Lifestyle Magazine

5 Famous British Wedding Venues

By Claire

Even if you don’t live in the same parish as the famous UK wed­ding venues men­tioned in this list you could pull a few strings to try and stage your wed­ding at one of them. It might be a bit tricky to arrange a wed­ding at num­ber five in the list though!

Luton Hoo Hotel wedding venue by Calotype46 on Flickr

Luton Hoo Hotel wed­ding venue by Calotype46 on Flickr

Luton Hoo Hotel as seen in Four Wed­dings and a Funeral. Photo by Calotype46 on flickr

1. Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire

This beau­ti­ful place, located just 30 miles from Lon­don, was a stately home when it fea­tured as the hotel stag­ing the sec­ond wed­ding recep­tion in the film Four Wed­dings and a Funeral. Do you fancy your­self as the next Hugh Grant? You do? Then this is the wed­ding venue for you!

In a case of life imi­tat­ing art, Luton Hoo was later con­verted into a spa hotel. It was a wise move as the ver­dant grounds to be found there make it a very pop­u­lar wed­ding recep­tion venue. Film buffs should be espe­cially keen to say their vows at Luton Hoo as the home was also used in the films Eyes Wide Shut, Wilde and Never Say Never Again. So if Hugh Grant doesn’t do it for you there’s a great cast list includ­ing Nicole Kid­man and Sean Con­nery to aspire to there instead!

2. Maryle­bone Reg­is­ter Office

Maryle­bone Reg­is­ter Office has a hum­bler and more func­tional appear­ance than Luton Hoo but still deserves inclu­sion in a list of famous wed­ding venues. This is the place where Paul McCart­ney broke mil­lions of Bea­t­les fans’ hearts when he mar­ried Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Linda East­man there in 1969.

After the death of Linda, Sir Paul mar­ried Heather Mills in a decid­edly grander affair held at Cas­tle Leslie in County Mon­aghan, Ire­land. Fol­low­ing the break-up of this mar­riage, the world’s most famous bass player mar­ried Nancy Shev­ell at… Maryle­bone Reg­is­ter Office, of course.

Other famous mar­riages here include Ringo Starr, Liam Gal­lagher (twice!) Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, Melanie Grif­fith and Anto­nio Ban­deras. There should be a red car­pet outside!

3. Gretna Green, Scotland

Did you know that one in six Scot­tish wed­dings take place in a lit­tle vil­lage in the south of the country?

The place is Gretna Green; a spot which has also proved pop­u­lar as a wed­ding venue for Eng­lish cou­ples thanks to a law passed in 1753. Lord Hardwicke’s Mar­riage Act really put Gretna on the map by say­ing that if a prospec­tive bride or groom was under the age of 21 then parental con­sent was needed to make the mar­riage legal.

This Eng­lish law did not apply to Scot­land and resulted in thou­sands of love-struck run­away cou­ples elop­ing to Gretna, one of the first vil­lages beyond the bor­der, to get mar­ried. The law has been done away with but Gretna – which has sev­eral wed­ding venues – is still seen as a wildly roman­tic place to say: “I do”.

As for celebrity wed­dings in Gretna Green… does Kerry Katona count?! Speak­ing of which…

4. Stor­mont Cas­tle, North­ern Ireland

You’ve heard of a stormy mar­riage but have you heard of a Stor­mont mar­riage? Stor­mont is the beau­ti­ful cas­tle in North­ern Ire­land where the country’s assem­bly meets to dis­cuss and vote on vital mat­ters of state.

Over the years, leg­endary politi­cians like Win­ston Churchill and John F. Kennedy have swept down Stormont’s impos­ing drive and you can fol­low in their foot­steps by hold­ing a wed­ding recep­tion at the Stor­mont Hotel next door.

5. West­min­ster Abbey

West­min­ster Abbey is with­out doubt the most famous wed­ding venue in Great Britain, and the good news is that there is no wait­ing list to get mar­ried there.

How­ever, the bad news is that you can only for­malise your mar­riage there if you are a mem­ber of the Royal Fam­ily, an order of the Bath Mem­bers or a res­i­dent of one of the Abbey’s Precincts.

No won­der mem­bers of these exclu­sive cat­e­gories are con­sid­ered such good wed­ding prospects!

James Christie writes for Thom­son Local busi­ness direc­tory. Use Thom­son to find wed­ding sup­pli­ers near you.

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