FOURTEEN CULTURAL WEDDING VENUES IN LONDON

Love is in the air. You’ve got the ring and set the wedding date, but where to get married? Harry and Meghan had St George’s Chapel and Windsor Castle at their disposal but even if Granny doesn’t have a castle there are some pretty stunning alternatives.  Here are my top fourteen cultural wedding venues in London.

BANQUETING HOUSE

Where better for a wedding banquet than a room built by a King for banquets?  Up to 400 of your closest friends can watch you plight your troth under the stunning Rubens ceiling of the Banqueting House or if you would prefer a more intimate setting the Undercroft has room for 150.

Banqueting House Rubens Ceiling

CUTTY SARK

Wow, was the first thing I thought when I saw the new space under the hull of the Cutty Sark, my next thought was what a fabulous party venue.  Turns out you can hire the Cutty Sark for wedding receptions but only from 6.30pm when all the visitors have gone home.  How better to arrive at the world’s fastest tea clipper than by boat.  You could get married further down the river and then board a City Cruises vessel for a private cruise along the Thames.

Cutty Sark copper hull

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Did you know that anybody can get married in the House of Commons, you don’t need to be an MP or an employee at the Palace.  The exterior of the House of Commons is one on the iconic sights of London but it has pretty stunning interiors too, as I discovered on our tour of the Palace of Westminster.  Don’t worry you don’t need to find enough guests to fill the cavernous Westminster Hall, the venues available to get married in are smaller.  Two rooms; the Members’ Dining Room and the Jubilee are licensed for marriages and a further six are available for celebrations.

KENSINGTON PALACE

You don’t need to marry a Prince to get married in Kensington Palace, or rather the Orangery next door.  That garden that Harry and Meghan walked in during the official announcement photo opportunity, that’s that garden in front of the Orangery, a perfect backdrop for wedding photos.  If you have another venue in mind for actual ceremony then rooms in the Palace itself are available to hire.

MIDDLE TEMPLE

Middle Temple, as I recently discovered, is not only for barristers: its grand historic spaces are available for private hire.  Rooms on offer range from the Hogwarts-worthy Middle Temple Hall to the intimate ornateness of the Queen’s Room.  You can choose to have the ceremony and celebration here or to get married in one of the iconic nearby churches such as the Temple Church or the journalists’ church, St Brides.

Middle Temple hall dining

MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS

Canary Wharf doesn’t feel like London or even Britain to me, when you emerge from the train station it is as if you have been transported to America.  Vast towers loom over you and there is no history to be seen.  Until that is you venture over to West India Quay where a range of Georgian warehouses greet you, this is the Museum of London Docklands.  Once the museum visitors have gone home, from 6.30pm onwards the space can be yours.  I love the interior, its old wooden floor boards give a feeling of being on board a ship.

Museum of London Docklands

OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE

One of Mr CW’s oldest friends celebrated his wedding at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.  We started with a drinks reception in the famous Wren colonnades and then sat down in the undercroft of the Painted Hall for the wedding breakfast.  At present the Painted Hall itself is being restored (if you have time, then it is possible to get up close and personal with the ceiling during restoration) and so not available but the less painted but equally lovely Admiral’s House is.

Old Royal Naval College Colonnades Greenwich

QUEEN’S HOUSE

Also in Greenwich is the perfect cube that is the Queen’s House.  Over the years that I have lived in London I have looked at or visited the Queen’s House many times and never tire of it, it is one of London’s beautiful buildings.  Once again friends of ours have used this as a wedding venue and I can report that as a guest it is just wonderful spending an extended time in such a perfect space.

Queen's House tulip staircase

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE

“Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds”. Where better to celebrate marriage than in the theatre dedicated to the author of so many quotes about love?  Whilst the auditorium is not on offer for your celebrations, the Swan at the Globe is.  You get great views of the Thames and a variety of rooms to choose from.

TOWER BRIDGE

How can you have a wedding on a bridge?  I hear you cry.  Well not on the road, obviously but rather on the walkways that go between the eponymous towers.  The views up and down the Thames are amazing.  The bridge is licensed for marriages, you tie the knot in the North Tower lounge that holds 50 and then head either for the walkways or the engine rooms.  If I were choosing, I would opt for the view.

Tower Bridge London moody sky

TWO TEMPLE PLACE

If you have a yen to explore your inner press baron than Two Temple Place is for you.  This is the house that William Waldorf Astor, newspaper proprietor and the world’s richest man, had built for himself.  It is available to hire for weddings May to December every year.  You don’t just get a room, you get the whole house just for a day so you too can live like the world’s richest person!

Stained Glass Two Temple Place

VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

That I like museums won’t come as a shock to you.  The Victoria and Albert Museum is probably to one that I visit most and still I see something new every time I visit.  Sometimes I just wander round looking at the building itself which is incredible.  Once again this is a venue that is only available after visitors have gone home.  We once attended a wedding where the time between the ceremony and arrival at the museum was taken up with a tour of London on a Routemaster bus with champagne on tap.  Three spaces are available for weddings the Madejski courtyard at the centre of museum, under the Dome in the entrance hall and the imposing Raphael room.

Ceramic Staircase V&A Treasure Hunt

WALLACE COLLECTION

Many years ago I lived round the corner from the Wallace Collection in a tiny studio flat.  I used to spend my days off sat in the Wallace Collection, reading a book and pretending that it was my house.  Although the rooms are very grand they are on a scale that you could imagine living in and perfect for a wedding.  Several of the rooms are available for hire depending on the size of your party.  Once again celebrations can only begin after 6.30pm when gallery visitors have gone home.  I think that it would be rather fun to share your wedding party with the Laughing Cavalier.

Great Gallery Wallace Collection

10-11 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE

Finally our own cultural wedding venue, 10 – 11 Carlton House Terrace. Number 10 was Gladstone’s house and is one of those white wedding cake houses that over look the Mall.  We got married in Islington, then we and all our guests boarded a Routemaster Bus complete with white ribbons to make the journey to Pall Mall.  Our bus followed the route of the Number 38 for most of the way and quite a few members of the public tried to get on as we processed!

Bride and Groom Carlton House Terrace Wedding

If you could choose any cultural wedding venue in London to get married, or to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary if you are already married, where would choose?

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33 Comments

  1. March 28, 2018 / 9:02 am

    OMG That is slightly spooky as we got married at Roseberry Av too and actually took a No 38 bus north up to Campden Passage. There were only 4 of us mind … and the confetti. Great post Catherine. Makes me want to visit all of the venues mentioned … though I think museums maybe too distracting for a wedding. I once went to one in London Zoo.

    • Catherine
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 9:21 am

      How funny! My tiara came from Camden Passage

  2. March 28, 2018 / 11:41 am

    Gorgeous selection of venues. Any one would be fabulous. Is that your wedding photograph? You look fabulous. Great Blog as always

    • Catherine
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 11:59 am

      It is our wedding photo …. I still have the dress

  3. March 28, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    Your wedding sounds amazing! The other venues look fantastic too. I’m just imagining the photos! I think it might be time to get married again (maybe to Mark, maybe not) 🙂

    • Catherine
      Author
      March 28, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      I came away from writing this wanting to throw a lavish party….. sadly all big birthdays and anniversaries are a way off in the distance!

  4. March 29, 2018 / 10:18 am

    I think I would say Richmond Park! All awesome venues though! #farawayfiles

  5. pigeonpairandme
    March 29, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    The Cutty Sark sounds fantastic – as do all of these. I might be tempted to throw a child-free bash, though, as I’d be a bit terrified of rampaging children in a party at one of these venues!

  6. March 31, 2018 / 2:46 am

    Love that you can get married on Tower Bridge, how cool! And the Cutty Sark too…seems I always read about it from the perspective of family travel but now I know it’s for budding romantics as well ;). Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

  7. faramagan
    March 31, 2018 / 10:17 am

    So amazing just how many iconic venues you can actually get married in! Who knew House of Parliament hosted weddings or imagine a wedding in The Globe – all sound equally amazing!

    • Catherine
      Author
      March 31, 2018 / 10:49 am

      Made me ponder if a lavish anniversary party was in order!

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 1, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Good choice …. with or without the beanbags

  8. April 3, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Oh! I love this!! I would probably chose the House of Commons as the interiors are magical, but there are so many great choices on this list! #farawayfiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 3, 2018 / 4:51 pm

      I was amazed that you didn’t need connections to get married in the House of Commons!

  9. April 4, 2018 / 10:34 am

    I think the light from the Cutty Sark would be soo surreal and special. But if push came to shove and you made me pick – then definitely the Tower Bridge – how cool would that be!? Very fun post – thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  10. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    April 5, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    What a fabulous selection of venues! And, I must say, you look stunning in your dress – so fitting for the grand location.
    I think, being a bit of an AmDram luvvie, I would pick the Globe Theatre, if I had my time again.
    #farawayfiles

  11. April 24, 2018 / 8:42 am

    Pretty!! If I wasn’t already married… 😉
    #citytripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 9:15 am

      For your next milestone birthday/anniversary!?

  12. April 24, 2018 / 11:02 am

    All venues look very romantic but I would love to get married on Tower Bridge.
    #citytripping

  13. April 24, 2018 / 11:30 am

    Ooooh I would have been alllll over getting married in Middle Temple with that old school Tudor look! Your wedding must have been quite posh and very beautiful! #CityTripping

  14. April 24, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    Some impressive building here to get married in. The Wallace collection gallery looks amazing. #citytripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      Those red walls would be sure to bring luck!

  15. April 24, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Lovely ideas here Catherine. The Cutty Shark would be an incredible place to get married! #citytripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      I know I had a grin like a Cheshire Cat and I only had coffee there!

  16. katherinefenech2017
    April 24, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    What stunning places to get married! I couldn’t sleep last night so I was trying to find cheap wedding venues around San Francisco, which was a terrible idea. Spoiler: There aren’t many (or any that I could find). But I’d love to get married at The Cutty Sark or in one of these beautiful buildings. LOL, the budget won’t stretch that far I’m afraid. #CityTripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 4:15 pm

      We were lucky we our venue as at the time is was the slightly down at heel HQ of the Foreign Press Association so as a journalist I got a good deal, it’s been done up since and is now home to the British Academy so much more expensive!

  17. April 24, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    If I were to go back and have a London wedding I think I’d want Hampton court palace #citytripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      Now that would be special!

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