• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Finding the fairytale wedding setting

Sally McGrane · 19 Oct 2011, 08:39

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.

Story continues below…

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
What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

'Idiot' youth lets regional train drive over him as dare
Photo: DPA

In a stunt police have described as "incomprehensible idiocy," a drunk young man from Munich lay down on the tracks in front of a fast-moving train and let it ride over him.

'Unfriendly' Germans make expat life harder: report
Photo: Pexels.com

Expats in Germany generally find it great for families and starting a career, but were turned off by the language barriers and "unfriendly" Germans upon arrival, according to a new report.

Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Law to force mums to give up identity of child's real father
Photo: DPA

Germany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

Gallery
Germans race bulls too, but with a difference
Photo: DPA

The most important sporting events only happen every four years: the World Cup, the Olympics, and of course the Münsing ox race.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,431
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd