Its not just princesses who get married in a castle. There are lots of castle wedding venues in Hampshire and Dorset where you can feel like royalty for the day. Castle wedding venues can be set in rooms with rich tapestries, roaring fireplaces and wooden panelling, dark and cosy and perfect for a candlelit banquet. Other castle wedding venues are light and airy, with high ceilings and big arched windows or are rustic, tumble down ruins, with simple stone walls ready for your personalised decorations. Most will have courtyards and balconies, walls and towers to explore, and make beautiful spots for your photos.
Southsea Castle in Portsmouth looks out over the sea, with a black and white lighthouse watching over ships in the Solent. In the heart of Southsea seafront, it’s a great location for a seaside wedding and you can go for photos on the beach and the bandstand. In the summertime the ramparts are a beautiful spot to sit and watch the sun go down over the water, and guests can spill out of the fixed marquee for drinks in the enclosed courtyard. If you are considering Southsea Castle for your wedding venue, I recommend checking out the Friday night Champagne bar on a sunny evening, with chilled out tunes and bubbly, it’s a perfect end to the working week.
At the other end of the seafront, the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth also sits on the seawall, overlooking the entrance to Portsmouth harbour. The archways, steps, walls and tunnels are great for photos, while guests will enjoy looking out to sea from the top of the tower. Inside, the ceremony and reception rooms are cosy and atmospheric.
Another seaside castle wedding venue is Highcliffe Castle near Christchurch and on the edge of the New Forest. A more elegant venue, built in the 19th century, Highcliffe has been restored after fire and offers a bright, light filled ceremony room looking out over the gardens, and a reception room. The castle itself has a dramatic front façade with huge doors and a perfect undercover spot for photos if its rainy. The main spot for photos though is the down on the sandy beach which is easily accessed from the castle grounds.
Lulworth Castle in Dorset is an imposing tall keep set in beautiful countryside by the stunning Jurassic coast. Another old castle restored after a fire, the inside is bright and fresh, with high ceilings, wooden floors and warm stonework. With several big areas inside, the wedding party can move through the different spaces from ceremony to wedding breakfast to evening reception, and there is loads of space outside for drinks in the grounds.
Beaulieu Domus is another consideration if you are looking for a wedding venue with the castle feel. The Domus sits within the ruins of the 800 year old Abbey in the Beaulieu estate in the New Forest. The beamed room, hung with tapestries, has a distinctly medieval feel, and the courtyard and surrounding grounds are pretty and ramshackle. I just love those arches.
What is the best Castle wedding venue? Imagine a deep blue lake, surrounded by rocky mountains and lemon and olive groves. A picture perfect medieval castle perched on the edge of the lake, overlooking the terracotta rooftops of the village it defends. I got married in Malcesine Castle on Lake Garda in Italy and think it was the most perfect wedding venue in the world.
Destination Wedding Photographer Amy Wass- Weddings in Italy, France and Worldwide