Now that it’s all systems go for weddings here in the UK this summer (courtesy of the government’s continued lockdown-easing measures to ensure that the country tentatively returns to something bordering on normality), DT has seized the opportunity to reveal what we think constitutes a Top 10 Unique UK Wedding Venues compendium. At least, in the opinion of a wedding photo correction services provider like us.
Nothing official, mind.
Weddings Can Take Place in Most Weird and Wonderful Locations These Days. We should Know, Having Fulfilled Countless Wedding Photo Correction Services Briefs
From barns and beaches to castles and cliff tops, brides and grooms are spoilt for choice when it comes to locating that somewhere ‘a little bit out of the ordinary’ for their wedding day here in the UK. With a wealth of different landscapes and backdrops from which to choose, the number of couples looking to tie the knot in a more memorable venue than the traditional church has increased significantly in recent years.
Where once, previous generations would typically opt for a more religiously-themed wedding (churches and other traditional places of worship being the accepted norm), these days diversity is the heart of decisions from the outset. And as controversial as it might sound, the more religious side of the serious business of marriage doesn’t always represent what it has done in the past.
Together with the underlying fact we live in an Instagram age where surpassing our near neighbours (the Joneses. You’ve heard of them, right?) is arguably more of a priority than the more biblical aspect of vow exchanging in some cases. But certainly not all (caveat added).
Which is absolutely fine, as we fervently believe in the phrase, ‘to each, their own’.
And in this day and age, it’s fair to say that many couples getting hitched have a burning desire to stage their wedding in an environment which is personal to them. As a couple. Essentially, something which they believe reflects both of their personalities or interests. So, should one or the other be heavily into astronomy, let’s say, then the concept of holding their wedding at Jodrell Bank’s observatory might not sound quite as ‘out there’ as it otherwise would.
That said, we’re talking about 2020.
Just HOW surreal is this year to date anyway?! (insert lol emojis here)
Top 10 Unique UK Wedding Venues Feature Raft of Fascinating Destinations Couples Choose to Stage Their Big Day at
While lavish country piles and ostentatious stately homes have been flinging their doors open to wedding parties for some time now, other would-be locations have been a bit slower on the uptake. Effectively playing catch on – and up – ever since it would appear.
But not any more.
Vineyards, tipis, boats, old crumbling abbeys (amongst other places of historical interest, including temples, haunted castles and random collections of rural stones/acknowledged lay lines), aquariums (and maintaining a more submarinal theme; submarines themselves), windmills, caves (as well as subterranean lakes), space museums, art galleries, treehouses, iconic landmarks and TV studios.
You name it, and pretty much anything and moreover, ANYWHERE goes.
With imagination – and wedding savings funds – being the only limitations to the more ‘outside of the box’ wedding plans DT has heard about/attended in recent times.
Did we mention lakes back there?
OK, subterranean ones.
But back to the other above-surface variety, and we dare say there’s a number of fiancées and/or fiancés who might be hell bent on receiving their nuptals in the very same setting that Mr Darcy emerged (shirtless) from the lake in that most famous scene from one of TV’s greatest period drama moments; ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Although not the ACTUAL lake*.
For others it may be a slightly grittier vista which they’ve dreamed of, ever since watching Thomas Shelby plot the downfall of his Brummie gangland nemesis’ from the horticultured grounds of his secluded country manor.
Literally, anything goes; as well it should.
After all, it’s YOUR big day.
Future Editions of Top 10 Unique UK Wedding Venues Could Feature Pop-up Wedding Venues
Oh yeah. There’s another alternative too. And even more leftfield.
You’ve all heard of pop-up shops, art galleries, cafes and the like, but we reckon pop-up weddings must be a new one on you. Nevertheless pop-up weddings are very much a thing. And as a ‘thing’ are therefore being seized on by those in a position to organise such seemingly impromptu gatherings. Probably at relatively short notice, when considering the time-is-of-the-essence premise of anything typically hyped as ‘pop-up’.
But more about pop-up weddings another time. In another blog.
For now though, it’s back to our Top 10 Unique UK Wedding Venues. In our humble estimation, to clarify. The type of unusual locations and decidedly quirky venues DT would elect, if we were you.
1. ‘The Wind(mill) Beneath Your Wings’
Everyone loves a good windmill. From Dusty Miller to Andy Warhol (bet you didn’t know that the acclaimed pop artist was a fan of the four sails, eh?). Place said windmill in close proximity to a beach, and could you have a more idyllic location for your quirky wedding. In short, the answer is a resounding ‘no’. Cley Windmill in Norfolk might only cater for 20 guests in terms of ceremonial gatherings (maybe a few less now we’ve got to figure in the applied logistics of social distancing rules), however this bijou alternative to a fusty Norman-era church definately guarantees an intimate surround for all cordially invited. What’s more, bedrooms can be reserved for guests wishing to stay over.
2. ‘Recreate Game of Thrones’
OK. Now castles aren’t necessarily original. Just ask Disney. Or the Beckhams. But they’re still regarded as more novel than a virus and historically retain a sense of grandeur that a church simply can’t measure up to. Architecturally or romantically. If you’re in the market for a gothic revival period castle fringed by woodland, then look no further than Cardiff’s, Castell Coch. Resplendent in its decadent interior decor, the opulant look and feel continues on the exterior; courtesy of its imposing position on the South Wales landscape. Limited to 30 guests, ceremonies take place in the drawing room.
3. ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Almost. As Well as Your Bride/Groom’s Heart’
Forget all about dreamy spires. Unless that is you’re referring to stalactites. If you’re a fan of underground movements (or the outdoor recreational activity known as pot-holing) and planning on tying the knot any time soon, then Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall needs to be on your sonar. ‘The Underground Lake’ is one of four unique wedding destinations offered by the aforementioned Liskeard-based company. An ascent of 60 steps into the bowels of a cave, ultimately leads to the emergence of a crystal clear blue/green lake set in a candle-lit rock chamber. Licensed to accomodate 35 guests, the bride might have to recruit all her stamina given the aisle is some 80 metres in length.
4. ‘Love Transcends Everything. Including Great Heights’
Some of us never stop playing out. It must be the legacy of growing up during the 70s. No need to roll up your flared denim dungarees and shin up any ancient oak trees here though. Recognized as the largest tree top building of its kind in Europe, the Alnwick Garden Treehouse wedding venue in Northumberland stands head and shoulders above the competition. And not merely due to its physical presence. Imagine a fairytale scenario on your wedding day which as well as incorporating up to 85 wedding guests, also provides a backdrop of intertwining branches, greenery, twinkly lights, rope walkways, private decking and log fires. And you’ve more or less described this unique UK wedding venue.
5. ‘Not Found on Ocean Drive. Yet Ideal for Families’
Similar to a decent windmill, there’s something you can’t ignore about being confronted by a lighthouse. What you lose in sails, you always make up for with lumins, while these brightest and tallest of cylindrical outposts tend to exist amid a stunning vista. Neither Glamorgan’s Nash Point Lighthouse, nor Whitley Bay’s St. Mary’s Lighthouse fail to deliver on this front, with the former still being a working fixture and fitting. Yet the latter edges it for the wow factor, on account it being perched on its own rocky outcrop. With only a tidal-revealing causeway linking it to the mainland. Think about that. Just who could resist getting married in a lighthouse on a tiny island.
6. ‘Finding Love; and Possibly Nemo’
Right, let’s casually get the elephant in the room dispensed with early doors. Unfortunately you can’t actually get wed at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. But you CAN invite upto 130 reception guests to the spectacular backdrop that is the popular sea life centre’s Eddystone Reef exhibit. Which lends itself perfectly to a 20,000 leagues under the sea type ‘do’. If that doesn’t necessarily float your Top 10 Unique UK Wedding Venues boat, then perhaps London Zoo and a selection of safari parks will.
7. ‘Your Wedding Has Blast Off!’
Elon Musk might still be light years away from whisking us all into orbit for our holidays/future weddings, so in the meantime if you’re looking to scratch your sci-fi-themed wedding itch, then Leicester’s impressive National Space Centre could fire your imagination in the meantime. Home to an enviable collection of space memorabilia and intergalactic artefacts, newlyweds experiencing the aptly-named Rocket Tower can elect to take their first dance beneath the stars in the UK’s largest planetarium if they so desired. Picture the wedding photo opportunities….
8. ‘Capturing the Perfect Romantic Composition’
In scenes reminiscent of The Last Supper, brides and grooms earmarking somewhere that little bit out of the ordinary to get hitched could do a lot worse than the Dulwich Picture Gallery. A LOT worse. Especially when you learn that this London gallery houses a collection of Rembrandts, Gainsboroughs and Canaletto, while the Soane Gallery‘s walls play host to over 300 old masters’ compositional works. Incidentally, The Last Supper reference stems from the fact that 120 wedding guests can dine at one long table, stretching the entire length of the wedding room.
9. ‘When Altar Wine Just Isn’t Enough’
For many wedding guests from the bride and groom down, the considered partaking of alcohol is part and parcel of the big day. With champagne doing the rounds from the moment you rock up at the reception, why wait till then to sample the wares, as it were. Hence why tipple afficianados amongst soon-to-be-wed couples might be interested to learn that they can have their wedding service conducted in an actual brewery. The Pheasantry Brewery in Nottinghamshire describes itself as ‘intimate and beautiful’ in terms of an alternative wedding location, location, location. Alongside of our favourite word in this blog; ‘unique’.
….and finally (brace yourselves)….
10. ‘As Alice Concurred; All the Best People Are!’
Yup. We said that. An asylum, singular in this instance. Located in South East London, this former asylum served as a place of worship before that. Before being bombed out and later reinvented as an asylum. Today Asylum Chapel‘s ‘unrestored charm’ affords it the opportunity to stand out as one of the most unique UK wedding venues we’ve ever encountered. One of the biggest USP’s of this venue – according to those couples who have gotten spliced there – is the searing light. Be it summer or winter, DT has it on good authority that this Urbex-spec characterful wedding destination benefits from the ‘most amazing directional light from windows at one end’. Admittedly, not everyone’s cup of Earl Grey, but you can’t deny that it’s niche.
Here’s the rub though.
Irrespective of where you’ve chosen to host your big day, wedding photos don’t always tell the full story. Nor occassionally ‘do the day’ the pictorial justice it so richly deserves.
Nobody’s fault; it just is what it is sometimes.
We know only too well that despite the best intentions and wills in the world, there’s the slim chance that your wedding pics will give you cause for concern once you’re privy to the finished articles. No blame game apportioned here. Merely down to a series of events or set of cirumcumstances that nobody could have predicated beforehand.
Basically, life just happens. Even on this day of all days.
But don’t lose heart.
In the unfortunate event that your beautiful photos don’t turn out quite how you’d anticipated, know that DT specialises in wedding photo correction services.
Regardless of where you elect to stage your biggest of big days, rest assured DT can iron out any unplanned wedding photo quality creases which materialise thereafter. Discreetly removing, adding or ammending any element of images which have left you feeling a little deflated.
It’s all part of the increasingly popular wedding photo correction services we offer. Having being past masters in the (digital) art of visually rectifying wedding photos since 2008.
*Lyme Park, Cheshire, as it happened