Culzean Castle: 10 Reasons To Choose This Wedding Venue
In 1945 the top floor of Culzean Castle was converted into a private apartment, and gifted to President Eisenhower as a thank you for America’s help during the Second World War.
That’s just how special this beautiful property is.
He visited on four occasions too, both before and whilst he was president.
Today Culzean Castle is under the care of the National Trust for Scotland, and is open to the general public.
More importantly though, you can actually get married here.
And what would this wonderful place be like to host your celebration?
Let me show you.
Culzean Castle Location
Rising from its clifftop location, Culzean Castle looks across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran.
Glasgow is just over an hour away by car, and if you are arriving by plane, Prestwick Airport is 20 miles away.
You enter the estate along a beautiful winding drive, catching glimpses of the castle as you approach.
Then there’s the Roman inspired arch and viaduct, leading you to the imposing buildings entrance.
This west coast location is truly spectacular.
Culzean Castle Exclusive Use
Because Culzean Castle is a National Trust for Scotland property, it is open to the public and therefore isn’t your typical exclusive use wedding venue.
However between the months of April and October the doors close at 16:30, and you can have the place to yourself until midnight.
Closing time is even early between November and March at 14:00, giving you an extra two and half hours of exclusive use.
Not bad when you consider the size of the estate.
You can still get married here whilst it’s open to the public, but you’ll just need to accept the occasional stranger walking around.
Culzean Castle History
During the 16th century, the ancient Kennedy family, who can trace their roots back to Robert the Bruce, built a stone tower house on the land.
However it wasn’t until 1770, that the 10th Earl commissioned Robert Adam to build Culzean Castle.
As you can imagine, no expense was spared creating this luxurious status symbol.
Sadly neither Robert or the Earl lived long enough to see the project completed, both dying in 1792.
Major upgrades were made in 1877 by the 3rd Marquess, adding a new entrance and a three storey west wing.
In 1945 the castle passed to the National Trust for Scotland.
Culzean Castle and its beautiful gardens, offer what can only be described as a fairytale wedding venue.
You and your guests will be transported back in time, to a period of 18th century high class living.
The architecture is stunning, with interesting turrets and towers.
And once inside you will find antique furniture, artwork, porcelain, and other fascinating period objects.
The castle’s size and number of reception rooms, also offers great versatility.
For example you could use the Armoury, with its collection of pistols and swords, as an exciting room for your drinks reception.
Culzean Castle Accommodation
Unlike many National Trust for Scotland properties, Culzean Castle does provide some accommodation.
There are five nice self catering cottages on the estate: Brewhouse Flat; Royal Artillery Cottage; Ardlochan Lodge; North Segganwell; and South Segganwell.
Each of these can sleep up to four guests.
Better still there’s the Eisenhower apartment.
Located on the top floor of the castle, it has six double bedrooms, a drawing room, a dining room, and is accessed via the original 1920s elevator.
It’s decorated in a country house style, and is perhaps a little old fashioned.
But I think it would be pretty amazing staying in the castle for a night.
Culzean Castle Ceremony
Religious, civil, and humanist ceremonies are all welcome at Culzean Castle.
You also have a wide range of options with regards to location.
The Oval Staircase, which is considered a Robert Adam’s masterpiece, lies in the heart of the castle, and can seat up to 120 guests.
Natural light floods the space from the glass cupola, and the soaring colonnades and grand oil paintings create a real sense of occasion.
Then there’s the Round Drawing Room, which was used by the 10th Earl to entertain visiting dignitaries, and can seat up to 60 guests.
Its six spectacular windows provide panoramic sea views across to the Isle of Arran, and the decor is both lavish and ornate, with giltwood chairs and crystal chandeliers.
Outside the castle you have Camellia House, an ornate stone and glass structure with views across the gardens, and seating for up to 55 guests.
The Orangery, which originally supplied the castle with fruits and flowers, with seating for up to 40 guests.
And finally, virtually anywhere in the beautiful gardens and grounds.
Culzean Castle Reception
Whether you want grand and sumptuous or intimate and relaxed, Culzean Castle has an option for you.
The State Dining Room, decorated by the 3rd Marquess in the Adam’s Revival style, can seat up to 60 guests for dinner.
Ornate ceilings, corinthian pillars, and Kennedy family portraits give the room incredible character.
You can even make use of the castles original oak dining table, providing you have less than 36 guests.
On the ground floor, and close to the State Dining Room, there’s the Georgian Kitchen dating from 1797.
This room is ideal for ceilidhs and dances.
If none of this takes your fancy or you require more space, then a marquee somewhere on the estate is possible
The Cannon Lawn is probably the best location, as you can connect the marquee to the castle here.
Culzean Castle Grounds
There are 240 hectares of beautiful gardens and grounds to explore at Culzean Castle.
From enchanting terraced gardens to relaxing woodland walks, there’s something here for everyone.
There’s even three miles of shoreline, with sandy beaches, rock pools, and caves.
Be sure to find the Deer Park where you can get close to the herd, and the Happy Valley woodland trail that leads to the Swan Pond.
You also want to stop by the Walled Garden with its colourful borders, fruit filled glasshouses, and stone grotto.
It’s the perfect place for some relaxation and tranquility.
Culzean Castle Wedding Photographs
Culzean Castle is a wedding photographers paradise.
The scenery provided by the castle, the gardens, and the Scottish countryside is just spectacular.
Your wedding photographs are virtually guaranteed to have the most amazing outdoor backdrops.
More importantly though, there are just as many incredible indoor locations too.
Natural light is all important, which can sometimes be problematic in small windowed dark castles.
However Culzean Castle has a number of beautiful rooms bathed in natural light.
The perfect backup in case the weather turns ugly.
Culzean Castle Wedding Packages
Culzean Castle will of course tailor a specific wedding package just for you.
However to give you an idea of prices, here is a wedding package based on 60 guests for your ceremony and reception:
- Dedicated wedding coordinator;
- Piper to welcome guests;
- Ceremony in Oval Staircase or Round Drawing Room;
- Drinks reception including 2 glasses of Prosecco per guest;
- Tour of the castle;
- Gardens and grounds for wedding photographs;
- Three course meal in State Dining Room including half a bottle of wine per guest;
- Georgian Kitchen for dancing;
- Cash bar;
- One night in the Eisenhower apartment including breakfast;
- Wedding price £10,495.
Culzean Castle Conclusion
So those are my 10 reasons you should consider Culzean Castle as your wedding venue.
Of course everybody has different tastes and opinions.
However if you are looking for a stunning exclusive use castle, in the most beautiful gardens and grounds, with incredible sea view vistas, and a presidential apartment; then Culzean Castle just might be the place for you.
Whilst you are here, you should take a look at some of the other wedding venues, featured on White Rose.
You can also find Culzean Castle’s website here.
Good luck with your wedding planning.