Wedding venue inspiration - Unique and unusual venues

Deciding on your ideal wedding venue is an key part of your wedding planning.

There is a huge choice of different venue types in Hampshire and Dorset including hotels, barns, country manor houses, romantic castles as well as chic city and town centre locations.

Check out these stunning wedding venues and those further afield in our listings below.

Unique and unusual venues: HMS Warrior, Hampshire

HMS Warrior, Hampshire

For a wedding day to remember HMS Warrior stands out from the crowd. Steeped in history, the magnificent ship is sure to wow your loved ones, with its original charm, character and Victorian workmanship. Guests can walk the decks at leisure, soaking up the atmosphere. Britain's first iron-hulled battleship, it offers an array of fascinating wedding spaces and standout photo opportunities. Licensed for ceremonies it can cater for weddings large or small. The Captain's Cabin provides a romantic setting for an intimate service with up to 20 loved ones, while the Officer's Half Deck can accommodate up to 95 for your 'I dos' and 60 for a formal reception. For larger celebrations, the main Gun Deck can seat up to 240 friends and family.


Unique and unusual venues: Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club, Hampshire

Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club, Hampshire

With views across Governors Green and the Garrison Church to the Solent and Isle of Wight, this prestigious venue provides a unique historic setting and a tailored service to suit a range of big-day needs. With six function rooms it can cater for everything from an intimate gathering for half a dozen loved ones to a formal dinner for more than 100 guests. The club prides itself on providing great food and offers a bespoke service tailored to suit you. So if there's a special dish you want on the big-day menu, you only have to ask. Licensed for civil ceremonies in the Trafalgar or Albert Rooms, you can host your whole day here or there's an evening-only party package available including sole use of the Spinnaker Bar, Osborne Ballroom and Trafalgar Dining Room for a private celebration.


Unique and unusual venues: Kingston Country Courtyard, Corfe Castle, Dorset

Kingston Country Courtyard, Corfe Castle, Dorset

Picture your day in a stunning 16th-century Purbeck stone barn, with a canopy of twinkly lights? Then this stunning venue is sure to tick the box. Set across two courtyards, it offers a wealth of charms and can cater for 130 guests and up to 175 for the evening reception. Licensed for weddings indoors and out, it's a year-round winner. Great in the summer, with a choice of amazing outdoor spaces for romantic al fresco ceremonies, the versatile venue is just as magical for winter weddings. The barn offers the perfect mix of grandeur and intimacy and the Sawmill Restaurant is also available for exclusive use; ideal for the drinks reception when the weather's bad. You can spill out from the barn on to the upper courtyard, snuggle around a firepit and toast marshmallows and enjoy mulled local cider, wine or steaming mugs of chocolate from hot drink stations. There's a team of chefs onsite as well to cater to all your foodie needs. You can even hire the venue's snow machine to be sure of the perfect magical winter scene.


Unique and unusual venues: The Ageas Bowl, Hampshire

The Ageas Bowl, Hampshire

Whether you're a cricket fan or not, be prepared to be bowled over by the surroundings, amazing views and luxurious facilities at this landmark venue. Surrounded by the Boundary Golf Lakes Course, it has a countryside feel, while the cricket stadium provides a a sense of space – you can even pose for pictures with the pitch as your backdrop. There's a wealth of wedding facilities at the Hilton, a modern hotel with a great sense of glamour and style. The neutral colours of the hotel complement a range of different themes and the chandeliers in the ballroom add extra wow factor. There's a private area for guests to gather as they arrive and space for up to 150 loved ones to watch you say 'I do'.


Unique and unusual venues: Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Hampshire

Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Hampshire

The Spinnaker Tower takes weddings to whole new heights. A landmark feature on the Portsmouth skyline, the impressive tower stands proud on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays. A must-see venue for a wedding to remember, it offers amazing 350-degree panoramic seascapes, breathtaking by day and a glittering sea of lights at night. You can tie the knot on View Deck 2, located at 105 metres above sea level, with floor-to-ceiling windows and views stretching up to 23 miles out across the Solent, joined by 70 of your nearest and dearest. Celebrate afterwards on View Deck 1, with up to 100 guests for fine dining and experience the thrill of walking across the glass-floor sky walk. The Waterfront Café on the ground floor is ideal for the evening celebration, with great harbour views you can have a disco or live music and party the night away with up to 200 loved ones.


Unique and unusual venues: Gilbert White & The Oates Collections, Hampshire

Gilbert White & The Oates Collections, Hampshire

Celebrate your wedding in an idyllic setting in the South Downs National Park. Gilbert White & The Oates Collections offers a distinctive English country backdrop with a range of romantic spaces. Set in 30 acres of heritage parkland and gardens; it's a breathtaking venue with endless photo opportunities and picturesque spots to wander through and enjoy. Inside the house the Great Parlour is a historic room for intimate ceremonies with up to 35 people or you can marry in the 16th-century Hampshire Barn with 100 loved ones or 150 with guests seated outside. The bandstand at the side is also licensed for outdoor ceremonies and offers wonderful views over the meadows. The barn boasts a magnificent oak beamed roof and period features with large double doors opening out to the parkland beyond. Festooned with fairylights and with nooks and crannies throughout, you can add your own personal touch with decorative details to suit your style. With space in front for outdoor games and seating, the bandstand makes a great chill-out area too and with a firepit to gather around in the evening, you can relax and watch the sun go down.


Unique and unusual venues: Weddings In The Woods, Hampshire

Weddings In The Woods, Hampshire

If you go down to the woods, be prepared for a big surprise. Discover Weddings In The Woods a magical al fresco venue nestled within the glorious New Forest National Park. It's an idyllic place to celebrate, with the freedom to create your day, your way. There's a large expanse of grass and wooded areas and a spacious indoor area, so you don't have to worry about the unpredictable British weather. Big enough for up to 150 guests during the day and more for the evening do, you can marry here and dance the night away without fear of being disturbed. The rustic Carpenters Barn is licensed for ceremonies and comes complete with a large slow-burning wood stove and brick chimney, to keep everyone toasty. Oak beams span the roof and the neutral décor provides the ideal canvas to add your own personal touches. Alternatively, the romantic Bridal Hut is an intimate place to say 'I do' before a blessing in the woods in front of all your loved ones.


Unique and unusual venues: The Port House, Portsmouth, Hampshire

The Port House, Portsmouth, Hampshire

If a waterside location is on your wedding wish list, check out this cool modern venue. Looking out over the marina and the yachts, on a sunny day you could almost be in Monaco! There's outside seating so you can make the most of the fabulous setting and a waterfront terrace and patio too; perfect for reception drinks or a barbecue when the weather's fine. Inside the bright and airy space, the contemporary furnishings include a bespoke bar made from reclaimed railway sleepers and a feature ceiling. Ceremonies are held in the Regatta Room or the larger Ocean Suite which can host up to 120 family and friends for your 'I dos' followed by a sit-down meal. For larger celebrations with up to 300 guests, a marquee can be attached to the side.


Unique and unusual venues: Durlston Castle and Country Park, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

Durlston Castle and Country Park, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

Durlston Castle is a clifftop paradise perched on top of a headland, jutting out into the sea surrounded by woodland and wildflower meadows. Set within Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve, at the top of the recently renovated Victorian castle is the glass-sided Belvedere room looking out to Old Harry Rocks, the Isle of Wight and English Channel. A breathtaking location for an intimate wedding, you can tie the knot here with up to 50 loved ones followed by drinks and canapés on the exclusive roof terrace post-vows. For a more contemporary setting, you can say 'I do' in the Gallery. With its wall of glass doors overlooking the sea, it has a modern Purbeck limestone and wood interior and can host up to 90 guests for the wedding breakfast. It also boasts an exclusive grassed amphitheatre and patio too.


Unique and unusual venues: Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Host your big day at this distinctive venue and discover a whole range of magical backdrops on the doorstep. Just a stone's throw from Portsmouth Historical Dockyard you can tie the knot here and afterwards make the most of the wealth of standout photo opportunities nearby, including great harbour views for romantic just-wed shots. Celebrate with a grand reception in either of the venue's two elegant function rooms. The larger Trafalgar Ballroom can cater for up to 400 people and has full banqueting facilities, as well as three bars, while the smaller Nelson Lounge is perfect for more intimate affairs. At the end of the night, why not stay over in one of the two fabulous bridal suites and explore the area the next day?


Unique and unusual venues: Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset

Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset

If you're on the hunt for something out of the ordinary for your big day, this is it. Weymouth's historic Nothe Fort on the Jurassic coast is perched on a promontory overlooking the sea. Built by the Victorians to protect Portland Harbour, it's steeped in history and is one of the best preserved forts of its kind. The setting and photo opportunities are second to none with 360° panoramic views of the bay and harbour. Built on three levels it's surrounded by the beautiful Nothe Gardens full of trees, shrubs and winding paths. Licensed for weddings you can marry in the Engine Room with up to 80 guests. For more intimate gatherings there are a host of quirky spaces for your 'I dos' including the Gun Deck, Lookout and the Search Light which can accommodate up to six people with 50 more seated on the terrace. After tying the knot, head off to the Fort View Cafe to celebrate or if you've invited a crowd, you can host a marquee reception on the Parade Ground with 250 family and friends. The Fort Artillery will even perform a special firing of the canon in your honour.


Unique and unusual venues: Three Choirs Vineyards, Shedfield, Hampshire

Three Choirs Vineyards, Shedfield, Hampshire

Set in the Hampshire countryside between the rolling hills of the Meon Valley and Wickham, outdoor lovers are sure to be wowed by this original wedding venue. A stunning place to hold a wedding, inside or out, it can can cater for weddings all year round. The vineyard provides an ever-changing backdrop in tune with the seasons and offers two outdoor spaces licensed for ceremonies. You can marry in the Gazebo with the vines in the background and up to 100 loved ones looking on, or the Byre in the courtyard; ideal for outdoor ceremonies no matter what the weather brings. Alternatively, tie the knot in the renovated Vine Room with its neutral colour scheme, painted beams and scenic views.


Unique and unusual venues: Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Picture your perfect wedding in an exclusive sub-tropical garden paradise? At Ventnor Botanic Garden, your dreams can come true. Set in the balmy under-cliff on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, it's home to more than 33,000 rare and exotic plants and trees covering the geographical regions of the world, from Australia and New Zealand, to Japan, the Mediterranean and beyond!


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