We spoke to our community of the best UK documentary wedding photographers – if anyone knows about amazing venues, it’s these guys! They have given us their insight into the most unusual wedding venues in the UK and why they love them, as well as some insight from the brides who chose these quirky venues.
Location: Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
“It’s right on the Thames – you can arrive by boat! It has great views of the city and the O2 arena. It’s London’s only lighthouse and is great for photos.”
REAL love: It’s a large open warehouse that’s really flexible to be configured to each individual couple with unique views of the city. Plus a lighthouse in the city is a pretty neat feature.
Location: East London
“It’s a farm in the middle of London!”
REAL love: “You can have a ‘rural’ and relaxed wedding whilst still having all the attractions of London – cool hotels, etc.”
Location – South East London
“It’s a bombed out chapel that has been left unrestored.”
REAL love: One word. Light. Whether it’s winter or summer, this place has the most amazing directional light from windows at one end, along with a backdrop of such character that you don’t get anywhere else.”
REAL bride Emily says: “We chose the asylum as it was different. We had looked around a few registry offices, realised we wanted something more interesting so started looking at railway arches, event spaces and old theatres and cinemas but when we saw the Asylum we were completely blown away. It is so beautiful and it blew anything else out of the water. We loved everything about it. The stained glass windows, the open brick, the candles, the lighting. It was just beautiful. Very atmospheric. Just raw. Advice would be to organise your own drinks to keep costs down. We brought our own champagne (no corkage charge) and glasses which they then recycled for us and we paid for a couple of members of staff to serve which was very reasonable and worked very well. The asylum is beautiful as it is and barely needs any dressing at all. Winter weddings – I would advise guests to wrap up warm!”
Location: Whitstable, Kent
“The venue is the original oyster grading room of the Seasalter and Ham Fishery Company. It retains its original brick structure and coastal heritage charm. It has the oyster fishing village next door, complete with working fishing boats still in use, and has a beautiful beach front location. “
REAL love: that it’s a mixture of cool, quirky, rustic and beautiful. From the colourful beach huts, stunning sunsets and gorgeous blue seas, to the working fishing village and old oyster house feel, this wedding venue is truly unique.
REAL bride Charlotte says: “We knew we didn’t want a conventional space for a wedding, and stumbled upon East Quay by accident. Coincidentally, it happened to be a restaurant we used to go to when we very first got together. We had no idea they had turned into a wedding venue until I saw this ‘cool, industrial space’ pop up on a blog. It was the first and only place we visited when looking for our venue. The staff were so helpful and easy going, and the venue itself is self-contained and simply beautiful. Plus the Whitstable coastline looks stunning regardless of the weather, so we knew we didn’t need to rely on the changeable English climate for a great day. If anything, the rain and moody skies just made the venue look even more striking. We loved the industrial style, the quirky features bespoke to Whitstable and the venue itself. It ticked all the boxes for us.”
“Located right in the centre of Oxford The Jam Factory is both a restaurant and an art gallery with fantastic food and laid back vibes. It’s become a safe haven for the food lovers and art enthusiasts of Oxford.”
REAL love: it’s quirky, relaxed nature and the fact that different art is always on display. The couple had a religious ceremony in a beautiful church in the countryside, so they wanted something quirky and untraditional to sort of ”balance” that.
“It’s like being in the Far East. The Asian architecture of the buildings and the gardens looks really unique and quirky.”
REAL love: This venue is a photographers dream and I think it is the most unique wedding venue in the Cotswolds.
REAL bride Catherine says:
“We chose the Matara because it was so different to everywhere else we looked and it had a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere, whilst meeting all the practical issues. They were also really accommodating and couldn’t have been nicer. We loved that the venue was unique, had lots of different areas including great outdoor space and we were made to feel really special, including planting a rose bush.”
“It’s a museum…of old buildings!! There’s a random assortment of different buildings from around the country that have been rescued and rebuilt at the museum.”
REAL love: A mission church, a gaol, a windmill and a miniature railway – so much choice!”
“It’s a mix of the incredible architecture of the new library combined with the wood panelled Shakespeare Room that was transplanted from the old library.”
REAL love: The architecture, the room gardens, the views of the city, the travelator!
REAL love: “It’s alternative, totally different from the norm and it has ace photos opportunities.”
“It’s pretty amazing. A converted barn transformed into a wedding venue. Also you get donkeys and llamas during the drinks reception!”
REAL love: its just really cool. Loads of awesome little spots for portraits. The staff are amazing and nothing is too much trouble. Again, Donkeys and llamas during the drinks reception. Whats not to love!
Location: Whitley Bay, Near Newcastle upon Tyne
“St. Mary’s Lighthouse is on the tiny St Mary’s Island, just north of Whitley Bay on the coast of North East England. This small rocky tidal island is linked to the mainland by a short concrete causeway which is submerged at high tide.”
REAL love: What could be a more unusual wedding venue than a lighthouse on a tiny island?
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
“This North East wedding venue features a barn that wouldn’t look out of place in mid-west America! With stunning gardens, a wedding field and the ‘GinGan’ hexagonal building which sits above the main pond area, there’s plenty of options for fun photos.”
REAL love: It’s a quirky blank canvas and they don’t take loads of bookings – weddings only take place from late April to September, so it’s perfect for a summer wedding.
“Wild and beautiful Carreglwyd Estate on Anglesey is the perfect place for a festival wedding as it is home to Gottwood Festival!”
REAL love: the stunning lake with a pretty boathouse that you can get married in.
“It’s a cool blank white space with huge windows miles and miles from the nearest civilisation, with a beach and amazing views.”
REAL love: that it’s so light, the views, the food is amazing, and the long windy drive from the nearest village.
Which of these venues is your favourite? Join the conversation over on our Facebook Group and meet likeminded brides who want to keep it REAL!
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