One of the perks of being a London based wedding celebrant is that I conduct weddings at the most incredible London venues. Below a selection of some of my favourite settings.
They're all different but have one thing in common: they combine tales of London's fascinating history with artistic flair and provide a backdrop you and your guests will LOVE.
Here they are (in no particular order!):
1. The Barbican Conservatory
"Take my hand - there's a world you need to know."
(from: Tarzan, the musical)
The Barbican Conservatory in Central London is urban jungle at its best. Brutal architecture combined with tropical plants. The perfect backdrop for Tarzans and Janes - couples who are not afraid to step into the wild and wondrous world of unexplored territories.
Stella and Keelan celebrated their love here in a heartfelt and personalised ceremony that touched everyone's hearts. They had also asked an Orthodox priest to say a blessing to honour Stella's heritage. So cool, right? This couple celebrated their love just as they wanted - beyond fixed ideas and set formulas, in a meaningful blend of modern and traditional elements.
Photo by Laura Martha Photography
2. Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Arts Centre is a truly evocative venue south of the river Thames. Built as a Town Hall in 1893, it has been home to politicians, artists and rebels to voice their unconventional ideas and drive change. The suffragettes loved to have their lively debates here for example. It was also the place where the first black mayor or a London Borough was elected, in 1913. in the sixties the Town Hall closes after which the venue becomes an arts centre. After a devastating fire in 2015 funds are raised to restore the Centre's most iconic halls. It is now an exhilarating location - bruised, lived, elegant and truly unique.
BACs offers a variety of stunning places, from a crumbled Grand Hall to an elegant staircase.
Jessica and Connor celebrated their love at the staircase of the Centre. Inspired by the movies of Wes Anderson it was a fun, colourful and engaging event, beautifully captured by Kelsey Elevation Photography.
Ruth and Jess chose the Council Chamber Hall for their ceremony, inspired by circus elements and a touch of Malaysian traditions.
Photo credits: Nina and Tina
3. Trinity Buoy Wharf
Photo from Trinity Buoy website
If you like the idea of a wedding ceremony with a Thames view, Trinity Buoy Wharf in South East London offers amazing views of the O2 and other iconic buildings of the London skyline. The wedding venue is a Grade II listed brick building, connected to London's only lighthouse. It is very much a blank canvas and can be completely decorated to your style and ideas.
Priya and Ben said their 'I do's in the space which was decorated in autumnal colours and magical lights to express their warm and fun-loving characters.
Photo credits: Andy Mac Photography
4. The Asylum
The Asylum is a deconsecrated chapel in Peckham, South-East London. The crumbling interior walls and colourful stained glass window create a theatrical setting for creative and evocative wedding ceremonies.
In the past, the chapel was an old people’s home for retired landlords. Bombed during the war (hence its nickname ‘the crumbled chapel’) the space has been resurrected by Maverick Projects and provides now a home for events and unique ceremonies.
The chapel, rooted in history but with a modern, industrial vibe, was the perfect space for Mitchell and Tilde’s micro wedding as it reflected their wish to combine traditional elements with contemporary touches. Learn more about their wedding here.
The Asylum is a beautiful backdrop for couples who know that true beauty is fragile.
Photo credits: Olivia and Dan
5. Queen Mary
Queen Mary in East London is a relatively new kid on the block as a London wedding venue. It was originally built as a library in 1888, inspired by the Reading Room in the British Museum.
I haven't actually conducted a ceremony here and it's a dream to do this! I mean, look at this:
Photo from Queen Mary website
As an avid reader since the moment I could make sense of words, the idea of conducting a wedding against a backdrop of books makes my heart sings with joy. Imagine having imaginary guests Shakespeare, Chaucer and Wordsworth amongst those who witness your vows and sing about the unaltering nature of true love:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 116)
Can love be celebrated in a more poetic and romantic way?
How to find the wedding venue that's right for you?
Remember: when working with a celebrant, you can celebrate your love wherever you want: at licensed and non-licensed venues. It's the perfect opportunity to choose a location that reflects your style and personalities. Of course there are many practical elements to consider too such as venue capacity, costs, accessibility, facilities and availability on the dates you have in mind.
I always work closely with the venue or event manager to make sure that the set-up of the ceremony space is in line with your wishes. I often include some fun facts of the venue history in my script. It's not only a fun and interesting way for your guests to find out more about the special wedding venue you have chosen, but it also also makes your story part of London history!
Keen to learn more? Send me an email (email@example.com) or say hello here.