Palace wedding venues that are fit for royalty!
Here in the UK, we’re lucky enough to enjoy some of the world’s most breathtaking historic venues – and if you’re looking for grandeur for your big day, you’re in luck, as you can hire many of them as your wedding venue! Courtesy of independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, here are some amazing palace wedding venues that are fit for royalty…
Image credit: Weddings by Nicola & Glen
One of the most timeless palaces in the country, Hampton Court has often been associated with royal banquets and balls, as England’s kings and queens entertained their guests here. Why not follow in the footsteps of Henry VIII and his six wives, William III and Mary II, by holding a lavish wedding celebration here? There are plenty of options at Hampton Court for both your ceremony and reception. For true medieval magnificence, the Great Hall accommodates 400 guests for a reception and 270 for dinner. The 500-year-old architecture here is something else, and the hammered beam ceiling makes for unique wedding photographs.
For the same grandeur on a smaller scale, we recommend the ornate and intimate Little Banqueting House, which is set slightly away from the main palace on the banks of the River Thames. Seating 50 guests for a civil ceremony and dinner, this venue is decorated with beautiful 18th century murals by Baroque painter Antonio Verrio, and overlooks the picturesque Sunken Garden. You can even reach it by riverboat! For a more modern experience that makes the most of summer sunshine, you can hold your day in the Garden Room, which accommodates 150 guests for civil ceremony, 300 for a reception and 220 for dinner and dancing. Enjoy champagne on the lawn before retiring to the 1920s-style Orangery for drinks and dancing.
Image credit: Holly Clark Photography
For a large wedding breakfast, you can’t get grander than the Banqueting House – after all, it’s in the name! The vaulted Undercroft is the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony and accommodates a guest list of up to 150. This unique space can be atmospherically lit with candelabra and uplighters for maximum effect, and can accommodate 150 guests for a civil ceremony, 250 for standing reception, and 120 for a wedding breakfast.
Built for entertaining by King James I in the 17th century, the incredible Main Hall can then accommodate 500 for a drinks reception, and 300 for a wedding breakfast with space for dancing. As your guests arrive via the grand staircase, they’ll get a jaw-dropping view of the magnificent ceiling painting by Sir Peter Paul Ruben, adorned with hanging chandeliers.
Did you know that you can hold your reception at one of London’s most famous landmarks? You may not be able to hold your ceremony at the Tower of London, but there are a huge range of spaces that are perfect for pre- or post-wedding receptions. From the banqueting suite in the New Armouries, which holds up to 240 guests for dinner, to a formal meal for 70 in the elegant Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The vaulted Wakefield Tower is one of our favourites, as celebrations here can spill out onto the Wall Walk, offering your guests a breathtaking panoramic backdrop of Tower Bridge and River Thames. You can even treat your guests to a private viewing of the Crown Jewels, as the Jewel House is available to hire for receptions of up to 150 people.
Set within the tranquillity of Kensington Gardens, this palace venue features some of the most beautiful ceremony and reception spaces in all of London. If you’re torn between the grandeur of a stately venue and the natural beauty of a garden, then Kensington Palace could be the perfect pick for you.
Situated in the heart of the palace grounds, the Kensington Palace Pavilion sits alongside the beautiful Sunken Garden, terraced with paving and ornamental flower beds and surrounding a beautiful pond and fountains. The Pavilion features two main spaces, with capacity for an impressive 800 guests for a standing reception across both rooms, and 300 for a seated dinner, with the option of a separate drinks reception area.
A unique covered terrace area overlooks the stunning gardens and East façade of the historic Georgian royal home, making it ideal for receptions in all seasons. Formed with red-twigged lime, the arched Cradle Walk surrounds the Sunken Garden, forming a shady tunnel in the summer months and providing the perfect spot for outdoor food stations.
Prefer something more intimate? Elegant spaces in the King’s Apartments include the Cupola Room, which seats 80 guests for dinner and 100 for receptions, the King’s Drawing Room, which seats 90 for dinner and 100 for receptions and the palace’s largest space, the King’s Drawing Room, which can accommodate 100 people for dinner and 170 for receptions.
You might presume that most royal venues are based in London, but you’d be forgetting the stunning residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle. This Georgian country house has recently undergone a major restoration of its State Rooms and will be reopened in July 2018, making it the perfect time to pay this venue a visit.
Couples have a choice of several stunning State Rooms (including the Throne Room, which seats 80 guests for dinner and 120 for ceremonies, or the State Dining Room, which seats 50 guests for dinner and 40 for ceremonies), or you can enjoy the lush 96-acre gardens with their multiple marquee sites. With a marquee, you can throw a stately garden party of up to 350 guests.
Sound like a wedding fit for royalty? Find out more about holding your wedding with Historic Royal Palaces at www.hrp.org.uk
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