Whether your wedding inspiration comes from the fairytales of your childhood, the iconic royal families of Europe, or a fascination with a bygone era, we can guarantee that a romantic castle wedding in Greece will satisfy all your expectations of elegance, and sophistication. As a wedding planner based in Greece, it is my pleasure to explore lesser-known locations that my clients can fall in love with! In this blog post, I would like to introduce you some Greek castles worthy of a storybook destination wedding in Greece!
1.Monemvasia Castle, Peloponnese
If you are dreaming of walking down the aisle in a perfectly preserved medieval settlement, Monemvasia might be just the perfect place for you! Initially established in 583 A.D. during the Byzantine period, the fortress walls house several orthodox churches and dwellings, some of which have been converted into hotels. The colour scheme of the settlement includes the soft hues of beige and grey stone, the terracotta of the Monier tiles, and the greens of palm trees, olive trees, and climbing plants. The breath-taking landscape offers impressive views of towering rockfaces on one side and the endless Aegean on the other. All these elements make for a real-life wedding full of grace that will leave you and your guests spell-bound!
2.Fortezza Castle, Crete
The current structure of the Fortezza citadel, which is situated within the town of Rethymno, is a mixture of Venetian and Ottoman architecture. Contrary to Monemvasia, Fortezza is not inhabited anymore, as many of the buildings housed within its walls were demolished during World War II. If you are interested in having a secular wedding, services can be held outdoors or in the ex-mosque of Sultan Ibrahim Han, performing the ceremony in front of the sculpted stone mihrab (prayer niche). If you are interested in having an orthodox ceremony, the chapel of St. Theodore is a perfect choice for an intimate wedding. The ground of the Fortezza is available if you would like to hold a small cocktail party or a wedding reception. Alternatively, you may choose to take a stroll through the old town of Rethymno to arrive at a reception venue of your choice!
3.Methoni Castle, Peloponnese
(Courtesy of https://www.epostravel-tours.com/destinations-peloponnese-methoni/)
An impressive stone bridge built over 14 arches leads you to the gates of Methoni Castle. As you cross the threshold and enter the castle, the imposing grey structures blend harmoniously with wild flora, offering you and your guests a walk to the wedding venue that will spark images of a glorious past. In the centre of the castle, in the church of the Transfiguration, an understated building is located, perfect for an intimate wedding. Alternatively, you can continue walking through the castle and follow the stone path through the sea to the Bourtzi, a two-story, octagonal tower with a domed roof, which dates back to the 16th century. Here you may choose to have a small arch adorned with fresh summer blooms, that will serve as a vibrant frame of your union.
4.Venetian Castle of Parga, Epirus
In truth, medieval castles were not built with accessibility in mind and do tend to require a certain amount of walking, so if your party involves people with disabilities or elderly loved ones, you may find Parga to be the perfect setting. Nestled in a small bay surrounded by greenery and facing the Ionian Sea, Parga is a breath-taking collection of multicoloured houses with terracotta Monier-tiled roofs. Parga also has a Venetian castle atop a small cliff, which unfortunately has not withstood the test of time as well as other castles. However, the ruins provide an otherworldly setting for your wedding photography. If you were looking for a unique wedding venue and feel disappointed that this castle in unavailable for a ceremony, do not worry! Just opposite of the coast of Parga is the tiny islet of Panagia (the Virgin Mary) with the solitary whitewashed chapel of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. For civil ceremonies, we love Sarakiniko with its soft golden sand and turquoise waters, for a romantic beach wedding! You will arrive by boat and step on to a rough wooden pier which will be the beginning of the aisle.
With options such as these, you can either have an island or a beach-inspired wedding, but also a photoshoot fit for royalty!
It is important to note that many of these locations are part of Greece’s cultural heritage which means that if you’d like a Greek castle wedding special licenses have to be obtained from local authorities. Anyone who knows anything about Greece knows that bureaucracy is challenging, to put it kindly. So, having a Greek wedding planner, who knows how the system works, taking care of those for you, eliminates a significant amount of stress!