May 2013 | Ideal Bride Magazine
Highclere Castle is one of England's most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years. As well as being the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Highclere Castle also features as Dowton Abbey, the hugely successful Tv drama.
You enter the Park gates and drive through the undulating, spectacular landscape to arrive eventually in front of a romantic, Victorian Castle. The Saloon, which lies in the heart of the Castle, is licensed for the civil ceremony. Brides can prepare for their wedding in a bedroom in the Castle. The music begins and the bride walks around the Gallery above the guests, before walking down the sweeping Oak Staircase.
The Library in the Castle can seat up to 140 guests for a Wedding Breakfast. If you wish to invite more guests, marquees can be erected adjacent to the Castle to accommodate up to 400 people. The Castle provides a wonderful setting for the wedding ceremony and reception drinks. Even larger marquees are also possible.
The Castle's State Rooms are perfect for your wedding. They offer elegant reception rooms from the Saloon, with its stunning high vaulted ceiling where the wedding ceremony takes place, to the sumptuous Drawing Room and Smoking Room for wedding reception drinks and canapes If the weather permits, the Castle lawns provide a beautiful setting for part of the reception. You may wish your guests to enjoy a guided tour of the Egyptian Antiquities Exhibition in the Castle Cellars during the reception.
Dancing to a band or a disco can take place in the Saloon after supper. The Highclere chefs can provide a late Evening buffet in the Dining Room during the dancing, which also provides a quieter space for your guests to relax during the evening. The Castle provides all the catering for your wedding day by its own in-house team, from the Castle chefs to the Banqueting Managers. The choice of menus reflects the fine dining traditions of the Carnarvon family and dynamic creations from executive chef, Paul Brooke-Taylor.
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