Castle Westenhanger Elopement

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If couples possess a deep-seated passion for the mystique of ancient ruins and find themselves irresistibly drawn to the allure of English history, then they’re in for a grand treat! Behold, the Castle Westenhanger – a jewel among Kent’s most enchanting wedding venues. Steeped in centuries of stories and imbued with a palpable air of romance, it beckons couples to step into a realm of regal dreams.  Here, history and your love story intertwine, creating a tapestry of memories that will last a lifetime.

The Story Behind the Castle Westenhanger Elopement

During Covid, my friends and I had no work.  As a wedding consultant at The Wedding Owl I had been watching tiny weddings grow in popularity in Australia and America, so I proposed to my girlfriend we set up elopements.  We persuaded Glow, who manages the Castle, to allow us to offer tiny weddings Monday to Wednesday in the Summer and Monday to Thursday in the Winter.  

After submitting heaps of Risk Assessments, we married our first couple, Daisy & Keith, the day after the COVID restrictions were lifted.   Rhyain & Shykul were our 21st wedding and married on Thursday, 3rd March 2022.  They were legally married by Kent County Council in the Castle.  Myself and the Venue Manager, Tania Meads, were the witnesses.

We don’t met couples before their wedding – they complete an on line form, so this is all we knew about Rhyain & Shykul before we met them “To let you know a little about us, we are an interracial couple (English and Bengali) who had our Nikah (religious ceremony) three years ago. We are the best of friends who culturally have had totally different upbringings, yet we share something very special. Having said this, we aim to have an intimate wedding for just us as a couple before we start a family. We love combining our cultures and would be looking for a boho meets regal style! As a heads up, we have decided not to bring witnesses and therefore would really appreciate any support you can provide. With regards to food, there isn’t anything we don’t eat apart from pork and therefore would opt for the afternoon tea over the antipasto”. 

Afternoon tea setup for an elopement wedding at Castle Westenhanger
Photo by Fleur Challis Photography

What truly sets Rhyain & Shykul apart is how they epitomise a dream couple’s essence. From the very start, it was evident that they shared an extraordinary vision for their elopement – one filled with deep meaning and profound love. Their decision to invite Tania, the venue manager, and I to be their legal witness was a testament to their genuine connection and that they didn’t need or want any family or friends around them.  As best friends and devoted soulmates, their bond is a shining example of what it means to cherish and support one another truly. 

Their meticulously tailored and custom-created outfits added to the enchantment of their elopement. Every detail, from the fabric to the design, was thoughtfully chosen to reflect their personalities and their special day. It was a visual manifestation of their commitment to making this moment uniquely their own, so much so we were blown away when helping Shykul into her dress.

Their elopement was not just a celebration of their love but a testament to the depth of their connection and their unwavering commitment to one another. It was an honour to witness and be a part of their extraordinary journey and one we will both never forget.

Bengali wedding at Castle Westenhanger in Kent
Photo by Fleur Challis Photography

Why Should Couples Consider Castle Westenhanger For Their Elopement?

The Castle’s ancient stones echo the whispers of centuries gone by, setting the stage for a legendary wedding, no matter how tiny. From the moment couples step through its gates, they will, like royalty, be ready to embark on their fairy tale wedding.  Then for those seeking an ultimate intimate and romantic castle escapement, nestled within the Castle is the Dovecote – now licenced for tiny weddings. This is a charming, cosy and unique location for elopements, as no one Dovecote is ever the same.

What’s The Process To Get Married At Castle Westenhanger?

To book an elopement at the licensed to marry, Castle Westenhanger, all the couple has to do is:

1. Reserve a date with team E-Lope (they just need 32 days or more notice)

2. Choose between a daytime or a romantic twilight elopement package

3. Complete E-Lope’s online form and pay the retainer, and four weeks before their elopement, pay their final balance

4. Pay Kent County Council their deposit and visit their local council’s ceremony team, and then the final balance for the legal marriage

5. Curate their Pinterest Board and share it with team E-Lope

6. Create a Spotify list of music that is not allowed to be religious

7. Select their wedding rings and outfits

8. Turn up on the day at the allocated time.

Can You Elope sustainably At Castle Westenhanger?

The Castle Westenhanger is managed sustainably, but team elope also create the couple’s elopement in the most sustainable manner possible.  Couples can arrive by train and walk to the Castle.  We repurpose flowers during the event and make our own confetti from the spent flowers.  There is no food waste as everyone loves Hanna’s (Full Plate Catering Food)!

Top tips for planning an elopement at the Castle Westenhanger 

Be Honest About What You Want

Don’t hesitate to tell your vendor team exactly what you’re dreaming of. At team E-Lope, that enables us to create a personalized experience that reflects your unique love story

Consider Video as well as Photography

With Castle Westenhanger’s stunning and picturesque settings, investing in a videographer ensures that you not only have exceptional photos but also cinematic, high-quality visuals that will help to capture your unforgettable day and will also be great for sharing your magical moment.

Don’t Overlook What You’ll Do Afterwards

Think about what they are going to do after their elopement.  This might include going away or staying at a really lovely local hotel such as the Pig at Bridge 

What advice would you give someone Who is considering a micro-wedding?

Based on my twenty years delivering weddings, large and small,  my advice when planning a tiny wedding is to;

Follow Your Hearts: The decision to elope should come from the heart.  Couples should trust their instincts and choose a path that feels right for them both. This is their day, so it should reflect their loves and desires.

Communication is Key: Open and honest communication is crucial. The couple should discuss their elopement plans openly, addressing each other’s wishes, expectations, and concerns. Elopements are often about simplicity and intimacy, so being on the same page throughout the process is essential.

Select a Meaningful Location: The couple should choose a location that holds personal significance, whether it’s a favorite spot or a destination that they have always dreamed of visiting. The location or type of venue should resonate with their love story.

Create Personal Vows: If couples don’t want the legal aspect to be over too quickly and they want to personalize the event I would always recommend writing personal vows that express their feelings and commitment to each other. This is a moment to speak from the heart and make any wedding no matter how big or small truly unique.

Consider Loved Ones: While eloping is often an intimate affair, couples should consider inviting a few family members or close friends (an elopement is usually classified as up to ten people),  if it’s important to them as having them there can add a meaningful touch without compromising the intimacy of the moment.

Enjoy the Journey: The elopement planning process should be enjoyable, not stressful, so we say to all our couples to embrace the adventure.

Share the News Thoughtfully: When sharing their elopement news with family and friends, couples should do so with sensitivity and love. Explaining their reasons for choosing an elopement.  

Finally, we all say is, ” Remember, it’s your big, little day.  This is a moment to celebrate your love, in a way that’s authentic to your unique relationship and we can’t wait to share it with you x” 

Vendor Credits

Photographer: Fleur Challis Photography
Event Venue: The Castle Westenhanger
Bakery: Cobi & Coco
Event Planner & Stylist: E-lope
Florist: Mimi Fleur
Catering: Touchays

The Photos

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