A Christmas Wedding in June at Heaver Castle

We headed out to Tumbridge Wells area to start the wedding festivities for Matt's cousin Emily. Train ride is about an hour from London. Emily was soon to be married to Mr. Anthony Christmas. Yes a Christmas wedding! 

Downtown Tumbridge Wells

Drinks were in order at Duke of York. Rehearsal dinners are not a common tradition for the Brits, so we met up with them at this pub for few celebratory drinks.

The couple of the hour

Mother of the bride, with sister of the bride, her husband and son

Em with her maid of honor
It was great that so much of the family was able to make it.

Even their dog Wispa was able to make an appearance. Emily told me that was partly why they chose this place as it was dog friendly.


After a few pints, we headed back to our hotel for dinner. We stayed at the Hotel du Vin.  The hotel was built in 1762 and used to be royal hostile for the royal family's summer getaways.

I have always wanted one of these Champagne racks

Family dinner

The next morning-wedding time! The wedding started at 2:30, so we all got fully ready and had a family lunch at this darling place- George and Dragon. We were just slightly over dressed.

Food was great. The chefs buy most every thing from local organic farms. English cheeses are their speciality. There is a large range of traditional local ales and a good wine list as well. I had the cheese plattter with an awesome chutney/marmalade.

We arrive at Heaver Castle. All weekend, it was referred to as Anne Boleyn’s (2nd Queen of King Henry VIII) summer home.  Hever Castle began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539 it was home to the Boleyn family.

The happy couple

After the ceremony, we head out back for drinks and croquet

Wispa making another appearance


Family photos

Little Henry, the little heart throb

Henry wanted to play, but in his version you picked up the balls and took them to the boys

Heaver Castle- keep reading on for full bio

Our guys modeling our fascinators at dinner

Now for the real action, the reception!

Mr. and Mrs. Christmas arrive!

Kids are always the most fun to watch on the dance floor.

The shoe game

Castle lit up at night

After party billiards

Matt representing the Mets with his orange socks

The next morning was gorgeous so we explored the castle grounds

Archery Field

Via Wikipedia, there have been three main periods in the construction of the castle. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. The second period was when the castle, then in need of repair, was converted into a manor in 1462 by Geoffrey Boleyn, younger brother of Thomas Boleyn. He added a Tudor dwelling within the walls. The third period of repair and renovation was in 1903 when it was was acquired and restored by the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor, who used it as a family residence.Since 1983, the castle has been owned by Broadland Properties Limited. The estate is now run as a conference centre, but the castle and grounds are open to the public.

Reminded me of Monet

The gardens were enormous. After breakfast, while Matt and Chris played golf, Katie and I joined some other family members toured the grounds.The grounds of the castle are enormous and include a yew maze and water maze. The castle gardens contain a wide range of features including an Italianate garden, rose gardens, a herb garden, and topiary.

From here, Katie and I broke off and went around the entire lake while others made their way back to pack up

Mom- any idea what these are? They were massive!

Cutest Newfoundland puppy! So soft you wouldn't believe it. He was also the most chilled out puppy I have ever met. I want one!

Inside the Castle. You weren't supposed to take pictures. Oops. Didn't take long until one of the personelle told me no photos. 

Thank you to everyone for a great trip filled with great memories. Congrats to Emily and Anthony!

Hotel du Vin
Crescent Rd
 Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LY, UK
Heaver Castle
Hever Edenbridge
Kent TN8 7NG, United Kingdom
+44 1732 861700

Duke of York
17 The Pantiles
Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TD, UK
+44 1892 517619

George & Dragon
Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0NN, UK
+44 1892 863125


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