4 unusual reception venue ideas for your wedding

19 May 2022

Forgo tradition with these unusual wedding reception venue ideas

Image gallery

Image gallery

Finding the perfect venue to say ‘I do’ is a big task to tick off your wedding to-do list. While grand stately homes and rustic barns make a beautiful backdrop to your nuptials, you might prefer a venue with more personality or one that better reflects your interests as a couple. Create an unforgettable wedding day with these four ideas for unusual wedding venues.  

Wedding festival 

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Image: Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash

Make use of the great outdoors by hosting a wedding festival. With outdoor civil ceremonies and partnerships becoming a permanent fixture in the weddings industry, now is an ideal time to have a large wedding celebration at a countryside location.  

Hire large tipis and set the scene with fairy lights and bunting for a cosy atmosphere. Rustic-style blankets and soft pillows will be ideal to watch the night sky and festivities as your magical day slowly draws to a close. 

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Recreate your own version of Coachella or Glastonbury Festival with live musical performances. For a smaller guest list, consider asking your family and friends to entertain you and your partner with karaoke or a magical act. Keep your wedding theme natural and relaxed by opting for large picnic-style reception tables. You could even consider a festival-style silent disco, allowing you to dance the night away without worrying about the venue's cut-off time for noise.  

This type of wedding reception allows for an informal, relaxed and intimate atmosphere to cap off your special day.  

A meaningful location 

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Image: Daan Evers via Unsplash

Choose a place for your reception that really resonates with you and your partner. This might be a quirky café you both frequent that serves your favourite morning latte or a cosy restaurant that you had your first date in. Consider your interests and what type of venue would be meaningful to you both.  

Do you both love pottering around antique stores? Have an intimate, boho-style gathering at your local vintage shop. Bibliophiles could celebrate tying the knot at their go-to bookstore. Plant lovers could have their reception surrounded by lush greenery in a plant nursery, which would also require minimal styling.  

Create a list of places you’d like to celebrate in, keeping in mind your wedding theme and guest list. Once you have this, do some research to see if having your reception at one of these unusual venues is possible.  

Museum or art gallery 

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Image: Artur Matosyan via Unsplash

What better way to celebrate your love for one another than being surrounded by historical paintings and romantic portraits? A wedding reception at an art gallery or museum will not only make for some stunning photographs, but will also be a memorable and inspiring experience.  

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Image: Zalfa Imani via Unsplash

Make use of a gallery’s mood lighting and use clear or white seating and tables to draw your guests’ eyes to the artwork. You could also make use of the artworks and pieces on display at a museum or art gallery and use the colour palette to influence your wedding theme. When enquiring about using the venue, see what artworks and historical artefacts will be on display at the time of your marriage.  

There are an abundance of art galleries and museums to host your wedding reception across the UK. If you or your partner are artists, you could even hire an event space for your reception and display your works of art.  

Zoo or safari 

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Image: Alexander Ross via Unsplash

For a truly unique wedding experience, get up close and personal with wildlife on your special day. This type of reception venue is ideal for animal loving couples. Reflect on the day surrounded by giraffes, penguins and sealions as well as an abundance of local and international wildlife. Co-ordinate your wedding colour scheme to match the setting, with animal print decorations and colours that coincide with the animals, such as using soft pink tones and vibrant greens to match brightly coloured flamingos.  

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Image: Matthew Cabret via Unsplash

You could also give your guests the ultimate jungle experience by taking them on a wedding safari. For a destination wedding, celebrate your wedding in Africa amongst the wild animals. If you want to stay closer to home, there are plenty of safari parks dotted about that also offer an authentic experience right on your doorstep. 

Looking for more wedding venue inspiration? Here are five popular historical wedding venues in the UK, according to Pinterest

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