Unless you have always had your heart set on your favourite venue, searching for your wedding venue has to be the hardest and most time consuming aspect of planning a wedding. It’s also one of the aspects I enjoyed most as a bride-to-be, the chance to search for and discover unique venues in gorgeous nuggets of the UK that you would never normally have discovered. It’s very easy to think that when celebrating your marriage you need to do so in a stately home or hotel. Beautiful options, yes, but there are also a whole host of equally gorgeous alternatives out there.
Gorgeous Alex, freelance writer, founder of the brilliant Great British Wedding Blog, gorgeous mother and wife, joins us today to share some of these hidden UK treasures for those of you who want to find a unique modern wedding venue that ticks all your boxes.
Hit it Alex!
I have been to some lovely weddings in my time. From a wedding in a field, to country manor houses; I married my smashing other half in a rather lovely golf club and a friend of mine wed in a contemporary hotel. With so many wonderful venues out there, how do you choose something that stands out?
Worry not my intrepid wedding planners, for if you look hard enough you can have a very special venue that is both modern and elegant but still has a definite wow factor.
A Less Obvious Choice
RSA House | Plenty to declare photography
Early last year (gosh the time has flown!) Nova held a fabulous reception event at RSA House in London to celebrate her well-deserved win at the blog awards, and to talk about a more visually inclusive wedding industry. While the venue she chose is available for weddings, it is perhaps not an obvious choice. I had never been there before and was charmed by the elegant hall, spacious reception room and its location. It goes to show that for a wow factor, sometimes you should step away from mainstream ideas of what a venue should be, however, just because you have chosen a slightly more unique venue, doesn’t mean that the luxe factor needs to be forfeit either.
A stunning view of the beautiful British countryside can be a perfect backdrop to your wedding day; but forget the country pile, a chic and modern alternative which embraces the countryside is a vineyard. With British wines doing so well at the moment, not only will a vineyard provide a fabulous backdrop to your day, it will also provide a fabulous wine menu for your reception too.
The British coastline is a great way to add drama to your backdrop and I love the sense of an adventure Spitbank Fort provides. Steeped in history, inside it has been transformed into a contemporary, striking hotel.
With an arrival by speedboat or helicopter, a Laurent Perrier champagne bar and a roof terrace for roasting marshmallows over a fire pit whilst gazing at the stars, this is one venue which really provides something brilliantly different.
Embracing nature can indeed form a wonderful setting for your day, a great example would be a perfectly British garden party. A lovely idea though not so much a unique one…. but a garden party high above the bustle of London’s streets? The Roof Gardens in Kensington certainly offer something unique, these stunning gardens provide a magnificent setting for a champagne reception, wedding breakfast and beyond; there are even four resident flamingos who are happy to pose for photographs! Being just off Kensington High Street, the location is fabulous.
Ever After | Photography: Marc Wilson
Rather than being outside, invite the outside in. Elegant orangeries and conservatories are wonderful, but a venue that takes this one step further is Ever After, a wedding venue in Dartmoor with a bit of a twist.
This contemporary venue has redefined both elegant and rustic; a simple yet beautiful barn provides a gorgeous licensed ceremony venue, but it’s the reception offerings that really catch the eye. Beautiful gardens, along with an elegant clear wall marquee and stunning glass roof terrace allow you to take in the scenery whatever the British weather throws at you, as you enjoy your gourmet wedding breakfast. (Nu Bide: With a title like Ever After this venue totally had me at hello!)
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
A unique venue need not have a view to die for if you can let the building do the talking. From transformed pump rooms to dining in galleries like the Tate Modern or Dulwich Picture Gallery. There are plenty of options, but one that has that something extra is the Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke Mill. I have already mentioned vineyards, but a modern distillery like this one is a true nod towards a far more contemporary idea. Available for evening hire only, the venue boasts chic bars (well, what did you expect?!) and a fabulous blank canvas called The Gallery, but it’s the striking Mediterranean Glasshouse which really sets this place apart. A perfect backdrop for amazing photos, as well as a great place for a drinks reception.
Barn with a twist
One last option I have for you to consider would be to surprise your guests. Hold your big day in a barn and those attending will expect a rustic affair (see where I’m going with this?), but choose a venue which has a somewhat blank interior and you have the chance to really put your stamp on the place. One such venue is the rather incredible Aynhoe Park. From the outside it’s a rather imposing stately home, perfect for your grand entrance and photographs. Inside it is anything you can imagine, as the space can be completely tailored to your idea of the perfect day. The orangery is a magnificent space for both a ceremony and breakfast, as well as transforming into a glittering dance floor for an evening reception.
To top it off there are several spaces to retreat to after formalities are over, such as the snug and games room or the Club, a subterranean bar deep in the cellars. This magnificent place is bound to bring out your creative side for a day that is totally unique. After all, that is exactly what we are talking about finding here, a venue as unique as you are.
About the Guest Post Author
Alex Boucher is a wedding blogger and freelance writer living in Lincolnshire with her family. She has run her own blog, The Great British Wedding, for the last 2 years and while the site is currently having a little down time due to family commitments, Alex is enjoying guest writing for some of the blogs she loves the most. Being ex-military, Alex loves organising and has an eye for detail, and as a qualified wedding planner she loves helping others plan their big day and particularly enjoys finding the little details that make a wedding unique.
Header Image: Marc Wilson