From white beaches and bare feet to looking down a breathtaking valley from a mountain or seeing the light break through the trees in the middle of a forest, the great outdoors or a cosy location that holds a special place in a couple’s heart can make for the perfect wedding venue.
Marriage traditions are something engrained in our culture today, but The Scribbler knows that heading to the church or the registrar doesn’t scream out ‘dream wedding’ for everyone!
“Freedom of choice is such a wonderful thing, and in life we embrace freedom of choice, but sadly when it come to getting married we feel that we have no choice – in other words, the church or registrar… and yes this is so for the legal side of things, but there should be an actual dream day that we aspire to achieve,” Claire Mountain, chief celebrant of Mountain Celebrations, told The Scribbler.
As much as it may seem like more of a hassle to get married in a unique location that might not have ever catered for a wedding, there are really no insurmountable challenges to having the big day somewhere that is special to the couple. Since the day should be solely about two people getting hitched, most places are far easier to use and set up than some licensed places where the registrar will sometimes have a strict set of rules.
“All of my couples have loved their unique wedding venues. It relaxes them to be in a place that has meaning and is special to them. They always seem happier,” Mountain added.
The Scribbler’s chat with Claire Mountain revealed some interesting points that couples may never have considered when looking to get married somewhere completely off the established wedding planning map.
Here are some top tips:
1. Dip your toes in the sand at a beach wedding:
Guess what? – It’s completely FREE to get married on one of the many beaches along the UK’s picturesque coastline.
Mountain said: “You can use a Celebrant to do your wedding blessing on any of the beaches and, yes ladies and gents, they are free to use. You can organise and set up a beautiful marquee for your drinks and guests to relax and enjoy a dance. Then your ceremony could be under a decorated arch, if you like, or just simply by the water’s edge.”
2. Provide a photographer’s dream with field and mountain-top weddings:
Yet again, it’s completely free to gather loved ones together in one of these striking landscapes to celebrate a couple’s love and commitment to one another.
“In Wales, especially, the mountains are simply the most beautiful place to be with views across the coast line or valleys,” Mountain said. “Again, it could be under an arch of your choice with a seated area for your guests to relax and enjoy the ceremony – music, readings, and photos are all still achievable.”
3. Sail off into the sunset with a boat wedding:
Whether it’s a yacht, cruiser, canal boat or rubber dingy – any type of boat can be used as the venue. While these options may not be free of charge like the open spaces of the great outdoors, it comes with its own benefits and perks that simply aren’t available on the land.
“The beauty of this option is that its moving and your view will be changing all day,” Mountain added. “In addition, boats hold a fantastic party space so you can have your ceremony, reception and party in all the one place.”
4. Immerse yourselves in history with a castle wedding:
The Scribbler loves the idea of getting married in a place that holds bags of history, and could have even played host to a royal wedding once upon a time!
“Its exposed brick walls become a completely blank canvas for couples to make their own,” Mountain said. “Also, castles are often surrounded by a vast space and land, and of course, brides love a tower.”
5. Make it cosy and personal with a special pub or restaurant wedding:
“The places that everyday life brings us, the places that we spend our lives visiting – why not choose somewhere more personal for your ceremony? Just because it doesn’t hold a registrar’s licence doesn’t mean you can’t get married there,” Mountain added.
While a pub may not be for every couple, many now offer impressive settings for weddings that expand into their gardens – a cool new kind of venue that steps outside tradition to create an intimate affair that can truly be made your own for a reasonable price.
6. Embrace the great outdoors with a campsite wedding:
“For those who wish to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle could have their guests camp,” Mountain concluded. “Why not set up a beautiful unique area and with a log burner or fire and surround yourself with those who mean the most to you?”
The beauty of a campsite wedding is that its affordability allows guests to remain for a whole weekend of celebrations – if they’re willing to rough it! The Scribbler advises packing wellies and some cosy socks!