London and the south-east of England are well served for wedding venues. Whether you’re looking for an elegant celebration in a landmark London building, or a relaxed glamping experience, there are stacks of places to choose from. Here are some of our favourite ideas.
Royal Festival Hall
London’s South Bank has several exciting wedding venues, including the iconic Royal Festival Hall. The Hall was built for the 1951 Festival of Britain and is modelled on the opulent ocean liners of the mid-20th century, with winding balustrades and open foyers. You get fantastic views over the Thames from its balconies. The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies, so the ceremony and the reception can both happen in the same place.
Eltham Palace is a beautiful art deco location, in a leafy part of south London. It’s run by English Heritage, and features a medieval Great Hall, which was the boyhood home of King Henry VIII. Couples can hire the Great Hall, the wood-panelled entrance hall, and the gardens for their big day.
You can read more about Eltham Palace in our blog post.
Tower Bride is possibly the most iconic landmark on the River Thames. Once the Bridge has closed to visitors for the day, the high-level walkways, north Tower lounge and Victorian engine room are open for ceremonies and receptions with a capacity of 50-120 guests.
River cruise wedding on the Thames
Several Thames boat operators offer wedding packages, including City Cruises, who we took a family trip with earlier this year. This can be a really fun, intimate way of celebrating a big occasion. It’s also great for guests who live outside London. Many of London’s most exciting buildings lay along the Thames, so a cruise wedding is a good way to take in some sights, alongside all the merriment.
Those with a big budget can hire Sky Garden, the glass dome space at 20 Fenchurch Street, opposite London’s Shard. With one acre of garden space, set 155m above London and with 360° views of the city, a wedding at Sky Garden would be sure to wow.
Nestled between south London’s Forest Hill and Dulwich, the Horniman is part of the Victoria and Albert family of museums. With award-winning gardens and stunning views over the capitals southernmost territories, the Horniman is a friendly, elegant space for a wedding. Couples can choose between a grade II listed conservatory, a bandstand or a pavilion.
The London Eye
If you fancy saying ‘I do’ while on the move, 135m above London, then a wedding on the London Eye might be for you. The city’s giant Ferris wheel, built to celebrate the new millennium in 2000, has become one of London’s most popular attractions. Couples can choose from a range of different wedding packages, the most lavish of which includes a complimentary Cupid’s Capsule ride on the couple’s first wedding anniversary.
Couples that want to head out of town for their nuptials will find a huge variety of options. These locations are all within easy reach of the capital.
This retreat is set in nine acres of woodland, with a bridged island that’s available for blessings. A site for year-round glamping, Happy Valley can offer shepherds huts, cabins and a tree temple to guests who want to stay on-site after the revelry.
The Soul Camp, Sussex
The Soul Camp is a chilled-out venue for festival weddings. Near the Sussex village of Burwash (famed for its cheese), the Grade II listed Glebe House and its 80 acres of wooded pastures are available for hire. With an informal feel, the house is accompanied by bell tents and empty pitches. Expect compost loos, buttercups and happy vibes.
Knepp Castle, Sussex
Knepp’s rewilded Repton Park is perfect for ceremonies and receptions. (I write from experience – we went to the most beautiful wedding there last summer). It’s a tranquil meadow, with trees around its edge, and overlooking Springwood Pond. Free-range animals roam in the area, so you could even end up with deer lurking at the fringes of your bash.
Do you know of any good wedding venues in or near London? Do tell us in the comments below!
And if you’re wating to pop the question….. why not check out these five unusual places to propose in London?