Opt for a London Destination WeddingWords by Carolyn Steere
Every city has a unique vibe and London offers a very complex and interesting one. As you meander through the streets, you can’t help but recognize that this modern metropolis is built on a foundation of rich history including coronations and royal weddings. Stunning architecture, palaces, parks, monuments and cathedrals are all yours to experience and explore, and I personally enjoyed every moment of it. The city is a cinch to navigate, but if you get turned around, you will find very polite Londoners eager to help.
Our journey started just 20 minutes from London’s Heathrow Airport in an idyllic country setting near one of the Queen’s residences, Windsor Castle. Coworth Park is quintessential England, complete with lush gardens, walking paths through fields of wildflowers surrounding an elegant manor house, an equine center complete with polo fields, and a luxury spa. When you feel “peckish” there are several restaurants on-site including Restaurant Coworth Park, which serves classic British cuisine, the Drawing Room, where you can find light refreshments, The Spatisserie and the rustic charm of The Barn. Coworth Park offers a number of wedding venues including lovely lawn locations and indoor spaces that can accommodate 20-100 guests for your English countryside wedding.
In London “proper” and adjacent to Hyde Park, The Dorchester is where we would direct you if your invitation to the palace gets lost in the post. This 5-star luxury property treats you like royalty from the moment you enter the elegant lobby adorned with floor-to-ceiling floral displays. It is difficult not to feel like a princess when you awaken in your draped canopy bed to gaze around at the sumptuous décor of your spacious bedroom.
The Dorchester opened its doors in 1931 and since then has been the home-away-from-home of royalty, political leaders and a long list of well-known celebrities. Three award-winning restaurants at The Dorchester offer a variety of exceptional culinary experiences including The Grill where you can enjoy modern British tastes, French cuisine at Alain Ducasse and authentic Cantonese at China Tang.
This iconic hotel is no doubt one of the most “posh” locations you can find for an uber-elegant, glamorous destination wedding. The venues include the exquisite Ballroom for up to 500 guests or a more intimate setting like the Penthouse and Pavilion with its private terrace and stunning city views.
Just steps from The Dorchester is its sister property, 45 Park Lane. Totally different in feel and style, this trendy, contemporary hotel is the perfect complement for a chic rehearsal dinner in the spectacular Penthouse Suite with its private terrace where your guests can take in stunning views of London. Every spacious room and suite overlooks Hyde Park and the hotel’s central location provides a perfect base for exploring all that London has to offer. Striking examples of contemporary art decorate the interior of the hotel including CUT at 45 Park Lane, Wolfgang Puck’s American steakhouse, and Bar 45.
Your destination wedding event must include two English traditions: a visit to an authentic English pub to down a pint and munch on fish and chips, and an afternoon tea experience with fine china, savory sandwiches, scones and English cakes. The Palm Court at The Ritz London, one of The Leading Hotels of the World, was the first place where young ladies were allowed to attend tea alone and is still a perfect place to experience this English pastime.
Glamorous and hip, elegant and rich in tradition…London is a blend of culture and history that is sure to please you and your guests for a fairy tale destination wedding that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Dorchester Collection (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th), The Ritz London (2nd)
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2017 issue. You can order a copy here.
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