Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn & Winter at the Castle


As we approach the winter season, we can once more look forward to a totally different wedding at the Castle. With the roaring fires, mulled wine and beautifully lit candles adorning our Great Hall, the autumn/winter season is a romantic and magical time of year.
 

 
As the leaves begin to fall, and the days become shorter and shorter, the Castle transforms into a rich and vibrant venue, the perfect place to share your dream wedding.
 
 
Gone are the days when summer weddings are the most sought after, indeed we now find our autumn months just as popular. The vivid autumnal colours, and the stark white frosts of winter create a magical setting to say ‘I do’.
 
 
Here are some reasons why we love our upcoming season at the Castle:
         Without the pressures of needing a perfect sunny day (as is often the way in the summer), you can relax knowing that The Great Hall and Drawing Rooms are just as spectacular as our Grounds & Gardens. The huge roaring fires in all our rooms create a beautifully cosy and intimate setting.
         The catering choices for autumn and winter are endless with stews, dumplings, pies and soups being a fabulous and warming treat for your guests. Why not try mulled cider, or toffee apples for extra fun!
         The smells of cinnamon and spice heighten the autumnal ambience and create a cosy and comforting feel to your special day.
         Why not consider a dusk wedding, creating a wonderfully atmospheric experience for you and your guests. Choose warm candles and fairy lights to enhance the mood.
         Branches, twigs and even small trees can make fantastic decorative centre pieces, using russet leaves and berries to really make a statement.
         The Castle is a photographer’s dream, and with the cold frosts and magical mists that descend, they are sure to capture some breath-taking shots for you to treasure forever.
         The festive period is always a popular time to get married and the Castle is the most splendid venue for a Christmassy experience with our 12 ft tree decorating the Great Hall.
 



For more information regarding weddings at Berkeley Castle, please see our website www.berkeleycastleweddings.co.uk or email us at weddings@berkeley-castle.com

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ever wondered why the bride wears a veil...?

The British love their traditions, and this is no more apparent than during a wedding. It would seem that many of the little details that make up your special day actually have an historic reason and are rituals that have spanned centuries. Here are a few traditions, some you may not even be aware of.

Your father ‘giving you away’
This significant part of your day stems back to the Ancient Romans where arranged marriages were the norm, and fathers literally handed their daughters over to their new husbands. Usually a dowry was given as exchange for the bride. These days, it is still seen as a symbolic and highly emotive part of the ceremony.


Wearing a veil
While many people believe that wearing a veil was seen to ward off evil spirits (and this is a correct assumption), there is actually another far more controversial explanation. It is thought that a veil was worn to cover the bride’s face so her groom could not be ‘put off’ by her potentially unfortunate looks and refuse to marry her. It does beg the question as to why the groom didn’t have to wear a veil too!!
 
 

Where to stand
The groom traditionally stands to the right of the bride so that he can draw his sword at a moment’s notice to defend his love. Thankfully, this rarely happens in the 21st Century!

 
Confetti
Throwing confetti over the bride & groom is a fun part of the wedding day and can make for brilliant photos, but it was originally thought to encourage fertility and prosperity. Top tip: make sure the confetti throwing happens before you serve the bubbly, as you may find yourself covered in champagne!




The threshold
There are two reasons to explain the tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold. The first is that the groom is protecting his love from any evil spirits which may be lurking in the house. The second, and rather more sinister story, is that the bride was occasionally reluctant to leave her family home, and so had to be dragged over the threshold into her new abode! Thankfully today it is just for fun!
 

Bridesmaids
These days, your bridesmaids are your best friends and family members who help you prepare for your special day.  However, in the Roman times the bride would have up to 10 ladies, all dressed identically to her, and they would act as a decoy to any evil spirits who wanted to harm the bride. They were also seen as extra protection in case anyone tried to kidnap her!

 

Bouquet
Nowadays, a bouquet is simply a beautiful bunch of flowers which decorate the bride and can be a lovely keepsake. However, centuries ago brides would carry aromatic bunches of herbs, spices and garlic to ward off evil spirits. Each herb had a different significance, for example, sage stood for wisdom. Flowers then replaced herbs, but they continued to have a significant meaning: Ivy stood for fertility, lilies for purity and orange blossom for happiness. It is also thought that the beautiful smells from the flowers disguised the potentially unsanitary odours coming from the bride!

 


 
Come visit us at the Castle or have a look at our website www.berkeleycastleweddings.co.uk

Friday, 16 June 2017

Trends to look out for in 2017

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through our 2017 season but for those brides who need a little inspiration, here are the fashions and themes that are trending this year
 
Brides
2017 is all about soft sensuality for our brides. Mystery has prevailed over blatant sex appeal, as seen in previous years. Translucent fabrics such as tulle and organza, textured with embroidery and lace are the key looks this year.

 
Grooms
If you are a Groom who likes to wow, you will love this new trend for 2017. Pattern and prints are huge this year, giving our men a chance to experiment with a different style, and stand out amongst the guests. Look out for 3D-effect and floral motifs.

 



Bridesmaids
It’s good news for all bridesmaids out there, mix and match is a key style in 2017 with different colours and styles to suit each individual.

 
 


Flowers
2017 is seeing a big rise in the use of orchids and succulents. The deep green of a cactus, contrasting with the vivid colour of an orchid makes a real statement.
 

 


Cakes
Ever heard of a drip wedding cake? Well you soon will, with these stunning creations being high on the most wanted list at a 2017 wedding. These creative cakes look sensational and add a real wow to your wedding.
 



 
Alcohol
Gin is the booze of choice for 2017 with gin tasting and cocktails featuring at many weddings this year. Did you know there was a gin called ‘Berkeley Square’ – with its unusual botanical flavours, it is perfect when making a martini!
 



 
Wedding Invites
Greenery is huge this year, and that isn’t just when it comes to floral arrangements. Simple, illustrated leaves decorating invitations is a huge trend in 2017.
 

 
Photography
Drones are a must for high-end wedding films this year, creating magnificent footage for any bride and groom hoping to keep their wedding memories alive.

 

Transport
Creating a memorable entrance or exit at your wedding is a big trend this year, with unexpected transport such as horse & carriage, supercars or even helicopters being a popular choice.


 
Whatever style or theme you would like, Berkeley Castle can cater for almost everything. Book a viewing at the Castle and begin your journey towards your perfect day.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Changing seasons


With spring drawing to a close and winter a distant memory, we can look back fondly on all the wonderful weddings which have taken place at the Castle so far in 2017. From small, intimate ceremonies, to great and elegant receptions, we have enjoyed a real variety this year.
 
 
The wonderful diversity of the Castle can be fully appreciated as the cold, frosty months of January & February make way for the rain showers and startling sunshine of March & April. With the roaring fires warming the Long Drawing Room and Great Hall, guests were kept cosy and snug whilst they witnessed their loved ones embark on a new life together. The stunning, seasonal food produced by Napier catering, warming the soul and bringing the room to life during the fabulous wedding breakfasts.  As the music started in the evenings, the twinkling tea-lights and stunning up-lighting created a truly magical party enjoyed by all.
 
 
 
 
 
As the year galloped on, we were gifted some beautiful sunny days, which equally surprised and delighted our brides and their guests. Drinks receptions were held on the Gun Terrace throughout March, with an exceptionally warm day at the beginning of April. Champagne flutes sparkling in the glorious sun rays, their bubbles mesmerising and full of promise. As dusk approached, guests were able to enjoy the idyllic sun sets over the Lilly Pond, before heading back to the music and dancing.                        
 
 
 
We now embark upon a long and joyful summer, as we are witness to some of the most important moments in a couple’s life, whilst striving to create their perfect day here at Berkeley Castle.

Friday, 12 May 2017

A Very Warm Welcome


With the summer season almost upon us, we felt the time was right to launch our new Berkeley Castle Weddings & Events blog. We will entice you with fabulous photos and wonderful wedding stories, which will offer you a real insight into the workings of this beautiful Castle. From amusing anecdotes to heartfelt stories, there will be something for everyone.

 


The rich and varied history of Berkeley Castle offers people a unique venue to host either a special event, a big birthday, or the most important day of their lives…their wedding. The Berkeley family have resided at the Castle for almost 900 years, and it is very much their private home. This creates an exceptional atmosphere, with a juxtaposition between the magnificence of the grounds and rooms and the cosiness and warmth of this family home.
 

  

We will be blogging about weddings which have been and gone, events that are in the pipe-line, new trends and unusual quirks which are making an appearance here at the Castle and much more. Of course, there will be fabulous photos and videos to browse through, and maybe even something to inspire your big day.
 


 
We look forward to welcoming you to our blog, and we hope you enjoy the rich and varied posts

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