Published on Sep 7, 2017
Can’t find your dream wedding venue? Or are you trying to suss out some quirky ideas for where you could get married in the UK? There are so many special venues out there that have played host to hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings that churn out the same old kind of thing every weekend. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best unique places to get married in the UK that can really provide that WOW factor on your big day.
What could be a better way to tie the knot than far out at sea on your own deserted island? Spitbank Fort is just a short boat ride off the coast of Portsmouth and allows exclusive access for twenty four hours for you and your guests. You can finish the night with marshmallows and champagne around a fire pit before retiring to their luxury bridal suite. Steeped in naval history, it offers a luxurious and historic break unlike any other. Read more about Spitbank Fort.
Take to the seas on a luxury wedding adventure on-board a cruise ship. These can provide everything you could ever wish for including multiple bars, restaurants, a theatre and cinema (some ships even have race tracks and rollercoasters). It’s certainly a memorable way to mark the occasion. You can embark from Southampton in the UK, saving any faffing around with flights and meaning family members who might be opposed to flying or can’t travel too far can easily join you to witness your wedding. And, whether you decide to cruise for one night only or make it a fully-fledged holiday, the options are endless! Why not merge it with your honeymoon and spend a week on one of the islands or in one of cities you visit?
If you’re looking for a picturesque location for your wedding that is quite literally a level above the rest, what could be better than a rooftop bar? Contemporary, exciting and unique, they offer beautiful rolling views from a multitude of storeys up, as well as plenty of seating areas and drinks options! A pared-back location, you can adorn the space with lanterns and tealights, creating quintessential, fairytale-esque settings or keep it simple and let the view do the talking. Say your vows as the world moves below you and be sure to get some beautiful photos as the sun sets.
Rustic weddings are all the rage and if you are looking for the venue which tops them all, why not plan to get married in a windmill? A truly bijou setting, there are a few options available for this in the UK, most of which are ideal to host a smaller, more personal wedding. Nestled in the beautiful countryside they offer unrivalled views and a stunning backdrop to your wedding photos. Rayleigh Windmill in Essex is one great example of this type of venue, where you and your guests can really make the most of your special day.
Sometimes simplicity is key and, if you are looking to strip back your wedding venue and focus on the ceremony and the day, there is nothing more elegant than a wedding on a beach. With the sea providing an ideal and romantic backdrop for your big day, there are countless coastal destinations to pick from. Whether you would prefer the seclusion of a private beach, miles of rolling sand or perhaps a more atmospheric pebbly beach, the UK is host to all. It also offers a chance to get creative with your wedding photos, thanks to dreamy silhouettes and reflections in the water.
Why not be wed in a truly atmospheric location such as an abandoned swimming pool? Whilst the idea may seem slightly bonkers, pools such as the Victorian Baths in Manchester offer a truly memorable venue that ensures your day will go swimmingly (excuse the pun) from start to finish. There are five different spaces for your reception and the ceremony itself will take place on the bottom of the Gala Pool, a room which marries retro fantasy with sumptuous noir. It is bathed in natural light, with a high ceiling, light bricked walls and arch detailing reminiscent of a bygone era. The Victorian-esque corridors and striking architecture make for some superb photographs.
Any marine life fans out there, why not play out your ideal fantasy and get married aboard a real life Royal Navy submarine? The HMS Alliance in Gosport offers its Royal Navy Submarine Museum as a perfect place to tie the knot with stunning views across the harbour. Alternatively, you can get married in the John Fieldhouse building, offering a blend of stunning contemporary architecture with nautical nuances thanks to its unique submarine shape. Weddings here can accommodate up to 200 guests, all of whom can arrive in style by water – a memorable way to both start and end the day. It’s a unique destination guaranteed to impress.
On a similar note, why not head aboard an old naval ship for a wedding steeped in historic grandeur? Ships such as the HMS Warrior offer a truly unique wedding venue that perfectly marries together romance and individuality which is guaranteed to make your day a memorable one. Your ceremony can either be held in the captain’s cabin or upon the officer’s half deck and will be followed by a reception with unrivalled views of Portsmouth Harbour. Guests can indulge in champagne and canapes whilst enjoying a tour of the ship taking in the historic splendour of the location.
The UK is a country brimming with its historical past and is home to a number of castles both fully functional and monumental. The mix of smooth grey stone, tumbling countryside views and the luxurious, historic splendour of bygone eras make these the ideal location to say your nuptials and spend your special day. Spindling turrets, drawbridges and moats make for a breath-taking location which encapsulates all of your childhood fairy-tale dreams and offers a plethora of dreamy photographic backdrops. Many castles offer a full destination wedding package, with some offering exclusive use of the entire venue for the day. So why not book it and become a real King or Queen for the day?
Everyone daydreams about the fairytale wedding, so why not indulge in the fantasy of being royalty for the day and get married in a palace? Timelessly elegant, with splendid formal gardens and stunning baroque architecture, there are a number of palaces across the country which are guaranteed to make your day super special. Dine in an elegant banqueting hall and twirl the night away in a ballroom under glittering chandeliers. Why not opt for Kensington Palace as your chosen destination? You can be wed in the beautiful orangery with space for up to 150 guests and plenty of lawn space for marquees if you wish to hold an even larger reception. One will be most amused.
Make for a true Hollywood-style ‘happily ever after’ ending for your big day by marrying in a film studio. Heatherden Hall, a beautiful location in its own right, is also the centrepiece upon which Pinewood Studios was built and has been the location for numerous films over the years including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver Twist and James Bond. The location boasts spectacular gardens, an ornamental bridge and even a secret cave to explore and take photos. As well as exclusive use of the venue, you will also get the chance to feel like film-star royalty with a red carpeted entrance – utterly fabulous!
Bored of traditional venues on ground level? Why not be at one with nature and celebrate your wedding in a beautiful treehouse? Be wed beneath an enchanting woodland canopy surrounded by the chirping of birds, rustling of leaves and the sounds of babbling brooks and flowing rivers. No matter the time of year, it’s guaranteed to be a truly magical venue with dancing on a decking, colourful blooms of flowers and twinkling fairy lights intertwined in the trees. From tranquil lodges to quaint wooden bridges between trees and even roaring log fires, every detail will be covered ensuring a day which is cosy, magical and as memorable as it is special.
A barn offers the ideal blank canvas for creative couples. The pared back, rustic feel can easily be shaped and decorated for each couple’s unique tastes. The unique, warm colour scheme – with natural walls and floors – means you don’t have to worry about garish carpets and wallpapers and no matter the colour of bunting, flowers or table cloths they will look effortlessly elegant amid this backdrop. Why not hang fairy lights from the ceiling or place lanterns round the walls for a beautiful finish? Thanks to barns being nestled in idyllic British countryside it’s perfect to spill out into flowered lawns for a champagne reception and get some beautiful photos against the unspoilt sunset. Pangdean Old Barn in Sussex is a great example to look up.
If you are looking to get wed in the tallest building in the UK, the Shangri-La in the Shard is the place for you. Located 34 floors up, it is utterly luxurious, with beautiful, contemporary décor, plush furnishings and floor to ceiling glass windows offering unrivalled views over London. A grand staircase and double-height windows behind it offer an ideal backdrop for all your wedding photographs. From the flower arrangements to signature wedding cakes intricately created by their very own pastry chefs, the Shangri-La is more than just a venue for the day, ensuring every aspect is perfectly cared for. Why not extend your day and stay in one of their luxurious suites? What better way to start life as a married couple than with 360-degree views of the iconic London skyline?
Click to view their wedding brochure.
For a wedding reception that is utterly intimate, exclusive and totally VIP, look no further than the Scotch Whisky Experience. Dine in a room with walls that are bordered by a selection of impressive whiskies which span decades and send a warm golden light to reflect off the surfaces. You can indulge in an exclusive tasting session to toast your big day and enjoy fine cuisine surrounded by your closest friends and family. It’s a memorable and different way to round off your wedding and is conveniently located right next to Edinburgh Castle – you could even tie the knot there first and then head to The Whisky Exchange afterwards?
If you are looking to take the conventional wedding location and turn it on its head, how about diving beneath the surface and get married in an aquarium? Tie the knot to the backdrop of a myriad of tropical fish in a truly atmospheric destination which can hold all of your friends and family. And don’t feel you have to don the regular wedding attire either, you can get married in wetsuits and flippers if your heart so desires, surrounded by sharks in the shark tank! Sea Life in Blackpool offers a great example of this type of wedding.
Imbue your wedding day with 1920s glamour with a ceremony in a cabaret club. Most cabaret clubs are eccentrically beautiful, with plush red and purple décor, white tablecloths and a beautiful domed ceiling. You can enjoy a range of cabaret and burlesque acts in a unique and intimate setting ideal for a retro celebration. With formal seating or standing events, you can choose from a sit down meal, buffet or canapes and champagne ideal for any sized group.
Where better for a quirky venue to get married than a studio space? A versatile venue, it provides a blank canvas for you to change, adapt and customise as you wish. Visually beautiful features can include high concrete pillars, polished floors and exposed brickwork, ideal for adding in your own decorations and features such as bunting, lightboxes and fairy lights. Steeped in natural light and with ample space, it’s the perfect destination to gather your loved ones and tie the knot. At venues such as the Studio Space in East London’s warehouse you can use the main space alone or hire out other rooms for the reception. One thing is for sure, it’s ideal for creating unique photographs of your big day!
Why not get married in a cave for the ultimate romantic and magical day? A truly atmospheric setting, say ‘I do’ under stone waterfalls and walls adorned with stalagmite chandeliers. Destinations such as Kent’s Cavern caves offer five unique chambers to tie the knot, each holding different amounts of guests for a unique experience bespoke just for you. Once the ceremony is over, why not enjoy a cocktails and canape reception in another chamber, toasting to the sounds of falling water.
London is home to one of the country’s most famed and flourishing markets – Borough Market – and what could could be a better way of tying the knot than in such a setting? Borough Market’s Market Hall can be closed off to create a private space for your special day and with its contemporary structure, beautiful vertical planters and on-site kitchen, bar and toilets, it has everything you could possibly need. Hosting up to 250 standing it’s an ideal venue for a larger wedding and creates an oasis of tranquillity amidst the bustle of London.
Intertwine romance, history and the exploration of space to your wedding day by getting married at The National Space Centre in Leicester. There are a number of different locations to choose from, including the 42-metre rocket tower, the UK’s largest planetarium and the interactive space gallery exhibition, with every enquiry tailored to your requirements. After you’ve said your vows to the backdrop of a starry night sky, enjoy a space themed wedding reception beneath two real rockets where you can dance away until 2am with exclusive use of the venue. A destination that’s truly out of this world!
Every wedding day deserves a dash of enchantment and what could be better than London’s very own House of Magic? A super-secret location for your reception, guests arrive blindfolded in vintage limousines or coaches at the gates. They then enter through to the enchanted garden which is complete with a haunted castle ruin. The venue can cater for a sit down silver service dinner or buffet and canape reception, the schedule is entirely up to you. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never find a destination like it…
The Titanic is one of the most famous ships in history and deserves to be remembered for its grandeur rather than its tragic end. This is where the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool comes in. Tie the knot in the Rum Warehouse, a restored 1950s warehouse adjoining the Titanic Hotel which can seat up to 500 guests. Atmospheric and beautiful, it is both a grand and nautical space to hold your special day, with on-site catering and bar facilities and the Titanic Hotel accommodation ideal to finish off the day.
What could be more picturesque (quite literally in fact) than getting married in an art gallery? A beautiful backdrop of colour and grandeur, it offers the ideal place to both wed and to celebrate afterwards with a champagne reception, surrounded by some of the most treasured art pieces in the country. From the Southbank Centre to the Dulwich Picture Gallery, there are a plethora of destinations all over the country ideal for your art gallery wedding.
What better backdrop for your wedding than the Natural History Museum? Sublime and romantic, it provides the ideal destination to tie the knot, with soaring arches and beautiful Victorian architecture. There are a range of private rooms to suit your needs, from the Romanesque North Hall with an outdoor space ideal for summer, to the celestial themed Earth Hall with its resident Stegosaurus fossil. A drinks reception can be held in one of the adjacent galleries – Fossil Way or Dinosaur Way – and depending on the number of people, you can also hire adjoining galleries for your guests to explore.
Take a unique stance on your wedding day by hiring out this Grade II listed chapel. Teeming with atmosphere and history, it is ideal for a charming ceremony unlike anything you’ve experienced before. This example was built almost 200 years ago for use of by the residents of Caroline Gardens and exudes historic charm and atmosphere, with antique accents making for stunning photograph backdrops. Don’t be put off by the name ‘Asylum’ – this venue was never used as a lunatic asylum! Capacity is up to 120 and when adorned with candles, flowers and atmospheric lighting it’s the ideal spot to say your vows.
What could be better than getting married in front of your friends, family…and three hundred other creatures? For animal lovers, there are several zoos and safaris in the UK which allow you to get married on site. One example is Port Lympne wild animal park, which offers a beautiful mansion for the ceremony, and can be followed by you and your guests embarking on a VIP safari all around the Wilds of the African Experience. And why not really live up to the destination with one of their special ‘animal-themed’ wedding packages and a stay in one of the treetop suites?
Animal lovers rejoice, for Devon offers a beautiful and utterly unique wedding venue in a picturesque donkey sanctuary. Nestled on the Jurassic Coast, it offers a rustic barn style wedding in 260 acres of rolling countryside with hundreds of resident donkeys – which you can even elect as your very own donkey bridesmaids! The extensive grounds also offer a myriad of unmissable photo opportunities with backdrops including the gardens, woodland, main house and even a life-size bronze donkey! And that’s not all, as well as your wedding in the sanctuary, you are also giving something back and helping to continue to save the lives of donkeys and mules all around the world.
A forest is a beautifully romantic venue to get married, thanks to the blooms of flowers, intricately shaped branches and gentle canopy of light given by the leaves. Woodland weddings can either be simple, with lanterns and fairy lights, or more decadent such as Middle Coombe Farm in Devon. This has 200 acres of woodland, a hot tub, swimming pool and BBQ courtyard. There is a love hut for the bride and groom to sleep and accommodation in the farmhouse and barn for 20 guests, as well as camping space for anyone else wishing to stay over.
Hidden away in Bath is a wedding venue unlike any other. A unique venue full of 1930s charm, you say your vows on stage in front of a screen and can have your very own feature film shown and personal music as you walk down the aisle. Present your guests with unique invitations that are designed like old-school tickets and watch them enjoy drinks and popcorn served by usherettes as they watch faux movie trailers whilst they arrive. It is a picturesque wedding venue and one sure to receive raving reviews…
We know that whatever venue you choose will be amazing and will become home to treasured memories.