Top five historic Manchester wedding venues
Looking for that special ‘something old’ for your big day – what could be better than a venue steeped in history and love? Here are our top five historic Manchester wedding venues:
The impressive red-brick of the Midland Hotel has been a centre-piece of Manchester’s architectural heritage and cultural life for more than a century. Built in 1903, this Edwardian Baroque-style, Grade II listed building has seen the start of many enduring partnerships. Without it we may not have the magnificent wedding cars from Rolls Royce. Or in more recent times the celebrity phenomenon that is Posh and Becks.
It is a fitting place for any couple to start their married life together. Here, every guest gets the VIP treatment. For weddings a red carpet is laid out at the front of the hotel for arrival.
All four suites at The Midland are licensed to offer Civil Ceremonies, and the hotel has a dance floor, bar license and music license until 1.00am. Bespoke services are available as well as packages including tailored features for Jewish and Asian weddings.
Stepping back into the city’s history even further, a taste of medieval Manchester awaits in Chetham’s Library. Dating back to 1421, Chetham’s is bursting with authentic character, to add gravitas to any ceremony. Take your vows under the timber roof of the majestic Baronial Hall. Walk hand-in-hand down the ancient stone cloisters. Capture your memories with photographs by the inglenook fire places and oak-panelled rooms.
As well as the building’s beauty it also holds an intriguing history. It is the place where Marx and Engels studied together in the city. For those wanting to soak up the atmosphere of the library setting, you can opt to sign the marriage register or have the ceremony itself in the seventeenth-century interior of Chetham’s Library.
Designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1928, this art deco style listed building at the top of King Street still oozes all the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. There is a nod to its former life as a bank, with thick, polished wooden counters; money-bag laundry sacks and upside-down brief-cases as light fittings in the bar.
The history of the venue provides plenty of opportunities for stylist photos reminiscent of a golden age when fashion and travel were freed from the wartime restrictions. Staff look dapper. They wear chalk-striped, flannel suits with pink braces and arm bands, designed in New York. While vintage suitcases and hat boxes add a true period feel.
The hotel offers a bespoke wedding service that can cater for celebrations from small private events to the exclusive use of the hotel and its 60 bedrooms. And, although it doesn’t have a wedding license, it’s only a stone’s throw away from Manchester’s Registry office.
Once home to the cotton factories of the Industrial Revolution, Ancoats, in the north of the city, has undergone major regeneration in recent years. Standing at its centre since 1858 is the iconic semi-circular apse of St Peter’s Church. A parish church for more than 100 years. The church closed in 1960 as the result of a dwindling population in the area. After sitting empty for decades, the building was purchased by the Hallé. With the help of various heritage funding, it has been restored it to its former glory.
Now used for concerts and theatre shows. It was the site of Manchester International Festival’s award-winning production of Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh . However, you can also use the venue for weddings. This deconsecrated church has been transformed into an elegant venue. It maintains its high ceilings and many unique original features. Accommodating parties of between 50 and 250 guests, it is a beautiful and versatile setting which captures the city’s industrial heart and heritage.
Last, but not least, on our list of top five historic Manchester wedding venues is Great John Street. For childhood sweethearts and young at heart alike, you can’t beat this old Victorian school house for sweeping you off your feet in an adolescent swirl. Right in the heart of the city, this impressive red-brick building has been lovingly transformed into a luxury townhouse hotel. From the moment you step through the entrance, under a showpiece chandelier towards its opulent pewter bar, you’re in a charming world. It has been uniquely designed to capture the fun elements of its heritage.
The once rooftop playground, keeps its same name, now an outdoor terrace for private hire. You can host wedding receptions for up to 120 guests. Most rooms, including the old Headmaster’s office, are licensed for civil ceremonies. And just like the old school, the playground is open in all seasons, for an outdoor wedding BBQ or hog roast.
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