10 Unique Wedding Venues in London
✨ FREDDIE HUTCHINS
Ah, weddings. WHAT a business. I’m getting married next year and this much I know already from a cursory dipping of the toe into Wedding Fever Rapids… it’s all about the venue. Once you know where you’re getting hitched, the rest falls into place much more readily: how many people you’re inviting, what your budget looks like, what style of wedding you want it to be. My partner and I knew we wanted a London wedding, but other than that, we were open to suggestions. Thanks to my work with Revels in Hand, I had a head start: many of London’s loveliest and most unique venues are already known to me as wonderful and surprising performance spaces. Looking at these with fresh eyes as potential wedding venues brought home to me just what a unique service Revels in Hand provides. Just as gardens, castles, hotel suites and even river barges can make perfect settings for a fabulous wedding, so too can they play host to a fabulous piece of theatre. What follows is a list that works both ways – perfect for a wedding, or a piece of theatre – or both at the same time!
1 - 💍Home House💍
Gorgeous Home House is a venue Revels in Hand know and absolutely love. It has been our home-from-home for many a memorable performance, from Restoration Comedy in the beautiful Front Parlour to Shakespeare in the stunning Summer and Winter Marquees. Commissioned in 1773, this neo-classical gem of a building nestles on the corner of Portman Square, and feels like one of London’s best-kept secrets: the discrete façade a counterpoint to the grandeur to be found within. Thanks to the expert staff, you could expect a wedding here to run like clockwork – leaving you at leisure to bask in your opulent surroundings and enjoy it all!
Sitting proud on the sleek streets of Knightsbridge is the stylish Millennium Hotel – the perfect fuss-free central London location. We so enjoyed providing theatre for a wedding reception on the upper floor – one in which the lover’s argument from A Midsummer Night’s dream was acted out amongst the guests, with everyone encouraged to take sides! A super-convenient location for your guests, and often available at short notice, a wedding here could prove the ultimate in stress-free wedding planning.
This fascinating museum is a rare find – homely, yet uniquely impressive. It’s certainly somewhere we’d love to perform! Its mixture of domesticity and grandeur is a result of the museum’s unusual beginnings: it was founded in 1890 by a Victorian tea trader and collector who opened the doors of his family home for general viewing to the public one Christmas Eve. It’s been running as a museum ever since, although the current site was purpose-built to house the ever-expanding collection a decade later. Couples have the choice of three locations in which to get hitched: the wonderful Grade II listed Victorian conservatory, a contemporary pavilion set in the museum grounds, or else – and perhaps most uniquely of all – an original Victorian bandstand. (Which would make a perfect stage for a subsequent Revels in Hand performance…)
4 - 💍Chelsea Physic Garden💍
Sticking with the garden theme, this really is a jewel of a venue for an informal yet totally lovely wedding reception. We really considered this venue for our own wedding – the plan would have been to get married at Chelsea Registry Office prior to decamping to the gardens for fizz and photographs. In the end, we couldn’t get our numbers down sufficiently for a registry office wedding… but I’m still hoping that someone I know will go for this option, and that I make the cut on their guest list!
5 - 💍Burgh House💍
I discovered Burgh House when making it my mission to visit all of the houses that make up the London Small Historic Houses group, I began with Keats’ House in Hampstead, before walking up the road to the impressively beautiful Burgh House. Also a thriving local museum, Burgh House stages a busy programme of events all year round including recitals, talks, exhibitions and workshops. Take a look – if ever there was another reason to wish you lived in Hampstead…
My partner’s sister had her Bat Mitzvah at the Globe, and had Revels in Hand existed back then, they’d definitely have been part of the celebrations! A fabulously exciting venue to play host to any occasion – not least of all a wedding – whether in the intimate Balcony Room with its fabulous views of the river, or else in the dramatically impressive Underglobe, with its capacity to seat up to 350 to dinner. Revels in Hand first performed in this space for a gala event in 2015, and have loved it ever since.
7 - 💍The Inner Temple💍
Taking the tradition back to where it all began: there are records of Shakespeare’s early comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost being written for a performance at the Inns of Court, specially for Queen Elizabeth I and a whole lot of lawyers. For a religious wedding ceremony in the same precincts, the Temple Church must be one of the most spectacular – and historic – churches in London. It also happens to boast one of the best church choirs there is! Revels in Hand were asked to provide readings for a charity Christmas carol concert in the church last December, and I have lasting memories of the candlelight, festivities... and the sublime music. A beautiful and ancient corner of London for a truly special wedding day – whether secular or religious.
8 - 💍Draper’s Hall💍
One of the twelve great Livery Companies in London, the Drapers’ Company boasts some of the most impressive premises of all – with the thundering Drapers’ Hall the jewel in their crown. Opulence is the order of the day here, with your ceremony (literally) Lorded over by the watchful robed figures gazing down from heavy oil paintings lining the walls. A fabulous place for a feast, and for festivities of the most abundant kind. For a wedding day with swagger!
9 - 💍Syon Park💍
Nearer to London than Highclere Castle, Syon Park nonetheless affords the opportunity to be married from your very own Downton-for-the-day. In the family of the present owners for more than 400 years, Syon manages to feel both stately and homely – no mean feat given its scale – and allowing wedding couples and their guests the feeling of being right at home. With so many spaces available, your wedding day at Syon can take whatever size and shape is right for you. Expect some truly monumental photo opportunities!
10 - 💍Kew Gardens💍
Last but not least: our eventual choice of venue. Impressive yet informal, centrally located yet distinctly un-urban in feel, Kew Gardens also has that incredibly special feeling of being such a loved place. When we visited to take a look, it was a delight to see the number of families, friends, the very young and the very old all enjoying the gardens. It also felt good to know that by holding our wedding at Kew, we were helping to support their ongoing work to protect and invest in the future of the planet. And that’s what sealed the deal for us: a wedding here felt like a down payment on the future – both ours, and in a way, everyone else’s. I can’t wait.
P.S. I couldn’t recommend www.bridebook.co.uk more – the perfect planning tool for any wedding. Go take a look – and check out Revels in Hand on there too!