Good news: 2016 is a leap year, meaning you'll have one extra day to plan your upcoming wedding. Still, as you well know, weddings take more than a day to plan. Allow us to get the betrothed ball rolling for you with these 7 spectacular venues that'll make your big day even bigger.
You've guessed it: St Paul's is the iconic location for this modern, five-star hotel that oozes the luxury that's needed both for receptions and for the ceremonies themselves. Spaces such as the Wren Room and Shakespeare Room naturally suggest their grandeur, and al-fresco spaces complement the indoor areas for summer marriages. It's also a chance to stay in the beautiful property, with complimentary stays for the couple to be.
For another type of grand, let your guests take in the thespian tradition of the Theatre Royal, a Grade-I listed building where actors have been entertaining audiences since the 1600s. Said to be haunted by the "Man in Grey" and other mysterious characters, the venue still charms the public, now hosting a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The adjoining Grand Saloon is hireable as a wedding space, wowing with a majestic staircase and Upper Rotunda; guests can later shuffle out and enjoy canapés and cocktails on the scenic terrace.
If quirky is the way you're going, South London's Asylum is certainly worth a look. Licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies, the Grade-II listed building welcomes guests for the life-changing vows, taking place in The Chapel, which has existed since 1827. Getting married at the Peckham venue allows the bride and groom to choose their flowers, candles and decorations, while toasts, canapés and photographs can all be added to an Asylum package.
Carrying on the quirky theme, can we interest you in a wedding reception on a boat? Not any old boat, though: this is a Floating Showroom boasting a private room with on-board amenities such as a screen and projector, sublime sound system and more. Perfect for a smaller, intimate reception for up to 12 guests, the boat can be docked at a chosen location on the Grand Union Canal, such as Camden Lock, King's Cross or Little Venice.
Traditional elegance and contemporary comfort fuse at this outstanding venue that's due to reopen in March of this year, following a modern refurbishment. The Grade-II listed livery hall makes a wonderful wedding location, with views of the brand-new London Wall complex. Future brides and grooms will be able to take advantage of the new additions such as the pavilion and lofty ceilings, while the original spaces – the Secret Garden, Main Hall, suspended walkways and even a medieval church – will make for a romantic City wedding to remember.
Enjoying an ultra-central location just off The Mall, this well-respected artistic institute is housed in a refined and culturally significant 18th-Century building that welcomes up to 150 guests for wedding receptions. Flower arrangements and live music can be arranged to suit the couple's needs, all in the dedicated and creative party-room space. Screens, art studios and a theatre room are also available in case weddings take an especially artistic turn.
We end in picturesque Kensington, at this luxurious property that's celebrating its 50-year anniversary. The five-star hotel is a romantic venue at which couples and their guests can spend the big day, as they take in breathtaking views of Hyde Park. The Palace Suites, boasting an entire floor of the hotel, welcome up to 420 seated guests for a reception with all the accessories, including award-winning food, service and wedding planners.