Here at Zipcube, we know that your wedding day is a day unlike any other. You don't have to be a raging bridezilla to know that details are important and finding a special wedding venue can take a lot of searching. That's why Zipcube's search engine brings together some of the best wedding venues London has to offer, from quirky and cool to chic and stylish, all in one convenient place. So whether you're hoping to find a beautifully restored old chapel, a romantic roof garden or an art deco hotel with a marriage license: our selection of venues will make finding the perfect spot as easy as can be.
Exciting Wedding Venue Trends
- Although nothing is quite as attention grabbing and romantic as a castle wedding or a ceremony held in a grand country estate, many couples opt for restaurants, pubs or golf clubs as their wedding venue of choice. These venues combine accommodation with gourmet catering and a late night license so that you can keep the candles burning long into the night.
- Arranging for the ceremony to take place in a botanical venue, such as an orangerie or a glass house, has become very popular in recent years. The abundance of natural light and greenery makes for an unforgettable atmosphere and sense of occasion.
- If you're going to spend many months (and in some cases, years) planning your wedding – why settle for only one day? The bride and groom might want to invite their closest friends and family to join them for a long weekend, making hotel wedding venues or lavish country residences with a civil ceremony license.
- Of course, you might want to take the opposite approach. The trend for 'Micro Weddings' – highly extravagant weddings with a very small, exclusive invite list – is a growing one. Your budget will stretch a lot further with a small number of guests, so the sky's the limit in terms of hiring a personal chef or booking a luxurious, unique wedding venue.
Wedding Venue Tips and Ideas
- Think about how many people you want to invite. You'll need a ballpark figure before making any enquiries, and that might mean sending out a pre-RSVP or 'Save the Date' card.
- A big important factor, of course, is the date itself! This should be decided as far in advance as possible. The most popular, unique wedding venues can be booked-out up to a year ahead of time and sometimes even further than that.
- The location also plays an important role as travel plans can make a big difference to the ease with which guests can attend. It can also make a difference in cost for your guests if they need to arrange overnight accommodation, so choose carefully.
- Come up with a shortlist of possible venues and make sure to arrange a few visits in order to check that they fully match your criteria. If there are certain things you know you'll need (i.e. wheelchair access or a big dance floor) then make sure to carry a list with you as you tour your potential venues.
- Struggling to think of ideas for the wedding? What about an outdoor venue with a lovely lawn and a marquee? A wedding reception on a boat cruising around the Thames? A country house with a vintage and historic feel to it to? Hotels are often used for such occasions since many possess large open areas for both dining and dancing.
- An unusual wedding venue might what you're looking for. We have some hip alternative locations on offer such as warehouses and lofts, or how about the one and only London Zoo? It would certainly be a hit with the younger guests...
- Catering and refreshments are a crucial part of the celebrations. From BBQ buffets and artisanal mezze plates, to haute cuisine set menus and free-flowing prosecco fountains, make sure to balance the budget so that your guests have plenty to eat and drink.
- Will you have a lot of out-of-town guests? If so, make sure there are plenty of hotels nearby. If your chosen venue provides overnight accommodation, you might be able to arrange a group discount.
- What about plans for the morning after the wedding itself? We have a good selection of wedding breakfast venues if you'd like to treat your guests to croissants and pastries after the night's festivities.
- How long are you able to hang around after the ceremony or the reception is over? If you have to vacate the venue quite early, but want to keep the party going, it's a good idea to arrange an after-party location ahead of time.
- Is there exclusive use of the venue? If not how many other people will be getting married on the same day and will there be any clashes?
How to Do a Grand Wedding on a Budget
- It's not a problem if you're on a bit of a budget. After all, there's the honeymoon to think about as well. We have some great affordable wedding venues to choose from and also a few tips on how to save money.
- It might take a bit of extra work, but if you can enlist friends and family to help with table decorations and other alterations to the venue itself, you can save quite a bit of money as well as creating a more unique, bespoke feel for the decoration of your big day.
- A wedding dress doesn't have to cost the moon in order to be spectacular. You could save some money by seeking out a vintage dress and paying for alterations to try and get close to a Caroline Castigliano or Naomi Neoh original.
- If you're trying to economise wherever possible, consider booking your wedding for an off-season date or even have it in the morning or early afternoon.
- Try asking friends and family to help out with the wedding itself instead of getting you a wedding present. If your uncle is a fantastic cook, perhaps he can bake your wedding cake. If you have some friends who are musicians, perhaps they can be the wedding band.
- Decide on certain expenses which can be cut back on. Your wedding invitations, for example, don't have to be printed on the finest vellum to be stylish: a simple design on less expensive card can still look elegant.
- There are lots of cheap wedding venues London has tucked away which you can find with a bit of extra searching. There's plenty of options out there if you look carefully.
Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Wedding
- Establish your budget as early as possible in order to avoid any catastrophic problems last minute. It's important to establish your priorities early on: what do you care about the most? Do you want the invite list to be as big as possible, or do you want to have a super lavish venue and catering? There's no shame in looking for a cheap wedding venue or a budget wedding venue if you want to spend more money on food and entertainment.
- A wedding photographer might seem like an unnecessary extra expense, but you won't want to leave photo-duty to your friend or relative with an amateur enthusiasm for camera work. You'll want the day of your wedding ceremony to be memorialised in elegantly captured photographs.
- Try to be selective about who you do or don't invite, when it comes to old friends or colleagues who you like but don't see very often, it can be hard to decide. Try using this rule of thumb: if you haven't seen them or caught up with them in the last four years or so, they might not be offended when left off the invite list.
- Don't organise your stag do or hen party too close to the wedding itself. Where drinking is involved, accidents can happen, and you don't want to trip over and bruise your beautiful face only a week before the big day.
- Oh no! It's raining on your big day! Do you have a back-up plan if you were planning on having it outside?