I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of “wedding venues”. Chair covers, strict timelines, the same wedding as everyone else. There’s just no need! I’ve photographed weddings at some really cool alternative wedding venues around the country, but after moving to Kent last year I’ve felt a bit dejected at the lack of cool places to get married.
So I’ve done a bit of research for you into alternative wedding venues in Kent that are unique, funky and far from the wedding machine.
East Quay, Whitstable
I’ve shot weddings at East Quay a couple of times and I love it there – it’s right on the beach in Whitstable and the sunsets there are insane. The staff are lovely, the space for dinner is beautiful and the outdoor patio (on the beach) is perfect for hanging out and chatting or wandering off down the beach. Photo ops are plentiful, with beach huts, deckchairs and a pier. Here’s the most recent East Quay Whitstable wedding I shot.
This venue near Canterbury is a barn, but that’s where the normal ends – the quirky kicks in with a fairground carousel on site and a 1920s Art Deco mechanical fairground organ in the barn.
This is a retro fairground in Margate about 10 minutes from my house, and they hold awesome weddings with ceremonies on the roller skate rink or aboard the Grade II* listed Scenic Railway, and a party in a retro diner. Your guests can spend the afternoon riding the fairground rides – I can’t think of a more fun way to spend a wedding day! I shot an engagement shoot at Dreamland and I’d love to shoot a wedding there!
Wise Weddings, Tonbridge
A super cool woodland wedding setting with sofas hanging from the trees and two treehouses – a private one for you to sleep in and an open one for your guests to spy on people from. I shot a pagan handfasting at Wise Weddings this summer.
The Night Yard, Canterbury
Perfect for outdoor festival weddings. It has a quirky open air chapel area for the ceremony, a garden for the reception, and a run-down barn and orchard for photos.
The Swan West, Malling
A gorgeous country pub wedding venue (I love pub weddings, they’re always so laid back!). They have a beautiful garden with a marquee, which means you get the benefit of a pub (cozy, booze on tap) with the bonus of a marquee (extra space and beautiful light for photos).
A super funky pub with a sunken stable table (it’s so cool and hard to describe – it’s the one Frankie and Brett are walking on during confetti here at their Bell in Ticehurst wedding). The pub has a beautiful garden, a few rooms for you and your fave people to stay in overnight and a few little bits of taxidermy to keep the quirky side of you happy! The ceremony takes place in an upstairs room.
Perfect for glamping festival weddings – it’s totally down to earth and has yurts, tipis and safari lodges.
Fern and Field, Rolvenden
Glamping! Bluebell woods! A lake in the woodland! What’s not to love about this festival wedding venue?
Braid Farm, Smarden
A blank canvas for a marquee in a field wedding, plus it’s perfect for budget-conscious couple.
Featherdown Farm, Tunbridge Wells
These guys have loads of campsites slash venues around the county, with one in Kent. Sunninglye Farm near Tunbridge Wells is a beautiful farm wedding venue in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty.