Diary of a Quirky Bride

Diary of a Quirky Bride: My London Wedding Venue Search

As well as being the Editor of Quriky Bride, I’m also a bride-to-be… and have just begun on the wedding-planning road myself. Kinda like Dorothy on the yellow brick road, but with less cute shoes, and no dog.

wedding planning

Today’s post is about venue hunting. Pad and I haven’t found ours yet, but we’ve found several we love, so have a few options in our heads at the moment. It’s something I don’t really want to rush into choosing (luckily we still have 16 months until the wedding) so I like that we can take our time until we find a venue that ticks off as many boxes as possible.

Those boxes are: 

– Central London (zone 1)

– Easy to get to and nearby publish transport

– A view of London, or near the Thames

– A fun, quirky vibe (no conference rooms or hotel banquet suites

I’m pretty organised when it comes to researching stuff, and I managed to book like 11 venue viewings within 2 weeks, so we could just view them all at once and directly compare them all. Here are some of the venues we’ve viewed so far, and what our mark out of 10 is for each….

Westminster Boating Base – Pimlico

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This was the 2nd venue we saw, and we really loved it. It’s right on the water, nice and neutral decor (easy to decorate!), you get exclusive hire, and it has nice view of the Thames and the West London skyline. We were ready to sign on the dotted line when we viewed it, but after viewing others afterwards we realised there were a few draw backs to this place.

The main one being, it’s not a licensed venue for alcohol, so you have to buy the whole nights alcohol supply through the venue in your wedding package (and that’s a lot of money – especially because we want boutique brands like Punk IPA). It also means it’s a bit a gamble and we’re putting a lot of trust in the venue to supply the right amount of booze. Like, what if we run out of drink at 10pm – is that party over?

Overall score? 7/10.

Chandos House, Oxford Circus

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Chandos House is a private townhouse right near Oxford Circus. This is one of the venues we didn’t expect to love as much as we did. On paper, it doesn’t really have many of the things we wanted – there’s no view, it’s not on the water, and it’s no quirky (it’s actually very traditional). But we went to their open day, and just loved the style and feel of the place. It hasn’t totally been ruled out yet, and it’s still one of the major contenders.

Roof Pavilion at The Royal Festival Hall

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This choice was a bit a gamble (the Royal Festival doesn’t exactly look nice from the outside) but on the inside it’s pretty gorgeous and the views are AMAZING. The room we looked at looks right over Westminster and The London Eye and has a big outdoor courtyard and a balcony running along the length of the room too. It’s pretty special and at the moment it’s our number one choice, we’re just looking at our budget and making sure we can afford it.

Which is your favourite? Opinions would be awesome! 


1 Comment

  • Reply Jayne April 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I am in love with this website! So glad you told me about it. I love the 2nd option, I think people from outside of London will get a kick out of seeing inside that grand old building. I looked at a few vintage pub venues for weddings myself. Not sure if they suit the style you are looking for but The Albion in Islington and Paradise By Way Of Kensal Rise do gorgeous quirky weddings x

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