Emily Duncan |
7 Awesome London Wedding Venues
I absolutely love looking at (and let’s face it, attending) what one would consider a traditional wedding; but a few months ago, my very good friend told me that although she loved her wedding day, she regretted not putting more of her own personal stamp on the occasion. She felt tied to wedding protocol. One of the biggest days of your life is an embodiment of you and your partners personality and style. You want your guests to turn up to the wedding and say “Oh my gosh this is so them!”
Everyone wants their wedding day to be memorable and pretty perfect, but not everyone is at home in country manor, castle or marquee. As a city girl myself, I’ve taken a look at what London has to offer for the slightly more alternative wedding venue. From the sublime to the damn right surreal. Alternative doesn’t just mean tattoos and tutus. We like to think of it as the creation of “new” traditions or the tweaking of mainstream traditions to accommodate alternative choices.
Here’s what I found:
The beautiful Victorian Bath House in Liverpool Street is a grade II listed building dating back to, you guessed it, the Victorian era and is firmly on the secret London map. Its basement will seduce you, with its cosy little corners, lush velvet interiors and intricate architectural details. It’s been described as a Victorian fantasy inspired by an Arabic Mosque. From the outside looks like a very small building, but step inside and this place is like the Tardis. We’ve definitely got a lot to thank the Victorians for and in this case it’s their ostentatious design. A truly unique venue for a truly individual wedding.
Lions and tiger and bears, oh my! Okay, okay, so this isn’t a venue for everyone, and it possibly isn’t the first place you think of when you hear the word ‘wedding’ but keep with me on this one. Imagine wanting to get married amongst wild life, and I mean WILD life. At London Zoo you are able to say your vows in the presence of Lions and Tigers, whist doing your bit for conservation!
You can’t get more urban than the glorious space at The Barbican. Once inside it opens up to beautiful maze-like walkways and stunning plants adorning the balconies. This iconic art centre is like a mini Kew Gardens slap bang in the middle of the City. You have all the romance of Romeo and Juliet transported to 21stcentury London. I love this place as so much happens here and if your guests arrive early, they can pop into the Museum of London and soak up some history, bonus!
“Shall I compare thee to a summers day….” now who wouldn’t want that said to them inside Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. For the thespians among you this would make the perfect venue to say “I do”.
St Mary Axe – Or as it’s informally and loving known….The Gherkin. It’s part of the 21stcentury iconic London skyline and nothing says city wedding quite like a ceremony in a massive sky scraper in the financial district. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Searcy’s restaurant at The Gherkin and the views of London are spectacular, although it’s not the venue of choice if you have a fear of heights!
None of the above floating your boat, how about Kachette, formerly part of Shoreditch Station. Closed in 1940 as a train station and has now been restored. I can just imagine arches filled with fairy lights to create a magical wedding. Check out Shoreditch Studios too, their other venue.
Want some Banksy with your Bride? No problem. The Princess of Wales in Camden offers just that. The famous street artist’s work adorns the walls and garden of this alternative pub, which has been a venue for hundreds of weddings with a more relaxed feel.
There’s an abundance of alternative venues and that’s just in London. Stunning railway arches, industrial warehouses dripping with coolness and old factories bursting with character. These places are just as much a beautiful wedding venue as castles, marquees and country houses.
After all, we are all different and the venue we choose for our wedding is subjective. Let your personality shine through and don’t be beholden to protocol if it’s really not your thing. In the words of Coco Chanel…, “Don’t be like the rest of them darling”
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