Have you ever dreamed of having your wedding in a castle?
We love the romantic vibe of the Tudor Gothic-style at Thornewood Castle and it is a perfect location for any style of wedding. Our team has gotten to know all the details of this venue over the years of spending time within the walls helping couples with their dream fairytale wedding. Which also means we have become proficient at managing the timeline and quirks of this beautiful but old castle and the grounds surronding it.
Thornewood Castle has quite a history. It was purchased in England in 1907 while Mr. Thorne was on his honeymoon. He had it taken apart and shipped it to Lakewood where it was put back together, brick by brick for his new bride. When a venue houses such a beautiful love story, you know it must be the perfect place for a wedding! The castle is grand and is a beautiful backdrop for a wedding during any season.
One of the great things we love about Thornewood Castle is there are so many options for a ceremony. Here in Washington State you should always have a backup plan for outdoor events, so having a venue that offers two stunning locations is perfect. The secret garden is the favorite for spring and summer weddings. The garden is professionally maintained with large hydrangea blooms and roses throughout to scent the air as guests pass through the stone wall and 100 year old gates. The indoor ceremony location creates just as stunning a location in the ballroom in front of a warm fireplace, with the wood from floor to ceiling and the grand staircase that the bride can make a once in a life time entrance to the ceremony. Truly a fairytale moment.
The castle also has large green lawns that can be used for lawn games or as an alternate for dinner, leaving the inside of the castle for dancing and socializing. One tip is we highly recommend hiring a professional catering company that has young runners, as it’s a long way to the kitchen that is tucked into the back of the castle.
The second floor the castle provides a beautiful bridal suite for the bride and her party with the groom getting ready in the library next door. This makes it perfect to keep the bride tucked away on the second floor out of the distractions of setting up and guests arriving. And as any castle there are hidden stairs that we can sneak the couple upstairs without anyone seeing them come in from their first look.
Photographers love this venue as it has some of the best hidden location to take couple photos. Like the hall of mirrors or down on the private dock on American Lake. They also can’t resist the secret garden even in January, but especially during the summer.
As wedding planners that have done many weddings here, we highly encourage anyone booking a wedding at Thornewood Castle to hire a planner. Usually, your time frame at the venue is very tight and while couples are upstairs getting ready or out in the garden having photos, there is so much work going on all over the grounds and inside. And if you have guests that arrive to chaos and they start setting up or entering areas that are not open to the public it gets tricky. Remember you don’t want guests leaving saying, ‘it was a good thing we came to help manage their wedding’, but you want them to leave saying ‘what a fairytale wedding at a castle!’
Things we have learned over the years and want to share:
- Every guest will ask where the hidden restrooms are located. So make sure all your vendors also know, so they can direct guests.
- No matter where the wedding party or bride enter the space inside or outside, it’s hidden and far away from the ceremony site, requiring two people to manage the timing and signals for music is critical to the timing.
- If you rent the castle starting at say 2pm, that is the time vendors can get in and no sooner. Typically, you need 2 hours prior to the ceremony and 1 hour after guests leave. Many times at Thornewood we have less time to setup so we bring extra staff to set up.
- Unless the bride and her party have rented one of the rooms the night before, we recommend the bride and her wedding party get ready offsite at an AirBnB and then the bride can slip into her dress on site and start photos right away, while vendors are setting up so they don’t have to take time during the reception to do the wedding party photos.
Over the years Blue Wings Events has pulled together some great teams of vendors that have learned how to showcase this romantic and fairytale castle to represent the dreams of so many couples. If you would like to host your wedding at this beautiful castle let us know and we will create the perfect team just for you too.