Top Five Wedding Venues London, UK: Tie The Knot In The Wonderful 'Swinging City'

by HollieT

Exploring the top five wedding venues, London; from the quirky and original to the elegant and lavish.

There are no shortage of amazing wedding venues in London, in fact, the difficulty lies in finding just one venue which highly appeals. This historic city is an exciting fusion of history, culture, cosmopolitan chic and frenetic activity. Equally, the city's wedding venues are just as varied and diverse as the Swinging City itself; choose from historic houses, regal private clubs, wildlife parks, botanical gardens, or impressive sky scrapers with breathtaking views across the square mile. Wow!

Each of the wedding venues in London have something unique to offer; a connection to royalty or notable historic figures, iconic landmarks or the site of important historical events. Perhaps that's why so many couples, from Britain and beyond, choose to tie the knot in this most vibrant of Cities.

Well, if it's good enough for Will and Kate!

Wedding Venues, London: How To Get Married in England and Wales.

If you live outside the United Kingdom and decide, not only that you want to marry in London, but also that you want to arrange the wedding yourself, there are certain requirements which you must fulfill.

You must, of course, be legally free to marry and above the age of seventeen, unless you have parental consent, when you can marry at the age of sixteen or seventeen. There are also certain residency requirements which you must meet.


London Wedding Bus.
London Wedding Bus.
By Gabriel Villena from Albacete, España (London Wedding Bus Uploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.or...

There are waiting and residency periods of at least 22 days before the wedding can take place: This means that you would need to be resident in the registration district, the district in which you want to get married, before posting the banns; registering your intention to marry. Fifteen days after posting the banns the wedding can take place. 

There are other requirements which relate to documentation and visa requirements, however, up to date information can be gleaned from reliable reference guides such as Destination Weddings for Dummies. 

The procedure is the same for both civil weddings and civil partnerships.

Visitors from the United Kingdom can use this link to view Destination Weddings and other similar books.

Wedding Venues, London: London Zoo.

Animal lovers rejoice because if you are are so inclined to make your vows in the 'Big Smoke' but also want to be surrounded by wild, exotic creatures, then London Zoo may just be your ideal wedding venue.

Whilst getting married at London zoo might be fun, quirky and unique, the venue's wedding facilities also exude elegance and charm. Situated on the edge of Regent's Park, London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific Zoo and first opened it's doors to the public in 1828.

The zoo holds a civil ceremony licence and will perform both civil weddings and partnerships. There are two elegant and beautifully decorated reception rooms; The Mapping Suite and the Prince Albert Pavilion.

The Mapping Suite:  The smaller of the two venues, having space for up to ninety guests. The suite is amass with windows from floor to ceiling, at a 360 degree angle, and overlooks animals from the 'outback' in their enclosure. Splendid!

The Prince Albert Suite:  Accommodating up to 260 guests, has a private terrace and tranquil lawn, and is really quite stunning. After the ceremony, guests are free to enjoy champagne and canopies in one of the many animal houses, before returning to either venue for a seated dinner. 

The zoo is licensed for dancing up until midnight, but the license can be extended until 2 am if preferred.

All proceeds from the wedding are used to help protect critically endangered animals around the world. What a lovely wedding legacy. 

Contact Details.

London Zoo, 

Regents Park,

London. NW1 4RY.

Contact event management on: 020 7449 6562 for further details.


UK visitors can access The Zoo: The Story of London Zoo and London Zoo Conservation in Action using the links highlighted.

Wedding Venues, London: Kew Gardens.

Kew, or the Royal Botanical Gardens, is located along one of the bends of the Thames, South West London. Created in 1759 by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury, these beautiful gardens are considered to be the world's most famous and in July 2003 gained the status of a UNESCO world heritage site. Kew contains the world's largest collection of living plants which exceed 30,000.

In addition to Kew's staggering beauty and important botanical research facilities, the grounds also contain several, elaborate buildings which are available for weddings and other functions.

There are no fewer than six amazing buildings in which your wedding can take place, and should you be so inclined there is a multiple venue package where you can take advantage of all the buildings throughout your wedding day.

The buildings available for hire include:

Cambridge Cottage: The Drawing Room is licensed for both civil ceremonies and partnerships and can facilitate up to 80 guests. The Gallery, adjacent to the Drawing Room, can also accommodate up to 80 guests for seated dining and the cottage as a whole can accommodate up to 150 guests for the reception. Cambridge Cottage overlooks the picturesque Duke's Garden which is included in the venue hire.

The Orangery: A Grade 1 listed building, can accommodate 400 standing guests for the ceremony and 230 guests for a seated meal.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory: This totally unique glass house is only available for hire during the evening and can accommodate up to 200 standing guests. This particular venue is a stroll away from Cambridge Cottage and can used for the evening reception.

Temperate House: The largest Victorian glass house in the world is available during the evenings and can accommodate 400 at a standing reception and 200 guests for a seated dinner.

Nash Conservatory: A smaller glass house than Temperate yet equally as beautiful, Nash Conservatory is available for wedding functions during the day or evening and can accommodate 200 guests at a standing reception and 120 guests for a seated dinner.

Sir Joseph Banks Building: Should you require a religious ceremony than the Sir Joseph Banks Building is ideal. The building overlooks the lake at Kew and can used in conjucntion with The Orangery for a reception.

Contact Details.

Royal Botanic Gardens,

Kew Road,


TW9 3AB.

Contact event management on: 020 8332 5655 for further details.

Visitors from the UK can access The Gardens At Kew and Kew Gardens for Science and Pleasure using the links highlighted.

Wedding Venues, London: 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin.

The iconic Gherkin was opened in 2004 and houses no fewer than 41 floors, and stands at 180 meters high. The Gherkin has to be one of the most unique wedding venues in the city and offers a 360 degree panorama of London. Licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships, the glass paneled skyscraper is situated in London's financial district and is a much sought after venue for weddings.  

Searcys is both the highest restaurant and private members club in the country and operate on the top three floors of this impressive structure. More than 140 guests can be accommodated for a wedding breakfast and in excess of 250 guests for dancing and an evening reception.

Not only does the Gherkin offer the most stunning backdrop for your wedding photographs, but also overlooks the magnificent St Paul's Cathedral.

Contact Details:

Searcys/The Gherkin,

30, St Mary Axe,



Contact event management on: 020 7071 5009 for further details.

Visitors from the UK can access The Gherkin Guide and Five Hundred Buildings Of London using the links highlighted.

Wedding Venues, London: One Great George Street.

A mere stones throw away from the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the beautiful St James Park, lies the magnificent four domed Edwardian building that is One Great George Street.

Known as one of the finest addresses in London, One Great George Street provides an elegant and exclusive venue for an unforgettable wedding.

There are no fewer than seven elegant and sophisticated areas including the Great Hall and your ceremony can take place in any one of those spaces.

The Great Hall is renowned for it's decorative and appealing architecture but also the ever changing lighting which illuminates this magnificent room. One Great George Street is licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships to take place in any of these stunning rooms and, should you wish, a religious blessing can take place after the ceremony at no extra charge.

This venue can accommodate up to 400 guests for your wedding reception and 240 guests for a seated dinner.

A scene from Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge of Reason, was also filmed at this stunning location.

Contact Details.

1 Great George Street,




Contact the event management team on: 020 7665 2323 for further details.


Visitors from the UK can access Rick Steves' London 2013 and A guide to the Architecture of London using the links highlighted.

Wedding Venues, London: One Whitehall Place.

Founded in 1887 by the Prime Minister William Gladstone, One Whitehall Place is a Grade 1 listed building of exceptional style and grandeur which overlooks the River Thames and the London Eye. 

This historic building has been frequented by a number of notable figures including; Sir Winston Churchill, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Lord Kitchener and more.

Adjacent to One Whitehall Place stands the five star Royal Horseguards Hotel, the sister property of One Whitehall place, providing exceptional accommodation and service for wedding guests.


This venue offers eight elegant and impressive suites which are all available for hire and facilitate up to 350 guests. Many of the buildings original features are still visible and, in addition, One Whitehall Palace also houses a free standing, Sicilian marble staircase, Europe's largest in fact.

Included in the venue hire are the charming Embankment Gardens and the Terrace Garden. The River Thames forms the backdrop to the gardens and provides the ideal setting for your wedding photographs.

One Whitehall Place also has their own dedicated team of wedding planners who work closely with couples to provide the ideal, tailor made wedding package.

Contact Details.

One Whitehall Place, 

2, Whitehall Court,




Contact the events management team on: 020 7451 0371 for further details.

Visitors from the UK can access London: The Biography and Eyewitness Travel London by using the links highlighted.

Updated: 08/06/2013, HollieT
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HollieT on 05/18/2013

Absolutely, and much better than when I got married 16 years ago. It must be wonderful to have a wedding at one of these venues. Thanks for commenting, Whitemoss.

whitemoss on 05/16/2013

It's great that people have so much choice of venue these days- much better than when I got married 40 years ago!

HollieT on 03/21/2013

Thank you! I'd be spoilt for choice, but I think either the zoo or Kew Gardens would be the favourite. Mind you, there's always the Gherkin, emmm :)

RubyHelenRose on 03/19/2013

Oh the beauty of having a wedding anywhere in this marvelous place! How romantic anywhere in London would be. What a wonderful page full of exciting choices, well done.

HollieT on 03/15/2013

Thank you, Dustytoes.

I actually really enjoy writing them. I think getting married at a zoo would be wonderful, certainly unique. To be honest though, I'd think I'd be a bit spoilt for choice with these venues. Kew Gardens also really appeals, too.

dustytoes on 03/14/2013

Wonderful page about London weddings! I came to read it yesterday and couldn't hear any of the videos - it was my issue, but now it's fixed so I am back. You are doing such a nice job with these destination wedding pages Hollie. They will be very helpful to any couples planning to marry. I would never have thought of a zoo wedding! Great ideas.

HollieT on 03/08/2013

There's so many venues in London to get married, I found it really difficult to narrow down. Still, quite a mix, zoos, gardens and posh palaces!

JoHarrington on 03/08/2013

I once officiated at a handfasting on Primrose Hill. Not your average wedding venue, but this one was lovely!

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