In a previous post, I shared a variety of beautiful countryside wedding venues over the length and breadth of the UK. Today it’s time to indulge all you city slickers with a selection of my favourite urban spaces and contemporary London wedding venues.
The options, when you start to look into more urban areas, are varied but no less exciting than what can be found in the rolling green of the countryside. Space may sometimes be at a premium, but these incredible city venues show you exactly how well smaller spaces can be managed and still create the most breathtaking backdrops for your big day.
This selection covers a variety of styles – from chic hotels to the urban cool of industrial warehouses. I think you’ll agree they cover all the bases of the city wedding venue perfectly. Which is your favourite?
When considering city wedding venues, you can’t go wrong with a hotel. Beautifully decorated event spaces, amazing food and service and a short walk back to your bed after the fun is over? Sounds like the perfect formula to me! Hotel weddings can sometimes have a bad reputation when it comes the question of style, with fears of soulless conference rooms, spandex chair covers and cheap looking balloons. However, thankfully, there are more and more hotels across the country boasting carefully curated spaces, design-led interiors, exceptional customer service and atmospheres ringing with style! Here is a small selection of some of my favourite London hotels.
Situated in the former Midland Bank in the heart of central London, this historic building has been repurposed into an exquisitely beautiful hotel with absolutely everything you could possibly need for your day. At the Ned, the entire sixth floor is available to hire, which includes six rooms and two terraces looking out over a truly iconic London skyline. There’s even a spa on site and 250 bedrooms so your guests won’t have far to go once the party has drawn to a close.
I particularly love the glorious Tapestry Room, which seats up to 200 people. With its dark wood panelling and dramatic 360-degree tapestry, it’s an opulent and striking backdrop to your wedding celebration.
Nestled quietly in the centre of Mayfair lies the famous, royally approved Claridge’s – an iconic hotel full of understated elegance and hundreds of years of stories. For many people, a Claridge’s wedding is the epitome of luxury – the perfect expression of a timeless romance. There’s a real sense of tradition here, but every element is dealt with exquisitely by the Claridge’s team.
Claridge’s aims to make your wedding a treasured experience to remember from the very moment you enquire with them. From the grandeur of the art deco Ballroom, the Drawing Room and French Salon, right through to the more understated Windsor Room and beyond, there are spaces to suit every event, whatever their size. And you may even receive a complimentary night’s stay at the hotel as well.
The independently-owned Zetter Townhouse, slap bang in the middle of Clerkenwell, East London, boasts 13 bedrooms and an award-winning cocktail lounge. This Georgian building features an eclectic mix of collectibles, taxidermy and antiques paired with the distinctive interior design of Russell Sage. There is something to look at in every room of this glorious building!
The space is incredibly flexible for whatever kind of party you have planned. Small and intimate to a large event with a multitude of guests, Zetter Townhouse will happily accommodate it all, and will do it with a great big shot of personality. I love this place!
The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch is a contemporary and fresh space with coolness seeping out of every porous brick. With its high windows and bright spaces, it is sure to be the perfect backdrop to your city-chic wedding.
The rooms available for your event offer views that are truly spectacular: think floor to ceiling windows and an achingly cool roof terrace which is crying out for mingling and cocktails, and perhaps a spot of live music. The design features inside are pared back and minimal, and there’s room for imaginative and modern styling to complement the epic views. Funky British catering is available from on site restaurant Hoi Polloi, and the events team here have an enthusiasm for all things wedding that borders on the gleeful.
WAREHOUSES AND STUDIOS
The beauty of a warehouse comes down to the amount of space they can offer you. By their very nature of being converted warehouses, they are usually open plan with lots of light and plenty of scope for inventive wedding design. Think about breaking up the vast space into different zones or areas, to give your guests a multi-layered experience and make it feel like several venues in one. These sorts of urban blank canvases are a wedding stylist’s dream! Check out this selection to see what I mean.
JJ Media group have two brilliant locations in Shoreditch, each vast, light and bright and with buckets of potential for an incredible wow-factor wedding celebration. Within each building (Wimborne House, overlooking Shoreditch Park, and Perseverance Works, with its own private courtyard) you’ll find a range of studios available for hire, some with rustic beams, others with exposed pipework, some white and airy, others urban and slick with polished concrete – you can move from room to room, creating amazing atmospheres in each.
The team at JJ Wimborne and Perserverance are masters at staging elaborate events, and can help you with furniture and prop hire and other elements of scene setting, to create a day that is yours and yours alone. The sheer potential of these places has my brain bubbling over with ideas – there is so much here to play with and create a stylish wedding spectacular.
The Tanner Warehouse has been converted to create a space with serious character. This place is enormous, but there are enough contemporary design features to stop it from feeling intimidatingly blank. Tanner gives you a mix of old and new London: it’s aware of its history, but not sufficiently wedded to it as to be inflexible.
There’s a lovely courtyard available to use, with lights strung across it for some extra twinkle, and it’s the sort of space that was made to be filled with laughter and celebration. Have to give a quick mention here too to the in-house catering team and bar staff, who are well-versed in weddings with style, and offer a range of delicious, elegant but not-too-traditional food and drink options to satisfy your guests.
Found in Hackney, there is nothing quite like this 1930s red-brick four-storey tower, which was originally built as a filter house on the side of the reservoir. With windows that reach right up to the sky and two outdoor terraces overlooking the reservoir, you cannot fail to be impressed by this stunning venue with London as its backdrop.
The spectacular Tower Room, with its iron pillars and white walls, and the open ceiling looking up into the apex of the tower, is a majestic sight. Some of the original hydraulic machinery is suspended high above you as you dine and dance the night away. I love the drama and quirkiness of this space, and its riverside location softens some of its stark urban edges.
There used to be a time when weddings were very much confined to churches and registry offices followed by the reception in a back garden or hall somewhere. How times have changed. Now we have an abundance of beautiful historical buildings, unusual spaces and one-of-a-kind venues to choose from and London is a hotbed for the unique. Here are some of my favourites.
Oh, what a space the B&H is! It’s at once clean, minimal and yet charmingly faded and overgrown. The aesthetic the designers have gone for in the restaurant and greenhouse (both stunningly well lit rooms) is of ‘an abandoned country house, where the garden and state rooms have slowly grown into one another and gone to seed’. This feeling of bringing the outside inside has been beautifully done, and the resulting space is easy and elegant, with pops of colour brought in through sensitively sourced furnishings.
The food at B&H is modern British, with an emphasis on local produce from head chef Anthony Horn. The whole team at Bourne and Hollingsworth understand the love and level of detail that goes into planning a wedding, and will make sure you’re in good hands.
With a name like Paradise, this North London bar and restaurant has a lot to live up to. But Paradise by way of Kensal Green more than meets the challenge its name lays down. First appearances are most definitely deceiving – for the almost typically underrated pub exterior hides a treasure-trove of beauty inside its walls, think eclectic feature walls, antique furniture and fabulous curios.
What’s lovely about this venue is its flexibility when it comes to planning your wedding. There is a range of rooms that can be hired, along with a beautiful outdoor terrace. Each space is uniquely decorated, and each room creates a warm and intimate feel, even the dining room which can comfortably seat up to 82 guests.
The Barbican is probably better known as a centre of arts and culture – from theatres to galleries and everything in-between. But tucked away inside its walls, the Conservatory is a well-kept secret – and a unique and breathtaking wedding venue at London’s core.
As the second largest conservatory in the capital, it boasts a truly exotic space of vegetation and exotic fish. Step into another land and feel a world away from the buzz and clamour of central London. If oh-so-chic escapism with a tropical twist is what you’re looking for, then The Barbican has got you covered!
So, there you go, just some of my favourite city wedding venues. It’s been lovely to share these and their countryside counterparts with you and I hope they give you plenty of inspiration when it comes to choosing a venue for your wedding day.