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Unique and Unusual UK City Wedding Ideas

Image credit: Mitch Hodge

Over 270,000 weddings take place in the UK each year, so it's no surprise that plenty of loved-up couples are choosing unique and unusual ways to celebrate their special day. While the UK is famous for its rolling hills and stately manors, many soon-to-be-weds are now looking to get hitched in swanky city locations, followed by a reception at a bustling bar or pub. And who could blame them with so many fabulous options on offer?

If you're looking for a memorable place to exchange vows, swap wedding rings and say "I do," we have listed some of the UK's most incredible venues to host a city wedding.

Why have a city wedding?

Urban weddings exude a sense of sophistication and an undeniable buzz that only comes from being in the city. It's not just the engagement ring that shimmers—your wedding venue can make a dazzling impression too! There is nothing like the twinkle of city lights and the electric atmosphere of the city to brighten your special day.

Keep things simple

City weddings are usually more convenient than countryside locations or overseas destinations. Many guests may find the city more accessible, and there is an abundance of places to stay and things to do. City weddings also mean guests don't have to take more than a day or two out of their schedule to attend the big day.

Save pennies (and pounds)

The added convenience of city weddings also means they are generally more cost-efficient for guests. There are no costs involved for extensive travel and limited, or perhaps, zero accommodation costs.

Make it sentimental

While many couples love getting married away from home, choosing to get married in your home city adds enormous sentimental value—celebrating love in the city where it blossomed.

10 of our favourite UK city wedding ideas

1. The Natural History Museum, London

Image credit: Claudio Testa

One of London's most iconic venues, The Natural History Museum, has twelve stunning galleries for you to choose from. With so much choice, there's truly something for everyone. If you're looking for something grand and accommodating for a large wedding party, the soaring Victorian architecture of Hintze Hall is the ideal setting. They also have more intimate options, like the beautiful and quaint Darwin Centre courtyard.

Great for: Nature lovers, museum nerds

2. The Garden of Eden, Liverpool

If you want your wedding to be romantic and ethereal, The Garden of Eden in Liverpool may be the perfect place. This spectacular wedding venue is perched on the rooftop of Liverpool's iconic Shankly Hotel and is not only a botanical oasis— it also boasts panoramic views. With an array of floral designs and flowing vines entwined with fairy lights, you could be mistaken into thinking you were in a pixie fairy garden.

Great for: Green thumbs, fairy-light fanatics

3. Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff

Cardiff is one of the most underrated cities in the UK, with elegant halls and castles at almost every corner; it's no secret why couples choose to get married in this historic city. Cardiff City Hall is just one of the many locations on offer and is popular due to its myriad of stunning rooms. We recommend the Marble Hall if you're planning a moderate-sized wedding—the glass-stained windows and beautiful Sienna marble are an unforgettable backdrop to the wedding photos. To match the historical venue, consider wearing vintage-inspired jewellery on your special day.

Great for: Those who like luxury, history lovers

4. Mayfair Library, London

Book-lovers may dream of a library wedding, and the dream can now become a reality thanks to Mayfair Library in London. Located in central London, you can't get more "city" than this. But, once you step inside, the intimate, romantic setting will make you feel miles from the hustle and bustle.

Choose from the Marylebone Room or the Mayfair Room if you're looking for something with a little bit of extra space. The rooms are beautifully adorned with antique books and vintage ornaments, and the Mayfair Room has a stunning stained-glass window that overlooks Mount Street Gardens. The best bit—you're just a minute's walk away from countless superb reception venues.

Great for: Literature lovers, fans of antiques

5. Edinburgh Registry Office followed by a reception at The Elephant House, Edinburgh

How about a simple ceremony at the City Chambers registry office in Edinburgh? Choose from the Alexander Suite and the European Suite, each seating between 60 and 70 guests and offering picturesque views over Edinburgh's prolific Princes Street. With no extra frills, you get to save the fun for the reception around the corner at The Elephant Bar—the infamous bar and coffee house where J.K. Rowling wrote the iconic Harry Potter series.

Great for: Harry Potter fans

6. The Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

The Bombed Out Church in Liverpool is a wedding location like no other. The versatile events space is an inner-city haven and trendy cultural hub, making it one of the more unique venues. Otherwise known as St Luke's Church, it was bombed in 1941 and has since been reimagined, with a stunning marquee, beautiful furnishings and tranquil gardens that make the perfect setting for any wedding. Consider wearing an elegant diamond pendant to represent the past, present and future that the church reminds us about.

Great for: History and culture fanatics

7. Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol

Image credit: Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel

Choosing to get married at a hotel is one of the safest options for a quintessential city wedding. The Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel is a top choice if location and luxury are at the top of your list. The hotel is perched on the historic waterfront of Bristol's sparkling harbour, and the neo-Gothic interior exudes romance and old-school charm. You will have a private bar and terrace if you choose the Palm Court, which means you can dance and drink until your heart's content. Wearing a shimmering diamond bracelet will add a special touch that will suit the regal setting.

Great for: City-slickers, fans of neo-Gothic architecture

8. Mour Hotel, Nottinghamshire

Mour Hotel is a modern venue in the heart of Nottinghamshire that couples from all over the UK are flocking to celebrate their special day. Mour Hotel is a popular city wedding choice as it is unique, with its contemporary fit-outs and modern industrial edge. The stylish accommodation is almost as exciting as the wedding itself, with gorgeous bedrooms that you and your guests will adore.

Great for: Contemporary design enthusiasts

9. Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Football fans will be treated to the wedding of their dreams with a ceremony at Etihad Stadium. Manchester City has a loyal following, to say the least, and fans can celebrate their special day with their second love at this special venue. Etihad Stadium offers a wedding breakfast package and an evening reception package, with a priceless view of the famed stadium as the backdrop. You can show support to your favourite team by sporting their colours with stud earrings.

Great for: Football fans, sports lovers, Manchester City supporters.

10. 200 SVS, Glasgow

200 SVS is an ideal city setting for a truly unforgettable wedding. Beyond the stunning stone walls, this luxurious events space is nestled in the heart of Glasgow city centre. There are countless unique spaces for you to discover, each one ready to transform into your unique vision. The helpful team will craftily design any room from a formal ceremony to a stunning dining room and reception in the evening. The wedding photos will make you look like royalty!

Great for: Architecture lovers

Our tips for the best city UK wedding

  • Match your jewellery to your unique wedding location: Find the perfect jewellery that will perfectly complement your wedding destination.
  • Make sure the venue you choose has a marriage license: This is a necessary step for your wedding to be legally recognised in the UK.
  • Add personal touches: This will help make your city wedding a special one. Decorate the venue in your style, curate a wedding playlist or your ideal menu.
  • Do your research: The best thing about city venues is that there are so many options to choose from. Compare location, costs and capacity to find the one that best suits your needs.
  • Consider parking: Parking in the city can be a nightmare. Make sure your guests have somewhere to park if they choose to drive.
  • Get a photography permit: Professional photography in public places is illegal in the UK, so ensure you acquire a permit before flouncing off to get your special day captured for the memories.

Celebrate your city wedding in style

Still not sure which city venue is right for you? Think about what you love and find a place to match—whether it's a library, a football stadium, or a historic hall—the UK truly has a unique place for every couple to host their special day. Whichever city you choose to get married in, let the personality of that city shine through your nuptials and the celebration that follows!