There’s something oddly romantic about a lighthouse. Maybe it’s their stunning height and viewpoint over the horizon. Or, perhaps it’s their age-old role in saving lives. Either way, it’s not surprising that sea-loving couples everywhere strive to marry within these unusually-shaped buildings.
Serving as navigational tools, lighthouses are ancient and iconic structures, excellent for history-loving brides and grooms. Lighthouse weddings are also the perfect choice for couples looking to host a quaint, quiet and unique wedding ceremony.
Lighthouses are invariably rather narrow in width. So, ceremonies held within them will be very cosy and intimate. Therefore this is a lovely venue if you are only planning to invite close family and a few friends.
The buildings provide an excellent blank canvas for a DIY wedding. It enables brides and grooms to really express their personality and run with their own wedding theme.
Moreover, you’re guaranteed that none of your friends will have had a similar wedding!
Fabulous Panoramic Views
You really will feel on top of world! Lighthouses need to be seen across the water, so you get to climb to the top of the tower and look across the waves.
Imagine gazing out over the ocean as newlyweds, stood at the very top of the lighthouse straight after your wedding ceremony. It also provides amazing photograph opportunities with a magical backdrop.
Fingers crossed for glorious weather – you and your loved ones can enjoy the sunset over the sea to top off the day. Sometimes, you might even get to see the light in action!
Enjoy Ultimate Privacy
Lighthouses are generally located in remote areas and stand alone. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and embrace the isolation of the building. This is excellent for couples who are searching for the ultimate privacy on their wedding day.
Want a seafront wedding without worrying about sand in your heels? Prefer to be away from the crowds rather than in the thick of it? Above all, do you want to celebrate your wedding with a select group of people?
If your dream is to be surrounded by the soothing sound of the sea and breaking waves, this option is perfect for you.
Theme Your Wedding
The inside of a lighthouse may seem a little plain to marry within at first glance. But imagine the iconic wrought-iron banisters and staircases once they have been decorated with your wedding flowers, ribbons, garlands, and even fairy lights interwoven up the staircase!
Complement your sea-front wedding by planning a nautical-themed celebration filled with navy blue, white and red. Decorate with sea-shells, flags and miniature boats. Anchors, driftwood and rope are an excellent way to tie in the theme to your wedding décor. You could include driftwood centrepieces interspersed with romantic tea lights.
Fishbowls filled with sand and shells would also be a simple and cost-effective way to nod towards the theme on your tables. Matching blue and white stripped menus and place names as well as table plans are a simple way to tie the theme into your stationery. A sea-themed wedding breakfast would be super simple to execute. Include delicious fish and shellfish dishes for your guests to enjoy.
Don’t forget the wedding cake! You could have a blue ombré style cake, or a faux sandcastle wedding cake accompanied by shells. The options are endless! Further, imagine the effect of a narrow, tiered cake mirroring the building in which it is cut.
With the bride wearing white, blue suits for the groom and his groomsmen would present a thoroughly nautical vibe. You could have sea-themed accessories such as shell hair pieces and hair combs.
Where Can I Do It?
Now that we have you hooked on the idea, we can tell you that at the point of writing, we could find three lighthouses in the UK that were licensed for civil ceremonies. Of course, you may well be able to find others that are happy to host events.
To legally marry within a lighthouse in the UK, you will first need to ensure that the venue holds a marriage licence. However, you could always stage other parts of the celebration there, like your reception or honeymoon.
So, here are the ones we found for you:
Nash Point Lighthouse
Nash Point Lighthouse is found in South Wales on the rugged coastline overlooking the Bristol Channel. The lighthouse got its licence to hold weddings in 2005, and was proud to be the first of its kind in the UK. It is still fully operational, although it is no longer manned.
Licenced for ceremonies with up to 25 guests arranged over two floors, this is a spectacular spot for intimate and unique ceremonies. They can only host around 20 weddings a year, so get your booking in!
After the ceremony, couples can have their photographs taken at the lantern. Meanwhile, guests enjoy champagne and nibbles downstairs. Although they are unable to host your reception, there is a nearby café which can provide marquees and space to put them up.
The West Usk Lighthouse
This unique Grade II-listed lighthouse is situated between Newport and Cardiff. This space is ideal for intimate ceremonies of up to 25 guests in different spaces. It also offers en-suite accommodation for up to nine people and ability for a reception on the lawn inside. There is even a TARDIS on the roof, as a changing area for the hot tub!
Larger than a standard lighthouse, the building was built in 1821 by James Walker, a Scottish architect. The bedrooms are inside the building instead of in a separate dwelling. It became a private family home before it was sold to become a B&B and wedding venue.
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Robert Stevenson, the famous Scottish engineer, built this lighthouse in 1830. The 26 metre high tower looks out over the Irish Sea from the southernmost point of Scotland. On clear days, the Isle of Mann can be seen, and dolphins and porpoises in the water.
If you climb 115, you reach the lantern, which remains in use to this day. From here, you can take your vows in a licenced civil ceremony to an intimate group of eight guests. There are other locations nearby where you can proceed with the rest of your reception, including the courtyard and the RSPB Visitor Centre.
You can choose to host your entire wedding in a lighthouse, or just a ceremony. A lighthouse is a great excuse for an intimate, nautical themed wedding. Check out more unusual wedding venues on our magazine or our directory!