Congratulations on your engagement! We hope you will have visited our website because you are interested in having your wedding here at the Castle, but perhaps you do not know where to start with the planning process? Well read on to find out all you need to know about planning your perfect wedding day at Highcliffe Castle.
The first thing to consider, and arguably the most important, is the ceremony part of the day. With seating for up to 110 guests, our light and airy Wintergarden is the perfect room for you to say your vows in; it is surrounded by the neatly kept parterre area featured in the image above.
Then you step inside the wonderful Wintergarden, and its onto decorations. You will be able to see these on your show round appointment; the team have provided two fresh green and cream floral displays, alongside a hurricane lantern display and outside flowers, that dress the steps leading to your grand entrance inclusive in the ceremony price; then any additional decorations after that are completely up to you to decide upon. Popular additions that couples have added to the Wintergarden include: floral archways, chair sashes/drapes, tea light lanterns and floor runners.
Then it is onto what will accompany your special ceremony music wise, this is another essential element of your ceremony to plan. You will need to select three pieces of music, pieces for both the bridal party entrance and then your exit as a married couple, alongside a piece to play during the signing of the registrar. We provide a high quality sound bar to play your music through, which provides the perfect acoustics, to play any song of your choice; just make sure you nominate a responsible member of your wedding party to operate it! If however you would prefer a live music accompaniment, then why not take advantage of our baby grand piano? The piano is tuned before every wedding or a lovely alternative to a pianist, is to hire a string quartet or harpist.
Once you have said ‘I Do’ you will head out onto the lawns to enjoy your after ceremony drinks and canapés. This is also the perfect time for you as the newly married couple to enjoy some peace together and head off into the nature reserve/woodland area, located within a stone’s throw of the Castle or down to the picturesque Highcliffe Castle beach to capture some beautiful and unique wedding photographs.
So you are now married and hopefully you will also have chosen to follow with your wedding reception in our historic Grade 1 listed Castle. When deciding on which room to pick for your wedding breakfast, you will need to consider the following; are we wanting a classical Castle wedding or are we looking to create a more intimate atmosphere for our wedding day?
If it’s the former, then our Great Hall is likely to be the ideal room for you both. With the spectacular 30ft stained glass Jesse window as the backdrop for your top table, the grandeur of the Great Hall is definitely something that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime.
However, if the latter is more suited to the style of your day, then our Dining Room is the perfect choice. With its exposed brickwork and stunning views of the Isle of Wight, the Dining Room creates the most delightfully warm and relaxed environment.
So now you know which room your wedding breakfast will be in, you will need to decide on the perfect menu to accompany it. We have handpicked four excellent caterers for you to choose from, with each being suited to a variety of tastes and styles. Whether you are looking for a delicious home-style BBQ, a traditional three-course option or a creative dining experience, we have a caterer who can provide it.
Once you have selected your food you will need the drinks to go with it. You have two choices; you can opt for our Castle drinks package which gives each guest a glass of fizz after the ceremony, half a bottle of house white or red wine with the meal and a glass of fizz for the toasts. This covers the key moments throughout the day, and with the bar open from 16:00, your guests are welcome to purchase additional drinks for themselves. If you would prefer to provide your own alcohol then you can always opt to pay a corkage fee. You can then provide as much beer, fizz, wine and soft drinks as you like: this will be served from after your ceremony to the end of your wedding breakfast.
Once the meal is completed it will be time to dance the night away in our Drawing Room. Hire a DJ or live band of your choice and decorate with fairy lights and a dance floor to create a superb party experience. Carriages will be called for 23:00, unless you have decided to extend the hire of the wedding suite until midnight to keep the dancing going.
So that’s it, our guide to planning your perfect wedding at Highcliffe Castle. If you haven’t already, why not book a show round and see the Castle in person. After all, it is one thing to read about it but it’s another to see it for yourselves. Appointments are available on Fridays and Saturdays with a member of our dedicated weddings team.
Get in touch today to request a booking.
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