Finding a wedding or reception venue can be a great place to start building your perfect day, but it can also feel very overwhelming! Surveying a few different places and finding distinctive venue features that you love is a good first step, and will help you narrow down the thousands of options out there. Think about what kind of bride or groom you want to be, and what impression you want to leave your guests with – do you imagine something intimate? Rustic? Elegant? A castle or a circus tent? Pink and white or black and gold?
Choosing a location and a date will lay down the all-important foundations of style, size, and season. With that base in place, you can really begin to imagine how your day is going to play out (and how it will look in the photographs!).
Couples who live in or around Leicester may already know how many exceptionally beautiful wedding locations it boasts, and it is rare to see such a level of variety in one place. If you’ve never visited before, be prepared to put the city and surrounding countryside on top of your list of “places to get married”!
Those looking for the truly regal experience should earmark Kilworth House as a dream location. Classic meets modern in the joining of stately home and airy conservatoire, with traditional stone steps leading up through the hedges on to the vast patio. With a number of differently styled room and extensive grounds, including a lake, Kilworth House and its staff are able to personalize your package like nowhere else. Options range from the grandiose, domed ceiling of the Wordsworth Room, to the Mediterranean patios of The Orangery, to the exposed brickwork and relaxed, piano bar vibe of The Cellar Bar. Stained glass, manicured lawns, and true decadence awaits.
Sketchley Grange is the perfect option for all those country girls out there: the farmhouse-style building is tucked away down a charming country lane and boasts a full spa, leisure club with whirlpools and saunas, and full packages covering as much or as little as you need to have a perfect day. The team has everything covered, from canapés to Pimms, fizz to roast beef. Inside, rooms are a blank slate to be personalized with your colour scheme and decorative aspirations. Outside, country hedgerows and springtime carpets of wildflowers surround the all-weathers gazebo, which can also be utilised for ceremonies!
If you’re looking for something a little more exotic for your special day, a range of totally unique settings are available through the Leicester City Council website.
The Abbey Pumping Station
Playing host to the science and technology centre of the city, The Abbey Pumping Station sits on the banks of the River Soar. With a beautifully preserved, Victorian red-brick exterior, grand stone doors and curved bay windows, the Pumping Station is perfect for couples who want to bring a gilded edge to their wedding aesthetic. Inside, you’ll find original fittings and ornate ironwork, the museum exhibits housed in vault-like spaces that bring a real magnificence to the ceremony rooms. You can take advantage of the wood, metal, and light displays, providing a unique backdrop for your photographs and something to keep your guests talking for years after!
The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is a perfect example of neoclassical architecture, lending a classic British style to every photograph and memory made there. Conveniently situated in the heart of the city and within walking distance to the train station, this venue nevertheless offers an expanse of greenery in its leafy grounds, and even a miniature park in front of its magnificent, white columns. You can choose the elegance of the gallery rooms, surrounded by a rich array of artwork and high ceilings, or experience the impressive story of history and culture as told by the Museum rooms. New Walk offers a huge ballroom space and is always a hit with music lovers, due to the Steinway grand piano and amazing acoustics.
Belgrave Hall achieves that impossible feeling of seclusion within the city center, tucked away in several acres of flowerbeds and rolling turf, surrounded by high, rustic walls. The dedicated Bridal Room has the best views in the house of the lovely gardens, aided by the floor-to-ceiling windows. Near St Peter’s Church at Belgrave, this Grade II-listed building and its peaceful gardens are saturated with history, retaining many original period features such as fireplaces and even bookshelves. Belgrave is perfect for a leisurely summer wedding filled with flowers, or a winter ’do making use of the velvet-curtained rooms and sweeping staircase within.
Guildhall is a true historic treasure, with 14th-century beams and cream walls whispering of the long, medieval heritage that permeates the building. As Leicester’s first Town Hall and a venue for Shakespeare’s plays (attended by the bard himself), you and all of your guests will be welcomed into Leicester’s deep cultural history the moment you cross over the threshold. This location offers the perfect backdrop for a traditional bride or groom: you and your party can walk over flagstone floors to congregate for drinks in cobbled courtyards, and have your special moment in the stunning, timber-framed chambers. The building is steps away from Leicester Cathedral and has retained many of its original features, including fireplaces, brickwork, and stained glass windows.
This is just a taste of some of the noteworthy reception and wedding venues that can be found across the city. Leicester offers venues to suit all budgets, capacities and day plans, so you can start the count down to W-Day!