Alternative Wedding Venue Ideas

Weddings, like people, are becoming more increasingly unique and individual every day. The days of having the simple choice of a church or a registry office are long gone. More and more non-traditional venues are opting for marriage and civil partnership licenses as well as wedding ceremonies conducted by celebrants with the legal side done privately.

We’ve put together a list of our favourite alternative wedding venue ideas to help get you inspired. Please note, we’ve focussed on the totally non-traditional avoiding commonly used venues like country halls and manors.

Celebrate In A Brewery

The popularity of craft, smallscale and microbreweries has surged over the last few years. Breweries are doing more with space they have available, creating cool venues surrounded by brewing equipment and fresh beer.

Weddings in breweries are perfect for arranging the special day of a couple who’re fanatic about beer! You can celebrate with a fresh pint of your favourite tipple whilst capturing some amazing photographs.

If your budget can stretch to it and a glass of wine is more your thing, a vineyard can also be a perfect summer wedding location.

In A Barn

Weddings in old and unused barns can be absolutely stunning. Their old and quirky features can easily be accentuated to create a beautiful aesthetic that looks great on the day and in your photographs.

Barn weddings have become more common in recent years, however, they’re still out of the norm if you’re looking for something a little different.

Although they are available year round, a barn wedding will likely work best in the summer months.

On Safari

If you’re a couple of animal lovers, there’s no better place for your wedding than in a zoo or safari. Choose the ideal spot for the ceremony then head off to take some one-of-a-kind photos with some of the animals.

A wedding surrounded by wild animals will likely be one of the most unforgettable weddings that your guests will attend.

ZSL London Zoo can arrange wedding packages where you can get up close and personal with the animals.

If sea life is more your thing, a wedding in an aquarium could also be a great option.

By A Loch or Lake

A wedding by a loch or lake can a striking option for an outdoor wedding. The beautiful water can be used in the background during your service and in photographs.

If you’re about being out in the open, a marquee or tipi can be used for the reception and evening event. This will help to protect you and your guests from the elements and can easily be decorated inside.

At A Theme Park

For the thrill-seeking couple, a theme park or funfair wedding may be right for you. Celebrate your commitment with an exhilarating rollercoaster ride for you and all of your guests.

You’ll all be kept busy throughout the day, with rides and amusements all round.

Your photographer can try their hardest to capture some fun action shots whilst you’re on the rides and playing on the games.

In the Woods

If you love nothing more than exploring a stunning forest, a woodland wedding can give you an all natural wedding experience. Use nature for the perfect backdrop to your ceremony in a beautiful clearing then capture some rustic woodland photos.

Stick to the all-natural theme by cooking up the wedding breakfast on a couple of BBQs.

If you love nature but would prefer something indoors, a treehouse wedding also makes for a natural themed wedding. The Alnwick Treehouse is purpose-built treehouse crafted from timber in the North East of England.

In A Warehouse

In contrast to the last suggestion, a warehouse wedding creates an industrial vibe that may be perfect for your special day. An abandoned warehouse is a huge space, filled with potential for the ceremony and the reception.

A warehouse is a blank canvas that can be transformed for any kind of wedding with a modern and mechanical heart through exposed brick and stainless steel.

Go To The Cinema

If you’re a total cinephile who’s passionate about film, a cinema wedding is perfect for you. A cinema wedding makes for some impressive photographs, pre-wedding entertainment and a memorable wedding.

A perfect example of this is the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne. This beautiful art deco themed cinema opened its doors in the 1930s. It has retained its character with aspects like its red velvet curtain and decorative frames.

If you prefer the theatre, choose could choose an old theatre or playhouse for your wedding.

TV or Film Theme

Whether you’re crazy about Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, it’s easy to find a completely unique themed wedding venue for your ceremony.

Themed venues are available with different packages available for superfans of a range of TV shows and films.

A great example is North Shire, a Lord of the Rings themed venue, perfect for anyone passionate about Middle Earth.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a wedding that’s a little different, think about what matters to you and your fiancé. Pick a shared love, activity or place you’re a fan of or a treasured memory. You can then use this to shape a wedding that’s perfect for you.

Use your imagination as this is your only limit when it comes to dreaming up your ideal wedding.

Author Bio
David Atkinson is a content creator at Icon Wall Stickers, a premium manufacturer of wall stickers and murals. He got married at a stunning cinema in Newcastle in November 2018.

How To Find The Ideal Wedding Venue

Make no mistake, landing the perfect venue can be one of the most difficult challenges of your wedding. Get it right and the whole day will swoop by like one big blissful dream. Get it wrong and you’ll spend more time than you ever would have wanted wishing you had done things differently. In this quick post, we’re walking you through the most crucial stages of finding the ideal wedding venue. Make sure you cover these bases to give yourself the best chance of booking a venue that ticks all the most important boxes:

Your theme

The first thing to decide is how you want your wedding to look and feel. At the end of the day, how your wedding makes you feel on the day is the most important factor of them all, so this aspect should be the foundation that you build everything else on. Where do you want to be, country or city? How many people do you want around you, many or very few? What do you want your setting to say to you and everyone else? Be honest with yourself, if you are rural rather than city folk then consider one of the wedding venues that are located in the middle of a golf course e.g Boston West.  When you think of your marriage, do you think more about history and tradition, or is the future more important to you?

These are the first questions you should ask because the answers should give you a pretty clear direction to follow in terms of theme, setting, and what you want to feel about your surroundings on the day.


As soon as you have an idea of setting and theme, it’s time to get real with money. There’s no such thing as a bad or low wedding budget, there’s only bad budgeting. You need to know exactly what you’re entire fund is from the off so that you can then decide how to allocate that amount towards the many areas that make up the day. In most cases, the venue’s going to be the most pricey item on the list and is almost always going to be the thing you’ll want to book in first. Nothing makes the day more real than getting venue booked for your date.

Because you’ve already thought about the setting and theme you want to go for, you’ll know exactly which areas to start hunting. Decide on a maximum amount that you’re prepared to spend on the venue and stick to compiling a list of options within that budget. Remember, the more gorgeous a venue, the more popular it’s going to be. Doing this all many months or years in advance? Then more options will be open to you. Doing it all last minute? Then you need to look for venues that others aren’t able to find so easily. Think unused buildings, larger rental accommodations, and hospitality establishments that don’t usually cater to weddings.   

Location and logistics

Weddings involve a huge amount of travel for a wide variety of people. Once you think you’ve got a list of options that meet your desires for setting and budget, you can further whittle them down by going over transport and accessibility. Who are the most important guests at your wedding? How mobile are they and how will they get there? Having a reception at a different spot? How far is it and will everyone you’re inviting be able to cope?

House rules

Last but not least, what’s allowed and what’s not allowed? You need to weigh up the specifics for every venue you have left on your viable options list. Can you cook on site? Is cooking on site vital for you? What’s the venue’s attitude toward alcohol consumption on site, noise, damage, and capacity? Once you’ve gone through these core concerns, you’ll hopefully have just one or two killer venue options left on your list. Have more than a few options that tick all your most vital priorities? Then consider yourself one very lucky planner because that’s not a bad problem to have at all!  

Three Different Types of Wedding Ceremony

It might sound obvious but the ceremony really is what a wedding day is all about for both you and your guests. For some people the ceremony is a formality, but for others the ceremony detail is hugely important, and lots of time, effort and money is invested. It’s important that you choose the right type and style of ceremony for you; there are so many options but it’s amazing how many people still believe that you only have the choice of religious or civil, which is a great shame.

There are many different options available but here are the some of the widely known varieties.

Religious wedding

A religious wedding can take place at a church, chapel or other registered religious building depending on your faith. A couple may marry in their local Church of England parish church if either the man or woman lives in the parish. Before 2007, they could not be married in another parish unless they had attended church services there for six months and were on its electoral roll. In July 2007, however, the Church of England initiated a change in the law to make it easier for couples to have a church wedding in a parish other than their own. The changes make it easier for a couple to marry in a church where there is a family or other special connection.

But whether your service is religious or civil, the ceremony will follow the same basic structure: procession, call to order/opening remarks, vows, ring exchange and other unity gestures, pronouncement (“I now pronounce you…”), kiss, closing remarks and recession.

Civil wedding

Conducted by a registrar in either your local registry office or in a licensed venue; there are so many venues licensed now, so there’s an amazing choice. Around 65% of marriages are civil at the last count, and it’s not a surprise. It’s very simple, with relatively little paperwork, and a selection of standard vows and declarations offered with personalisation of readings and music (which must be non-religious) possible. Contrary to what you might think, a civil ceremony doesn’t mean common law, a civil union or even a drive-through, Vegas-style affair. A civil ceremony is simply a non religious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a legal official instead of a religious one.


A humanist, non-religious wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to marry where you want, when you want and how you want. There’s no set script: it’s too personal an occasion for that. Instead, each wedding is tailored to meet the particular couple’s requirements. You can set the tone that’s right for you and choose your own words and music. From couples with different religious backgrounds who wanted to incorporate both in an intimate garden ceremony, to couples who have married elsewhere and wanted a very bespoke ‘blessing’ ceremony, to those seeking an entirely non-religious yet moving humanist ceremony, the options are limitless. All of these ceremonies are non-legal so have to be preceded by a small legal ceremony such as at the register office, however, they offer lots of opportunity for the couple to make it their own.