Wolvenbos: welcome to wonderland
TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS © WOLVENBOS
The perfect wedding starts with a perfect location: like Wolvenbos. In the middle of nature, a private and magical place arises: a castle from the 1900s accompanied by a fairytale garden. It is a wonderland where the best day of your life can unfold.
The experience of Wolvenbos starts at the entrance, at the stunning wrought iron gate featuring the name and weapon of the estate. This is followed by a long path surrounded by large trees. The castle is nowhere in sight just yet, but will be soon: when you turn right, it arises through the branches. “A magical sight,” says Valerie Christiaen, who is in charge of this remarkable location.
You have arrived at a beautiful castle, built and lived in during the 1900s. Attached is a spacious terrace, overlooking a large field of grass, a forest and some meadows. You can see it all, yet no one can see you. “That’s one of the great aspects of Wolvenbos, it’s very private. All 42 hectares are only accessible to wedding guests. You also get your own entrance and parking, belonging to the castle.”
Feeling right at home
Back at the castle entrance hall, a great fireplace warms the room. If you go beyond the salon and walk a little further down the hall, you will find a cosy space with a cabinet filled with classic Delft Blue and an antique bar. The library is not easy to spot, but definitely worthwhile seeking out. The most important room is the grand hall, with a large dome in the middle creating a comforting light.
“On the wall, there are paintings and tapestries; in the middle we can put beautiful round chairs and a table of honour. This is where the dinner usually takes place,” Christiaen says, and adds: “We can place 150 people here for a sitting dinner. Throughout the entire castle we wanted to create a warm interior, like you’re in someone’s home. Guests have to feel completely welcome.”
For those preferring an outdoor wedding rather than being inside for most of the day, Wolvenbos offers a so-called ‘secret garden’. A name that was given to it for good reason, because this garden is invisible to most visitors. It cannot be seen from the castle, and nor can the castle be seen from the garden. “It also has its own entrance and parking, so you can choose to rent only the garden or only the castle. Or both, for the complete experience, of course.”
Intimate and magical
Entering the garden is something special in itself. Look for a cute little house that has a small white and green coloured door. This is where you enter an oasis of peace and quiet. You will see two fields of grass edged with buxus and roses, a water well and large trees that surround the area.
“Like you’re in Alice in Wonderland. There’s a buffet table that can host a dinner for 20 people, and a tent, which is often used for the ceremony, dinner or dance party. It’s very intimate and magical.” This location is often used for a day wedding, with a barbecue lunch. The party then starts at around four in the afternoon. There is also the possibility to add multiple extra tents, when hosting a larger wedding.
For two years now, Wolvenbos has been available to host weddings, impressing its guests with the large planes of nature and comforting spaces in the castle. “Wolvenbos will keep surprising you for hours. It’s filled with small areas that each offer their own kind of magic,” confirms Christiaen.
No wonder then, that people regularly request to spend their wedding night in the castle as well. “We have created three suites on the first floor where you can stay the night and wake up to the sound of birds and have breakfast surrounded by nature. It is an incredible experience that is the perfect extension to your wedding day.”
For those who long to see this magical place, but do not have the prospect of a wedding ahead of them: it is also possible to visit the estate for other occasions. “We offer meeting rooms and organise events and guided tour days. The estate has a very long history, for instance during the First World War. There are still some unique Belgian bunkers to be seen, as well as original trenches. During an hour-long walk you’ll learn all about it.”