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7 Castles That Will Make Your Fairy-Tale Wedding Dreams Come True

Have you always dreamed of tying the knot in a fairy-tale castle? Perhaps the current situation with traveling restrictions has inhibited your destination wedding goals. Here’s a bit of great news: castle weddings are possible stateside—as it turns out, there is no need to cross the Atlantic to find a big-day location fit for royalty. These historic buildings, with their grand facades, intricate stonework, and sweeping surroundings, rival their European counterparts, delivering romance without the need to touch down on distant shores. An added bonus? Family and guests won’t need their passports or the added cost of international travel. With locations dotted all over the North American map, it’s even possible to find a drive-to destination. Check out this list of venues that includes castles of all styles, antiquity, and perhaps just the right fairy-tale “I do” setting for you.

Castle Ladyhawke

Tuckasegee, North Carolina

The dream of a fairy-tale wedding is likely set as every great fairy-tale is—at an enchanting castle nestled in the forest. Castle Ladyhawke is just such a place. Formerly a private estate sitting atop the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it now serves as one of the most alluring special events venues in the South. Castle Ladyhawke was designed and constructed by Kim Nord, influenced by her many visits to Scotland throughout her lifetime.

Nord astonishes by successfully capturing all of the essence and medieval charm of an authentic Scottish Border Castle. Using only the finest red oak from the estate, native stone, and reclaimed stained glass, construction completed on this renowned, palatial estate in 2005. The cathedral’s grand hall boasts hand-hewn beams, and the whimsical three-story spiral staircase in the turret leads guests to a pinnacle peak with breathtaking views overlooking the Tuckasegee River. Guests will enjoy exclusive use of the grounds the day of, including three lavish bedroom suites for preparation. With this merging of old-world charm combined with every amenity of modern luxury, your wedding will look like it is lifted straight out of a storybook.

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Indoor and Outdoor Venue
  • Mountain and River View
  • 125 Guest Capacity

For more information, visit castleladyhawke.com.

 

Boldt Castle

Alexandria Bay, New York

The Thousand Island region in upstate New York is like a fairy-tale, and the storybook charm of Boldt Castle on Heart Island proves it! Accessible only by water, this picturesque German-style castle is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in New York.

Built at the turn of the century by George Boldt, owner of the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel, he spared no expense when designing this grandiose structure as a display of his love for his wife, Louise. Surrounding the 19th century home are meticulous gardens and a prime courtyard allowing couples to make the grand entrance that every bride dreams of on their wedding day.

Details:

  • Ceremony Only
  • Outdoor Venue
  • Waterfront View
  • Up to 150 guests

For more information, visit: boldtcastle.com.

 

 

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Dream of tying the knot in a fairy-tale castle? Check out this list of venues that includes castles of all styles, antiquity, and perhaps just the right “I do” setting for you.

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Louisiana Old State Capitol

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

There is no shortage of beauty at the Old Louisiana State Capitol! Located in the heart of Baton Rouge on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, this 160-year-old Gothic architectural treasure is the perfect location to live out your royal wedding fantasies.

Once housing the Louisiana legislature, it now serves double duty as a historical museum and host to some of the city’s most celebrated events. Famous for its winding grand staircase and majestic stained-glass rotunda—guests will be spoiled with photo ops as they dance the night away in a vaulted ballroom fit for a whimsical affair.

 

 

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Indoor Venue
  • Formal Ballroom
  • City and River Views
  • 300+ guest capacity

For more information, visit: louisianaoldstatecapitol.org.

Hearst Castle

San Simeon, California

The world-famous Hearst Castle or, more formally, “La Cuesta Encantada” (The Enchanted Hill) is an architectural gem. Built for publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, this castle incorporates designs from Southern Europe with Moorish elements located on the central Californian coastline. In 1919, Hearst hired architectural pioneer Julia Morgan (California’s first licensed female architect), and over 20 years, they worked in close collaboration to create this iconic, romantic landmark that all the rich and famous flocked to see in the Hollywood glamour heyday.

Hearst Castle has a total of 42 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres with lush tropical gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and during Hearst’s lifetime, the world’s largest private zoo. Even though there are numerous hoops to jump through to secure this venue, if you persevere, you and your guests will have an unforgettable celebration under the twinkling San Simeon stars.

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Indoor and Outdoor Venue
  • Ocean View
  • Historical Tour
  • 250+ Guest Capacity

For more information, visit: hearstcastle.org.

Rosecliff

Newport, Rhode Island

Rosecliff Mansion is one of those places that steals your heart the second you lay eyes on it. With its elegant ballrooms and heart-shaped staircase, this national landmark is an enchanting setting that will transport you back in time and let you live like Gatsby for a day.

Modeled after the Grand Trianon in Versailles, it channels old-world class with its French baroque revival architecture and sprawling grounds embodying everything the gilded age represented. Completed in 1902 for Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs, Rosecliff was the site of many lavish social events along with countless film appearances such as The Great Gatsby. Whether you are having an intimate wedding or a grand extravaganza, Rosecliff is the ideal destination for your wedding celebration.

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Indoor and Outdoor Venue
  • Formal Ballroom
  • Waterfront Views
  • 300+ Guest Capacity

For more information, visit: newportmansions.org.

 

Iolani Palace

Honolulu, Hawaii

As the only official royal castle on American soil, Iolani Palace is one of the most revered and recognizable landmarks in all of Hawaii. Built in 1882 by King David Kalakaua as a symbol of promise for the Hawaiian Kingdom, it’s considered the most beautiful example of American Florentine architecture in the world.

Iolani Palace was so advanced for its day, it had electricity even before the White House! Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, you’ll feel like you’re in line for the throne just by walking the grand halls and expansive grounds of tropical landscaping. So, even though this venue may require some extra traveling arrangements, an added bonus of booking this fairy-tale location is that you can combine it with a romantic Hawaiian honeymoon!

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Outdoor Venue
  • Garden Views
  • 300+ Guest Capacity

For more information, visit: iolanipalace.org.

 

Cherokee Castle & Ranch

Sedalia, Colorado

Named the jewel of the Rockies, Cherokee Castle & Ranch sits on a perch high above thousands of acres in a hidden and exclusive sanctuary just 30 minutes outside of Denver. Part Downton Abbey, part Black Stallion ranch, the 1450s Scottish-style castle, was built in the 1920s by one of Denver’s most famous early land developers, Carl Johnson.

Renowned for its sweeping views from Pikes Peak to the Denver skyline, Cherokee Castle is regarded as having the most romantic sunsets in all of Colorado. This place is the perfect balance of beauty and character, complete with gargoyles and tiny winding staircases that will take you back in time while still providing a true taste of the Colorado mountains.

Details:

  • Ceremony and Reception
  • Indoor and Outdoor Venue
  • Mountain Views
  • Up to 150 guests

For more information, visit: cherokeeranch.org.

Whether your vision of a fairy-tale wedding is a castle nestled in the beauty of the outdoors or a fortress with a ballroom awaiting your first dance, the wedding venue of your dreams awaits you!

[Still waiting on the engagement? Don’t miss this new episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast: Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set a Date? With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 140!]

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Tanja Maduzia has always been a creator. She jokes that “you'd be hard-pressed to find another 8-year-old who took sidewalk chalk art and crafting projects during rainy-day recess more serious than me." Taking that passion into adulthood she is the go-to celebrity invitation designer for high profile, luxurious events, and influential clients through her company By Tanja.

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