Now we all know the wedding venue down the road that we’ve been to many times over the years. The music starts, the bride walks down the aisle and you feel like you’re having déjà vu. The bride and groom may be different but it’s all the same: the décor, the ribbons on the chairs, the wedding breakfast, the photo opportunities. Do you really want to get married in a place where every man and his dog have been married before? Do you want your wedding day to look like everyone else’s?
Well this is something I don’t want my clients to experience. We are all unique people with interesting stories to tell and our choice of wedding venue is so important when creating a lasting memory of your day. I can honestly say no two ceremonies I have delivered have been the same because everyone has a unique story to tell and the venue plays a big part in this. This blog is to help you find some hidden gems in Newcastle and to get you closer to the wedding you deserve.
Ok so Tynemouth Priory is hardly a hidden gem but it’s not the first place people think of when getting married. If you’re wanting an atmospheric venue then this could be the place for you. Situated on the cliffs of King Edward’s Bay, over-looking the North Sea these ruins are steeped in history and create a dramatic backdrop to any ceremony. When I was a part of a ceremony here, it was amongst the ruins with the couple facing the congregation, looking out to sea. It was open yet felt private and intimate and there was a real hubbub of excitement from the guests, being part of such a unique experience. It was thrilling to see people dressed in modern attire amongst the historic setting and as you can imagine there are photo opportunities aplenty. From a technical point of view as bride and groom you need to project your voices as the priory is situated on top of a cliff but this wasn’t a problem at the ceremony I was a part of. This particular couple had their ceremony and reception drinks at the Priory then had their after party at Crusoe’s café but you can hire a marquee and have the whole day on-site if you wish.
Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House
Now this is an unusual find, situated at the end of Tynemouth high street. Many people don’t know it exists, I’ve lived in North Tyneside for years and it was only from doing a ceremony here I discovered this gem. This venue is full of character, decorated with photos, paintings and artefacts about the history of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade. It has exposed beams and wooden floors and plenty of opportunities to put your stamp on it. Because it is also a museum you can’t take these artefacts down but you can put a marquee up in front of the building if you would prefer to just take advantage of the views. From the top of the South tower there are near 360 degree panoramic views of the entrance to the river Tyne, the North and South Piers, the Black Middens rocks at low tide, across to South Shields, upriver to the Fish Quay and Low Lights, as well as clear views of the Collingwood Monument and the Tynemouth Castle and Priory. If you love the wild North East coast, as I do, this venue really celebrates the beauty of our coastline.
Coming into Newcastle this venue is central yet secluded. Set in the stunning surrounds of Exhibition Park on the Town Moor you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. If you are having a large wedding this venue could be the place for you with a capacity of 200 for a wedding breakfast and 300 for an evening do. The brewery is situated in the former Palace of Arts – a stunning building and equally as impressive inside with high arched ceilings, giving you a St Paul’s Cathedral vibe. This space has been restored beautifully and has been open as a venue since 2014. It’s unique and interesting and the ceremony I was a part of here felt young, fresh and effortlessly cool.
This spectacular venue dates back to 1080 and is in the heart of Newcastle. Due to the medieval layout of the Castle, when you hire Newcastle Castle you and your guests have exclusive use of the whole site. That’s right, you get to be King and Queen for the day! You have the choices of four spaces to have your ceremony: the roof, the chapel, the Great Hall or The Black Gate. The Black Gate is the only registered space on the site so if you would like to be married in the actual castle (and who wouldn’t) you need a celebrant who would conduct a civil ceremony. The castle is an intimate space, allowing 60 guest for the ceremony and 80 for drinks reception. The panoramic views from the top of the castle are breath-taking so there’s plenty of amazing photo opportunities.
Summerhill bowling Club
This is a beautiful community venue in the West end of Newcastle, just a 5 minute walk from the Central Station. For being so central it feels very secluded and has plenty of outdoor space (as you would expect from being a bowling club). The great thing about this venue is you have the option of having an outdoor ceremony but if the weather isn’t playing ball the hall is a fabulous plan B with high ceilings and exposed beams. The acoustics in the hall are fabulous so your voice will carry well and if live music is your bag this venue is the one for you. The ceremony I delivered here was on the stage so all the guests had great sightlines. It’s a real blank canvas so you can put your stamp on this venue and create a unique and personal wedding.
The Thought Foundation
Heading across the water to The Thought Foundation which is a community space, art venue that has a really cool vibe. It’s a blank canvas with clean white walls and wooden floorboards perfect for you to make your own. The venue’s ethos is back enriching your lives and engagement with the people around you through art. This unique venue is perfect for a creative couple who are thinking-out-of-the-box when planning their wedding, a wedding to remember.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unique, interesting wedding venues in Newcastle. Most of the places I have mentioned are unlicensed wedding venues so you would need a celebrant to conduct a civil ceremony and have a legal ceremony before or after your big day. Choosing the right venue is so important and you shouldn’t be restricted by whether it is licensed or not. When Mr NK Ceremonies asked where I ‘really’ wanted to get married (after endlessly searching for the right place) I said, “Mum and Dad’s garden” and he said, “Let’s make it happen”. Using a celebrant meant we were able to have our dream day, in our dream location. It was unique, interesting and totally us and I want the same for you. If you would like any advice on venues or creating a unique ceremony get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.