Feature, Gallery, Venues, Wedding Planning

10 of the UK’s most unusual Wedding Venues

By Debs Cass on June 21st, 2013

Finding THE wedding venue can be the hardest nut to crack on your wedding plan. Proximity to home/elderly relatives; ambience; cost; capacity; funny little rules venues dictate, can be enough to put any bride/groom into a spin. As more and more weddings these days are becoming less corporate hotel chain affairs, couples tying the knot are increasingly on the hunt for a venue that fulfills big dreams. Not necessarily of the princess variety, but of a personal, meaningful to the newlyweds kind.

This ‘holy grail’ can also entail the need for unique, never-done-before and a wedding people don’t stop talking about. High ambitions require some pretty far-out options, and for those of you quirky, adventurous and non-conventional types out there, here’s our top ten unusual wedding venues around the UK.

The Lodge, Scotland

Picture 1 of 10

Nestled between the shores of Loch Goil and a majestic backdrop of mountain scenery, The Lodge is an intimate luxury wedding venue in Scotland. Built in 1864 and exuding the elegance of a bygone era with lovingly restored interiors and gardens. Offering a magnificent Tree House for a unique wedding ceremony and the Summerhouse, a secluded self-contained cottage on the shores of the loch, for the ultimate honeymoon retreat. A ceremony for 2-24 guests can be held in one of the world's only licensed tree house with a wedding feast afterwards in the Victorian dining room; whilst a ceremony for up to 60 guests can be held theatre-style in the dining room with the wedding celebrations moving through to the conservatory afterwards. The Lodge's on-site wedding planner, can coordinate everything from entertainment and local accommodation for non-resident guests to wedding cakes, cars and anything else to make the day special. The Lodge Scotland


Soho House’s Little House now available exclusively for wedding receptions

By shinychris on March 25th, 2013

Little House MayfairLooking for a classy wedding reception in the centre of London? Located in the bustling heart of Mayfair, Soho House’s latest London offering, Little House, is now open exclusively for wedding receptions. A perfect location for a city wedding in the capital, Little House claims it will provide an intimate backdrop for a relaxed wedding breakfast for a bride and groom and their guests.

Set across one floor on a quiet corner of Mayfair, Little House can accommodate 55 guests for dinner in the restaurant area, with the additional option of hosting 150 people for drinks and canapés. Bespoke menus will be created by the Executive Chef to tailor to the bridal party’s requirements.

For the first time the private hire is available for both members and non-members on Sunday evenings from 5pm and upon application on public holiday Saturdays throughout the year.

Launched in May 2012, Little House is Soho House’s seventh property to open in the UK, providing members with great food and wine in typical Soho House style and surroundings. The house features authentic fireplaces, exposed brick walls and a salon bar. It draws on inspiration from the 1920’s with reclaimed furniture alongside plush leather dinning booths, bar stools and hanging lamps creating a cosy atmosphere.

Showcasing a stand-out art collection, curated by Jonny Yeo and Francesca Gavin, Little House claims to be a relaxed and unique location for an intimate and memorable wedding celebration.

Venues, Vintage, Wedding Planning

Celebrate your wedding like a 1930’s lady with Brinsop Court Estate

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on December 19th, 2012

Downton Abbey may be on a break for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inject your life – and wedding plans – with some 1930’s high-life glamour. If you’re looking for a venue to hold your very own thirties style wedding, the newly transformed Brinsop Court Estate could make a suitable backdrop that would make even Lady Mary Crawley jealous.

The majestic manor house is a gem surrounded by an 800 acre estate set in the Herefordshire countryside, and new of 2013 Brinsop is available for a limited number of wedding celebrations. With a rich history, the estate was once home to Hollywood starlet Madeline Caroll, who during her time as lady of the manor is believed to have kept pink flamingos on the moated lake.

Weddings at the manor house will take place in the library with views that inspired the English poet William Wordsworth to write prose. Exclusive use weddings start from £4,950. If you’re interested in finding out more about Brinsop Court Estate as a wedding venue visit

As for the above mentioned Downton Abbey – the show returns with a Christmas special on Christmas Day.

Gown: Enzoani; £1,725 (Ginger)
Accessories: Gilda and Pearl; Britten weddings; Liberty in Love; Freya Rose
Decorations: Love Gemsy; The Crockery Shed
Hair: Peter Prosser hairdressing
Make-up: Jen Gilling
Photography: Gemma Williams



Venues, Wedding Idea

Wedding reception idea: The London Eye Barracuda vintage cruiser on the Thames

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on August 21st, 2012

The Olympics may have come and gone (we almost had to wipe a tear off when the flame went out), and while Team GB truly showed their golden skills,  the Opening Ceremony still remains as a magnificent moment. More specifically it was the moment when David Beckham – looking exceptionally handsome – brought the Olympic flame up the River Thames in speedboat that got our hearts beating faster…

London has for years been a popular location for wedding ceremonies and receptions, but how about taking a leaf out of Beckham’s book and head to the river for your celebrations.

One of the more famous landmarks in the capital, the London Eye and its vintage cruiser, the London Eye Barracuda, offers three wedding packages for couples wanting a unique venue to celebrate their union with their friends and family.

Each wedding package includes, among other things, a red carpet arrival, floral arrangements, an overnight stay at the Marriott Hotel County Hall for the happy couple, and a cruise down the River Thames during your wedding breakfast.

Prices range from £155 to £ 200 per person October to March, and from £170 to £215 per person April to September.

For more information visit the London Eye Barracuda website.


Celebrate your wedding in historical London at Trinity House

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on June 11th, 2012

If the recent celebrations of the Queen have made you want to have a patriotic styled wedding or perhaps opened your eyes for the possibility if tying the knot in London, chances are you’re now on the hunt for the perfect location.

London, with its many options and history, is one of my personal favourite destinations for weddings. And if not for its beauty and history, were else can you hire a classic Routemaster to drive your wedding party around in?

If history and London is what you’re after, there is few places more historical that the area around the Tower of London. The Tower itself may be off limits – although those crown jewels would add an unsurpassable amount of dazzle to your wedding – so what about Trinity House?

Located on Tower Hill, a stone throw away from the famous stronghold, Trinity House is located close to St Olave’s church, one of the oldest medieval buildings in the City. The venue itself is inherently opulent and offers views across Trinity House Gardens to the Thames.

The elegant interiors will add an impressive setting to wedding celebrations. What first meets the wedding party is the impressive neo-classical façade from 1794. Depending on where you go next, the banqueting rooms can fit wedding parties of 10 to 130. One particular striking feature is the sweeping, twin-curved staircase in the Reception Hall – destined to make any bride feel like a real princess.

The history of the House is omnipresent and throughout the building, valuable paintings and antiques bear out the nation’s remarkable nautical heritage. This chronicle began in 1514 when a young Henry VIII granted the charitable guild of mariners a Royal Charter to regulate the water traffic on the River Thames, their powers later extended by Elizabeth 1 to include the sea-markers around the English coastline.

For more information about Trinity House’s wedding packages please visit

News, Venues

Wedding venue: Have a panda-licious wedding at Edinburgh Zoo

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on March 19th, 2012

Whether you’re an animal friend, slightly obsessed with pandas or simply want a wedding reception out of the ordinary, Edinburgh Zoo’s Mansion House would provide you with just the right setting.

The Mansion House is nestled in 82 acres of parkland and is the Zoo’s centrepiece. Offering traditional Scottish architecture it will also be a breathtaking setting for those all important wedding photos, all included with a visit to the panda den where giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang (Sweetie and Sunshine) reside.

Not only will the pandas already be in their finest white and black suits, a percentage of the profits earned from weddings held at Mansion House, part of Lime Venue Collection, will be re-invested into the Zoo and its charitable objectives.

For more information visit

1920s Themed Wedding, Gallery, Gowns, Venues, Vintage, wedding dresses, Wedding Gown Photos

Vintage wonderland with Sabina Motasem Bride and Eltham Palace

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on January 9th, 2012

I do love when a bit of Art Deco lands in my inbox. This time it came from bridal designer Sabina Motasem Bride who has teamed up with one of London’s most sought after wedding venue, Eltham Palace, Greenwich – one of the UK’s finest examples of Art Deco style. The gorgeous venue is the backdrop of the labels’ new collection, which features vintage inspired wedding gowns for the modern bride who has a penchant for the eras past.

The new collection draws inspiration from the style and glamour of iconic performers at the Folies Bergeres in 1900s- 1930s Paris. Think slinky, understated dresses that complement the opulent and decadent Art Deco interior perfectly.

I’ll let you be the judge of the prettiest dress of them all, but these are gorgeous.

Sabina Motasem - Cabaret

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The “Cabaret” dress was shot in Stephen Courtauld’s bedroom, designed by John Seely, is an aspen lined bedroom with the side walls covered in scenic block printed wallpaper depicting Kew Gardens made by Sandersons, creating a delicate 3D effect.

Gallery, Venues

Wedding venues: Winter wedding in a Devon barn

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on July 29th, 2011

Summer seems to just have arrived, but with Harrods and Selfridges having already opened their Christmas shops for 2011 we’ve decided that we are allowed to think about winter weddings. And for any brides-to-be out there currently planning their wedding, but have yet to decide on the venue maybe this could be the place for you?

Tucked away in Devon lies one of the best kept wedding venue secrets – The Great Barn. This ancient barn was restored six years ago by Sir John and Lady Birkin and has been nicknamed “the thatched cathedral” by guests.

Set within the grounds of the Birkin’s 15th century family estate, the 190 seat barn is an atmospheric venue for any winder weddings, especially with candle-lit tables and a snowy outdoors. And there’s no need to worry about being cold as the barn has under-floor heating! Perfect for when you’ve taken off those heels to dance the night away.

The Great Barn Winter White Wedding Packages start from £4,250 for weekend weddings and £850 for mid-week ceremonies.

Nuptial news, Venues

Want a rollercoaster wedding? Well now you can!

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on June 1st, 2011

We don’t know if you’re planning a traditional wedding or if you’re looking for a more unique ceremony that is sure to fit into the category of ‘alternative’ ways of getting married.

If saying ‘I do’ among rollercoasters is your biggest wish, then Alton Towers Resort might be able to help you. We can’t promise you will be able to ride the rollercoaster with priest and party while tying the knot, but the resort is now offering brides and grooms a new wedding package.

Best thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about guests complaining about the wedding music being cheesy as they’ll be too busy fighting each other to get on the rides!

Prices start at £55.00 per adult. For more information visit

The Royal Wedding, Venues

Want to tie the knot in Westminster Abbey like Kate? Winchester Cathedral is a good alternative!

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on March 30th, 2011

We all know where the wedding of the year will be taking place. Westminster Abbey of course. In less than one month the world will be watching as Prince William and Kate Catherine Middleton exchange their vows in this majestic and historical place.

If you have a desire to get married in a venue similar to that of Kate, but don’t have the family line of William or the connections required to secure the Abbey, the historic city of Winchester could be your perfect spot.

The Romanesque Cathedral of Winchester is the heart and soul of the town and could act as a perfect backdrop to anyone wanting to inject a bit of Royal Wedding style in their own day.

If you would like more details head on over to

Feature, Flowers/Decoration, Know How, Venues

How to have a wedding in your own garden

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on March 30th, 2011

When it comes to deciding on the venue of your wedding, it might be that the perfect location is right at your doorstep: your back doorstep in fact!

As more couples are opting for bespoke ceremonies and less formal receptions for their big day, finding the right venue will often prove difficult. Most venues will insist on a specific package, a minimum number of guests, money spent on drinks and so the costs just keep on mounting up. And the wedding isn’t necessarily going to be that personalised as it will be what the happy couple before you had and the happy couple before them and so on…

If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden (or know someone that does) why not turn your little plot of land into a stunning setting for a wedding tea party.

Yorkshire based company Backyard Weddings has noticed this trend are offering a bespoke service for Northern brides and grooms who wish to say their vows in the comfort of their own garden. Backyard Weddings will come to you, set up the marquee in case it rains complete with chandeliers, deck the furniture (they’ll bring it!) with vintage twist – making it perfect for a vintage tea party. The service also includes a bespoke wedding ceremony, so you’ll be able to decide on every little detail! And if you’ve got 150 friends, it doesn’t matter as they can cater for very small to more meadow sized wedding parties.

Are you planning a garden wedding? We’d love to hear from you.

Venues, Wedding Planning

Have an elegant wedding experience with Bulgari

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on March 8th, 2011

Don’t know about you, but I love the idea of going somewhere magical, quite remote and absolutely lavish for a wedding. Not that my current budget would allow it, but thought I’d share this ‘little’ gem from Bulgari with you.

Bulgari Hotel Bali

Over on the island of Bali, the Bulgari Hotels & Resort lies on top of a cliff making sure the backdrop for any wedding is simply spectacular! How romantic wouldn’t it be to exchange vows as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean in the background?

The Italian designer brand perhaps best known for its jewellery and luxury goods; LVMH Group recently acquired a 51% stake in the company; has like several other luxury brands branched out into the world of travel to ensure its fans can have a complete experience with them. The Bulgari catalogue also offers a hotel in Milan, restaurants in Tokyo and will be opening a hotel in London next year.

The Bulgari Resort Bali

If you’re lucky to have a budget that stretches as far as Bali and Bulgari, the resort offers four different wedding experiences: water, beach, bale or pavilion. Depending on what you’d choose, your nuptials could include a white sandy beach, 5,000 blossoms or stunning views of the ocean.

For more information visit Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Bali

Travel and Honeymoon, Venues

The Landmark London is a perfect setting for a city wedding

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on February 23rd, 2011

One of the world’s most prestigious hotels, The Landmark London in Marylebone provides a magical backdrop for an elegant city wedding, engagement party or renewal of vows.

The elegant five-star Landmark London, a Grande Dame in central London, is a luxurious home away from home located in a stunning 19th century building. It is home to several of central London’s truly memorable restaurants and bars, and is a favourite with A-list celebrities.

From intimate affairs to grand gatherings for up to 750 people, the hotel offers a variety of arrangements to deliver a memorable wedding experience and is currently running three reception and menu packages, all of which are flexible to suit your needs. Prices start from £120 per person, and offers are valid until 31st December 2011.

Honeymooning in London? The Landmark London also has an enchanted five-night honeymoon package that will help make the first nights as husband and wife as memorable as possible. Offering the ultimate five-day romantic break in luxurious bliss, the package includes among other things a chilled bottle of Tattinger Champagne on arrival, traditional English breakfast served in The Winter Garden (found inside a spectacular eight-storey glass atrium) or in privacy of your room, and complimentary use of the spa should you so wish to indulge. The price starts from £3,800 for two people.

For further information, contact The Landmark London on 020 7631 8104 or email [email protected]

News, Venues, Vintage, Wedding Planning

The Henry Moore Foundation opens doors to quintessentially English weddings

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on February 18th, 2011

If you’re looking for a venue that radiates beauty and exclusivity, we have found just the thing.

In the picturesque hamlet of Perry Green, near Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, one of the UK’s most spectacular venues is waiting for couples wanting a stunning and historical venue for their wedding reception.

Spread across 70 acres, the estate and former home to renowned artist Henry Moore is set against the rolling English countryside, making it a unique backdrop for the most stylish of celebrations and a sensational setting for wedding pictures.

The Henry Moore Foundation’s elegant medieval Aisled Barn can host up to 100 guests for a wedding breakfast, with high ceilings and oak beams creating a sense of intimacy and occasion, whilst a stunning collection of ten beautiful tapestries, woven in a collaborative effort between Henry Moore and the West Dean Tapestry Workshop and previously shown at the V&A, add colour and a sense of history to this impressive wedding venue.

Outside, beautifully manicured lawns provide a romantic English setting for a champagne reception whilst a marquee can cater for over 400 guests.

For further information on weddings with The Henry Moore Foundation, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0)1279 843 333.

Feature, Planning an Italian wedding, Real Brides, Venues, Wedding Planning

Planning an Italian wedding by Victoria: Picking the venue

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on November 23rd, 2010

Follow Bridalwave’s real life, step by step guide to having a wedding in Italy by bride-to-be Victoria in this wedding series. This week Victoria picks a venue.

villavistarenni.jpgWhen we decided we were getting married in Italy we knew we would have to see the venue in person before we booked. You can see in my first post in this series why we decided to choose Italy but now I want to take you through how we chose our venue.

Before we left we had shortlisted 3 venues:

Villa Catignano
Villa Vistarenni
Villa Ulignano

As we departed the UK our hearts were set on Villa Catignano with a wedding ceremony at Sienna Town Hall. On arrival we checked into our hotel, the stunning Villa Curina – Curina would actually make a pleasant wedding venue in itself but was a little too modern for our tastes. It did however have a rocking view over Sienna and the most courteous staff. After a scrummy breakfast we headed to Gaiole-in-Chianti to check out our first venue – Villa Vistarenni.

Vistarenni was actually our least favourite venue ahead of the trip (due to some quite dubious photography from the wedding planner who first introduced us to the venue) but on the way there we soon changed our minds. As you drive along the windy Tuscan roads about 5 mins out of Gaiole you can make out Vistarenni in all its old school glamour from your car window. It is a 16th Century villa and a great venue for weddings owing to its fairly isolated (great if you want to have a noisy wedding like ours) location and space for 37 people. Once we arrive, the smiling owner Elisabetta greets us and takes us on a tour of the house and grounds.

We are overwhelmed by stunning room after stunning room. The Villa is filled with interesting curiosities and valuable antiques – so much so you feel like you are in a film in a completely different time. As we were shown round it soon became apparent that this was the venue for us. It really reflected the European faded glamour we were after and also has a very laid back feel – I am sure this has a lot to do with Elisabetta. When we asked about noise restrictions or curfews she just laughed and said if we hire the venue it is ours to do what we want – our kind of place! The wonders continue outside with a fantastic pool with views overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills. The pool has a great location and basks in sun all day. There is a large BBQ by the pool and a couple of minutes walk away two tennis courts. In front of the Villa on the terrace there is a wall of lavender and from then you can just see miles and miles of vineyard. Lucky for us still managed by Elisabetta and her family – a bottle of Chianti Classico from her vault is just 6 euros.

Another bonus is that Elisabetta does not charge for you to host your wedding there if you are hiring all the bedrooms – beware as many venues do. We have heard of quite a few venues that want an extra £2/3K just to use the gardens for a wedding breakfast.

Although this is Tuscany we were concerned about the weather and wanted to be sure we could go inside if the weather took a distinct British feel. And we were very pleased to know that on the day we can decide to use the converted barn for our sit down meal for an extra 985 euros. It was great to not have to book this in advance and then not use it. Elisabetta is very much focused on her guests and offers to help with many things. In fact since booking the venue Elisabetta has recommended to us photographers, florists, interpreters etc.

The venue had all we wanted and we both knew it was for us instantly. I think my advice would be to go with your gut feeling when choosing a venue. We did go on and look at the other venues and I would highly recommend Villa Catignano if you wish to marry in Sienna. We found Sienna Town Hall was too opulent for us. It is truly stunning but I did find it overwhelming. Villa Ulignano was a pleasant venue with stunning facade but very, very far away in Volterra. This somewhat put us off as it took hours to get there.

Once we decided on Villa Vistarenni we had two options for the actual ceremony. Vistarenni has a chapel on site, which can be used for religious and symbolic wedding as well as blessings. It is located only a few yards away from the villa, in a romantic location protected by cypresses. Or we had an option to marry at a local town hall. You could in theory marry in Sienna and have the reception at Vistarenni but it is quite a distance – about 45 minutes drive. From Vistarenni you can see the hill top town of Radda and we went there next.

I will forgive you for thinking I am an impulsive girl when I tell you that as soon as we parked the car in Radda we knew we would have the ceremony there. The views from the town are out of this world and it has a very quiet feel. There is one narrow, car-less street up to the town hall with peppered with few shops and bars. At the top is a small square with the town hall on one side and the main church on the other. When we enquired at the town hall we were shown the ceremonial room and also informed we could marry outside in the courtyard. That had us straight away. We were very keen on a marriage open to the elements and the courtyard to the town hall is particularly stunning owing to the large archways, which spill onto the town square.

You can marry at the town hall from 900 euros but remember that you need to add the cost of an interpreter to that which is essential under Italian law – approximately 1000 euros all in. If you would like to book or find out more information call the Anagrafe – details can be found here. A little tip is to ask for Letizia who is extremely helpful.

In my next post I will spill the beans on one of the best things about getting married in Italy – the food!

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