Bored of your average bridal bash? Then shake up tradition with these unconventional wedding venues
The crowd gasp as the bride enters: an ethereal vision in white, floating down the aisle accompanied by a bowling ball and a skeleton. Sounds barmy? Agreed. But bonkers as it might be, you can enjoy all of the above elements in your Northern nuptials. From walking down a bowling-alley-turned-aisle to posing perched near paintings, Manchester has a host of whacky wedding venues available for hire. And with research revealing that 90% of Mancs wouldn’t stick to traditional wedding rituals, could this be the future of weddings? In a recent survey, 31% of Manchester couples said wedding rituals are a load of old tosh and that it’s time to make your own rules. Which means so-long to the panic-stricken days of scavenging your mam’s attic for that treasured something ‘borrowed’ – just 20% of respondents said they had been to a wedding that incorporated this superstition-based tradition. Although many Mancs agreed that wedding traditions are all part of the fun, a majority said couples shouldn’t have to stick to them.
So, if you’re one of the 90% that’s thinking to hell with an all-white wedding, then here’s twelve alternative wedding venues you can tie-the-knot at in Manchester.
Make history in a historic setting by being one of the first couples to tie the knot in the neoclassical jewel that is Manchester Hall. Recently revamped ready for a bit of a do, the iconic Art Deco venue is perfect for proper parties and boutique celebrations alike. Uncovering many of the exquisite original features of the former Freemasons’ Hall, the Grade II-listed building has been updated with all those modern touches you’d expect (with a rooftop terrace and luxe guest rooms on their way) and the amazing one-of-a-kind floating staircase is just made for snaps on your big day.
Learn more about weddings at Manchester Hall here.
Boldly walk where only balls have bowled at this unconventional wedding venue. For prices starting at £250 per hour, you can wed at All Star Lanes before making the most of the venue’s bar snacks, unlimited bowling and never-ending Karaoke. Why walk down an old-fashioned aisle when you could walk down a bowling lane?
Overlooking Albert Square and the Town Hall, Albert’s Chop House is set in the heart of Manchester city centre. Recently restored to its former Victorian glory, the venue offers traditional character paired with contemporary features with its popular choice of function rooms and suites. Feasting on the hearty British cuisine and fine ales from which the venue gets its name is of course a must.
As well as hosting incredible events spanning Warehouse Project raves to Gin-fuelled festivals, Victoria Warehouse also opens its doors to unconventional weddings. Exposed brick walls, stone floors and industrial-inspired interiors offer a contemporary blank backdrop from which creative brides can build their dream setting. With the venue open to guest lists up to 1,500 people, Victoria Warehouse is primed for the ultimate wedding action.
Book your wedding at Victoria Warehouse here
For a show-stopping wedding, Deansgate’s iconic Grade II listed building comes up top trumps. The chapel-come-entertainment-venue first opened its doors to weddings in 2013, and has been creating dramatic wedding occasions ever since. Huge stained-glass windows and ornate vestibules ensure an atmospheric occasion, whilst in-house entertainment teams, resident DJ’s and meals provided by Alberts Schloss or the artisan basement bakery ensure you want for nothing.
Literary lovers can indulge their fictional fantasies at the £48m revamped central library. Pledge your vows beneath the breath-taking domed ceiling of the Wolfson Reading Room or whisper ‘I do’ before the opulent stained-glass window in Shakespeare Hall. Amongst the thousands of literary masterpieces and stunning architecture, guests will be lost for words.
When it comes to the perfect wedding backdrop, few venues can compete with the masterpieces of Manchester Art Gallery. Celebrate your vows before works by Lowry and Valette in Gallery 16, or let guests marvel at the collections for a truly unforgettable, unique experience.
Learn more about weddings at Manchester Art Gallery here
What’s more romantic than tying the knot beneath the toothy grin of a preying 13ft T-Rex skeleton? If you fancy the thought of marrying alongside ancient relics (other than grandma), then check out Manchester Museum. Booze beneath the belly of a suspended whale skeleton, or let guests gaze upon troves of historical treasures that span millennias. Or, host your ceremony before the lovingly named Stan the T-Rex skeleton – sadly he can’t perform wedding rites, but it’s an unmissable photo opportunity. Plus, thanks to the ornate architecture of this gothic building, the odd traditional wedding photograph can still play its part.
Iconic, awe-inspiring and grandiose – it would be impossible not to have a spectacular day at Gorton’s Monastery. Steeped in grandeur and hundreds of years of history, the Monastery is the perfect place for magnificent memory making.
Find out more about The Monastery wedding ceremonies on the website
For celebrations bursting with geeky galore, the Museum of Science and Industry is guaranteed to impress. Housed across five listed buildings, the museum is set on the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station. Pose for pictures alongside the largest collection of steam mill engines and locomotives, or entertain guests with displays of some of the greatest inventions in science and industry.
For Museum of Science and Industry weddings, see here
A magnificent mirror ball, plush furnishings, a raised stage - the Deaf Institute’s Music Hall is fitted with everything you need to pull off the ultimate wedding party. Whether you fancy an all-night bash or something a little more laid-back, the venue’s host of tempting tipples and packages will make it a day to remember.
Described as 'the most splendid municipal bathing institution in the country' upon its 1906 opening, today Victoria Baths stands as a dramatic venue available for private hire. Whilst guests can’t indulge in Victorian bathing, the pool spaces make for impressive settings complete with decorative period features. For more intimate occasions, explore the Turkish Restroom. Seating a cosy 50-70, the room is adorned from floor to ceiling in rich green tiles and crowned with dramatic stained-glass windows, including the striking Angel of Purity.
Learn more about weddings at Victoria Baths on the website