Medieval Castle Wedding with Owls, Faeries & Spray-Painted Animals

Ed Godden Photography

December 15, 2016


Victoria and Gav were married at Bolton Castle, one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. The American bride met her British groom when he came over to New York City with a band he managed. After moving around the world together (NYC, LA, NYC again and then the UK) they decided to marry in June of this year.

“I would describe our wedding theme as ‘High Fashion Flower Faeries of the Dales… also, owls!’ Is that a theme?” the bride laughed. “Another way we described it to people was ‘Game of Thrones Chic’ and I think that’s pretty accurate. For the longest time we didn’t have a clue what we wanted the wedding to look like. The castle and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales really did a lot of the work for us in terms of vibe and, to a certain extent, decor. The place just oozes magical faerie kingdom gravitas.”


“Bolton Castle was really the catalyst for the inspiration. We had been engaged for four years, but due to getting busy with work and touring we never quite had time to get round to planning a wedding. We relocated from New York to (Old) York at the beginning of 2015, and while we were exploring the Yorkshire Dales in the spring, we saw a building far away in the distance and decided to investigate and drive closer. It turned out to be Bolton Castle. We were totally wowed by the gardens and location and we both thought this would be a great place to get married. In that moment decided to plan our wedding. We wanted to have a wedding that encapsulated the quirks of our personalities and had flavours of the beautiful surroundings we were in but also captured our US and UK roots.”


The ceremony was officiated by a friend who was dressed as a knight! “Our officiant was Derek Doublin, an old friend who now lives in Los Angeles and works as a film maker. He was dressed in a suit… with a chainmail hood and birds! We used a traditional structure of a ceremony, with Derek rewriting his own dialogue that kept the humour and fun of the ceremony, but still underlined the morals and meaning of the occasion.”


“One of the highlights for us was having owls! Our ring bearer was an owl who we named Uncle Backpack, who flew down to deliver the rings. During the cocktail hour we arranged a birds of prey display for our guests. We really wanted to keep the day fun for everyone and this was a big hit.”


The decor was mostly homemade and suited the venue perfectly. “With there being so much space in the castle, we decided that we would decorate the rest of the castle windows using moss and candles”, she continued. “We purchased 200 different shaped pillar candles from Ikea, and the night before the wedding worked our way round the castle filling every stone window ledge and disused steps with moss, candles and various gold-sprayed friends! We lit the candles early the next morning so they were a little worn down by the time guests arrived in the afternoon.”


“We had dinosaur table numbers which were large plastic dinosaurs which Gav sprayed gold. We then purchased some chalk board wooden flags which I glued onto the dinosaurs. We then wrote the table numbers on the little chalk boards and each dinosaur was placed on the appropriate table. Much like the larger dinosaurs, we purchased 200 small plastic animals and dinosaurs and spray-painted them gold to used as name card holders and to dot around the castle.”


“Our advice to other couples would be that its never too early to start booking in vendors (such as photographers and hair and makeup) as the good ones book up fast. Research and read reviews to make the best decision. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs were all really useful tools.”