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The Short Version: Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan, offers couples stunning historic architecture, sprawling gardens, and the kinds of weddings dreams are made of. The historic property was built in 1918 and has since been restored and expanded by the current owner. Brittany Maggrett, the Event Director for the castle, told us about the castle’s history, wedding spaces, and how her team works tirelessly with couples to make their special day perfect.
Choosing a venue for a wedding is no easy task. Couples have so much to consider when it comes to organizing this vital aspect of their wedding, from budget and timeline to venue capacity and atmosphere. The venue may be the most difficult part of the wedding to plan, yet it’s the part that needs to be planned first and foremost.
The venue can really make or break a wedding, and wedding professionals seem to be in unanimous agreement that couples should take their time to research all their options. Couples should choose a venue that emulates the vibe they’re going for on their wedding day, whether a rustic farmhouse or a penthouse ballroom.
Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan, has spaces for weddings of all kinds, from castles and courtyards to garden rooms and galleries. Couples who choose the historic castle and surrounding grounds receive the help of a dedicated wedding team who can host weddings of many styles and sizes in every season. Castle Farms is a popular wedding venue for couples in Michigan and across the country.
Brittany Maggrett is the Events Director for Castle Farms. She told us about the castle, property, and what Castle Farms has in store for the couples who choose the location for their special day. “We’re in northern Michigan, which is just this really beautiful area,” she said. “Charlevoix is a little resort town right on Lake Michigan. It really feels hidden away and super special.”
There are many aspects of Castle Farms that attract couples to the location, but Brittany said the site’s historic status is among the most attractive. “We are a historic venue, it was built to look like a castle,” she said. “Originally, the property was a dairy farm, and it’s undergone a lot of transformations since.”
Castle Farm’s history begins in 1918 with the acting President of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., Albert Loeb. Loeb built the castle and surrounding buildings as part of a model dairy farm to display equipment that the catalog was selling. Called Loeb Farms, the castle was modeled after the stone structures found in Normandy, France.
“In 1962, ownership changed, and the property was opened to the public,” Brittany said. The new owner offered tours, a cafe, and even an art gallery with a working artist studio on site. By 1969, the property was under new ownership. Arthur and Edwina Reibel purchased the property and named it “Castle Farms Summer Music Theater.”
The northern Michigan venue hosted many concerts from the 1970s all the way into the 1990s, including the likes of Tina Turner, Aerosmith, and The Doobie Brothers. “Couples love the historic element, especially hearing about all the iconic artists who’ve played here,” Brittany said. “Ozzy Osbourne and Bon Jovi were here, and that’s pretty neat.”
In 2001, current owner Linda Mueller purchased the farm and began an extensive restoration project to return the property to its early 20th-century glory. The roofs were replaced, wings were added according to original blueprints, and extensive gardens were built. Today, Linda and her team continue to dedicate themselves to the upkeep of the historic property and service to the surrounding Charlevoix community.
Seasons are a big consideration in wedding planning. Whether it’s a winter wonderland or a balmy summer wedding, the weather and temperature of a wedding day are a big deal. Brittany said that no matter the season, Castle Farms has a wonderful space for couples to enjoy their nuptials.
The summer season enjoys outdoor ceremonies and a selection of four reception spaces. Couples can opt for a ceremony in either the Queen’s or Knight’s Courtyard and enjoy their reception in a correlating castle room or a garden room. Castle rooms bring a moody ambiance with historic stone walls, while garden rooms offer a brighter and airier wedding feel.
The Knight’s Castle is one of Castle Farm’s most popular venue options for summer weddings. The Knight’s Castle features the most original architecture out of all the restored buildings, with stone walls and high vaulted ceilings made of dark wood. If couples choose the Knight’s Castle reception space it pairs with the Knight’s Courtyard ceremony location, which features the longest entry walkway for the couple and wedding party.
In the winter months, all ceremonies and receptions are held inside. Couples have three distinct venue choices, including castle and garden room options. One of the most popular options for a ceremony location is the King’s Indoor Chapel, paired with the King’s Great Hall for the reception.
The King’s Indoor Chapel and King’s Great Hall are in a grand room with vaulted ceilings that boasts some of the property’s best views of the Castle and gardens. The chapel features stone walls, large chandeliers, and a warm, romantic ambiance perfect for a winter wedding. On the Great Hall end of the room, the beautifully crafted vaulted ceilings continue along with 12 iron chandeliers, and even more exposed stone walls.
Just a small staircase or elevator ride away is the King’s Great Hall. The King’s Great Hall has beautifully crafted vaulted ceilings, 12 iron chandeliers, and even more exposed stone walls. This wintertime wedding package is fit for any couple who wants to tap into their inner royalty on their wedding day.
While planning a wedding, many couples feel attracted to venues that not only are accustomed to organizing weddings, but have a dedicated staff for them. Castle Farms has a whole team of dedicated professionals who help couples achieve the wedding they’ve always wanted.
“When a couple is first looking at the Castle, they’ll tour with a sales consultant, who will help them with pricing and making the reservation,” Brittany said. “After that, the couple will start communicating with one of our coordinators. Once they’re one or two months out from the wedding, they’ll be assigned a specific coordinator who will help them through their day.”
While Castle Farms doesn’t offer full wedding planning, its in-house Venue Coordinators help make sure the day goes off without a hitch. Brittany said the coordinator helps a couple with their room layout, runs rehearsal for the ceremony, and communicates with vendors the day of. Castle Farms Venue Coordinators make sure everyone is on the same page when the big day comes to help ensure a smooth experience.
At Castle Farms, couples can add custom touches to create a bespoke experience. “We’re also really open to couples bringing in their own vendors, as long as they meet our food and beverage safety standards,” Brittany said.
Castle Farms combines historic features, modern amenities, and breathtaking gardens for a wedding experience like no other. To Brittany, what makes Castle Farms most special is the people.
“We have a really awesome team,” she said. “It’s a fun, close-knit group who really care about couples and their wedding. We’re excited to make weddings happen– it’s one of our favorite things.”