London: a diverse, ancient world-class city with a little something for everyone. Whether you want a traditional church wedding or something a little more unusual, you’re bound to find it here.
A Brief History of London
London was initially founded by the Romans over two millennia ago as Londinium, though its first major settlement was sacked and burned by Queen Boudica. The Romans tried again, and the second attempt succeeded. By the 2nd Century BCE, Londinium had around 60,000 people.
The Square Mile that made up the walled-in area of the rebuilt Londinium is modern London’s financial district.
With the Romans abandoning ship in the 5th Century, the Anglo-Saxons moved into the area in their place and we know little of London’s development from this point up until the 7th Century, when St. Paul’s Cathedral was built. The original building no longer exists.
We catch up with London again in the Medieval period, when the Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror. Medival London was a cramped, dirty city, whose conditions would lead to the Black Plague wiping out 1/3 of the population.
The London we know today is partially due to the Great Fire of London in 1666. Over 80% of the city was wiped out, and buildings that went up after that were made of stone. The rest of it is from Queen Victoria’s reign, when many of today’s buildings were built, and London’s population grew considerably. It was Queen Victoria that popularized the white wedding dress.
London Today: Awe-Inspiring Venues
Today’s London is a magical place “where the history comes from”, according to Eddie Izzard, and chock full of delightful places to hold a wedding.
Wilton’s is the oldest of the world’s grand music halls, and we are lucky to still be able to see it. This place started as four separate houses in the 1690s until they were incorporated into one in the late 1850s. It has lived life as an alehouse, a saloon, a music hall, and more, and was even left derelict for several decades. The most recent round of work was from 2004-2012, which has seen the majority of restoration work take place.
Wilton’s Music Hall is an iconic location to hold a wedding and even has several rooms available for hosting events, like its Auditorium and Cocktail Bar. Can you imagine having earcandy’s Motown Gold playing some mellow tunes while the guests enjoy cocktails for a more intimate wedding party? We’re excited already.
A gorgeous brick building awaits, with high ceilings and the unique opportunity to drive a vehicle into the space if desired – imagine a firefighter’s wedding with antique fire trucks and equipment on-site! – or to arrive by boat.
This 1854 building is the site of the only Lighthouse in London, which is an excellent find for anybody with any sort of interest in London’s portside history. There is approximately 400 square metres of inside space and 1500 square metres of outdoor space to use, with enough room for a reception of up to 600 people.
What’s even better? The Chainstore is also licensed for wedding ceremonies. A London firefighter’s wedding would be an excellent fit here, with earcandy Black & Gold performing, and fireworks over the river.
London’s Royal Magic
For hundreds of years, royal marriages have graced London with their pomp and fancy, and you can have a piece of that for yourself. There are several palaces that will make you feel like a princess when you step inside, as well as royal colleges and magical gardens.
One such location is Kensington Palace’s beautiful Orangery. Queen Anne built the Orangery in 1704 to house her oranges for the winter, and instead the building found itself being host to lavish celebrations and fancy balls. With its stone terrace, palatial interior and lush, tranquil gardens, it remains a spectacular venue for hosting a wedding and reception.
The Orangery can hold up to 300 people for a reception, 120 for dinner and dance, and 150 for a civil ceremony.
While in London…
… check out some of the things that the city is best known for. Make it a Royal Tour with the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, and the Palace of Westminister; delight in the realistic wax figures of Madame Tussauds and learn of the legends surrounding the museum itself; walk the decks of the Cutty Sark, a piece of living history.
Speaking of the Cutty Sark… did you know that you can hold receptions and dinners on board? It’s something to think about and consider if you’re having a more intimate wedding with a few loved ones, and would like a unique space to share. The Master’s Saloon on board the Cutty Sark would be a lovely spot for a post-wedding dinner for up to ten people.
This post was publised by earcandy Entertainment