Right up there with putting on a tonne of weight and becoming a borderline alcoholic, the most popular thing to happen over the festive season is engagement!
So if you’re one of those who did get blessed with forever-love, I can appreciate diving into wedding planning is daunting. I know nothing about it, but I can imagine.
What I do know though (because I’ve spent a good chunk of my day looking), is that there are a fair few unusual wedding venues and I’m absolutely certain one will be perfect for you.
According to my extensive research, less than a quarter of weddings these days are religious and around 45% of couples spend time (and money) into making their wedding just right for Instagram. With that being said, not only are all these places not religious, they’re just about perfect for the gram. Thank me later folks.
It goes without saying that The Principal is just bloody beautiful. Not only is there a massive bonus that your reception and hotel is right in the same place, so much so you won’t even get your dress dirty! But this place is also full of fantastic photo opportunities. There are plenty of options for party sizes, incredibly good food and even a room with foosball and snooker tables if you wanna inject a bit of light competitive fun on your big day.
Fairfield Social Club
If shabby chic is right up your street then I’ve got just the spot for you. Tucked under the archways just a 2 min walk from Piccadilly Station, this is definitely going to be the next big spot for weddings. It’s incredibly shabby with concrete floors and exposed brick walls but it’s nothing a few fairy lights, flowers and maybe a spot of white mesh netting can’t fix. You can have your ceremony and reception all in the same spot. It’s a great location if you’ve got people coming from all over the country and even better if you want to keep the mystery before everyone arrives.
I don’t think you can get more picture-perfect than an actual photography studio. Now bear with me here because this could actually make for a beautiful day. If you’ve got a creative flare and a particular theme in mind, it’s best to start with a blank canvas to really let the juices flow. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at fivefourstudios. There’s even an elegant bar area available to hire too. You might think you need more of a backdrop than a large white roll of paper, but you are wrong and images in front of this with plenty of flowers are absolutely stunning.
Halle St Peters Ancoats
I’m sorry, this is the only one that is slightly religious but it’s actually a de-consecrated church so I’m taking that as it doesn’t count and I can include it in my non-religious list. It’s the perfect way of getting that picture-perfect classic wedding even if you don’t know the Lord’s Prayer. Halle St Peter’s is situated right in the centre of the coolest part of town and it is definitely a wedding venue to impress. You can transform the giant Grade II listed into your wildest dreams complete with large aisle and dance floor. It’s opulent, elegant and ideal for grand wedding days.
The Albert Hall
I bloody love the Albert Hall. But I’ve actually only been there for 3 reasons; Bongo’s Bingo and 2 gigs. One of which was my boyfriend and I was on the merch desk which meant I got to see Albert Hall in all its grandeur while no one was in it, and I’m telling you it’s bloody impressive. The light will stream in through the old windows and create an incredible atmosphere. You can get married on stage and stand for some fab images with all your guests in the huge balcony. I’d recommend going to see it, even if it’s just for a nosey at this building with no drunk kids falling over. Albert Hall is fully licensed so you can spend the full day in one place, which is pretty unusual for city centre wedding days.
The Portico Library
I’m sure you know you can get married in the Manchester Art Gallery, it’s common knowledge and it can provide a stunning backdrop. BUT, I’m here to one-up it with the Portico Library. It’s only a matter of seconds away and the backdrop, instead of one or two paintings, is an entire wall full of books. Not that you can really compare an art gallery with a library, but I think Portico has a little more character, drenched with over 200 years of history. It’s the perfect place for intimate and small weddings, or if you just want to have a reason not to invite your Aunt Sally.
University of Manchester
If you said to me get married in the Uni, the home of stress and deadlines I’d definitely roll my eyes. However, if you actually give the University of Manchester a chance, your wedding could be not only bloody gorgeous but incredibly unique. I’m talking a wedding nestled somewhere between Night of the Museum and The Tate Gallery. There’s even the choice of 5 different locations in this one spot alone!
These are a little further out – but still well worth a look…
Not to my taste but a lot of people out there love taking those Insta’s outside Terminal 3 donning their brand new Missguided tracksuit. So if some people do that, then some people will wanna get married there, right?! Maybe you met your lover at the airport in the Burger King queue. Whatever your reason, I promised a wedding perfect for everyone. You can dine under the Concorde for your evening meal and walk down the aisle of the Concorde to meet your partner just outside the cockpit. Head down the stairs of the plane to find all of your family and friends waiting for you underneath the jets.
Let’s complete the list with a swimming pool because it just about seems the only thing we’re missing out on. You can have the full day there from ceremony to reception and have your actual wedding in the deep end. You can get some cracking pics just outside the venue in front of the incredible green tiles. The whole room can then be transformed ready for your reception.