Make the most of your quirky wedding venue

By Leann Hay -

 

So, you’ve decided to get married in front of a T-Rex…

Museums and galleries are becoming a popular choice for wedding and civil ceremonies, evening receptions and wedding breakfasts. Couples are opting to surround their guests with curious artefacts and beautiful artworks on their big day. But how do you make the most of these eccentric wedding venues?

 

Wedding favours

Wedding favours are often a touching or quirky memento. So, it’s important to consider how you want your special day remembered. How do you create wedding favours that reflect the magnificence of a museum, as well as the occasion?

Whether you’re getting married in front of the T-Rex in the Great North Museum: Hancock, or aboard Charles Parsons' 34 metre steam powered ship Turbina (once the fastest ship in the world!) at the Discovery Museum, why not check out the museum’s gift shop for inspiration? These shops contain all kinds of weird and wonderful items to inspire and entertain.

 

Themed wedding breakfast

Why not take some inspiration from your surroundings to create a themed wedding breakfast? Speak to the venue’s caterer, they may well offer bespoke options. For example, Hadrian’s Wall Gallery at the Great North Museum: Hancock - featuring a 1:4700 scale model of the 73-mile structure which ran from the mouth of the River Tyne to the Solway Firth - lends itself spectacularly to a Roman themed menu. Consider a twist on the classic for something a little different.

 

Centrepieces

The Laing Art Gallery - home to the spectacular stained glass windows from 1896 by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones - creates the most impressive backdrop to a wedding breakfast. Take inspiration from these defining features and use stained glassware, such as vases or bowls, as your table-pieces. Oh, and remember our tip about the gallery or museum shop? It may stock exactly what you are looking for. Or, you could get a bit creative and use glass-paint to decorate vintage glassware.

You can even make your centre pieces more personal by including a short written anecdote about the first time you visited the gallery or museum together. Create conversation on the tables by sharing these defining moments with your guests. You never know, it may even encourage new relationships.

 

Dress code

You’ve chosen your venue because the museum’s period features or their exhibitions would be a magical setting for your wedding day. You may want to design your invites to match this style and encourage guests to take on some elements of this theme.

For example, the magnificent Great Hall at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne, lends itself perfectly to a 1920s themed day. The Art Deco features are the perfect accompaniment to the roaring 20s style.

After all, your big day is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. You might as well make it unforgettable for everyone.  

 

This guide has been written by Leann Hay, Trading Development officer, employed by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM). TWAM manages the Great North Museum: Hancock, Discovery Museum, The Shipley Art Gallery, and the Laing Art Gallery based in Newcastle, Gateshead. All four venues are licenced for weddings and offer unique backdrops for wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. You can find out more about these museum and galleries on the website: museumweddings.org.uk

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