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Are you dreaming of a fairytale wedding in a magical location? Do you want to exchange your vows in a beautiful castle, surrounded by breathtaking views and a romantic atmosphere? Or perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the idea of getting married in front of some ancient castle ruins. Well, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll show you the most beautiful castle elopement locations in Europe. So let’s get started!
A castle elopement is a unique and intimate way to get married, surrounded by the rich history and beautiful architecture of a castle. Planning your elopement at a castle can bring in some more traditional wedding feelings, depending on the location you choose, but it can also make your elopement day completely unique and adventurous.
Why You Should Consider a Castle Elopement
Castles are romantic, elegant, and steeped in history. They make the perfect backdrop for a wedding day that’s both unforgettable and intimate. Whether you’re looking for a fairy tale setting or simply want to get away from it all, a castle elopement might be just what you need. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a castle elopement:
Castles are steeped in history and offer a unique setting that’s perfect for couples who love the past. You’ll feel like royalty as you exchange vows in a castle that’s been standing for centuries.
Castles provide a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos. From the grand entrance to the lush gardens and magnificent architecture, you’ll have plenty of options for capturing your special day.
The Best Castle Elopement Locations in Europe
Whether you envision a grand, sprawling castle or a rustic, ancient castle ruin, there are plenty of options available for your elopement. Some castles even offer the option to sleep within the castle’s walls and host your ceremony on the grounds, while others can serve as a picturesque backdrop for a more unconventional ceremony. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the castle of your dreams for your perfect elopement. Here are a few of our top picks:
- Château de Challain, France
- Dunseverick Castle, Northern Ireland
- Bran Castle, Romania
- Castello di Vicarello, Italy
- Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
- Castillo de Belmonte, Spain
- Burg Eltz, Germany
- Ashford Castle, Ireland
- Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
- Killochan Castle, Scotland
- Ice Hotel, Sweden
- Schloss Gabelhofen
- Kronovall Castle, Sweden
- Bamburg Castle, England
The Château de Challain is a dreamy castle that offers a romantic backdrop for elopements and is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. The castle was built in the 19th century and reflects many of that era’s architectural styles, such as elaborate wood carvings, Gothic panelling, and sculptures with religious themes. The estate is beautifully landscaped with statuesque gardens and manicured lawns. The Château de Challain is perfect for couples looking for real a fairytale wedding experience.
The location couldn’t be more romantic. This chateau has a beautiful history and township. The chateau is well cared for, especially the manicured landscapes and beautiful flowers. The bouquet was made from fresh peonies from the garden. I’ve never seen them bloom so big! We would wake up to serenity and birds chirping. Fall asleep to frogs croaking. We even saw a cute little red fox out in the fields. It was a real-life fairytale! The owner/planner Cindy, takes care of absolutely everything! Anything you can dream up, she will make it happen for you! This couple had the most romantic dinner and horse and carriage ride. They also went horseback riding the next day. You don’t have to worry about a thing when you get married there.Kaci Lou Photography
Dunseverick Castle is a great spot for elopements as it’s a beautiful location that is not that crowded compared to other places at the North Coast of Northern Ireland. You have several spots to take photos at such as on top of the hill overlooking the cliffs, in front of the castle ruins or down by one of the little stone beaches. The mixture of rough rocks, the sea and the greens are a gorgeous backdrop for photos.Gina Walkowiak – Photographer
Nestled in the picturesque hills of Transylvania, Bran Castle is a stunningly beautiful fortress that exudes an air of enchantment and romance. With its towering turrets and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, it’s no wonder that this historic landmark has captured the hearts of visitors from around the world. Whether you’re exploring the castle’s winding corridors and hidden passageways or simply gazing out at the breathtaking scenery, Bran Castle is sure to inspire feelings of wonder and romance.
Castello di Vicarello is a restored 12th-century castle that offers stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. It is located in the Tuscan countryside and features elegant rooms and suites, a beautiful courtyard, and a panoramic infinity pool. Castello di Vicarello is perfect for couples looking for a romantic and intimate elopement experience. The castle’s on-site chef prepares delicious Tuscan cuisine using local ingredients, making it a foodie’s paradise.
Located by the picturesque village of Dornie, Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic castles. Gloriously unique and spectacular, Eilean Donan Castle is a feast for the eyes. Built in the 13th century, it features a picturesque setting and stunning views of Loch Duich as well as surrounding mountains and forests. The castle is surrounded by lush green grass and beautiful gardens, making it an ideal location for elopements, couples’ shoots and romantic getaways.
Castillo de Belmonte is a well-preserved medieval castle that dates back to the 15th century and is located in the province of Cuenca. The castle’s Gothic architecture, beautiful gardens and luxurious Mudejar ceilings make it one of the most emblematic buildings in Spain. The castle’s magical atmosphere will make your wedding photos come to life, and its majestic setting makes it the perfect location for a romantic elopement.
Burg Eltz is a truly exceptional destination, steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty. It is one of the most ancient castles in Germany, boasting a rich heritage that spans over 800 years and has been passed down through 33 generations. What sets Burg Eltz apart from other castles is its remarkable preservation – it is one of the very few that has never been destroyed due to war or disaster. As a result, it remains more or less in its original historic state, providing visitors with an authentic glimpse into Germany’s past.
Located in County Mayo, Ashford Castle is a 13th-century castle that sits on the shores of Lough Corrib. The castle has been transformed into a luxury 5* hotel but retains its old-world charm. While Ashford Castle is more popular for more traditional wedding celebrations, they also offer intimate wedding and vow-renewal packages. The castle also features luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and a range of outdoor activities, including fishing, golfing, and tennis.
Neuschwanstein Castle is famous around the world. You might not have heard of it’s name before, but when you see a photo it will look very familiar. And that’s because it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. While it’s not possible to have your elopement inside the castle, you can explore the stunning alpine scenery surrounding it, with epic castle views as your backdrop.
For those seeking a unique and romantic elopement location, Dunluce Castle offers a truly unforgettable experience. Its dramatic cliffside location and stunning views of the North Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect backdrop for a magical and intimate ceremony.
The castle’s rich history and impressive architecture create an atmosphere of grandeur and elegance, transporting couples back in time to an era of chivalry and romance. The various rooms and chambers within the castle offer endless possibilities for photo opportunities, capturing the beauty of the castle and the love between the newlyweds.
Killochan Castle is an exclusive use venue perfect for hosting elopements and intimate weddings. Set amidst ancient woodland, there’s a wonderful sense of privacy and seclusion with incredible grounds. Marriage laws in Scotland mean you can choose the perfect location inside or out for your ceremony and if the weather is bad the castle boasts endless opportunities for portraits inside. The castle has been recently renovated by its owners and offers a number of bedrooms and a wonderful dining room for intimate weddings with a handful of guests.Hannah Hall Beddoe – Photographer
Technically not a castle, but has total castle vibes, the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, is a stunning and unique elopement location. This hotel is made entirely out of ice and snow, providing a magical and romantic atmosphere for your special day. The chapel provides a beautiful backdrop for exchanging your vows, and the hotel offers a variety of accommodations, including luxurious suites and rustic ice rooms. The Ice Hotel is located in the rugged beauty of Sweden’s winter landscape, providing endless opportunities for stunning photos. A stay at the Ice Hotel is a magical, lifetime experience for any couple who elopes there.
Schloss Gabelhofen is a mouted castle in the Upper Styria region of Austria. Now home to a 4-star hotel with beautiful lodgings and a fantastic restaurant, it makes a beautiful setting for an elopement in the Austrian countryside. And accoring to photographer Nataly, the best schnitzel she ever tasted!
Kronovall is a wine castle with an amazing castle garden and surroundings. You’d feel like a prince and princess staying there. The region is called österlen and offers amazing white sandy beaches (why not do the ceremony there?), waterfalls, rolling meadows, art galleries, historical sites, picturesque fishing villages and more.Malin – MA Love Photography
Bamburgh Castle has all the grandeur to uplevel the sense of occasion for your elopement, whilst sitting in the dunes of a wide sandy Northumberland bay. The castle also offers a witness service so you really can keep your elopement a secret. Their weddings are always after the castle is closed to the public, so you have the great hall and battlements to yourselves for a bit of fizz and photos.
Then head down through the dunes for some photos on the beach before heading to the nearest foodie pub or back to you cabin or cottage retreat for a celebratory meal. Or of course in the summer you could always book a private outdoor chef to barbecue up a storm on the beach, or have a picnic. And Northumberland has incredible dark skies to catch the stars, asteroids or even northern lights.Gill – Unfurl Photography
Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Castle Elopement
Now that you know what a castle elopement is and why it’s a great option for your wedding, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to planning the perfect ceremony.
- Choose Your Location
Sometimes couples will choose a country but not a specific location, and get the help of a local photographer or wedding planner to help them find the perfect spot. But if you are dreaming of a castle elopement, then you have possibly already picked your location. You might have already seen a stunning castle that has caught your eye, and you’re now ready to move forward and bring your dreams of a fairytale castle elopement into reality.
- Hire Your Vendors
The first vendors you are likely to reach out to for your elopement are your photographer, and possibly a local wedding planner. If you’re unfamiliar with the area or don’t speak the local language, hiring a wedding planner with experience working in the area can really take the stress away. They can help you navigate the legal requirements, as well as recommend vendors and coordinate logistics between everyone.
In many cases, local elopement photographers may also be able to help you with choosing the perfect location (if you don’t already have one chosen), and can often also assist with recommending other vendors too.
- Get Your Documents in Order
Depending on the country where you plan to get married, and whether you are planning on a legal ceremony, you may need to obtain certain documents. Make sure to research the requirements and obtain the necessary documents.
- Choose Your Attire
Choose your wedding attire that fits the style and theme of your castle elopement. Consider the weather and terrain of the castle location when selecting your attire.
- Write Your Vows
You have the option of writing your own vows or using traditional wedding vows. Consider the setting and theme when choosing your vows.
- Coordinate with vendors
If you plan to have a photographer, florist, or other vendors for your elopement, be sure to coordinate with them well in advance. Castle venues can be popular and may require a longer lead time for booking, so plan accordingly.
With these practical considerations taken care of, you can focus on enjoying your special day in a stunning castle setting.
How to Enhance Your Castle Elopement Experience
If you’re looking to take your castle elopement to the next level, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your special day.
Add a cultural element
Europe is known for its rich history and diverse cultures. Consider incorporating a cultural element into your elopement, such as traditional attire, music, or food. This can make your wedding day even more special and memorable.
Stay in a castle
Why stop at just getting married in a castle when you can stay in one too? Many castles in Europe offer accommodations for weddings and events. Staying in a castle can add an extra level of romance and luxury to your elopement experience.
As you embark on your journey to find the perfect castle elopement location in Europe, you’ll discover a world of enchanting and awe-inspiring possibilities. With a rich history and timeless beauty, each castle tells a story that adds to the magic of your special day. Whether you choose to exchange vows in the grand halls of a fairytale castle or in the intimate gardens of a medieval fortress, the experience will be truly unforgettable.
As you stand in the shadow of ancient stone walls, surrounded by breathtaking views and the essence of old-world romance, you’ll know that you’ve found the perfect place to begin your happily ever after. So, let your love story unfold in one of Europe’s best castle elopement locations, and let the magic of the castle and the memories you create there stay with you for a lifetime.