London has the ‘Markle Sparkle’
As the UK gears up for the royal nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018, London’s official visitor guide, visitlondon.com celebrates the very best of the capital’s weird and wonderful wedding venues.
From secret temples and canine ringbearers to safari-esque sleepovers and a royal conservatory…read on for our highlights!
Say ‘I do’ at the Zoo! ZSL London Zoo hosts around 40 weddings a year between its two venues, The Mappin Pavilion and Prince Albert Suite – both offering exciting views of the animal residents. Make your day even more special by getting up close and personal with the animals or host a drinks reception in Penguin Beach (or another animal house). You can even stay overnight at a one of the Gir Lion Lodges, where guests are encouraged to sleep with the windows open to soak up the sounds and experience ZSL like no other. ZSL is still available to book on the 19th May for those wanting to share their day with Harry and Meghan!
For those culture vultures, the soon-to-be newlyweds can immerse themselves and their guests in the charming setting of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, against a background of famous works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Canaletto to name a few.
Enjoy your day in the beautiful surroundings of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a wedding at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture. Journey to the top of the 262ft viewing platform to say your vows against the stunning panorama of London’s skyline. For a more unusual start to married life, adrenaline-seeking couples can also hire The Slide, the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide.
For something a bit more historic, the happy couple need look no further than Middle Temple - one of the four ancient Inns of Court. The Elizabethan Hall boasts a soaring, double hammer beam roof, stained glass windows, and comes complete with its own Minstrel Gallery. The Hall was famously the setting for the first performance of Twelfth Night, with Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare himself in attendance.
Give your wedding a touch of glitz at the May Fair Theatre at the May Fair hotel, the official hotel to the British Film Institute and London Fashion Week. As well as weddings, the May Fair’s luxury screening room is home to film premieres, screenings and theatrical performances.
Take wedding flowers to a whole new level at Kew Gardens, home to the splendid Princess of Wales Conservatory. The vast glasshouse offers a unique wedding experience in a tropical paradise brimming with orchids, cacti, carnivorous plants and many other exotic plant species. Guests can enjoy a drinks and canape reception whilst exploring the 10 different climatic zones. Kew’s caterers take inspiration from the Gardens for wedding treats such as edible flowers frozen in ice cubes and handcrafted flowers in edible pots.
Another botanical gem can be found across town at the world-famous arts centre, the Barbican – home to the second largest conservatory in London. The conservatory boasts exotic fish, tranquil fish pools, over 2,000 species of plants and trees and providing a stunning backdrop for your wedding day.
The Museum of London can be found just around the corner alongside the historic London Wall. History buffs can tie the knot within the splendour of the museum’s recreated 18th century Pleasure Gardens.
Those who are planning a wedding with a difference should head to buzzing east London for a treasure trove of super quirky venues and creative wedding experiences.
Andaz London hotel on Liverpool Street has launched its ‘Get Shore-hitched’ package, allowing couples to celebrate their day in true East End style. The happy couple can choose how much of Shoreditch they bring into their big day with options including handcrafted graffiti invitations created by local street artists, complimentary ‘his’ and ‘her’ tattoos from an east London tattooist, a ceremony in the hotel’s secret Masonic Temple (to name a few). Also, after the wedding, a local designer can recycle the bride’s wedding dress into a new outfit that can be worn again and again.
Further east, Ace Hotel in Shoreditch is proving popular with animal lovers – not only do they have an extensive vegan menu but they are also proud to be dog friendly – so why not invite your four-legged friend along as a guest or a ringbearer!
For a wedding with a view, the Emirates Air Line cable car, which connects Greenwich to the Royal Albert Dock, hosts wedding receptions for newly-wedded couples who want to take their love to new heights! The glass capsules make the perfect backdrop for wedding photos with views across the O2 and Canary Wharf.
For more inspiration on royal-related fun in London, see below:
Royal Attractions itinerary: www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/sightseeing/one-day-itineraries/london-day-out-royal-attractions
Kate Middleton's London: www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/sightseeing/tourist-attraction/kate-middletons-London
Notes to Editors
About London & Partners and visitlondon.com
Visitlondon.com is the official visitor guide to London and is run by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency. London & Partners’ purpose is to support the Mayor’s priorities by promoting London internationally as a leading world city in which to invest, work, study and visit. Visitlondon.com is a comprehensive resource for everything that is happening in London. At any one time, this includes 20,000 event listings, plus content designed to inspire and assist visitors. Each month visitlondon.com attracts more than 3.5m visits and its social media channels have 1.75m followers.
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Jodie Byford, Media & PR Manager – Tourism
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London & Partners Media & PR Team
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