Your fantasy of exchanging your vows in a castle or a stately manor may be closer than you think! And we mean literally closer. Right within American borders are some incredibly luxurious estates that will have you and your guests feeling like royalty on your wedding day. Come and take our little guided tour, and be prepared to be blown away by the grandeur and romance of these locations. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that a couple of them do offer affordable wedding packages as well!
1 – Castle Farms, Charlevoix, Michigan
Acclaimed as one of the top wedding venues in Michigan, Castle Farms is located in the beautiful resort community of Charlevoix. This world-class historic property is renowned for its majestic castle walls, stately reception rooms, and magnificent sweeping gardens, making it an ultimate romantic setting for weddings and/or receptions.
2 – Westbury House, Old Westbury, New York
The most famous of all Long Island estates, Westbury House is located in Old Westbury Gardens, New York, the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, heir to a U.S. Steel fortune. This 23-room mansion on a 160-acre preserve offers fabulous wedding venues within its lush grounds, a favorite being its garden gazebo called “Temple of Love.” (image by James Robertson, via Curbed.com)
3 -The Cairo Estate, San Juan Capistrano, California
The Cairo Estate is a luxurious private estate located in San Juan Capistrano, California. It is ideal for weddings as the estate’s showroom combined with the courtyard can entertain up to 170 guests. While, for a truly lavish event, the tennis courts can be transformed into a tented venue for a 300-person seated dinner.
4 – Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina
Biltmore, the majestic home of George Vanderbilt was built over a century ago on 8,000 acres in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The terraces and gardens surrounding the castle serve as a most distinctive wedding ceremony location. A cocktail reception on the Library Terrace allows guests to enjoy views of misty blue mountains, followed by dinner and dancing in the estate’s historic Italian Gardens.
5 – Castle Ladyhawke Estate, Tuckasegee, North Carolina
Castle Ladyhawke is an authentically recreated Scottish Border castle overlooking the Tuckasegee River valley in North Carolina. Once a private estate, it is now available as a romantic wedding venue, offering spectacular views and elegant indoor and garden ceremony and reception locations. Wedding guests can stay on the estate in the medieval-style Fable Village or the whimsical Gypsy Camp, while members of the bridal party can be accommodated at the castle itself.
6 – OHEKA Castle, Gold Coast, Long Island
Financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn built OHEKA Castle in 1916 in the middle of 443 acres on the highest point on Long Island. It is the second-largest private residence ever built in America. During the Gilded Age of the 1920’s, Kahn hosted lavish parties here and regularly entertained royalty, heads of state, and Hollywood stars. Today, OHEKA is a premier venue for society weddings and gala celebrations, and is also a luxury hotel with 32 guest rooms and suites.
7 – The Empress Estate, Woodland, Washington
The Empress Estate is a luxurious European-style mansion nested on the hillside of Woodland, Washington, just 30 minutes from the Portland/Vancouver area. Surrounded by gorgeous panoramic views of the Columbia River and the entire Lewis River Valley, the mansion also offers special wedding packages that cater to budget-conscious couples who still want the grand ambiance.
8 -The Winthrop Estate, Lenox, Massachusetts
From 1893 through 1925, The Winthrop Estate was the country retreat for the family of banker Robert Winthrop of New York. Here, the Winthrops hosted what the New York Times called ‘the definitive parties of the season.’ A subsequent owner, Halstead Lindsley, built the Tudor-style mansion still standing today. And the estate recently underwent an extensive restoration by current owners Ethan and Jamie Berg, making it one of the Berkshires’ most beautifully restored Gilded Age mansions.
9 – Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, Lenox, Massachusetts
Ventfort Hall, built by George and Sarah Morgan in the 1890s as their summer home, is an imposing brick and brownstone mansion that typifies the Gilded Age in Lenox. Now on 11.7 acres, Ventfort Hall was originally the centerpiece of a large landscaped garden of 26 acres.
Described at the time of its completion as “one of the most beautiful places in Lenox,” the Hall now lends its historic Old World ambiance to wedding ceremonies and receptions, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners.
10 – Thornewood Castle Inn and Gardens, Washington
As one of the few genuine private castles in the United States, Thornewood is a magnificent location for weddings and receptions—and a most romantic bed and breakfast. The structure is truly unique in that it was built from pieces taken from a 400 year-old English castle brought to the Pacific Northwest a century ago and recreated into an authentic English Tudor Gothic castle.
11 – Castle Hill on The Crane Estate, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Originally an agricultural holding, the seaside estate known as Castle Hill was purchased by Richard T. Crane, Jr. in 1910. It then evolved into a prime example of the American Country Place Era with its estate buildings, designed grounds and gardens, and diverse natural areas. In 1928, the Cranes had the 59-room Stuart-style mansion built that we see today. The Great House, as it is called, is available for use for weddings and other private celebrations.