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Let me introduce you to one of my favourite hidden gems in London; RSA House.
With a background in arts I have always had a natural affinity to this stunning venue, nestled in the heart of theatre-land and in one of my favourite spots in London by the stunning London embankment.
With a delicious combination of contemporary style and Georgian splendour, this stunning listed venue; a less obvious choice for a wedding venue, is home to the Royal Society of Arts. With over 260 years of history it has been the hub for many influential creatives who have been instrumental in shaping our future through ideas and innovation, so it’s no surprise this is a popular choice with creative and modern wedding couples.
It’s modern and traditional character offers flexible event spaces all with a completely different feel. Attracting couples from overseas, from different parts of the UK and local Londoners, RSA House is a true delight, as are their wedding and events team. Hence why I have chosen to host not one but two events here, most recently this press launch for celebrity designer, Rita Colson.
I love being able to share wedding ideas that are slightly away from what you might expect. You are spoilt for choice with five-star luxury hotels in London and I wanted to show you a snippet of the inside of RSA House and share helpful tips and some of the benefits of having a city wedding with you and invited Rosalind from the wedding and event team at RSA House to join us !
Take it away Rosalind!
Is a city wedding for you?
The Great Room | RSA House| Andrew Billington
The first step should always involve searching for a wedding venue that reflects your personalities and can accommodate all (or most) of the things that are important to you both.
One of the first questions couples come across is the big decision choosing between City and Country Wedding Venues. This decision can affect your choice of caterer, the amount of guests that will be able to attend as well as the overall feel of the day.
Tackling this decision early will put you on the right track during your venue search, help you narrow down choices and make the rest of your planning process much easier.
What are the benefits of having a city wedding?
RSA House | The Great Room | Martin Beddall Wedding Photography
- Booking a city wedding venue means they are much more accessible and increase chances of guests being able to accept your invitation. Thanks to great transport links and nearby accommodation, it can make attending your day much easier, especially if you have lots of people travelling from abroad.
- Cities offer a wealth of unique and unusual spaces, often all with vast interesting history. Choosing a function space with something distinctive will make your wedding stand out, not only in your photos but in your guests’ memories. There are fantastic photo opportunities with nearby landmarks and interesting architecture to take advantage of. For example, a popular spot for RSA Weddings is to take a night-time stroll onto The Strand for wedding shots with the lights and bustle of the city as a backdrop. If you choose a wedding in the city you should absolutely embrace it.
- If you live or work near your city venue, it makes the planning process much easier for you, as you will be required to meet with your wedding team on a number of occasions. This means you can arrange meetings and tastings before or after work instead of needing to take a whole day off.
- In the UK, indoor space is a crucial factor to take into consideration as you cannot always rely on the weather to be on your side! Setting your heart on a country wedding venue with stunning gardens and grounds might set you up for disappointment on the day with our unpredictable British weather. For potentially rainy English summers, it is far more sensible to secure a venue with spectacular indoor space to maximise photo opportunities that are guaranteed to give you the lasting memories that you dreamed of without any worry of the weather misbehaving on the day!
What to look for when choosing a city wedding venue?
Vault 4 RSA House
- Location is key. Not just for your guests but your suppliers as well. Having an easily accessible and easy to find venue will greatly eliminate the stress of having to deal with lost suppliers and guests on the day.
- Try to choose a venue that offers you exclusive use of the whole building. There is nothing worse than bumping into tourists or strangers or another wedding couple on your wedding day. With exclusive use you can rest assured your event team’s focus is on you and your family only.
The Vaults | RSA House | David Jenkins
- No matter how organised you are, planning a wedding can be stressful at times. Therefore, if you do not have a wedding planner, it is helpful that you choose a venue with a dedicated wedding coordinator to assist you along the way. It also helps if they can allocate you a coordinator to look after you on the day itself and make sure that all of the finer details are taken care of.
RSA House | Vault 1
- Lastly and most importantly, you have to consider your budget. Choosing an all-inclusive wedding package can eliminate a lot of the work for you. Most venues offer this service. Packages can also help your budget if you choose a venue that does not require a lot of decoration. The Vaults at RSA House are an excellent example, as all the exposed brickwork needs is a few candles to create a picture-perfect evening atmosphere.
What are some of the challenges with having a city wedding and how can couples overcome these?
Benjamin Franklin | RSA House | Nick Rose
- A common concern of city weddings is that it can be difficult to get to the venue on the day if you are relying on cars, due to traffic. Allow extra time to account for traffic, pre-arrange your parking and make sure guests who are driving are aware of any parking restrictions and charges well in advance so they can plan their journey to the ceremony and the reception easily.
- Think outside the box and beat the traffic! A more interesting and unique way to arrive for your wedding day is by boat! Couples who have previously got married at RSA House treated their guests to a floating drinks reception down the Thames, all the way to Embankment Pier, which is less than a five-minute walk to RSA House. (Nu Bride: Now that sounds lush)!
RSA House | The Great Room
- A lot of couples worry about outdoor spaces for photographs when looking at central London venues in particular. Check out beautiful backdrops in advance or you may find your photographer may do this too. If you are lucky with the weather, RSA House is fortunate to be right next door to Victoria Embankment Gardens which provides a fabulous setting for your wedding day shots. (Nu Bride: There is always a hidden treasure somewhere! Embrace your surroundings, don’t try to hide them)
RSA House | The Great Room | Jay Rowden Photography
Ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice. You might decide to host your special day somewhere of significance to your relationship, where you first met, or where you got engaged, you might want the hustle and bustle of the city, or choose to marry close to home to keep it convenient for all your friends and family. Either way, taking time to consider these points before making that big decision will definitely help you on your way to finding your ideal city wedding venue.
A Night with Nu Bride | Photo: plenty to declare weddings
Delightful! Thank you for joining us Rosalind!
For further details on RSA House and their spectacular wedding and event spaces please visit: https://www.thersa.org/hire-rsa-house