• Germany's news in English
 

Finding the fairytale wedding setting

Published: 19 Oct 2011 08:39 GMT+02:00

When Gunter Wielage, a computer software developer, got married, he held his wedding in a castle. This is not surprising, as Wielage loves castles. His website www.burgen-und-schloesser.net lists over 4,000 castles and manors, many of which he has personally visited and photographed.

But Wielage is not alone. About half of all brides who come through Agentur Traumhochzeit (www.agentur-traumhochzeit.de), a wedding planning agency in North Rhine-Westphalia, want to hold their wedding in a castle, estimates the agency's Daniela Jost. “It’s the classic, romantic wedding,” said Jost.

Nobody knows exactly how many castles and manor houses there are in Germany, but estimates put the number at 30,000. Weilage, who said he has one of the most comprehensive lists around, loves the hunt involved in tracking down castles. (The website www.schencksreisefuehrer.de, which lists castles that offer wedding services).

Still, German castles offer plenty of uncharted territory for adventurous location-seekers. Even the most lovely castles and manors, says Weilage, are often not listed on maps, and their existence is sometimes unknown even to residents of nearby towns. On his website, brides-to-be can look up potential locations, find contact information and check whether or not the castle that catches their fancy offers wedding rentals.

For example, you can’t have a wedding in the most classic of all fairytale castles, Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. But you can get married in the shadow of the Wartburg, where Martin Luther took refuge and translated the New Testament into German after his excommunication from the Catholic Church.

The Wartburg Hotel, built in 1904 and located next to the castle, offers rooms, catering, and even a registrar’s office, so the official marriage can also take place there. Classically-minded couples can even use a horse and carriage to get from the bottom of the mountain to the top, except for the last stretch, where they have to switch to a car.

Of course, budget can be a limiting factor, said Agentur Traumhochzeit’s Jost. “You should reckon with at least €100 a head, for a castle wedding,” she said. “Sometimes castle rental costs more, on top of that.” Those charges can range from €1,000 to €3,000.

Agentur Traumhochzeit has over 1,000 locations brides can consider, among them plenty of castles. Some of these are publicly owned, either museums or run by foundations, while others are privately-run restaurants or hotels. Less often, said Jost, they are owned by individuals who rent them out for the night.

Where would Jost’s dream castle wedding take place? The wedding planner had a ready answer: Engers Neuwied, on the Rhine. “The castle has a spectacular ambiance,” she said. “It looks right out over the river. If the weather is good, you can hold the ceremony in the castle gardens – and if you want to have a garden wedding, there’s nothing better than a castle garden – then later move inside, to the ballroom.”

“When you’ve always dreamt of a fairytale wedding, the castle wedding is what you think of,” agreed Petra Schmatz of the magazine Hochzeitsplaner. “It’s a dream for lots of brides.” Schmatz says brides (or grooms, for that matter) can also check out potential locations on their site, at www.braut.de, where most of the castles listed are some variation on the castle hotel.

If you do go with a castle wedding, Schmatz advises sticking with a traditional theme for decorations – if you want a slick, modern wedding, she would suggest skipping the castle. “For couples with really traditional taste, for a castle wedding, you can arrive in a carriage, and two white horses,” she said. “Or a vintage car.”

For American writer Brittani Sonnenburg, it isn’t so much the idea of a Cinderella story that drew her and her fiancée, to look into holding their upcoming nuptials in a castle near Berlin, where they live. Rather, it’s the sense of history that appealed to them.

“We want something beautiful, but we both have an allergic reaction to the Disneyland fairytale castle,” she said. “For us, it was more that we wanted this important ritual to take place somewhere where you feel that there have been things going on for a long time. For us, there’s something really resonant about that.”

Related links:

Sally McGrane (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,252
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd