Even if you’re not marrying a prince, you can at least feel like a princess for the day by marrying in a wedding venue that has been used – or even lived in – by members of the royal family. You could follow in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall by marrying in a low-key Windsor ceremony or host a lavish ceremony at Kensington Palace – home to Prince William, Kate and their children. However, St George’s Chapel – host to the three most recent royal weddings including that of Prince Harry and Meghan – is sadly out of bounds. Take a look through the gallery to see which royal residences and wedding venues you can tie the knot at too.
1. St Paul’s Cathedral, London:
Prince Charles’ first wedding to Princess Diana in 1981 was held in the historic setting of St Paul’s Cathedral. While it is possible to marry here – just like TV presenter Ade Adepitan – you do have to meet some strict criteria to do so. Only members of the local community, members of the nearby Order of St Michael and St George’s churches, holders of a British Empire Medal, or members of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor and their children can apply to get married here.
2. Windsor Guildhall, Windsor:
This Grade I-listed building was the location for Prince Charles and Camilla’s civil ceremony in 2005. It also hosted the nuptials of pop royalty later in the year, as Elton John also had a civil ceremony with long-term partner David Furnish at Windsor Guildhall. This beautiful building is much less exclusive than many other royal wedding venues, and hosts ceremonies for couples who live both in Windsor and outside the borough.
Choose from the Ascot Room (where Charles tied the knot), which holds up to 15 guests, or the impressive Chamber, which seats up to 100 guests for a ceremony. Prices start from £395 per hour for couples who live in the Royal Borough, rising to £560 per hour for people from outside of Windsor marrying on a weekday, or £785 per hour on a Saturday. See more details here.
3. Westminster Abbey, London:
Unfortunately, if you want to tie the knot at Westminster Abbey like the Queen and Prince Philip or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you may also have difficulty. Just like St Paul’s Cathedral, there are strict rules in place about who is eligible to marry here. The prestigious venue only hosts royal weddings and those for Most Honourable Order of the Bath recipients and their families.
There are several spots around Kensington Palace and its grounds that are available to book for weddings, including the King's Gallery and King's Drawing Room within the palace, or the beautiful Sunken Garden, where Prince Harry and Meghan posed for photos after announcing their engagement in November 2017.
Only one spot at the palace is licenced for civil ceremonies; The Orangery located in the grounds of Kensington Palace can hold 150 guests for the ceremony, 120 for dinner and dancing and up to 300 for a reception. The historic building is where Nicky Hilton hosted her lavish wedding to James Rothschild in 2015. However, all of the other spaces can be booked for wedding receptions, and are sure to add a royal touch to proceedings. In the summer, couples throwing a huge wedding for up to 1,000 guests could celebrate on The Orangery lawn, while the Cupola Room would be a stunning backdrop for a more intimate reception dinner for up to 80 guests.
5. Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland
Serving as the Queen’s official residence when visiting Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle has also been visited by senior royals including Prince William and Kate, so where better to host a very regal wedding ceremony or reception? The Georgian mansion has spaces both indoors and outdoors that could host your celebrations, with room for up to 350 guests if you’re planning an extravagant celebration. Choose from locations including the State Rooms, or the South Lawn – perfect for a summer wedding.
6. Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
The former home of King Henry VIII would make a resplendent backdrop for your big day. Not only did the palace serve as the venue for the King’s sixth and last wedding to Catherine Parr, it is also where Katherine Jenkins married her partner Andrew Levitas in 2014. Take your pick from a number of venues inside the palace to host your wedding, including the Little Banqueting House, the Garden Room and the Orangery, which are all historic and luxurious settings for your big day.
7. Kew Palace, London:
Planning a more intimate wedding reception? Kew Palace located in the grounds of Kew Gardens could be just the place for a truly special and memorable day. Best known as the former home of King George III, Queen Charlotte and their children, you could host up to 40 guests in the King’s Dining Room, or up to 60 guests for a unique reception in the Royal Kitchens, where cooks and servants once prepared banquets for the royal family and their guests.
The family home of Queen Victoria is now a stunning wedding venue that will make your nuptials even more memorable. Whether you want to host a smaller celebration in the Duchess of Kent suite (used by George V and Queen Mary for their honeymoon), make use of the picturesque Belvedere Terrace for an al fresco wedding, or even marry on the beach, where Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their family spent a lot of time, there is no shortage of stunning options to choose from.