When it comes to planning a wedding in London, word on the street is that DIY-ing it isn’t necessarily the cheapest way to do it these days, once you add in all the additional costs you’ll need to factor in (food, drink, security, tableware, actual tables and chairs, facilities, decor… etc. etc.).
But the one element that can really make a difference in bringing down the DIY cost is being able to supply your own drinks for your wedding, because – let’s be honest – venues are getting into charging pretty ridiculous amounts for providing their own wine and bar. Even those that sort of let you BYOB can end up charging insane fees for corkage alone, which makes it really hard to justify the cost, and a lot of weddings end up with a cash bar as a result.
What if you could find a great little spot in London that did let you BYOB? Well, let’s talk about 3 London wedding venues which are legitimately dry hire, where you can actually BYOB and not get stung on the flip side!! Starting with one of our favourite London wedding venues to shoot at…
How utterly cool is this east London warehouse space??!
The Chainstore at Trinity Buoy Wharf sits alongside the river, and you can creep up the adjacent lighthouse for a bit of privacy and a bird’s eye view.
There’s also the cosy Electrician’s Shop around the corner, which you can use for your ceremony or drinks. Make sure you get a pro photographer in for this one though, as it is daaaaaark down there!!
Trinity Buoy Wharf is a total dry hire, so you can invest in making it whatever you want for your day. Mainly a big, epic party!!
Ahh, The Amadeus Centre in Warwick Avenue… we have such a soft spot for this cute venue, and let me tell you why (skip the next paragraph if you’re just here for the venue tips!!).
The first place that Joey and I lived together was just around the corner from The Amadeus; I used to walk past the pretty blue building on my commute to work back in the day. We even wanted to have our own wedding there as we thought it would be pretty special to get married in our neighbourhood, but having a big Sri Lankan family made this a no-go sadly!
The Amadeus is a beautiful but low-key event space (well, two spaces really, with a downstairs room on the sly), and it’s a totally blank canvas for you to add your own flavour!!
It’s perfect for a cosy winter wedding or a big knees-up after a registry wedding at one of London’s many town halls… and, even though we’re based in Tooting now, we still have a mega soft spot for Warwick Avenue, so – if you do end up here – please let us shoot it for you??!
Ok, a bit of a curveball here but the Waldorf Hotel in central London is also a bit special to us – because it’s where Joey and I did end up getting married back in November 2010!! Funnily enough, this grand old hotel on the Strand does have enough space for my big Sri Lankan family…
The Waldorf London is not strictly BYOB, but here’s the thing; if you’re having a fusion wedding of sorts like we did, and you’ll need to bring in specific caterers for dietary or cultural purposes (e.g. kosher / halal etc.) then the hotel will let you do that… and then your arrangement is with the caterer rather than the venue, so you can go to town bringing your own booze, with no extra corkage from the venue. Insider alert!!
The Waldorf has a selection of spaces and rooms for hire, including of course the hotel rooms for overnight guests, and the restaurant lays on a mean buffet breakfast the morning after to soak up those hangovers…
If you know of any other dry hire venues in London that you think we should check out and list here, just let us know in the comments!! Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of getting married in London – whether it’s a a big party or a short midweek pub wedding – we can sort you out with some great photography for your day, just get in touch and let’s make a plan!!