I don’t know why, but I had this idea in my head that I would like to get married in a castle – I guess it’s the Princess in me! Tony was quite happy to humour me, so I spent an inordinate amount of time researching possibilities on the internet. One of the first places I looked at was Kenilworth Castle, a mostly ruined place just down the road from us, which is looked after by English Heritage. Unfortunately this proved to be prohibitively expensive, and with very little choice on when it was available as it’s open to the public. The search net was widened, and I ended up researching castles from the top to the bottom of the UK, and even a few further afield. Believe me, if you ever want to know anything about castle hotels in this country, just ask as there’s a good chance that I’ll know!

We had decided on a small ceremony followed by a big reception/leaving party a few weeks later so that we could celebrate with as many folk as possible whilst keeping the costs down for us and them. I narrowed down the choices for the wedding to two castles of an appropriate size: Rowton Castle near Shrewsbury, and Castle Venlaw near Peebles in Scotland. Venlaw was the perfect size for the number of people we were planning to invite, plus it had two other major advantages over Rowton: a round turret (I did say it was the Princess in me!), and the romantic suite actually being in the turret! Rowton was much closer though, so much more accessible for us and the majority of our guests. Being so much closer meant that it was the first one we visited of the two, and they made us an offer too good to refuse – we had decided to get married on the 21st June for various reasons, and as this was a Monday, it was a much less popular day than the usual weekends that the majority of folk go for. This gave some challenges along the way later, but meant we had terrific bargaining power when if came to agreeing a price!

Of course, once we had decided to go with Rowton Castle for the wedding and had agreed to take the place on for exclusive use, we just had to fill the bedrooms up – after all, they were included! So the wedding party ended up doubling in size, but what the heck.

We did it šŸ™‚

One of our best ideas was going up to stay in the area the day before the wedding so that we wouldn’t be rushed on the big day. We took over all the rooms at the Old Hand and Diamond, a lovely old pub just down the road from Rowton, and had a lovely meal with a lot of our guests coming to join us. The wedding itself went off with only one or two very minor hitches (like me forgetting to bring half of my make-up for the one day I wanted to look my absolute best!), but we had the most wonderful day. Judging by the feedback we had from the friends and family that joined us, so did they! We were blessed with amazing weather, and the staff at Rowton took such good care of us that we really didn’t want to leave… so we didn’t! We stayed for a couple more days after the wedding, which was absolutely wonderful. One of the highlights was breakfast on the patio as the only guests in the castle, a lifestyle that I have to say I could get very used to! If any of you ever fancy a castle wedding, I can highly recommend Rowton Castle – it really is an amazing venue, and more importantly has the most amazing staff.

Big, huge thanks to everyone who came and shared our special day with us – it was absolutely the best day of my life (so far…)! šŸ™‚

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