Weddings are expensive events: fact. Never mind the dress, food, and flowers, couples spend thousands of pounds on venue hire alone. But what if, instead of lining pockets, the money we spend goes to good use? Today, we are looking at charity weddings venues.
Get married for a good cause
Charity wedding venues are the perfect option for the ethically conscious bride and groom. Essentially, these are venues that donate all their profits to charity. This could be to one specific charity, or they could even split the money between various chosen charities. They break even with the costs you pay for to sustain themselves. Charity wedding venues are more common than one would initially think.
From museums to donkey sanctuaries, and schools to garden centres, there are plenty of charity wedding venues to choose from. For example, marrying at one of the houses owned by the acclaimed National Trust supports their conservation and restoration projects.
The average price of weddings is steadily rising each year, due to the interest in celebrity weddings and social media. If you are feeling guilty about spending that much money, or if you want the spread the love on your wedding day, then ease your conscious by choosing a venue that will contribute to charity every time a couple get married there!
What benefit is this to you?
Ignoring all the benefits from helping a just cause on your big day, a charity wedding venue is often cheaper. As profit is not a major driving force of these venues (but of course, they like to make a little to donate to charity), the general price of their packages will tend to be extremely competitive, as in most cases their charitable status exempts them from VAT.
Furthermore, many of these venues are blank canvases in nature and style, therefore you can create your wedding exactly how you want it to be, perfect for the DIY bride and groom. You could go for an ethically conscious theme by hiring caterers who only use locally sourced ingredients. Or, if you are up for the task, make the food yourself and get your family and friends to help.
You could do the same with florists and use only fresh, seasonal blooms. Create your own centrepieces with mason jars, candles and fairy lights. This not only drops the cost of your overall wedding but helps the environment. In addition, choose a second-hand wedding dress, or get a dress made from recycled materials.
Would a non-profit business be strongly motivated to host a good wedding?
Of course it would! If charities benefit, then so does the venue as it is a good form of income. Therefore, the venue will be even more eager to ensure it leaves a good impression.
If you have been inspired by this post, see how much further you can take it. If you have already booked your venue, speak to your wedding coordinator to see whether they are associated with any charities. In addition, you could ask for a charitable donation to a charity of your choice instead of wedding gifts. Moreover, donate in the name of your guests instead of buying favours. Many charities also do small gifts that you could buy in bulk and use as wedding favours.
Where do you suggest?
We’re glad you asked! Of course, there are always local charities you could support, but we know of venues up and down the country. Pick a charity you might want to support, and see if they have links to any venues. When looking at venues, look not only at what is beautiful but at what has links you’d like to support. For example, you could even hold your reception at your local golf club if you or your partner is partial to the game. Or, if you love Shakespeare, contribute to the Birthplace Trust with your wedding.
There’s nothing like supporting your local, and Colston Hall does just that. The beautiful hall seems almost purpose-built for weddings with its white brick exterior. It is run by the Gerrards Cross Community Association, who support local events in the town in Buckinghamshire.
The Association was founded in 1947 and is entirely funded by subscriptions, fundraisers, and through renting out the building. As well as community events and business functions, the hall plays host to weddings. As it has a civil ceremony licence, you can marry here before your reception and have everything under one roof.
This is a perfect example of a venue with a blank canvas, as Colston Hall has a stage and a lighting rig but is otherwise very plain. You can work with the wedding coordinator to arrange everything perfectly to your requirements. It’s a great way to enjoy a fully bespoke wedding and contribute to the local community.
RHS Garden, Wisley
The Royal Horticultural Society has gardens and shows up the country, and supports gardeners nationwide. It is a well-established charity, having been founded in 1804 by John Wedgwood, son of potter Josiah.
Wisley, in Surrey, was founded in 1878 by an industrial chemist. Following his death, the site was passed to the RHS in 1903. The garden covers 240 acres and has countless glasshouses and gardens, both formal and informal.
You can hire Wisley for your wedding and make your own contribution to the gardens of tomorrow. Firstly, the Glasshouse is a huge, cathedral-like building that was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. You can have a wedding breakfast here, surrounded by foliage, with 110 guests. At night, the lights inside cast colours about the gardens outside. On the other hand, opt for something a little more modern with the restaurant and gaze across the lawns.
The Gardens at National Trust Stowe
The National Trusts’ full name is The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. Its motto, “for ever, for everyone”, explains what it does for buildings and gardens. Its purpose is to preserve for the future, whether that be wildlife or art. The National Trust benefitted greatly from the death of Beatrix Potter in 1943 as she bequeathed them her house and a great deal of land that would later form part of the Lake District National Park.
Elsewhere, in Stowe just outside Buckingham, the National Trust lovingly maintains the gardens. There are two temples licensed for civil ceremonies, the Temple of Concord and Victory, and The Temple of Venus. The former has the capacity for 120 guests, while the later can seat 40 inside or 500 outdoors. There are tens of more temples and structures, so you can explore the grounds with your wedding photographer.
Whilst the National Trust owns the grounds, they hire another company to help you put your day together. Because of this, you can find exactly what you want and have a unique and very special day. And, all while, contributing to one of the UK’s best-loved charities!
With excellent savings to be had on hosting your wedding day, why wouldn’t you simultaneously give to a good cause?