The rapidly increasing popularity of ‘alternative’ wedding venues, Hertfordshire and pretty much everywhere else…
You can picture the scene… The quaint country church… The blushing bride in white satin, taffeta, and lace… the groom in morning suit and topper… a blizzard of confetti.
All of which is lovely if you’re one of the many couples who still yearn for all that time-honoured tradition. But these days, more and more couples, gay and straight, are looking for more exciting, adventurous alternatives to the traditional church or register office for their wedding venue. An obvious – and extremely popular – choice is to take advantage of the countless ‘wedding tourism’ packages available and get hitched on a sun-kissed tropical beach. And while that beats a UK register office on a rainy winter’s day, pre-packaged wedding deals aren’t what we’re talking about here.
‘Wedding tourism’, though, has a lot to be said for it and even the most cursory search brings up some truly tantalising possibilities… A private island off Italy’s Amalfi Coast perhaps, or the faded grandeur of a Palazzo on Lake Como, for instance… But assuming that, like us, you’re well out of local resident George Clooney’s league, there are still lots of far more affordable alternative wedding venues to be had in the UK and around the world.
Lake & Llama Love-in
You can combine a luxurious spa break for the hen party – or even for the honeymoon – with the wedding itself at the Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire. As well as an idyllic lakeside setting complete with a pair of ‘wedding houses’, a wedding tipi and a rustic barn for the party, they’ve got an on-site wedding co-ordination team laying on everything you need for a magical eco-friendly wedding. And that includes bow tie-wearing llamas – and donkeys too for good measure!
An industrial wedding…
You might want to broach the subject diplomatically with your future in-laws – because an industrial wedding venue probably isn’t quite what they’re pictured for their beloved offspring. But, unlikely as it might sound, there are some super and truly romantic settings for hire out there. Like The Venue of Middle Street, right in the centre of Croydon, for example. It’s a Grade II listed old printworks re-invented with what they call ‘industrial-luxe styling including quirky features such as an original red telephone box, a vintage tricycle and a funky mix of neon signs with festoon lighting all encased with lots of exposed brick for a contemporary kind of cosiness. And if rural industry is more your idea of romance, how about Northamptonshire’s Tractor Barn, which, in addition to all the usual wedding stuff, does exactly what it says in the tin: it’s a wedding venue at the heart of a working farm, in a beautiful barn where you can get hitched in the company of friends, family and several lovingly restored vintage tractors. And at the Nottingham’s Papplewick Pumping Station you can tie the now in glorious Victorian Gothic Revival architecture amid hand-fired vintage boilers and beam engines.
And, talking of Gothic, here’s always been an undercurrent of romance in the world of Goth and Steampunk – and there’s no shortage of stunningly dramatic settings to suit what’s almost certainly not a ‘white wedding’! You can hire smugglers’ caves or ancient prisons such as Bodmin Jail or renowned witches’ hangouts like Edinburgh’s Witchery, churches, and cemeteries and countless castles of various degrees of antiquity, some restored and others in ruins… And some of them are even haunted, like Walworth Castle in Darlington where the lucky, loved-up couple can spend the wedding night with the sound of teacups rattling and crying from behind the staircase where a maid was once walled up!
All the fun of the fairground, the festival, the circus… even a nuclear bunker and The National Space Centre in Leicester where you can get married under the stars indoors using the planetarium and even celebrate in full Star Wars style with the venue’s resident Storm Troopers. The possibilities really are limited only by your imagination – as we discovered the moment we started our research – but for a great start to your journey off the beaten wedding track, we suggest you take a look at the websites below.
If quirky or alternative wedding venues Hertfordshire are what you’re looking for, though, why not have a closer look at our own fabulous outdoor wedding venue. A million miles away, yet just half an hour from London, Frogmore Fields hidden woodland gem in the Hertfordshire countryside with a romance, magic and charm that’s utterly unique!