Picking your wedding venue is such an important decision to make, so I have researched and found 7 unusual, beautiful wedding venues in Manchester. But how do you find the perfect place that speaks to you, reflects who you are, is in the ideal location AND is beautifully instagrammable? There’s an overwhelming amount of choice on offer, and traditional venues are in abundance in Greater Manchester. However, you need somewhere that is really special, enhances your day and makes a statement.
Beautiful wedding venues that are out of the ordinary!
Luckily, in Manchester we are spoilt with a wealth of historic buildings, bursting with the potential to be a unique experience for you and your guests. Here’s a look at some of my favourite unusual but beautiful wedding venues in Manchester, including theatres, a library, and even a swimming pool. No more run of the mill weddings! These inspiring buildings will make your wedding magical, unique and memorable.
The monastery at Gorton is a popular choice for couples, and when you visit it you can see why! It is imposing and magnificent, and the gothic spectacle of it all will leave a lasting impression on your friends and family. It was once a Franciscan church and Friary, and while there is no doubting its religious history, it is now a peaceful and spiritual place for all to enjoy.
The monastery is deconsecrated, so you can hire this beautiful wedding venue for the whole day and enjoy both your ceremony and party amongst the cloisters, pillars and spires with up to 400 guests.
Hope Mill Theatre
Getting married in a theatre is the perfect choice for you performers out there! The Hope Mill Theatre is housed in an old Industrial Mill, and is a hub of creativity in the recently rejuvenated area of Ancoats, just north of the city centre. The Grade II listed building is rustic and full of character, and its industrial history rubs up against its new theatrical life in every corner of the space – exposed brickwork and vintage furniture alongside red velvet curtains and candelabra make for a charming backdrop for your day.
The two rooms can accommodate up to 200 guests, and the space is totally adaptable – a brilliant blank canvas for you to explore your creativity.
The Victoria Baths
This is my favourite venue on the list – because it’s where I got married! Described as Manchester’s “water palace”, these Edwardian swimming baths opened in 1906 and the building was fully functional as a public pool for nearly 90 years. It closed in 1993 but since then has undergone a huge restoration project, and the building is just glorious. There are three pools (all empty!): the First Class Males pool, Second Class Males and the Women’s pool, along with an opulent Turkish Bath suite. Original features survive throughout the building, and the green tiles, mosaic floors and stained glass create an atmosphere of faded glamour and beauty.
As you explore you can feel how grand and sumptuous it must have been in its glory days. There are a variety of spaces that can host each part of the day, from the grandeur of the main pool for the ceremony to the more intimate Turkish Baths Rest Room, ideal for a champagne reception. The experience of saying your vows in the huge tiled gala pool is truly an unforgettable one. You have the run of the entire building when you hire it for a wedding, and it is vast – let your imagination run riot and use every nook of this dramatic building.
Albert Hall on Peter Street is one of the coolest venues in Manchester. Right in the middle of town, this former Methodist chapel is now an iconic music gig venue playing host to huge bands and DJs, and the first wedding at the Hall was in 2013. The ornate chapel was originally designed to attract “non-churchgoers”, so despite its majestic size it also has a welcoming, laidback feel. The Hall remained derelict and unused for 60 years, and stood for over a decade above that classy joint Brannigans, until it was bought by Trof (the team behind Gorilla and The Deaf Institute) and they lovingly restored it.
Now it is light and airy, with beautiful stained glass and original features everywhere, the coolest of which is the original organ – according to their website “still in mint condition to this day!” The wedding hire package gives you the whole building for the full day, so you can party with your loved ones in the footsteps of the Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Suede and Fatboy Slim!
Chethams Library and School Of Music
This is one for history lovers…The stunning Chethams Library, founded in 1653, has been operating for 350 years, and is the oldest library in the world. Humphrey Chetham, who established the library, also set up a school for forty poor boys, which still remains in the form of Chetham’s School Of Music. But the buildings of Chetham’s are even older than that – the medieval complex dates back to 1421! Steeped in such history, you can’t help but be awed by the stone cloisters and ancient architecture.
The Baronial Hall is exquisitely extravagant, and can host wedding ceremonies for up to 100 guests. If, like me, you love historical buildings, Chetham’s is the perfect venue to live out your medieval fantasy wedding!
Didsbury House Hotel
In these uncertain times, you might be planning a more intimate wedding celebration. The Didsbury House Hotel is a charming, stylish Victorian villa in Didsbury that manages to be intimate, comfortable and elegant, and is a wonderful setting for a wedding with smaller numbers. The wedding hire includes exclusive use of the whole hotel with its 27 rooms, and it has a welcoming home-y atmosphere for the celebrations, while maintaining a classic, luxurious feel for the ceremony. The sister hotel, Eleven Didsbury Park, has a very similar style and ethos, and is literally round the corner!
The second theatre on the list (can you tell I am a performer?!), the Royal Exchange, right in the centre of the city on St Ann’s Square, is an absolute jewel. This awesome building used to be the world trading centre for the cotton industry, but now it is a Mancunian theatrical institution. The theatre itself is suspended in a futuristic Sputnik-like bubble in the middle of the colossal Great Hall, and it’s this contrast of classical architecture and modern design that makes the building so dynamic and exhilarating.
Getting married here would truly be an unforgettable experience. You can even hire the main theatre space and have your ceremony on the stage itself – as it is in the round, the main theatre is a surprisingly intimate space within the grandest of Manchester’s buildings.
If you would like to know more about a wedding ceremony in a beautiful wedding venue please get in touch