Happy New Year to you all and congratulations to our newly-engaged couples! Winter is not only a popular season for engagements but also for saying ‘I do’ without breaking the budget. We interviewed Jo Peters, Castle Manager at Pennsylvania Castle in Dorset, on planning a dream winter wedding – think romantic lighting, festive sparkle and stunning sunsets.
Having hosted a fair amount of winter weddings at Pennsylvania Castle, what would you advise couples when choosing to get married over the cold season?
Don’t be put off by the thought of the winter weather. There is something very magical about the extra sparkle that’s around when the nights draw in early and there’s a nip in the air. The feel of a winter wedding has to be totally different from the typical summer affair, but both are equally beautiful in their own way.
How can the Penn accommodate for winter weddings? Are there any unique features that make it stand out from other venues?
We are known for making the most of a whole weekend for our wedding celebrations, and winter weddings are an ideal time to make the most of the Castle in this way. With our Orangery transformed into the indoor heated pool during the winter months, our wedding parties become more intimate which means that every guest feels even more special. Additional accommodation around the Castle Estate means that everyone can make the most of their time together and enjoy all that the Castle and the island have to offer.
Do you have any décor or styling tips for couples who dream of a white wedding?
Although steeped in history, the Castle is now known for its luxurious and more contemporary interior. We like to keep things simple but effective and feel that works best for any wedding theme – even if the wedding is taking place around the festive season as the Castle is always decorated around that time of year with winter weddings in mind.
How can couples create a warm and intimate feel for the ceremony?
We love an abundance of soft lighting during the winter. In fact, one of the first thing people notice as they walk round The Penn are the beautiful chandeliers we have in every room – even the kitchen! Nothing looks more stunning than an early evening ceremony, with the lights softened slightly and the room filled with candles (you can never have too many candles going as far as we are concerned!). That’s why we created our Twilight Wedding options.
What excites you the most about 2017 for The Penn? Do you have any upcoming wedding events?
There is always lots to be excited about, every wedding is so different and we can’t wait to see this year’s celebrations come to fruition. And with our recently launched ‘Wed Me On A Wednesday’ wedding experience and our annual ‘Marry Me In May’ offering, there may even be a few couples that don’t even know yet that they are destined for a beautiful Penn wedding in 2017.
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For more wedding planning inspiration, check out our winter issue and visit our Gallery page for everything fashion.