From treehouses to derelict bomb shelters, these alternative and unusual wedding venues will ensure your wedding day is one everyone will remember.
Whether you’re a quirky couple wanting to showcase your individual personalities, or a bold bride-to-be willing to pull out all the stops for a day your guests will rave about, an unusual wedding venue will help your nuptials break the status quo.
For many of us, weekends and holidays are booked out months in advance with our friends tying the knot in various locations up and down the country, or jetting off to get married abroad. It can even feel as though the summer months morph into one big blur of champagne receptions and slightly awkward choreographed first dance routines.
As brides and grooms-to-be you have the tricky task of making your wedding day stand out from the pack. These unique and alternative wedding venues are a good place to start.
Unusual Wedding Venues in the UK
Fortnum & Mason, London
Tea lovers rejoice, as London’s famous purveyor of luxury goods and groceries has opened it’s doors to newlyweds-to-be. A licensed wedding venue, Fortnum’s Chapel of Love is open for wedding ceremonies, vowel renewals and engagement or anniversary celebrations.
This year, to celebrate the romantic season, Fortnum’s will be rolling out the red carpet for one lucky couple with a pampering package on 15th February. This will include a ceremony in the Chapel of Love that towers across four floors of the flagship Piccadilly store – followed by Afternoon Tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, with a Glass of Fortnum’s Blanc de Blancs Champagne for up to six people.
Note: Unmarried couples are responsible for obtaining their own marriage licence to be in place at the time of the event if your marriage to be legally recognised. If not the prize will be offered as a non-legal commitment ceremony.
Find out more about the competition and weddings at Fortnum & Mason’s Chapel of Love here.
Marry amongst some of the finest Baroque art at Dulwich Picture Gallery; the oldest public art gallery in UK.
Licensed for civil ceremonies with room for up to 150 guests, weddings will get access to the gardens as well as the gallery, where you can tie the knot surrounded by hundreds of years of art history.
Host an elegant reception on a long table in the Soane Gallery, or make use of the venue’s grounds with a marquee reception for up to 400.
Located just behind Angel station, three-storey music venue The Islington Metal Works is steeped in history. In the 19th century, it was used to stable tram horses, before being converted into a metal works.
Much of the building has since been restored and is ideal for those who want an industrial Victorian aesthetic for their big day.
There are five bars across all floors – including its famous tube carriage cocktail bar – as well as an indoor barbecue area, professional sound system and space for 1,000 standing guests.
Set in a 10-acre smallholding on the edge of a quaint village, Hill Farm House is the perfect rustic country venue.
Its traditional Raj-style marquee stands in Home Close Field, which you’ll be able to decorate to your exacting tastes; the team has a great selection of contacts, whether you’re after vintage props or bold lighting.
Catering is totally up to you too, with room for up to 120 guests on trestle tables. However, if you’d prefer something a little more intimate, there’s also a charming ‘secret garden’ space for smaller celebrations.
Built in the 1930s, The Midland hotel sits on Morecambe seafront and is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture the country has to offer; it’s a modernist vision of marble, mosaics and curvaceous shapes.
You can tie the knot in one of three wedding suites with views across the bay, and enjoy a seated reception for up to 136 after the legal bit is done, complete with space for dancing and a private bar, too.
It’s the perfect venue if you’re planning a vintage-style wedding – the dedicated in-house planning team are on hand to help you source everything you’d need for a celebration worthy of a certain Mr J Gatsby.
Nestled beneath a woodland canopy in the grounds of Alnwick Garden, wed in true fairytale style at the Treehouse.
High above the ground, its evening ceremonies can host 65, with room for up to 120 for a reception. The private decking, bar facilities and aerial walkways provide an intimate space to celebrate, as well as providing many opportunities for unique wedding photos.
It’s excellent menu, featuring locally produced food, hand selected wines and decadent cocktails, is sure to impress too.
The Natural History Museum, London
London’s most iconic museum has gained its Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships license so you can now legally get married at the Natural History Museum.
As of September 2019, the Museum is able to host official wedding ceremonies as well as larger or more intimate receptions. It was previously possible to hold your reception at the venue, but now a woolly mammoth could bear witness to your marriage.
Couples looking to book the Museum for their special day can choose from a range of stunning rooms, each steeped in history. From a small ceremony with 10 of your nearest and dearest in the Dinosaur Gallery, to a lavish reception to the 650 capacity Hintze Hall – where Hope the Whale will join your wedding guests.
For a more contemporary setting, you could opt to hold your Natural History Museum wedding in the Earth Hall. A beautiful space boasting a jaw-dropping backdrop of the suspended globe and celestial maps adorning the walls.
More Unusual Wedding Venues…
Once the longest passenger ship in the world, the SS Great Britain now resides in a dry dock in Bristol harbour, and is up there as one of our favourite unusual wedding venues.
Exchange your vows beneath a glass skylight on The Promenade Deck, then head to the First Class Dining Saloon – an impressive space with marble pillars and rococo mirrors – for an on-board wedding breakfast. Close the night in the Hayward Saloon, which has its own bar and dancefloor.
Another ideal space for art aficionados, The Boiler House in Cardiff is for slightly more contemporary tastes. Painted quarterly by professional graffiti crews from around the UK, the walls really are the canvas in this unique venue.
The space features a mezzanine floor with vintage furniture and festoon lighting, an excellent bar service with craft lagers and local ales and a concrete area perfect for a food truck. However, the venue isn’t licensed, so the legal bit needs to be held elsewhere.
Constructed in the 1860s, Polhawn Fort was built to protect Devon and Cornwall’s south coast from attack by sea. Today, however, it features in happier occasions – perched atop the cliff with panoramic sea views, it makes for an idyllic spot to say your vows.
You can marry within the fort’s walls – The Grand Napoleonic Hall seats 120, or the smaller Emperors Room up to 30 – or have a garden ceremony at the Summerhouse overlooking the breathtaking Whitsand Bay.
Unlike any other alternative wedding venue you’ll have ever seen before, Asylum Chapel in Peckham was bombed during World War Two, and still bears the scars; built in 1826, the lofty space is derelict yet compelling, with stained glass windows and Victorian features.
With room for up to 120 guests, the Chapel is a ceremony-only venue, so although you’ll need to host your reception elsewhere, you can enjoy post-ceremony drinks and canapés here after the important bit is done.
Dress the space with flowers, candles and fabric and you’ll have an eerily beautiful space that your guests will never forget.
The Marylebone Rooms, situated at the hotel of the same name, is a collection of stylish spaces perfect for any kind of celebration. Located up on the terrace, The Courtyard is the perfect place for a cosy wedding reception in the heart of the city.
Encased within a garden wall, the space features a retractable roof to protect from sudden downpours and an open fire for that cosy feel. It can seat 24 for a sit-down meal, or 40 for a drinks reception.
Celebrate your big day in the unique setting of the National Museum of Scotland. From an intimate rooftop ceremony to an evening reception for 500, its striking galleries and private rooms will play host to your nuptials, however you imagine it.
The Grand Gallery – with its sweeping staircases and glass-roofed atrium would make a truly spectacular backdrop. Whatever you decide, the museum’s events team are on hand to help you plan the entire day, from props and entertainment to catering.