Updated February 2019
London reverberates with old world charm, pageantry, tradition, and prices you would expect from an iconic place. But, woven into the fabric of this world-class destination are cost-effective wedding venues ideal for couples looking for leading-edge design, a history-entrenched ambiance, or country-inspired splendor. London does not require you to sacrifice affordability in favor of your dream wedding. To help you realize that dream, here are five of the best affordable London wedding venues.
Described by the Queen as “one of the modern wonders of the world” this indoor rainforest, located in an art and culture center, is home to 2,000 species of tropical plants and numerous exotic fish. After your lush ceremony in the conservatory, your reception can take on an urban flair in the neighboring Garden Room, which features floor to ceiling windows that offer an exquisite view of the London skyline. This venue can also diminish your wedding overwhelm as they include catering by Searcys, drink packages, a wedding coordinator, serving and clean-up staff, and more.
Typical Cost: From £135 to £165 per person
Bonus: The Garden Room has an LED color changing ceiling that allows you to fill the room with whatever ambiance you’re in the mood for.
This expertly restored 1,000-year-old church lies at the heart of London and provides the opportunity for couples to enjoy nuptials fit for royalty, without the royal price tag. At the center of the church is a grand room called The Nave, which includes high vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, original arches, and intricate stonework. In addition, The Nave is coupled with a small peace garden that features the specially designed St Ethelburga’s Rose, a statue of the saint, and a fountain.
Typical Cost: £650 to £1120 for a full day rental
Bonus: 78 Bishopsgate boasts the largest surviving medieval crypts in London – equal parts creepy and cool.
The Kew Gardens is home to the largest and most diverse collection of plants in the world, a multi-sensory experience called The Hive, a treetop walk, the Marianne North gallery, and numerous astonishing venues for both ceremonies and receptions. The multi-venue wedding package provides the most access to the gardens, allowing you to have your ceremony in the gorgeous glasshouse Nash Conservatory, enjoy post-ceremony drinks and canapés in the tropical Princess of Wales Conservatory, then make your way to the grand Orangery building for the full reception.
Typical Cost: £3,000 to £14,750 depending on venue and day of the week
Capacity: 120-250 depending on venue
Bonus: An escorted buggy will transport you to the prime locations throughout the gardens for photos.
Located in five-star Montcalm London City hotel, this venue is perfect for foodies who would appreciate the top-rated contemporary and traditional British cuisine being served up. The dining rooms have a charming country feel, while maintaining the class of downtown London, and are adorned with literary-inspired art, a green, cream, and gold color scheme, leather tub chairs, and luxury banquettes. Private rooms, or the entire venue, can be booked, and assistance is available for flowers, the wedding cake, photography, and various types of entertainment.
Typical Cost: Rates starting at £4,000
Bonus: If you feel like partying late into the night you can acquire a late license up until 2am, upon request.
Located on the top two floors of the 40 story iconic Gherkin building, this venue is one of the few spots in London that offer panoramic 360-degree views of the city. The epitome of contemporary architecture, with the breathtaking glass dome ceiling, this is a prime location for couples that want a crisp and sophisticated ambiance for their wedding. To ensure you only have to soak in the love on your special day, instead of making sure the centerpieces are just right, and the champagne is served at the correct time, the Gherkin provides champagne experts and party planners.
Typical Cost: Hire from £6,000, Food and beverage minimum from £7,500
Bonus: The five-star cuisine served at Searcys at the Gherkin is so memorable many reviewers of this space say their guests are still talking about it years later.
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Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.