Looking for a wedding or civil ceremony venue that’s a little out of the ordinary? Here in Wales, you can tie the knot in some pretty incredible places, from mighty castles and stately homes, to museums and even historic railways.
For a ceremony with serious class, why not choose one of our hundreds of ancient castles for your wedding or civil ceremony? Many of our most impressive Cadw-managed properties can be hired for your special day. For a big bash, you could opt for the Great Hall at Caerphilly Castle. The centrepiece of the second-largest castle in the UK, this amazing space can seat up to 200 people. If you’re looking for a smaller ceremony, choose the magical Castle Coch on the wooded outskirts of Cardiff, a fantasy fortress straight out of the pages of a fairytale.
Glorious gardens and stately homes
The National Trust also offers wedding venues that will live long in the memory. The iconic Pin Mill in beautiful Bodnant Garden near Conwy is an incredible setting for a civil ceremony. You’ll struggle to find a more spectacular backdrop for your wedding snaps than this lush Italianate garden with its widescreen Snowdonia views. Or pick Newton House on the romantic Dinefwr estate in Carmarthenshire. This 17th-century mansion can cater for wedding parties of between six and 90 guests in a selection of beautifully decorated rooms. As an added bonus, get married at one of their properties and you’ll get a free year’s membership of the National Trust.
A work of art
For more unique photo opportunities, try the National Museum Cardiff. Its world-famous Impressionist gallery, featuring works by Cézanne, Monet and Renoir, is an amazing place for post-wedding drinks. You can also take your pick from a choice of settings for your ceremony and reception, from the marbled Grand Hall which seats up to 320 guests, to the more intimate Court Room for parties of up to 50. The surroundings are just part of the appeal. The museum’s specialist catering firm will serve up a mouth-watering wedding banquet built to your exact requirements.
Book the library
If you’re a bookworm, what better place to begin a new chapter of your life than the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth? With its wood-panelled walls and stunning Cardigan Bay views, the art nouveau Council Chamber can seat up to 100 people, while smaller parties can be accommodated in the intimate President’s Room. After the ceremony, you can stage an elegant drinks reception in the Library’s central hall and make an unforgettable entrance down the grand red-carpeted staircase.
Ride the rails
Get your marriage off to a steamy start with a wedding on one of our historic railways. The Vale of Rheidol Railway near Aberystwyth offers a range of packages, including receptions at the stations complete with catering and live music. The highlight will undoubtedly be a ride for you and your guests through 12 miles of stunning Welsh scenery, up to Devil’s Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains. You can even get a personalised train headboard painted by the railway’s expert sign writers, which you can take home as a unique keepsake of the day.
You can also tie the knot on the Llangollen Railway. Hold your ceremony in the wood-beamed Henry Robertson Suite and take photos on the footbridge, before boarding the train for a round trip to Corwen. Along the way you and your guests can tuck into cream teas and sandwiches (plus a few glasses of fizz) as you watch the North Wales countryside go by your window. We can’t think of a better way to start your journey as a married couple.