When royal wedding bells ring, couples-to-be can’t help but listen. And yes, inevitably, visions of their own fairytale celebration dance through their heads. Luckily, you don’t have to be a prince or an actress to get married in a venue fit for royalty.
Around the world, from New Hampshire to India, there is a choice of castles, chateaus and palaces where happy couples can say their vows with regal flair.
Here’s a round-up of our favorites.
If a wannabe English Tudor castle isn’t regal enough for you, what about tying the knot in a real-life palace? Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu was the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy until 1893, and the property has been registered as a National Historic Landmark since 1962.
You can host your wedding in a choice of spaces, from the formal Barracks to the charming Coronation Pavilion. The manicured lawns and picturesque grounds extend to 11 acres, so there’s ample space for guests, even if you’re planning the most lavish of affairs.
Where better to celebrate your love for one another than in a French chateau? Well, you can do exactly that —in North Carolina. The imposing main house on the Biltmore Estate was built in the style of a French Renaissance chateau for George Vanderbilt.
Completed in 1895, this wonderfully romantic venue is surrounded by formal gardens, which make an idyllic backdrop for wedding photography. Looking for luxury boutique accommodation for you and your guests? The Grand Bohemian Hotel Ashville is a short drive away.
If you’ve always dreamed of hosting an extravagant European wedding, the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna offers the epitome of luxury. This opulent Baroque palace was once an imperial summer residence.
Imagine exchanging rings and vows under the magnificent chandelier in the White and Gold Room or taking your first dance as newlyweds in the sumptuous Maria Theresa Room. In the Apothecaries’ Courtyard or the Orangery garden, your guests can nibble canapes in the shade of citrus and chestnut trees.
For a wedding steeped in history and bodice-ripping romance, look no further than the brooding landscapes of Scotland. Standing amid the atmospheric hills and glens of Perthshire, Menzies Castle is the ancestral seat of the Clan Menzies.
Restored in the 1950s, the castle has a Victorian baronial-style ballroom — the Dewar Room — and a naturally lit Georgian Main Hall; both are perfect for banquets and dances. For an authentic Scottish wedding, make sure the groom wears a kilt, and remember, tradition dictates that a true Scotsman always goes al fresco!
Fancy hosting a dazzling wedding, Bollywood-style? Founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur is home to the City Palace, which is built around a series of columned courtyards and temples; the intricate architectural details are spellbinding.
There’s a choice of splendid indoor and outdoor spaces, each of which would make the perfect backdrop for a glittering and colorful wedding. The palace’s event planners can organize everything from cuisine to decoration — they’ll even arrange an elephant parade.
With its imposing stone walls and grand ramparts, it’s easy to imagine an English Tudor princess marrying her knight in shining armor at Searles Castle. Yet this most romantic of venues is less than 40 minutes’ drive from Boston.
Surrounded by picturesque woodland, Searles Castle was built in 1905; it was commissioned by antiques collector Edward F. Searles, who sought a home that reflected his English ancestry.
The courtyard is the perfect place for cocktail hour, and brides can make a picture-perfect entrance down the grand staircase. After dinner, dance the night away in an elegant marquee on the lawn.