.
Winter wedding drinks will warm up guests
Guests will be delighted by a warm drink after the ceremony and there’s lots of choice - mulled wine, warm cider or hot chocolate. Continue the theme into your wedding reception with classic Christmas tipples, perhaps mimosas or cranberry whiskey sours. Later on, give golden cocktails a splash of colour with a sugar-frosted trio of berries and an evergreen leaf.
Winter wedding food for comfort and nostalgia
Who doesn’t love winter food? Real comfort food can help everyone relax and evoke contented chatter from even the quietest of wedding guests. Serve soul-warming cuisine reminiscent of home-cooked food; think short-crust meat pies, with mash and seasonal veg topped off with mouthwatering sponge and custard. Or, opt for rich, creamy pasta dishes followed by wintry-looking desserts such as meringue or cheesecake dusted in icing sugar. When the weather is cold outside, we’re sure there’ll always be room for a final mince pie and Irish coffee, too!
Embrace winter weather and dark evenings
As darkness engulfs a winter’s day, let your wedding sparkle into life with clusters of fairy lights or cultivate a romantic atmosphere with lanterns or candles. If you opt for a winter wedding you’ve likely already accepted that the weather will be colder, but use this to your advantage. In summer, many brides struggle in heavy, layered dresses, but in winter your wedding dress can be as elaborate as you want without being uncomfortable. Thick, beaded bodices and netted petticoats become a breeze. Add a luxurious faux fur cape to embrace the outdoor chill.
Winter wedding availability from Celtic Castles
Now that we’ve given you some inspiration and hopefully encouraged you to opt to hold your wedding at this beautiful time of year, read on to discover our handpicked selection of castles that we think are simply perfect for a winter wedding.
This ancient fortress creates a magnificent backdrop to an intimate winter wedding with its two or three-nights’ luxury self-catered stay for up to 14 guests. Exclusive use includes lashings of medieval ambiance to create your very own winter’s tale.
Committed to designing bespoke weddings tailored to you and your favoured few guests, the castle offers any type of wedding breakfast from a simple buffet to a lavish feast. Imagine mouthwatering food piled high on shimmering serving platters, wine flowing into glass goblets across a long oak table of dramatic floral centrepieces all set against exposed stone walls.
Softly-lit candelabras and original arched doorways create intimacy whilst Co Galway’s rolling hills and panoramic countryside offer endless winter wedding photo opportunities.
Belle Isle Castle
The sprawling 17th century country manor-style castle sits peacefully on the Upper Lough Erne, the tower at one end of the building reaches up to rival the tall trees of its ethereal wintry backdrop. Large bay windows look onto an atmospheric terrace area enclosed by a low stone wall, where, as daylight fades, you and your wedding guests can watch the sunset across the water and the ancient hills of Fermanagh.
This exclusive-use winter wedding venue of immense character offers three nights in 14 beautiful bedrooms and a five-course wedding breakfast for 30 to 60 guests in the magnificent Grand Hall. Guests receive wine with the meal, a glass of Champagne and private use of the estate; the castle’s personal island.
The charming exterior of small turrets before a crenellated tower, combined with elegant, luxurious interiors – including a sweeping staircase and crystal chandeliers – ensures a picture-perfect intimate winter wedding for up to 28 guests. Nestled in the heart of Speyside, Rothes Glen boasts mesmerising views towards the dramatic, mountainous Cairngorms.
Exclusive use offers a choice of stunning outdoor and indoor ceremony spaces, a bridal suite (with wet room), and a cream tea or dram on arrival. The internationally-renowned castle chef creates an enviable wedding breakfast and a dedicated team recommends a host of suppliers. Fourteen sumptuous bedrooms, featuring large bathrooms with underfloor heating and a personal gift for guests, are beautifully decorated. This is truly a very welcoming place.
If a marriage of traditional character and sleek, contemporary luxury, with spectacular views and a unique ambiance, are your winter wedding venue must-haves, then Roch Castle could be ‘the one’. Designed to host small weddings up to twelve guests, this 12th century castle - impeccably decorated and abound in history - sits atop a volcanic rock formation overlooking the magnificent Pembrokeshire countryside.
Exclusive use over two-nights in deluxe bedrooms, includes breakfast, a toasting glass of Champagne and a wedding coordinator. (An additional 30 evening guests could be accommodated if required.) Create your dream winter wedding within ancient castle walls accented with moments of peace, comfort and joy. Lose yourselves in tranquil estate walks, far-reaching views from the Sun Room’s alfresco viewing platform and deep, cosy sofas.
If a pretty, fairytale, winter wonderland positioned conveniently close to central travel links are wedding venue must-haves, then Cringletie could be your ideal match. Situated in 28 acres of dramatic landscape framed by dense forest, its stone walls reach up to a castellated outline and tiny turrets that house 13 beautifully-appointed bedrooms. Designed for either an intimate midweek gathering from 6 to 20 guests or an exclusive use weekend wedding from 40 to 70 guests, Cringletie’s package includes a Master of Ceremonies, ceremony room hire, two glasses of Champagne, a fine dining three-course wedding breakfast, half a bottle of house wine with the meal and a glass of Champagne for the toast.
Another perfect place to hold an elopement and situated in the stunning setting of Dartmoor National Park, the grand Bovey Castle’s traditional, characterful interior boasts plenty of space to make your wedding day feel like a totally private affair.
Ideal for a winter wedding, owing to its spectacular landscaped grounds, large roaring fires and cosy candle lit nooks, the package includes exclusive use of the Library for hosting your civil ceremony, two witnesses, bottle of Champagne, a selection of canapés and a private three-course tasting menu.
Stepped in history, moody and opulent, and just twelve miles from Scotland’s capital, the far-from-the-norm Borthwick Castle offers something truly special. Sumptuous furnishings, gilded mirrors and elaborate chandeliers provide a dramatic yet intimate winter wedding setting for up to 26 guests.
Made for romance, the castle has been extensively renovated with intricate detail and showcases a host of gloriously-designed rooms draped in the finest fabrics and boasting the richest colours. With its rustic, homely ambience portrayed through wooden furnishings and atmospherically-lit spaces, Borthwick seems ‘at one’ with its peaceful, rural location.
Private castle hire includes use of the twelve ornately-furnished bedrooms, public rooms and the top-floor Garrison for your ceremony. Wedding breakfast options are flexible, from banquets to barbecues.
Hedingham Castle - Elopement Package
An idyllic, private wedding retreat, the uniquely historic Hedingham Castle provides the perfect setting for a ‘wedding for two’ elopement. Set in classical sweeping parkland and surrounded by enchanting woodland and beautifully landscaped gardens, it is just over an hour from the city of London.
The generous package includes sole use of the castle and grounds, a wedding night in the richly, regally-designed Royal Chamber with a welcoming bottle of Champagne and chocolates, followed by a continental breakfast for two - plus the gorgeous gesture of a locally-crafted seasonal bouquet!
Also included is use of Garden Cottage for pre-wedding preparations, witnesses, Champagne reception drinks, a wedding coordinator and up to four additional ceremony and drinks reception guests.
Chateau Rhianfa - Elopement Package
What could be more romantic than tying the knot in a castle that was built as a gift to a Lady from her husband and inspired by their châteaux stays in France’s exquisite Loire Valley? With their special elopement package, elegant Chateau Rhianfa, situated on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey overlooking the Menai Strait in North Wales, would welcome you both with a Champagne afternoon tea and offer two-nights in a luxurious suite followed by a traditional Welsh breakfast.
With a generous allowance towards your wedding breakfast and accompanying wine, the package also includes ceremony room hire, ivory chair covers and a romantic restaurant dinner with a bottle of premium wine on your first night at the castle.
Cromlix - Elopement Package
Situated near Edinburgh, this warmly-decorated building boasts a tranquil spot for a winter ‘wedding for two’, with its three-night-stay package in a luxury suite followed by a full Scottish breakfast. Known for its decadent cuisine, Cromlix offers a varied dining experience, from a three-course seasonal dinner on the first and last evening to an opulent five-course private wedding breakfast with coffee and petit-fours.
Enjoy hire of the historic, candlelit chapel, a floral arrangement, a bottle of Champagne served with post-ceremony canapés, house wine to accompany the meal plus a traditional piper. Ample photo opportunities range from the wild, ethereal backdrop of the castle’s very own loch to the pretty castle facade, lit by a myriad of atmospheric lighting once daylight fades.
Over to you…
We hope you have found our reasons to have a winter wedding appealing, and our recommended castles have given you a taste of what’s on offer. Please visit our wedding venue pages for a full list of castle wedding venues or if you would like to speak to us directly, our friendly, knowledgeable team of independent castle wedding experts is available 7 days a week.