Venues Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Venues Brunel’s SS Great Britain
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Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

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Brunel’s SS Great Britain

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  • Get married on board a historic ship from £1,200
  • Celebrate your wedding with a reception from £6000
  • Licensed for civil ceremonies and receptions
  • Can host up to to 100 guests
  • Two beautiful decks plus unique saloon available
  • Unique and alternative venue option

This mighty ship’s long and eventful international history has her operating at first as a luxury cruise-liner between Bristol and New York. Licensed to host civil marriage and partnership ceremonies with up to 100 guests, and more than capable of hosting receptions of a similar size, she makes a perfect and stylishly alternative all-inclusive wedding venue.

With the accompaniment of fantastic views of the River Avon, and the Cultural Hotspot of the South West region, Brunel’s SS Great Britain will be exclusively at your command during your evening celebrations. This incredibly romantic, historic and award-winning ship is a true testament to the South West as one of the UK’s top wedding destinations!


A relic and reminder of the part played by Bristol in Great Britain’s rule of the waves, and situated in pride of place within the city's historic Grade II-listed Dry Docks, the Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a true gem of the South West.

Originally designed to transport prominent and wealthy members of Victorian society from Bristol to New York within two weeks, this steamship was designed by Bristol’s iconic engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Constructed in 1845 at the city docks by shipwright William Patterson, this nautical behemoth cost a total of £117,000 to build - the modern-day equivalent would be around £15 million.

A Record-Breaker

This was the first seagoing ship in the world to feature the combination of an iron hull and a screw propeller - and was the first ironclad ship to cross the Atlantic.

Eventually, after lengthy and varied periods of service, the Brunel’s SS Great Britain came to be permanently moored off the Falkland Islands, where she was used as a warehouse and coal scuttle. After falling into disrepair, she was brought back to Bristol in the nick of time and painstakingly restored in the1970s. Today the ship is securely installed in dry dock in an airtight glass-bottomed platform  - intended to look like the ocean, it effectively means you can view the entire vessel from all angles (and in all weathers).


You may be wondering what a converted 19th-century luxury cruise liner could offer your wedding. In short - plenty! This venue isn’t reserved purely for those with naval or nautical passions, but also makes a stunning and truly unique scenic backdrop to any wedding celebration.

Promenade Deck

Located at the aft (rear) of the Brunel’s SS Great Britain, this light and airy space is where the great ship’s civil marriage and partnership ceremonies are licensed to take place. Normally a part of the museum, the room will be readily transformed into an alluring 30-metre wooden aisle. Couples will tie the knot under the soft and natural glow of a circular skylight. It's also an ideal refuge for your champagne and canapé reception when the weather is against you. 

Hayward Saloon

Located amidships, on the lower deck, and next to the First Class Dining Room, the Hayward Saloon is embellished with a bar and a dancefloor area, and is perfect for evening receptions. You are most welcome to decorate the saloon how you see fit. Interestingly, this space originally housed the SS Great Britain’s boiler.

Weather Deck

Situated upon the top deck, the Weather Deck is a truly inspirational space, ideal for champagne receptions, live bands and general mingling. Just imagine your guests toasting your health, wealth and happiness on the deck of this historic steamship.


The SS Great Britain invites its guests to indulge in a luxurious experience within the First Class Dining Saloon, a typically mid-Victorian and atmosphere-rich space which acts as the ship’s principal wedding reception room. With sumptuous marble pillars, indulgent Rococo mirrors and warming candle lamps, it’s a lovely saloon in which to dine, in its own right.

Ensuring that the historic surroundings are maintained, the First Class Dining Room features concealed modern technology, such as flexible air-cooling and PA system.

Catering at the SS Great Britain is overseen by the Chief Steward - and all cuisine is freshly created on shipboard.

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Great Western Dockyard


  • Christopher - September 2014

    We chose Brunel’s SS Great Britain because we were after a wedding venue that would knock peoples’ socks off. We spent a fair few months looking at all the country homes/barns/hotels that are situated in and around Bristol and we hadn’t come across anything that actually got us excited. Then we came across a website that happened to mention you can get married on the SS Great Britain… so we booked a viewing and had a nice little tour of the ship and our minds were made up! We just thought that the venue was so different (in a good way) that it would be impossible to NOT have an awesome wedding, all the small corridors, the wonderful décor and all of the original trinkets meant that there was no decoration required by us… plus its situated RIGHT on the harbour, which we love.

  • Kathryn - August 2014

    All of our friends and family said to us “hands down, it was the best wedding they have ever been to!”

    It was BEAUTIFUL! The food was amazing, all the staff were wonderful, there was so much room to explore and set up extra entertainment. It really was a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Lesley - July 2014

    What really cemented having such a special day with you was how your staff just accepted my wife and I as ‘normal’ as a same sex couple.

    Even your forms don’t assume male and female, and after crossing out Groom to write Bride more times than I care to remember, you realise the small things really do count on the biggest day of your life so far.

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