Budget London Wedding Venues

Maybe it’s the dark of January and that urge to hope and plan that comes with darkness.  Maybe it’s the impending financial uncertainty. Maybe it’s the fact I haven’t been to a wedding in ages and I LOVE weddings.  Whatever it is, something this morning reminded me of how difficult it was to find cheap but lovely London wedding venues and I wondered how the ones we considered before settling on our Kent location were faring — and charging — in 2020.

The venues listed here are all ones we considered for our DIY, crafty, family-friendly wedding.

London Wedding Venues Under £1k

Suburban Village Halls

Village Halls

We looked at a village hall in a London ‘burb which has self-catering facilities, tables, chairs etc for over 100 guests and a small grassed area.  We would have filled it with fairy lights, lamps and tealights to avoid the neon strip lighting. They charged £21 per hour before 6pm and £24 per hour after.  A group were in the night before and early Sunday morning (6am) which is what put us off.

Ruskin House, Croydon

Ruskin House, a licensed wedding venue near West Croydon, had a large, pretty and playful garden with a BBQ area and a large hall set in its grounds, with its own bar, as well as a hall in the main part of the house.  There was a small room — the Mandela Room — where you could get legally married, which accommodated 50 guests, while the halls had capacity for 120. The doors to the Mandela Room opened onto a patio area, so there would be scope to have more guests gather outside, or perhaps you could live stream the ceremony with a projector in the garden… There’s also a small members’ bar on site and various community meetings and activities (like the Green Party, Folk Club and Croydon Trade Union Movement), so when we visited when planning our wedding, we were kindly reminded that the building wouldn’t be exclusive hire.  However, in 2016 the costs were £475 including the ceremony room, garden and garden hall (registrars in Croydon charge a £300 call out fee which took it up to £775 overall) – a London wedding venue for under £1,000 (email for current prices). You could DIY food – a picnic and BBQ in the garden would be perfect. You could also supply your own fizz and the bar was reasonably priced. https://ruskinhouse.org/hire/ 

The Centre, Wallington

This venue was in the grounds of a church in the SW London suburbs – so still accessible by public transport if you’re not averse to a bus.  They were very flexible and enthusiastic and had suitable outside space for kids to run around, as well as being open to use decorating however we wanted to. They also allowed access the evening before for setting up. There was a stage, which meant we could have had the glorious open mic music and poetry we did at our wedding.  We needed to do self-catering, due to our budget, but this meant we would also have had to clean up the party ourselves and the venue was needed the next morning for a church event. I couldn’t quite visualise hoiking up my white dress and putting on my marigolds after the reception, but perhaps it would have been fun! The package we were quoted, for hire, tables, covers, etc, came in under £1k.  thecentrewallington.co.uk

Carshalton Water Tower

Another SW London venue, near Carshalton Station. It’s around £60/hour to hire and is an extremely pretty listed building, with quirky features like the pump room and airy, bright saloon and orangery.  It’s set in the grounds of St Philomena’s school, so is surrounded by greenery.

 

London Wedding Venues £2k – £3k

Skip Garden

This King’s Cross venue looked really exciting and celebrates sustainability and the kind of craftiness we love.  Although outdoors, they had a cover available for half of the venue on a rainy day. They produce their own food from eco friendly sources and the gardens themselves.  Our kids were too tiny for us to feel like it was the perfect option, but it would make a really lovely venue. Costs are not listed, but were within this range when we enquired.

https://www.globalgeneration.org.uk/hire-our-space 

Avenue Halls, Kew 

This venue – a large church in Kew, SW London – looked extremely pretty from the website, although we never quite made a visit.  It’s currently £102 per hour to hire the largest hall, or £72 per hour for the smaller. If you’re having a small wedding, there is a new, airy room with views onto the garden at £30 per hour, with capacity for 30 guests. https://www.avenuehalls.com/ 

The London Canal Museum

This lovely venue in North London allows you to arrive by Canal boat.  Couples often get legally married in Islington Town Hall, before their reception (which is, of course, a separate cost).  In 2016 it was about £1.5k for a party from 5-11pm, or £1.8k till midnight, with no corkage. It’s not much more now – around £2k for a full hire with extras.  I think you can self-cater but you can definitely choose your own caterer.   http://www.canalmuseum.org.uk/venue/wedding.htm

 

The Alternatives

Midweek Registry Office

Generally speaking, it’s around £50 for a basic registry office legal bit with two witnesses, on a weekday.  You can then have a ceremony of your own design led by a friend or family member on your wedding day in any reception venue of your choice.  It costs a few hundred quid or more to get an official registrar out to a licensed venue, on top of the venue hire fee. Link for your own ceremony ideas: https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/non-religious-weddings

 

Wedding Auction Site 

You can help out people who have decided not to go ahead with their venue booking for whatever reason by buying discount weddings on https://www.cancelledweddings.co.uk/ 

 

Happy to help. There are ideas for even the least crafty among us on my other pages, including outdoor venue decoration, corsages, food, drink and more on my earlier pages.  Have a wonderful day!