Ludlow Castle, known for its iconic ruins and rich history, makes the perfect backdrop for a wedding to remember – whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or to pull out all the stops. What with winter being the most popular time of year for engagements, it’s an ideal opportunity to shine the spotlight on weddings here at Ludlow Castle. We chatted to our in-house venue host – Julie-Ann, who has a wealth of experience in helping couples plan their perfect day…
What makes Ludlow Castle such a unique wedding venue?
The venue is unique by virtue of it being a castle: it offers couples the fairytale wedding. We offer a variety of settings for the wedding ceremony – including an intimate library within Castle House and the larger Beacon Room. Weddings can also take place in the magnificent Norman Round Chapel within the Inner Bailey. Round chapels were very rare at the time they were built, and few have survived to the present day. Until a few years ago this ruin had no roof, but thanks to a restoration project, couples can be married in the dry, no matter what the famous British weather is doing outside!
What can a couple expect from the wedding host service that you provide?
We offer a bespoke and personal service to help couples design, plan and arrange their day here at the castle so that it is personal to them. The wedding host is available by phone and email throughout the planning process, and to help with any queries in the lead up to the big day. We contact suppliers so they fully understand how the castle works, and we are at the castle for the duration of the wedding day
How can a couple make this iconic venue their own?
The beauty of hiring this venue is that the couple can create their own theme in respect of colours, catering and entertainment; no two weddings are the same. From an intimate library wedding for 4 to a stunning marquee wedding for 100 plus, the castle is perfect for a variety of wedding styles and numbers. We also have three holiday apartments (which you can explore here) each sleeping 4, which we can incorporate into the wedding package to make a truly memorable few days celebrating with family and friends.
How does the Castle change from season to season and what is your favourite time of year to host a wedding here?
Although the castle remains the same in respect of the backdrop, it changes colours with the seasons and different lights. Summer weddings are lovely, with receptions and canapés served in the gardens, but winter weddings benefit from a different atmosphere when it’s dark outside and the castle is floodlit. I don’t have a favourite month, every wedding is just lovely… but obviously some months can be wetter than others!
How can wedding photographers make the best of the magnificent ruins?
We try to work with all our photographers to get the best locations for pictures. We always recommend a visit if they have not been to the castle before. This means they can explore the options, take in the different textures of the stone buildings and the wooden doors and gauge the lighting at various times of day. The photographer and wedding couple have access to the whole castle to capture that special shot, but we ask them to be mindful of members of the public who are visiting. Group shots can take place in the inner and outer Bailey, and the gardens (exclusively for use by wedding guests) are perfect for small groups whilst guests enjoy drinks, music and nibbles. We often recommend that the inner Bailey and the tower are used for the couple’s more intimate photos, with just a few group shots.
What tips would you give a bride and groom who are starting to plan their big day?
Most importantly, couples need to decide what they want from their day, then they need to think about numbers and budget (being realistic, as all weddings have costs over the hire of the venue). I would suggest booking a wedding later in the day, which gives time to have a relaxed morning, getting hair and makeup done and taking time to get dressed and ready.
Only use suppliers that you feel a synergy with – photographers are key to the day and you need to be comfortable with them and their style of photography.
What is your favourite part your job here at Ludlow Castle?
It’s all perfect! From the moment I share the beauty of the castle with potential couples, to the day itself and seeing the bride for the first time. There have been a few that have made me cry – it’s truly a lovely job.