Home Wedding Planning Plan your intimate wedding: Our top ten small UK venues

Plan your intimate wedding: Our top ten small UK venues

by Ismay Ozga
Brickhouse Vineyard wedding venue table set for micro wedding

Love will always find a way.. and many couples have decided that despite the constantly changing rules and restrictions, they just want to make their vows, and begin their married life together. So, we’ve searched the furthest corners of the UK to bring you our favourite small wedding venues – to help you plan your intimate wedding celebration in 2021 and beyond. As government guidelines are subject to change, always check the restrictions currently in place in your area.

Woods Quay Wedding venue set up for Ceremony & Lunch

1. Woods Quay, London

First up is toasty hot off the press – having just been granted their very first wedding licence after being in business for over 70 years. Just a few steps from Big Ben and Covent Garden, Woods Quay is an incredibly rare family-owned pier right outside the Savoy Hotel – so basically an intimate wedding chapel on the Thames. Treat your closest family and friends to lunch in style on your own private island, and enjoy a menu paired with champagne or fresh mocktails whilst taking in views of the riverscape and city. With head chef Doug Gaunt grilling, smoking and roasting a live fire food menu on deck, enjoy sheltered fresh air dining and a large tasting kitchen, with a spectacular vista. Woods Quay offers the rare luxury of a central London space with phenomenal views, without entering a lift or narrow street to access.

Need to knows: Fully licensed as a wedding ceremony venue. Their wedding diary is open and ready for bookings for 2021 and the venue will be fully accessible by next year.

What makes it special: You’ll have their luxury river taxi (actually it’s a yacht) the Silver Darling for an hour’s cruise included in your hire of Woods Quay. And you’ll be in good company with previous guests including Brigette Bardot, Daniel Craig and Rihanna.

Nantwen, Pembrokeshire intimate wedding venue
Nantwen Cottage, Pembrokeshire, Wales

2. Nantwen, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Nantwen is a place hidden away in Pembrokeshire, close to the coast and surrounded by open wildflower meadows and woodland. The venue is a super place for elopements or intimate weddings for 2-30 guests. They welcome dogs and have a flexible approach to all their weddings. Just tell them what you’re thinking and they will see what’s possible. You can choose to get married in the cottage, their purpose built hall or outside in the grounds. Nantwen is an eco-friendly place to visit with abundant wildlife, perfect as a runaway wedding venue for the two of you, or share it with your family and friends in tents and tipis hidden away in our meadows.

Need to know: Capacity: 2-30 guests

What makes it special? You can have the gorgeously named ‘Tiddly Pop wedding’ which includes a 2 night stay for the couple, 8 guests, garden flowers, afternoon tea, 4 hours hire time plus an 8″ naked wedding cake…

Bride and Groom kissing on Porthpean beach, Cornwall
Image credit: Checkered Photography

3. Porthpean House, Cornwall

This gorgeous Georgian house sits above the quiet beach at Porthpean with secret steps from the garden leading directly to the beach. Porthpean House is the perfect Cornish wedding venue for an intimate wedding-stay for up to 21 guests in the main house. Imagine an intimate wedding ceremony surrounded by your closest family and friends. You’re in the drawing room overlooking the gardens and sea, enjoying drinks and canapés on the lawns. You’ll have your photography in and around the property and the beach, rounding your day off with a wedding feast prepared by private chefs in the period dining room. What’s more, Porthpean House is open all year round making it the perfect small wedding venue if you are searching for a fabulous winter wedding in the UK.

Need to know: Capacity – from 10 up to 27 staying on site and more for marquee weddings
Licensed for legal weddings. BYO drinks, no corkage or hire your favourite mobile bar
The ground floor has wheelchair access, and the venue is family friendly & dog friendly

What makes it special? Don’t take our word for the exceptional beauty of Porthpean House and its location. Director Richard Curtis chose this as one of the locations in his romantic comedy, About Time.

Bride holding bouquet standing between vines with dark grapes on
Image credit: Mimosa Photography

4. The Brickhouse Vineyard, Devon

Set in the rolling Devon hills. Located just 12 miles from Exeter, approached through hedge-rowed lanes and thick forests Brickhouse Vineyard feels a million miles from anywhere. It offers the perfect solution for those looking for secret wedding venues off the beaten-track. Enjoy your legal wedding ceremony in the painstakingly renovated 18th Century thatched Round House with a unique landscaped external “aisle” and patio area set in this working vineyard.

Need to know: Capacity – 2-50
Licensed for legal weddings. Fully licensed bar and wine service
Wheelchair accessible, family friendly & dog friendly

What makes it special? It’s a vineyard! So you can drink wine on your wedding day that has been grown on the vines you stand among. That’s pretty special.

Wedding reception table decor at Guardswell Farm, Perthshire, Scotland
Image credit: Jennifer Davy Day

5. Guardswell, Perthshire, Scotland

Guardswell Farm is perched on a hillside, overlooking the beautiful Carse of Gowrie and River Tay. A mixed woodland farm, home to happily grazing Hebridean sheep and Hugo and Ollie (two characterful donkeys). It’s all of these surrounding elements that make Guardswell Farm more than just a space to hold a wedding. The Steading space has been deliberately designed to adapt to the big and the little when it comes to weddings. Clever styling and several well placed pieces of furniture can make the large space feel super cosy and a more petite guest list means you can throw away the wedding rule book and really make the most of all that Guardswell has to offer. Morning yoga in the Granary? Arrival Cocktails in the Glasshouse? Intimate outdoor ceremony overlooking the wild flower meadow? Gin bar in the BullPen? With onsite accommodation for up to 30 guests, Guardswell can accommodate everyone attending your celebration too. Jade Stott, Weddings and Events Manager adds “The world is your oyster with a smaller do and we’re excited to explore all the unique possibilities having a petite guest list can offer!”

Need to knows: Capacity up to 150 +another 50 for evening reception; but can go as small as you like! Fully licenced cash bar. Accessible lift + 2 large accessible toilets on each level plus a ramp to avoid any stairs in the main Steading space. Very pet friendly (they’ve even had an African grey parrot attend!)

What makes it special? The boat on the hill equipped with a log burner is certainly a unique feature. A really lovely spot to have a drink and take in the view – and more recently the team have added a HUGE swing at the very top of the hill. Definitely a highlight!

The 18th century brick barn at The Bards, East Yorkshire

6. The Barns, East Yorkshire

The Barns, East Yorkshire is a unique relaxed and rustic venue set on a family farm nestled in open countryside and beautiful riverside location. Make your vows in the 18th century brick barn, enjoy drinks in the courtyard, dancing in the barn, and then chill by the fire-pit. The venue is exclusively yours, allowing you plenty of space and time to set up your intimate wedding. You can your guests can choose to spend the night in the quirky Sheperd’s hut or nearby Swallow’s Nest Cottage plus the option of glamping for guests too.

Need to know: Licensed for wedding ceremonies. Weddings from 20 people up to 200. Fully staffed licensed bar. Fire pit and covered outdoor terrace.

What makes it special? You’ll be married in a venue with infinite insta-worthy backdrops, including the gorgeous 18th century brick hay barn.

View looking down on spiral staircase at London wedding venue, Clissold House

7. Clissold House, London

Clissold House is a stunning Grade II* listed space set in the tranquil surrounds of Clissold Park. The large ornate windows flood the space with natural light and offer guests exceptional views across the park. Original features such as marble fireplaces and the iconic spiral staircase ensure a breathtaking experience.

Need to know: Clissold House is licensed for wedding ceremonies and exclusivity and a late license are available on request. Fully accessible, but no dogs are allowed here.

What makes it special? Views across the park and plenty of natural light flooding in on original features such as marble fireplaces and the super photogenic spiral staircase.

Seating for wedding reception at Elizabeth Gaskell House, Manchester
Image credit: Maddie Farris Photography

8. Elizabeth Gaskell House, Manchester

The Drawing Room at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House provides a stunning space for your intimate wedding. The Drawing Room includes use of a Boudoir Grand piano, Victorian furnishings and furniture that can be arranged to suit your wedding party. The surrounding gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for photographs, as does the staircase and front steps of the house.

Need to know: Prices start from £500 for two hours exclusive use of the house on a Friday or Saturday. The house has its own bar serving a selection of wines, craft beers and hot & cold drinks. Up to 3 hours free on-street parking on week days and free at weekends.

What makes it special: You’ll be surrounded by history, literature and beauty and you’re only allowed to drink champagne! (OK not quite true, but in order to protect the house furnishings only Champagne, Prosecco and white wine may be served and consumed in all the period rooms – but that’s a good thing right?!)

exterior of the Dunadry hotel, Belfast

9. Dunadry Hotel And Gardens, Belfast

Historically a working Linen Mill, this unique venue sits nestled on the banks of the flowing Six Mile River among acres of lush, manicured gardens – the perfect backdrop for capturing your gorgeous wedding memories. Dunadry Hotel And Gardens have an abundance of picturesque and tranquil locations which are perfect for intimate weddings, allowing your wedding to be equally as beautiful and special as the more lavish celebrations.

Need to know: The 4 star iconic venue is centrally located at the heart of Northern Ireland, just 14 miles from Belfast City Centre and on the doorstep of Belfast International Airport.

What makes it special: With the hotel’s one wedding per day policy, you will have full freedom to explore the stunning internal gardens, home to the Tree of Unity and the region’s Peace Tree. Symbolising the love of Dunadry Hotel And Gardens’ Couples.

Bride's gown hanging in the Wren's Nest, at the Fire Pit Camp, Norwich
Photo credit: www.emiliemay.com

10. The Fire Pit Camp, Norfolk

The Fire Pit Camp is a small, family run, eco glamping site, perfect for a boho / industrial chic wedding. There’s something so exciting about having a space that seems quite vast and varied and yet creating micro settings within it all. From a beautifully tiny ceremony in The Wren’s Nest or Outdoor Ceremony Room, bedecked tables and dining spaces for just 15 in either the middle of the fields, al-fresco lean-too or the sheltered & festooned warehouse (with so many candles and flowers!) to a memory-making station on the retro bus, followed by star-gazing or s’mores station at the fire pit or even a mini cinema in the outdoor living room. With such potential for personal details being really celebrated, all the elements seem to become intensified, with everyone being made to feel extra special. An intimate wedding also gives you the luxury of time to spend noticing and relishing all those tiny details. The Fire Pit team can help every couple create their perfect celebration – including all the features and spaces or just some of them.

Need to knows: Licensed for weddings, music and alcohol. Couples can choose their dream caterer, or The Fire Pit can recommend some amazing local suppliers. The Fire Pit Camp can host everything from ceremony only weddings & civil ceremonies to over-night glamping with festival wedding vibes (socially distanced and covid-19 safe of course!). The venue currently offers some disabled access (which the team are working to improve!)

What makes it special? New for intimate weddings in 2021, you can now tie the knot in the beautiful Wren’s Nest. Made solely from natural materials (local hazel branches) and entirely crafted by hand, this is a building as kind and gentle as you want your future married life to be!


If you’re planning a wedding – large or small – and would like ideas for an alternative gift registry that’s as unique as you are, see our readymade templates for ideas and set up a beautiful, stylish gift registry in minutes. Ready for a honeymoon? Ask guests to chip in towards treats whilst you’re away. Whether it’s a faraway island or a minimoon close to home, they’ll be happy to know they’ve contributed to your trip of a lifetime, and you’ll be happy to know you’ll receive the wedding gifts you REALLY want!

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