Venues offer inspiration for a wedding

23 May 2018

The royal wedding may be over, the street parties cleared away and the bunting put back in the box for another year – but that by no means suggests that wedding fever is dying down.

So, if the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has awoken wedding planning inspiration, then it may be surprising to some to discover that Sunderland city centre is home to some spectacular wedding venues.

Whether the perfect setting is a location with character or a completely blank canvas, there are lots of options in Sunderland and there is no better time than the present to start looking.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes that businesses in Sunderland deliver on everything a couple needs to host a fantastic reception.

“Summer is always a popular time for weddings, but it is also a great time to start planning one too,” she said.

“We are lucky to have such a variety of businesses in the city centre that offer themselves as reception venues and it provides a wonderful opportunity to find a really unique location you may not have previously considered.

“Having your reception in the city centre also comes with perks for your guests, as it is well connected to public transport so you don’t have to worry about people missing out and not being able to come.”

Some of the best-loved visitor attractions in Sunderland hire their rooms for wedding receptions, so it may surprise couples to find the range of locations they have to choose from.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, at Burdon Road may be most associated with its art gallery featuring L S Lowry paintings and the range of fauna growing in the gardens, but that’s not all it has to offer.

With stunning views of the River Wear, it can also be a dream venue, adding a touch of culture and style to any wedding party.

And for those who value a building’s exterior, the impressive glass dome covering the Winter Gardens is sure to give guests the wow factor.

Or, for a venue that provides a bride and groom with a blank canvas, look no further than the Bonded Warehouse, at the Fish Quay.

Set within a picturesque walled garden, this restored warehouse is a rare survivor of the city’s industrial landscape and has kept original features like exposed brick and wooden beams.

The versatile venue has a range of wedding packages, with coordinators on hand to ensure that couples can make the day their own, whether they want fine dining, sharing platters or street food.

The Point, at Park Lane is popular for sporting events, gigs and performances, but it may surprise some to discover that it can also be transformed into a stunning reception venue.

With a large space to be decorated as a couple pleases, they can let their creativity flow to create a space that really suits them.

And when it comes to the dance floor, why not make the most of the stage and hire a live band, or look at the variety of lighting options the venue can provide to really make the dance floor into a party?

The Point is certainly one of the largest spaces in the city centre, which makes it also a perfect choice for anyone planning an Asian wedding which traditionally has hundreds of guests.

Another offering on Park Lane is Port of Call, which offers two large-scale tipis that can be hired for events.

The structures have their own DJ booth and cocktail menus and were created in response to demand at the main restaurant and bar’s function rooms, which can also be hired for weddings.

And although they are proving popular for summer weddings, they are more than suitable for winter dates too, with a number of heaters installed.

Or, eclectic café and bistro The Looking Glass, at Athenaeum Street offers happy couples their Clubs & Diamonds Suite.

The newly renovated function room can be decorated to suit individual tastes and provides a fantastic reception venue for a smaller wedding party.

Whether couples choose to follow the Alice in Wonderland theme of the café, or add their own personal style, the room gives creative types a lot to work with.

The Peacock pub is also now open for wedding business, with its stylish function suite with its own entrance which is a great choice for anyone wanting to spend their special day in a historic setting.

So with such a variety of locations in Sunderland, there is a venue perfect for every newlywed, no matter their personal taste.