Which are the top wedding venues in London and the Home Counties for luxury and exclusivity? For our recommendations, read on!
If you are starting to plan your wedding and are on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue in London or the Home Counties, where on earth do you start? I suggest that you start by identifying the key attributes that your venue has to have to make it onto your shortlist.
For my couples, the 'must haves' on their wish lists are always exclusivity, service and destination.
If you are looking for the same key attributes from your venue, read on to discover my top 3 recommended venues ...
As a professional wedding planner with over 15 years in the wedding and events business behind me, one of the areas I help my busy couples with the most is finding the perfect venue for their wedding. I specialise in the design and delivery of luxury weddings in London and the home counties and although each and every wedding is unique, when it comes to the venues, my couples all share the desire for these 3 critical elements – exclusivity, faultless service standards and the venue being a ‘destination’ in itself.
Firstly then, exclusivity. The feeling of privacy and prestige which comes with exclusive private use of an entire historic landmark venue, with only your nearest and dearest on site, cannot be underestimated. No one else on site at all, not sharing the venue with other events in other spaces, your guests not passing other guests in the main foyer areas, all the onsite staff dedicated just to you and no one else – you can make the venue your own and treat it like your very own home for the duration.
Secondly, the exemplary service standards and the luxurious wraparound attentions that go hand in hand with holding your wedding at a 5* luxury venue – staff are wearing pristine uniforms, understand what it means to have 100% discretion and are fully briefed to anticipate your every need. If the venue is also a hotel, you have the added benefits of on-site accommodation, full use of a luxury spa and a 24 hour concierge.
Thirdly, the venue being a destination in itself. Whether you are a British couple looking to get married in a truly exclusive location or you live abroad and have your heart set on having a quintessentially English wedding experience, destination venues allow your guests to spend a few days on site, allowing you all to fully immerse yourselves in the ambiance of this privileged location – also benefitting from the fact that the celebrations don’t have to end after just a few short hours!
So, if these elements sound like what you are also looking for in your wedding venue, we are on the same page! As a luxury wedding planner with first hand experience of all these locations, here are my top 3 recommendations. Do also remember that my reviews are simply the beginning – to really get a feel for the venue’s ambiance, its service style, and your guest journey and experience from the moment they arrive at the main entrance through to when we wave them off at the end of night, and of course your own personal experiences whilst on site, you really need to go there in person, see the rooms, walk through the spaces, interact with the staff and taste their food – and that is where I can help, by checking their availabilities for visits and making all the arrangements on your behalf. I’d naturally also attend the visits with you so that we can discuss my own insights into the venues and how we would weave your unique wedding plans into the backdrop that these venues provide.
Photo credit middle image Barney Walter
If you are looking for one of London’s most exclusive and well-kept wedding venue secrets, my go to venue is 2 Temple Place, near Victoria Embankment -pictured above. The house is a spectacular neo-Gothic mansion completed in 1895, which combines the grandeur of a London mansion with the intimacy of a private home.The interiors are adorned with gilding, marble and stained glass creating an opulent setting for any event, while the warm mahogany wood panelling gives a cosy and homely feel to the space. With a variety of stunning rooms, exclusive hire of the house enables you to create a truly memorable experience for your guests. You can make your vows in one of their 3 licensed ceremony rooms followed by an intimate champagne reception in William Waldorf Astor’s private Library, then moving on to a stunning seated dinner in the majestic Great Hall. Your guests will be overlooked by cheeky cherubs, beautiful stained glass windows and intricate wood carvings. End your evening by dancing the night away to a DJ or live band in the Lower Gallery on the ground floor of the house. There’s no venue quite like Two Temple Place.
If a 5* uber luxurious central London hotel is on your wish list, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has so much to offer - pictured above. Overlooking Hyde Park, the hotel is the only five star hotel in London to offer outdoor space with panoramic park views. Available for exclusive hire with the ballroom, The Mandarin Terrace is the perfect setting for a summer occasion requiring a glamorous location. Their stunning Ballroom is where HM Queen Elizabeth II learned to dance with her sister, the late Princess Margaret. Extensively restored, the Ballroom presents a visual feast of rich 24-carat gilding, breathtaking chandeliers and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests arrive via the exclusive Ballroom Entrance which is completely separate from the main hotel entrance but not only that, the Ballroom also has an exclusive Royal Entrance onto Hyde Park. With permission from the Royal Parks, brides and grooms are able to use this unique entrance for their wedding.Your guests then have exclusive use of an entire wing of the hotel, never coming in to contact with other guests within the hotel. The hotel even gift each couple a complimentary First Night in a sumptuous Mandarin Room afterwards as well as other special benefits at other Mandarin Oriental hotels around the globe.
My final recommendation which ticks all the boxes for couples looking for exclusivity, utterly exemplary service and a destination location, is Cliveden House in Taplow. Cliveden is a luxury 5 star Grade 1 Listed stately home, close to London Oxford and Heathrow Airport. Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, as a gift to his mistress, Cliveden House has remained a pinnacle of intrigue and glamour for the elite.Its story is one of over 350 years of powerful personalities, debaucherous parties and scandalous affairs! There's something magical in the air at this Grade I stately home, making it a fitting setting for a fairy-tale wedding. Maybe it's the venue's opulent history or glamorous guest-list of former visitors. Or it might be the luxuriant interiors which strike the perfect balance between lavish and homely. From the moment you arrive and are welcomed by the House’s friendly and helpful liveried doormen, before being invited to take a seat in the Great Hall and absorb the unique ambiance of Cliveden House, you just know it’s going to something truly special.
For more details on any of these venues, such as capacities, availabilities and costs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – my venue finding service is free of charge, and I would be delighted to design a bespoke proposal for you of recommended venues to fit your specific preferences and requirements.
I look forward to hearing from you!