Being betrothed is undeniably a joyful time in anyone's life, but it also comes with a burden of responsibility in organising the big day. Weddings have become more and more original, with inventive ideas such as Jenga Guestbook and Confetti Bar to entertain guests. But first comes the venue. Here are a handful of awesome wedding venues with good-looking gardens or outstanding outdoor spaces, for when summertime rears its sunny head.
Stand in the (large) footsteps of Henry VIII, William & Mary and other historical figures by tying the knot at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace, built over 500 years ago. The Privy Gardens will hold up to 250 summer guests among its 33,000 plant species, impressive topiary and greenhouse, as well as the colourful Orangery. A certain highlight would be the bride and groom's procession through the state apartments to reach the Gardens – a truly regal, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
High Street Kensington
Can we interest you in yet another Historic Royal Palace? How about another Orangery? The equally stunning Kensington Palace – praised heavily by even the sullen Queen Victoria – is an elegant choice for weddings throughout the year. But summer receptions can take advantage of The Orangery space, accommodating up to 300 in this area that was originally constructed in 1704-5 for Queen Anne by architects including the legendary Sir Christopher Wren. Today, the summer supper house and outdoor lawns will make for an incredible venue for even the fussiest of guests.
For a wedding venue with unbelievably scenic views and a name that's a welcome challenge to pronounce, the architecturally baffling ArcelorMittal Orbit is a top contender. Both ceremonies and receptions can be held at Britain's tallest sculpture, located by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Where else could you be treated to a 20-mile view of the capital – along with a chance to abseil down a spiralling sculpture?
Part of prestigious Imperial College London, 170 Queen's Gate offers betrothed couples a classic indoor-outdoor combination, with receptions taking place in the luxurious Solar Room and continuing in the adjoining Garden, accessible through beautiful French doors. The Grade-II listed Victorian townhouse is a sure favourite for soaking up matrimonial celebrations and West-London sunshine.
Dreaming of a Mayfair marriage? Tie the knot just minutes from Green Park and The Mall with a reception at the Grade-I listed home of the non-profit organisation, ROSL. The members' club boasts an outside space called The Garden, which welcomes up to 100 guests to enjoy the outdoor seating and decking, and to wish the new couple well in the blazing (yes, we're hopeful) sunshine.
This historical museum of the home – and former 18th-Century almshouse – offers a rare tranquil spot on Kingsland Road, equidistant between Haggerston and Shoreditch. An essential part of the Grade-I listed house is the Period Gardens, which illustrate the horticulture of days gone by. Looking onto the Gardens is the Garden Atrium, a glass conservatory for receptions for up to 250 people, with reams of natural daylight and the option to spill into the Gardens or Front Lawns.
For more awesome venues – and great deals – head to hirespace.com.