Gay marriage is finally out and proud with Saturday March 29 marking the momentous occasion when the UK’s first same-sex ceremonies take place. About bloomin’ time. In case you’re planning to tie the knot, we asked Hire Space for some unique London venues for your big day…
You’ll probably think we’re having a laugh, but what if we told you London’s most iconic market could be the venue for your big day? For a celebration fit for a foodie, hire out Three Crown Square at Borough Market and say ‘I do’ in amongst the hustle and bustle of burly market traders.
Equally impressive is The Deck of the National Theatre , where the views across London’s skyline will be just as theatrical as the famous building within which you’ll be getting hitched.
Or if the arts take a backseat to history for you, take to the Thames and tie the knot aboard HMS President. You and your soon-to-be-shipmate are bound to lap up the unique setting of this surviving warship, just as much as those rolling Thames waves lap up against HMS President. Awwww, how very poetic.
Just because you’re getting hitched in London Town doesn’t mean you can’t go the traditional hotel route. The stunning Montague On The Gardens provides the perfect setting just opposite the British Museum, with a variety of suites to cater to your budget.
Just as old school is Shoreditch Town Hall, even if it is in the heart of east London’s buzzing hipster capital. If you’re opting for intimate, the town hall’s Mayor’s Parlour can accommodate up to 60 guests.
Embrace city life
You may be better acquainted with Oval Space’s big old raves and wild club nights down in Bethnal Green, but how about tying the knot here instead? This venue is particularly handy if you’re having trouble whittling down that never-ending guest list, with capacity enough for 350 people.
Or opt for one of London’s many historic buildings, such as the Foundling Museum. This Georgian townhouse is set over four floors, and eighteenth-century interiors and paintings by the likes of William Hogarth make this a pretty special setting for an equally special day.
Also steeped in history is Imperial College London’s 170 Queen’s Gate , which offers an educated take on wedding ceremonies, with gorgeous garden rooms and Victorian drawing rooms, the likes of which are hard to come by outside of the capital.
Escape to ‘the country’
So you want a country chic wedding but don’t fancy skipping town? It doesn’t get much more bucolic than London’s Wetland Centre, where you’ll find a twee fisherman’s hut next to a sustainable herb garden. If that doesn’t scream ‘wedding’, we don’t know what does.
Or there’s Stephen’s House and Gardens , just a stone’s throw from Finchley. The Grade II-listed house offers drawing rooms for grand dinners overlooking the rolling hills of north London.
On a budget
If there are around 200 guests at your big day, you can pull all three Pimlico Rooms together at the Clerkenwell Centre to form a large party space fit for some big celebrations. The venue comes with a wedding licence, so you can roll the ceremony and reception all into one. Or there’s Kilburn’s Priory Community Halls , where a tall-ceilinged, church-style setting won’t break the bank at all.
Gay marriage is a historic occasion, so you may choose to go the whole hog when booking your ceremony. For a bit of extra pocket money, Roast offers views across Borough Market and a wedding planner too, should you fancy taking the pressure off.
However, if you’re one with an eye for detail, you can use The Louise Blouin Foundation in west London as a high-impact blank canvas, thanks to its white walls, tall ceilings and shiny surroundings. It’s a fashionable option for a large audience of cool kids, which your big day is sure to attract, right?
Thanks for the tips Laura Richards, Hirespace venue expert. Find more unique London venues at hirespace.com.