Wedding Ceremony

Off Season Weddings at The Castle

While the typical wedding season runs from May to October, many brides are opting to plan their wedding during the “off-season.” Choosing to exchange vows during this time is not as limiting as one may think. In fact, there are quite a few advantages: venues and vendors often have more dates available for booking and lower costs for certain products and services.  In many circumstances the rates for a small off season wedding at the Castle will be at least 50% of high season!!!

Planning a wedding during the months of November, January, February, March and April bring about the chance for the bride and groom to cut back on many aspects of their budget, even down to the flowers you use. Look at certain flowers in season during the winter months like anemones and ranunculus to add a splash of color. If you’re going for a more traditional holiday ceremony, use ivy, holly and poinsettias.

Choose seasonal themes or color schemes and interesting locations to hold both the ceremony and reception. There are also plenty of winter-friendly options to keep the cold at bay, so don’t completely rule out any outdoor options. Having your wedding during the off season gives you more options with dates, locations and cost, as well as more guest availability with the likelihood that your wedding date won’t conflict with many other weddings.

With so many ceremony and reception options to choose from, here are a few that work well here at the Castle:

  • A small intimate ceremony for 30 then appetizers and/or dinner; invite those near and dear to you to share your special day inside the beautiful Castle Tea Room with good food and good company.
  • Sit-down dinner reception for 50, followed by dancing on the Courtyard; looking to have a little bit bigger guest list? 50 guests allow for plenty of room while maintaining that cozy atmosphere.
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for 75-100 guests; create a few signature cocktails and treat guests to an array of hors d’oeuvres that put a new twist on the staples of traditional holiday meals.

More than a cake.... A Sweets Table!

Whether inside or outside, the Castle Tea Room can offer the perfect elegant setting for a beautiful Winter wedding. The Courtyard provides ample space for those with larger guest lists, while the interior provides a unique setting for smaller groups. There’s no better way to bring your loved ones together this holiday season than to celebrate your nuptials here at the Castle Tea Room!

Check to see if your event date is available and get rate information

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 Sample setup diagram for a small ceremony <40 followed by a cocktail party for up to 75.

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Small Ceremony and Dinner, Then Large Reception

The phrase “private ceremony” can mean a lot of different things. To some couples,

Let The Ceremony Begin!!!

it means being surrounded by core friends and family instead of a large guest list. To other couples, a private ceremony is a way to trim back their budget and just keep things simple. In reality, you can have the best of both worlds with a small, private ceremony followed by an open reception where you can include everyone on your list.

By keeping the ceremony small, you have the freedom to choose a unique venue that best reflects you as a couple. Fewer guests also means fewer schedules to work around. Your wedding is all about you and it should be special, so don’t fret too much about the guest list. Many couples who host a ceremony outside of a church generally have a brief ceremony and if the guest list is small the rental savings can be as high as 25%.

In order to avoid hurting any feelings, take into consideration a special invitation for the reception. Let your guests know you are having a private ceremony or have already tied the knot, and now you would like them to join you at the reception to celebrate. For invitation ideas, check out the destination wedding article on Truly You want to be sure your guests feel included even if they aren’t invited to the actual ceremony.

How to Have a Small Private Wedding from offers some excellent advice when it comes to planning an exclusive ceremony followed by a larger reception. Keep it simple and low-key and be sure to word your invitations so your guests understand they are still a big part of your big day.

Our Bride and Groom last week opted for a small civil ceremony on the Front Steps of the Castle, with 35 of their closest friends and family in attendance. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Dianna’s Kitchen. As dinner came to a close, an additional 100 guests arrived and the celebration moved outside to our Courtyard.

Heavy Hors D'oeuvres!

The reception guests joined the happy couple to dance the night away and celebrate with the newlyweds. Outside, lights illuminated the big white tent and each table was adorned with touches of black, silver and deep red roses.

Dianna’s Kitchen provided a tasty array of heavy hors d’oeuvres, keeping the party goers snacking all night. Tables scattered out on the Courtyard provided plenty of space for the beautiful cake, DJ and a bartender.  By having a more casual style reception the evening flowed effortlessly without the rigidity of a more structured formal reception and the guests had a fantastic time.

Check to see if your event date is available and get rate information

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The Castle Tea Room | 1307 Massachusetts Street | Lawrence, KS | Phone: (785) 843-1151