17 May 2018

Alternative wedding venues in Wales

You don’t always have to adopt a traditional approach when it comes to planning your wedding day. Take advantage of Wales’ bountiful natural assets, history and culture to create a unique wedding day to remember - here are six intriguing and alternative Welsh wedding venues in which to say ‘I do’.

Fforest Farm, Cardigan 

Happy couple with bouquet outside a tipi.
Wedding at Fforest Farm, Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire by Sam Docker
Cardigan’s award winning Fforest Farm features 200 acres of idyllic camping and farmland, making the ideal spot for a relaxed, informal weekend of celebrations in the great outdoors, with just the right amount of woodland magic. Think tipis, wood fires, secret saunas amidst the trees, a party barn and even its own 200-year-old stone cottage pub. In short Fforest offers couples the opportunity to incorporate breathtaking scenery with a ‘back to basics’ vibe into their special day. 
 
For couples wanting to really go large for their wedding, guests can enjoy a whole three days of fun at Fforest, playing games on the lawns, singing songs around the campfire, and tucking into a spectacular hog roast. Not to mention sleeping off their hangovers under the stars in the charming Domes – which come complete with wood burning stoves and king sized beds.

Nantwen, Pembrokeshire 

Wedding ceremony at Nantwen.

Nantwen, Pembrokeshire by O and C Photography
Eloping more your style? Nantwen in north Pembrokeshire, close to the renowned seaside village of Newport, specialises in ‘runaway weddings’. With its incredible rural views matched only by its tranquil atmosphere it is perfect for couples who want to share their wedding with a very select few. The ceremony can take place in a 15th-century barn, skilfully restored by local craftsmen. The welcoming folk at Nantwen will even bake your wedding cake for you - what more could you ask for? 

Ruthin Castle, Denbighshire

Wedding couple in the gardens of Ruthin Castle.

Wedding at Ruthin Castle, North Wales by Phil Barrett
If you want a wedding with a dash of medieval noir, look no further than Ruthin Castle. The happily situated 13th century fortress offers couples the chance to enjoy a full medieval style wedding, complete with red carpet arrival, three course medieval feast, and an authentic master of ceremonies, all of which takes place in the castle’s traditional medieval banqueting hall. Think long banquet style tables, tall pillar candles, silver goblets and large portions – all topped off with a healthy dose of ancient allure. 

National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Dan-yr-Ogof

Wedding couple in candlelit caves.
National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Dan-yr-Ogof, Brecon Beacons by www.ImagineThat.uk.net
Discovered in 1912, Dan-yr-Ogof has been wowing visitors with their subterranean splendour for decades, and you can even get married underground! One of Wales’ most spectacular natural wonders, there’s space in each of the two caves for just under 40 guests, making them an unmatched choice for small, intimate weddings. The larger of the two caverns, Cathedral Cave, also boasts not one, but two waterfalls, which cascade 40 feet into a magnificent underground lake. Who needs flowers when you’ve got waterfalls?! 

Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Wedding couple exiting Hercules Hall, with confetti everywhere.
Getting married at Portmeirion, Snowdonia by Martin Vaughan Photography
North Wales’ famous Italianate village, Portmeirion, is home to surrealist Italian architecture, panoramic seascapes and the acclaimed Festival No 6. Enjoy drinks and canapes on the lawns while taking in the unique ambience of Portmeirion’s fairytale-like charms, before dancing the night away in the village’s antique Hercules Hall. And when bed time calls bride, groom and guests can enjoy a night in the lap of luxury at the iconic Portmeirion Hotel, where over the decades artists, writers, politicians, tycoons and celebrities have all laid their heads to rest.

Penrhiw Hotel, St Davids & Roch Castle, Roch, Pembrokeshire

Exterior of Penwhiw and gardens.

Penrhiw Hotel, Pembrokeshire by Retreats Group Ltd
Previously, priories have always been low on the romance scale as homes for men and women under religious vows. Happily for modern day brides and grooms many of Wales’ ancient priories have now been converted into some pretty spectacular wedding venues. Take Penrhiw Hotel for example, which offers up civil weddings for up to 18 wedding guests and 35 evening reception guests, close to the historic St Davids Cathedral. However, if a wedding in a castle turret is more your vibe, Roch Castle (a sister property to Penrhiw Hotel), offers similarly small scale weddings for discerning brides and grooms who prefer to keep things intimate, yet no less glamorous.