• Germany edition
 
German Castles and Palaces
Finding the fairytale wedding setting
Photo: DPA

Finding the fairytale wedding setting

Published: 19 Oct 2011 08:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after securing a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,491
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd