It’s a question I’ve heard asked so many times since we booked our wedding, and I admit the name is a little deceiving. Leeds Castle is actually in Maidstone Kent a 40 minute-ish drive from where we live and the location of one of mine and Lee’s first day dates.
On our first visit just weeks after we had got together I managed to point out that you could get married there. It was a completely innocent remark on my behalf and one I thought I’d successfully brushed past once I realised I was talking marriage to a man I’d know for less than 2 months! However it turns out Lee was listening even back then and once we were back in England after the proposal he brought it up. To be honest I though it was completely unlikely that we’d be able to get married there, but after meeting Sophie (a wedding coordinator from the castle) at a wedding fair in October we made an appointment to go and visit. From the moment we drove through the gates and I caught a glimpse of The Castle my heart was racing and I felt excited, the prospect of getting married in a place that Lee and I both loved so much felt like a fairy tale. Whilst being shown around by Sam, Lee and I kept squeezing each other’s hands and looking at each other. I think we both knew we’d found where we wanted to get married. We didn’t need to look anywhere else, our minds were made up. It feels right to get married not only somewhere beautiful but in a place we both love that holds special memories for us. We had also looked at Hedingham Castle, which is another beautiful venue but it just didn’t hold the special memories that we had begun to make at Leeds Castle. I think my heart was already set before I was even shown around. However, before we actually booked our date I called my mum to ask her if she minded that we weren’t going to get married in a church. I’m not really sure why I was worried as my parents don’t go to church and I wouldn’t describe our family as religious. I think I just needed to check in case my mum had always dreamed of me being married in a church like she was. Anyway when I asked, my mum actually laughed at me. Apparently I’ve been telling people since I was very young that when I grew up I was going to get married in a castle – so it seems pretty fitting. Perhaps my younger self wasn’t so daft after all.
So there we go, we’re getting married in Spring next year at Leeds Castle in Kent. I think I’d best make sure there’s some very clear directions included with the invites if I want to save more confusion from my Essex based family! Where did you/are you getting married and is there a special reason you chose your venue? Have you thought about a destination wedding or are you staying local like me? Or what’s your dream venue for the future or perhaps a renewal. I’d love to hear your stories of how you found your perfect venue.