Image Credit: HBO
So following the Battle of the Bastards, a huge pile of bodies and the death of Ramsay Bolton, Sansa will, no doubt, be thinking of her next wedding and planning something special this time.
All joking aside, we are all a little in shock/awe at the enormity of last week’s episode of Game of Thrones. My timeline on Facebook, was full of spoilers and people pouring out their love/hate/revulsion at the battle and the final end to Ramsey (large cheer from the audience).
Maybe now is not the time to think of weddings, with all this blood and the Red Wedding still fresh in our minds, things don’t often work out well for the happy couple, or the not-so-happy couple, in the seven kingdoms, but if this is one of the highlights of your week, you HAVE read the books and want to be the Mother of Dragons, then this could be a right royal knees up to remember.
Firstly, where to host your wedding.
Unfortunately, Westeros is just a little bit too far into imagination to exist, but many of the filming locations are real places and you can hire them to host your wedding. Northern Island, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Spain and Morocco have all been locations, so you will need a passport to access your dream location.
Castle Ward is one of the main filming locations for the entire TV series.
The Castle Ward complex features Audley’s Castle on the shores of Strangford Lough, location of most of the Winterfell exteriors.
The Croatian coastal city Dubrovnik, was used to represent King’s Landing’s exteriors.
Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress, often called “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”, is a fortress and theatre located outside the western wall of the city of Dubrovnik. In Game of Thrones, it is the Red Keep and thanks to several budding Croatian entrepreneurs, you can hold a wedding for over 100 guests.
There are many locations that are used in Spain. It has become Oldtown Braavos, the Dothraki Sea, Dorne, Meereen, the Tower of Joy and Volantis.
Castell de Santa Florentina became Horn Hill, House Tarly’s home castle. An eleventh century fortress north of Barcelona, was transformed into the seat of House Tarly (Horn Hill). Surrounded by greenery and redesigned by Art Nouveau architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner, the castle’s many turrets and elegant courtyards will return in an epic upcoming battle in the Game of Thrones universe.
I have a personal love for Morocco and specifically the coastal resort of Essaouira.
If I were to pick one location, this would be it and for the UK Bride, there are now several low cost budget airlines flying directly to Essaouira, making it an affordable option for your guests. Essaouira is the filming location for Astapor, the infamous city of Slaver’s Bay, where Daenerys Targaryen bought her armies of Unsullied, freed the slaves and took her first step to ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
Le Jardin Des Douars
Le Jardin des Douars is a little piece of paradise, in a lush green river valley just on the outskirts of the town.
It is quiet, beautiful and very picturesque. The hotel can be booked as an exclusive venue to host a wedding and has been the location, not only for a certain film crew and actors, but also an episode of Masterchef (so the food must be good, right?).
Ouarzazate is home to Atlas Studios, where you can pay around £5 for a guided visit.
Apart from Game of Thrones, many films such as Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator, The Mummy and Lawrence of Arabia were all filmed here.
Aït-Ben-Haddou is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as Yunkai, the smallest of the three cities in Slaver’s Bay, and Pentos, the biggest of the Free Cities in Game of Thrones.
A Little Closer
So this one hasn’t (to date) been used as a GOT filming location, but it has been used for an amazing themed wedding shoot and I for one love it.
Close to Bristol, Thornbury Castle is a perfect location, if you wish to get married in a historic setting. Four poster beds, great halls, turrets and towers, all come together to create a venue fit for Queen Margaery herself (just don’t let the High Sparrow know!)
Now we have a location, how about all the other elements of your perfect Game of Thrones Wedding?
We have a lot of ground to cover, so do let me know what you want to read about next, or if you have any ideas I can add (find me on Facebook – Geek Brides).
• What to wear
• What to eat
• What to drink
• Possible gifts
• Table dressing and theming
• The cake!