Thursday, November 29, 2007

Castle Weddings in California


Looking for a fairy-tale wedding? Don't be shy, of course you are. Of course, one woman's fairy-tale wedding might be different from another woman's fairy-tale wedding, but, for many women a fairy-tale wedding has to involve a castle. And a horse-drawn carriage would be nice, too.

But, let's face it, most castles are located in Europe, and the costs of a European wedding add up quickly. So, what's a gal to do who wants a castle wedding in California? We have a few suggestions for you.

The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest is a private estate located about fifty miles from San Diego, between San Diego and Los Angeles, and comes complete with Guinevere's Castle and Merlin's Tower, not to mention swans, ponds and a secret garden. (And, no, it's not the above photo) Not only are you able to get married in a castle, but you're in a great spot in southern California to enjoy some things which are quintessential California: the wineries of nearby Temecula, beaches which are relatively close by, and hot air ballooning over some of the prettiest scenery in Southern California.

Getting married in The Enchanted Forest is a fairy tale wedding with great photo ops as well, with a bridge, lake and waterfalls. And, if you like grand entrances (this is a fairy-tale wedding after all), you can choose a wedding package which allows you to make your entrance by a horse-drawn carriage.

The owners of the estate only allow several marriages on the castle grounds each season, so if this appeals to you, contact them as soon as possible. You can get more info by emailing them at info@enchantedforestweddings.com or call 760-451-8683. I believe they allow weddings May through October, but they can give you more detailed info.

Other California Castles to Consider for Weddings:

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Disneyland

I'm going to be perfectly honest. Getting married at an icon of childhood doesn't appeal to me. But, it certainly does appeal to a lot of women, as getting married at Disneyland is quite a popular wedding destination. And, yes, you can arrive in a horse-drawn carriage - Cinderella's Coach. If the idea of getting married at Sleeping Beauty's Castle lights your fire (see above photo), then go for it. But, do it early as the Castle is reserved months ahead. (Photo by Jessie Barber, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessiebarber/815241825/ , under a Creative Commons License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en )

Castle Green - Pasadena

Is it really a castle? Well, maybe not, but it's called "Castle Green" and that's good enough for me. And, it too is popular for a wedding venue, as well as a setting for numerous film projects shooting in the Pasadena area. It was built in 1898 (old by California standards) to serve as the annex for the famous Hotel Green, and is a seven-story structure built in the Moorish Colonial and Spanish style. It's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you choose this venue you will enjoy Victorian interiors, a ballroom to accomodate 425 people standing or dancing, 220 if seated, as well as a venue close to Old Town Pasadena, which is a perfect base for out-of-town guests. If you want something smaller and cozier, you can also choose their Sunroom for you and a few guests. For more info you can email them at events@castlegreen.com.

"The Castle" at Ledson Winery - Sonoma County

Did you think I'd forget about Northern California? Here's another venue which isn't really a castle, but is built in the French Normandy style, and known in the area (and the world they say) as "The Castle." The 16,000 square foot building, just an hours drive from San Francisco, houses the Ledson Winery and, if you are a wine club member, available for private events such as weddings. Don't worry, if you become a wine club member you aren't signing up to drink crappy wine you ordinarily wouldn't buy. Ledson wines are fabulous! You'll be doing yourself a favor by trying this wine. Once you try it you will have it again and again. For more info on joining the wine club and reserving your space in "The Castle," go to ledson.com.
As you will see if you read the comment that accompanies this post, Ledson Winery no longer hosts weddings. I emailed the events person at Ledson (through their contact email on their website) to check on this, but my email came back as "udeliverable." Thank you to the commenter for bringing this to my attention.

Hearst Castle - San Simeon, CA

Almost forgot Hearst Castle. I have a separate page on weddings at Hearst Castle, along with a YouTube video at http://californiaweddings.blogspot.com/2007/08/hearst-castle-wedding.html, but here's some basic information. Yes, you can have weddings at Hearst Castle. but it will it'll cost you $7,500 to reserve the Castle for 1 to 50 people for up to 3 hours, $15,000 for parties larger than 50 people or for weddings lasting longer than 3 hours.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

The Ledson Winery no longer does weddings. :(

Lobo Castle said...

If you are looking for a real fairytale Castle Wedding check out the Lobo Castle in the Santa Monica Mountains just minutes away from Malibu. It is truly a Castle with 3 stone towers and beautiful stone archways. www.lobocastle.com

Rental of the venue is $5000 and they do their own in house catering using produce grown right on the property.