Kim & Ette’s Intimate Wedding at Pennsylvania Castle

Written by Caitlin Hoare
“It was the perfect romantic wonderland”

Finding a wedding venue in the UK that encapsulates a balmy beachy destination wedding is no mean feat but Kim and Ette did just that! Not only did they get their much sought after ocean view and palm trees, they also bagged a majestic castle and magical orangery in Pennsylvania Castle too.

It’s going to take me a while to get over that ceremony setting and drinks reception view, just wow.

Notes from the Bride

Kim says…

I originally envisioned our wedding in the Caribbean or Mediterranean with a great view of the ocean with palm trees and modern accommodations. However, my then mother-in-law-to-be could not travel. Although she insisted we not consider her in selecting the wedding destination, we could not imagine having a wedding that didn’t include both our mothers. So I set out to find a venue that met a very specific criteria – a castle, onsite accommodation, with a breath-taking view that made you feel like you were on an island. I honestly did not expect to find a venue with everything from my list, but I hoped to at least come close.

When I saw Pennsylvania Castle for the first time, I instantly knew it was our venue. Not only did it have a stunning castle and a view of the sea, they had brand new clifftop accommodation. Also, below the estate within a cliff hosts Penn’s waterfall and tropical garden. The estate was just perfect.

Our family and friends continued to comment on how they felt like they were on a holiday. Not to mention the Penn team were so accommodating and really felt like family. The entire estate completely exceeded all our expectations and we fully expect to visit again and again to host our future family events.

It was tough finding a dress that I loved. With the help of Sweet Elegance Bridal in Decatur, GA, I finally said “Yes” to an Essence of Australia’s lace fit-and-flare dress with off the shoulder sleeves and ivory beading with a long cathedral beaded veil. Comfort was most important when it came to shoes. I paired my dress with three-inch ivory open toe satin wedges with a front crystal detail by Badgley Mischka.

My Godmother passed away during the pandemic and having such an influence on my family, I wanted to make sure I honoured her on this day. She was quite the lover of jewellery, so it seemed fitting for my ‘something borrowed’ to be her drop earrings paired with a diamond necklace I received as a wedding gift from a close family friend.

Ette opted for classic morning suits for him and the groomsmen with pink silk ties that matched the bridesmaid’s long halter neck pink gowns.

The venue itself is so beautiful that it did not need much. Even still, our décor stylist Melissa Rose helped bring to life my idea of a romantic themed wedding with dedicated areas to host the many events of the day. Melissa has amazing vision, so I gave her complete freedom to mix and match chairs, tables, colours, chandeliers, candlesticks, and accessories. I love the outdoors and wanted to maximize as much of the outdoor space, weather permitting. Melissa worked with the Penn team to create three distinct spaces for the wedding – the pagoda for the ceremony, beautiful outdoor seating and chairs overlooking the sea for post wedding toasts, canapés and pictures, and a romantic orangery filled with candles, flowers, and chandeliers for the wedding breakfast. I did not set out to create a fairy-tale wedding, but that is exactly what it felt like thanks to Melissa’s creativity. It was the perfect romantic wonderland.

We were really blessed to have Melissa, our décor stylist, since she is also a florist by trade. Pennsylvania Castle has a beautiful garden and flowers throughout the estate. Melissa complemented the estate flowers with an arch full of roses and peonies around the pagoda. She also created a spread of hydrangeas and roses in pale pinks across the top table and arrangements of delphiniums in white, and pale pink roses and peonies on each guest table. Again – wanting to honour my Godmother, I picked her favourite flower ‘birds of paradise’ to accent my bouquet, the maid of honour’s (my sister) bouquet, and my mom’s corsage.

Fossil Foods, a lovely bespoke caterer based in Devon, catered our wedding day. Overwhelmed with what to select for our menu, Steve and Kirsty gave us some great advice – “the menu should reflect you as a couple, so choose the items that you two love to eat!” Following that advice, we filled the canapés, starter, main, and dessert grazing menus with all our favourites; an assortment of canapés, duck and crab for starters, rack of lamb and sea bass for our mains, and dessert plates full of brownies, cheesecake, and panna cotta. We were really pleased with our selections, as the menu was so satisfying and a hit amongst guests.

We opted for a 4-tier fondant wedding cake created by Caked Patisserie and designed uniquely with our wedding theme in mind. Each layer dedicated to one of our favourite flavours; banoffee, salted caramel, red velvet, and orange & elderflower and adorned with birds of paradise sugar flowers.

Mindy Coe was one of the highlights of our day. When I saw Mindy’s work, I knew I had to have her for our wedding. I love her natural yet cinematic approach to photography. We are not huge fans of taking pictures, so we wanted a photographer that would capture the beauty of the day as it happened versus endless hours of staged pictures. Mindy was so accommodating and went over and beyond by helping family and guests get the most out of their experience. My father is a photographer and desperately wanted to shoot my wedding, however, I needed him to be dad on my big day. When he saw the final pictures, he was blown away with emotion and thanked me for forcing him to be part of the beautiful storybook that Mindy captured verses being the one documenting it.

Best part of the day

The best part of the wedding day was sharing it with our families and witnessing their pure joy. As I was walking down the aisle, I saw my parents, siblings, niece, and friends trying their best to hold back the tears. Even the suppliers who had worked with us for 2 years throughout the pandemic and stuck with us through every date change were happy to finally witness our union. That was the moment I realized how much the day meant to not just Ette and I, but to everyone that loved us. We contemplated cancelling the wedding many times because of the pandemic, but at that moment I realized all the stress from planning through all the uncertainties and all the postponements, it just all felt worth it.

From one couple to another…

Enjoy the journey! Planning a wedding is not easy, but if you’re not intentional about managing stress, you can plan a beautiful wedding for loved ones to enjoy without being fully present to enjoy it with them. So when your wedding week finally approaches, try to let go of all the stress of that one thing you forgot or that one thing that wasn’t perfect. Do not let the small things steal your attention or joy. You cannot relive the day again, so just enjoy it!


Venue Pennsylvania Castle

Florist + Stylist Melissa Rose Design

Photographer Mindy Coe Photography

Videographer Edward Southwell

Hair Deborah Lola

Catering Fossil Food

Saxophonist Abi Rose

Cake Caked Patisserie

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