Bethany & Ashleigh
The Maiden’s Tower at Leeds Castle
Photographed by Louisa Dettmer Wedding Photography
Leeds Castle, located in Kent, England, is an enchanting and historic venue that offers a truly unforgettable wedding experience. Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the English countryside, this magnificent castle dates back to the 12th century and is steeped in rich history and charm. Its breathtaking architecture and idyllic surroundings make it the perfect backdrop for couples seeking a fairytale-like wedding. With its picturesque setting amidst beautiful gardens and surrounded by a moat, it exudes romance and elegance. The castle boasts several stunning spaces to host both ceremonies and receptions, allowing couples to tailor their big day according to their vision. The Castle Rooms and Henry VIII Banqueting Hall provide regal backdrops for exchanging vows or dining with loved ones, while the Fairfax Hall offers a contemporary and versatile space for larger celebrations. Additionally, couples can opt for outdoor ceremonies in the Maiden’s Tower Pavilion or on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the castle itself. To ensure flawless execution of every detail, Leeds Castle provides a dedicated wedding team who are experienced in curating personalized weddings. From catering to decor arrangements and accommodation options within the castle grounds, Leeds Castle guarantees an impeccable celebration filled with magical memories that will be cherished forever.
Bethany & Ashleigh chose the Maiden’s Tower at Leeds Castle for their April wedding, we asked them to share their story with us.
Scroll down the page to see links to all the wedding suppliers and their top tips for other Brides.
The story of our Wedding:
With the beauty of two brides, we were keen for a feminine theme to run throughout our day. Beautiful flowers, comprising of whites, pale pinks and soft grey foliage, set the colours and theme for the wedding day, and matched the bridesmaid’s dresses and men’s ties perfectly. After scouring through many shops and looking online, we found the perfect bridesmaids dresses in Coast which we ordered and then had altered. Surprisingly, the last thing we organised were the flowers. Although we were sure of our colour scheme, we are the first to admit we do not know much about flowers. Leeds Castle’s florist organised the flowers within the venue and Hunker Down Daisy arranged our bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets and buttonholes. They were so accommodating, friendly and listened to each of our ideas with our different styles. We were so grateful to have them as a part of our day.
As a bride, you can’t help but want your day to be memorable and enjoyable for everyone involved. Although we were the ones getting married, we wanted it to be a day for family and friends to come together in a relaxed, happy and fun atmosphere. Our band, The Redfords, were fantastic in making sure that happened; from playing in the ceremony, entertaining in the courtyard, right through to getting people dancing through the night, they made sure everyone had a smile on their face.
Similarly, we can’t thank Louisa Dettmer Photography enough. Louisa and Duncan put the whole wedding party at ease from start to finish and seemed to genuinely enjoy being a part of our big day- the wedding wouldn’t have run as smoothly without them. It was so great that they took the time to meet with us prior to the wedding in order to get to know us.
Having two brides to get ready in the morning, we must admit that the hair stylist and make-up artist had a few challenges, plus very early starts! Our hair was styled by Nina King, part of Kent Bridal Stylists – having known her for years, this was an easy decision. Our make-up was applied by Helen Lee who we found on Instagram and as we both loved her make-up style, we got in touch with her. We both had a trial and Ashleigh felt really at ease with her choices; Beth wanted to make sure she didn’t look too ‘different’ from her usual look and asked Helen to apply her own eyeshadow colour palette and foundation, and brought a lipstick on the day from which to colour match. Helen and Nina were both brilliant – even more so considering Beth had terrible hay fever on the day and one of her eyes watered from the minute she got onto the Leeds Castle grounds until the time of the Wedding Breakfast!
At the end of the Wedding Breakfast, Ashleigh’s father, Mark, and our Best Man, Jason, both delivered fantastic speeches – both very different from each other’s – and this flowed effortlessly into the cutting of the cake. The cake, made by The Abbey Cake Shop in Minster, on the Isle of Sheppey, was semi-naked, three-tiered and simply decorated with fresh flowers. Our personal favourite was the banoffee layer and they even made 6 gluten-free cupcakes for our guests.
Our first dance was a bit delayed while we greeted evening guests, but it was nice to have a chance to mingle and drink – it was our wedding and we weren’t going to be rushed! From partway through the first dance our guests partied the night away and all had a brilliant time and the photographs look great!
The beauty of choosing Leeds Castle as a venue was that the majority of our guests were able to stay the night – either with us in the Maiden’s Tower or in the Stable Courtyard – and meant that everyone was joined again for breakfast the next morning and able to stroll around the grounds. Given that we had such brilliant warm sunny weather, everyone made the most of their time at Leeds Castle and we celebrated our first full day of married life in such a beautiful place, before heading off on our Honeymoon to Venice where the stunning weather continued.
We look back on the wedding as the best day of our lives to date and are so thankful to everybody who helped in making it so memorable. We are very lucky and grateful.
Advice for other Brides.
Plan properly beforehand so you can relax in the lead up and spend time to enjoy your wedding day.
Leeds Castle Florist
(centrepieces, newel-end posts, ceremony room)
(bouquets and buttonholes)
The Abbey Cake Shop