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Valentine's Day ...Origins, Love & Weddings

Valentine's Day is one of the most celebrated days of the year and a favourite for couples looking for that perfect wedding at a dream wedding venue, whether it be a small, private ceremony in discreet surroundings or a beautiful dream Castle Wedding, the epitome of romance.

Many couples desire to be married on this romantic day and demand is very high, so forward thinking, planning and booking, is paramount. To marry on Valentine's Day in a beautiful setting such as a wedding castle and hotel, would add romance to your special day and make it a magical, memorable occasion.

The exact origin of Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery, but belief has it that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial, circa A.D. 270, Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II determined that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, and he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the unfairness of this, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. After his death, Valentine was martyred and became one of the most popular saints.

Others believe that the church may have decided to place St. Valentine's Day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, which was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

valentines-hearts

It was during the middle ages that Valentine's Day became definitively associated with love, although written Valentine's did not commence until after 1400. The oldest known valentine in existence today, is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London.) Some years later, it is believed that King Henry V employed a writer to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Valentine's Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, with women purchasing in the region of 85 percent of all valentines cards, out of the estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards sent each year.

While sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts is traditional in the UK, Valentine's Day is celebrated in various ways (and on various dates) throughout the world;

In France and Spain, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries. In Portugal it is more commonly referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" (Lover's Day). In Denmark and Norway, February 14 is known as Valentinsdag, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner. In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's Day". In Slovenia, St Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. In Lithuania and Latvia, it is common for people to put stickers on faces and clothing of a friend or a relative. In some Latin American countries Valentine's Day is known as "Día Del Amor y la Amistad" (Day of Love and Friendship). In Asian, Indian and some Middle Eastern countries, people do celebrate a day similar to Saint Valentine's Day, but the dates vary and in several Islamic countries the celebrating of Saint Valentine's Day is banned as being against their culture.

valentine-rose

Valentine's Day is traditionally celebrated as a day of love and romance and many proposals are made on this day, with couples planning weddings for the following year's Valentine's Day. Planning a Valentine's Day wedding means that your dream wedding venue will have to be booked well in advance.

The 'love' theme is prevalent at the beginning of February and you should easily obtain, heart shaped decorations for your reception and a predominately red and white theme is always romantic, be aware that flowers tend to increase in price for Valentine's Day, especially red roses, so speak to your florist about what is suitable and not too expensive for your bride's bouquet.

If you are unable to arrange your wedding day to be held on Valentine's Day, February is always a lovely month to marry with sparkling frost or pure white snow enhancing your wedding photographs and you will share the month with some celebrity marriages, including:

Jennifer Lopez and Ojani Noa: 6/2/1997
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former model Carla Bruni: 7/2/2008
Diana Ross and Arne Naess: 11/2/1986
Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Todd: 15/2/1957
Frank Sinatra and Nancy Barbato: 16/2/1939
Ginger Rogers and Jacques Bergerac: 19/2/1953
Bob Marley and Rita Marley: 20/2/1966
Queen Victoria of England and Prince Albert: 22/2/1840
William Shatner and Elizabeth Anderson Martin: 25/2/2001
Tori Amos and Mark Hawley: 29/2/1998 (Leap Year's Day)

Celebrate your special day with a beautiful Wedding service at our 17th Century Castle; take a look at our Wedding section for full details.