I used to be the girl who saw weddings as unneccessary, after all in my mind I believed that you didn’t need a ‘piece of paper’ to cement your love for your soulmate, nor do you need an outrageously over the top celebration to show the world ‘how in love’ you truly are. But then I realized something, yes you do not need a marriage certificate to demonstrate your love but at the same time, the idea of a dream wedding appeals to many of my friends and who am I too judge. After all I am the one who is not in a long term relationship, has never been in love before and in my own words am still searching for my merman prince, so it makes sense that I have not equated ‘marriage’ as part of my ideological stance on love and relationships, especially when the concept of a ‘fairytale wedding’ has never came to fruition in any of my families. But I know how different things would be if I found the one, someone who I loved truly and completely, who made me feel as alive as can be. When I was younger despite the sentiments I raised above regarding marriage, I did dream of weddings, but it was always being jilted at the altar, running away in my white lace gown, tears running down my face. And now when I think of dreamy wedding venues, they are still tinged with that air of rejection, uncertainty and distrust.
It’s not to say that I wouldn’t ever want to be married, far from it, I can’t make a judgement on a future path that is yet to be written but I will say this. I think that beyond the hard exterior that I show to others, despite my claims of PDA’s as being a ‘show offy’ display of affection’ what it really boils down to is that I have been single for so long that maybe I have forgotten what the sentimentalist inside me really does feel like about marriage. Maybe underneath that discontentment is a girl still waiting, hand outstretched waiting for her lover to envelop her as one and lead her into a world where her dream wedding venues exist. Where fairytale forests and mermaid kingdoms come together as one, in a fantastical riot of colour and celebration. There would be no rules here, no boundaries, only love, as together two soulmates would come together as one. Joined not in front of a ‘God’ but in front of each other, pledging eternal companionship, love and devotion. I want the kind of love you see in fairytales, that shouldn’t exist but do, magical realism tinged with surrealism, the real world made better with your loved one by your side. And where better than these dreamy wedding venues below, plucked out of fairytale lore and sprinkled with a dose of beatific rainbow dust galore?
- Botleys Mansion, Surrey
It would be a wedding venue that would be connected to the past; a Surrey girl lost in the countryside once more, the city worker left behind for one day only. We would trample barefoot in the grass, not caring if we saw each other in our wedding attire, who says it would be bad luck when we would have eyes for just each other. The dandelions would tickle our toes and we would take strides towards the wedding venue of our dreams, a mansion that was connected to our countryside past, we would feel the clean air course through our veins once more. For you see, despite me living in the big city, if there was anywhere which I would truly consider to be worthy of a magical mermaid wedding it would be Surrey, land of the nature lovers and thrill seekers. Where hopes and dreams hang plump from wizened trees like juicy fruit.
As we wait for the guests to arrive we would be reminiscing over our lives as bachelors, where we would love nothing better than watching Netflix and pigging out on food, lounging around in our scaggy underwear without a care in the world. But now we would stand before each other, husband and wife, so sure that our hearts were meant to beat as one. You would smile at me, the girl who was always cynical, who found it hard to let people in, until she met you. You would laugh and remember how I didn’t want to get married, how the first time you asked me I would vehemently say no. And now look at us, a countryside mansion, in a fairytale gown. Birds in the trees, nesting eggs, watching over us like guardian angels from above.
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2. Eltham Palace, Greenwich
Two history lovers step back into time , where knights once watched fair maidens climb down from stone towers and escape into the night. The night was recaptured once more, a medieval fantasy in a modern day setting, we looked the part. Gown resplendent in ivory green and red, a cornet of filigree wrapped around your curly floppy mane. And oh how handsome did your loved one look, a crown on his magnificent head, gleaming like flaxen gold. The flowers curled around the trellises with all their might, duck egg blue and coral red. Before you stepped into the madness where your medieval prince was waiting you peered through the flowers, a blurred world of nature, where the bees suckled gently on the nectar, teasing it with their sting and the birds waltzed in preparation for your big day, how you dreamed of it being so. You were Snow White in a different time, a red apple waiting, it matched the crimson in your dress. Red liquid upon red lips, a symbolism for love and passion. Could he be the one this time? Only time would tell.
When you were a young girl you dreamed of being a princess wandering around castles and palaces, unnoticed and free to roam with the sprightliness of a baby bird. Your senses would by the lights and the shapes, the textures and the feel of the stones, abrasive yet self-assured like the man who was about to be at one with you on your special day. It felt like a magic spell, it couldn’t be real… could it?
3. Mussenden Temple, Londonderry.
A cliff edge temple reminds you both of how you first met, you took a leap of faith and leapt into each others arms, that first date in Northern Ireland where you fell in love.High above the Atlantic Ocean, you circled the small circular building that they called Musseden Temple, a simple structure with outstanding views. You remembered the smell of the sea below, how the temple itself was flirting with danger when it was nearly swallowed by the famished sea, who nibbled at the cliff in the hopes of being reacquainted with its lover once more. And now it’s still standing, the bride and groom to be joined in matrimony in a private ceremony, where the only witnesses were the priests and the birds who squawked and squabbled, you didn’t need anyone else to be present at your wedding day. It was perfect just the way that it was. You took each others hands, bound together in harmony and gazed over the cliff edge wondering what it would be like to fly as high as a bird, over the sea and beyond, where the world faded into blue nothingness . It seemed rather peaceful.
The honeymoon was looming but you chose to linger on, two English folk trapped under the spell of Irish beauty, where the sea beckoned you with its finger and the cliffs nodded its faces in sound agreement. For today would be the first day of the rest of your lives and you were proud to do it your way. No ostentatious celebration, no squabbles- birds aside- and best of all, a day truly pledged to each other, distractions left behind in England.
4. Portmerion, Wales
You recaptured your Mediterranean heart in Portmerion, Wales, colourful houses wedged between tapestries of art. It was hard to believe you were still in the UK when you saw the primary colours of yellow, green and red, but the map didn’t lie and as a unicorn, your heart was stolen away in an instant. That’s when you saw him, the man who would become the love of your life, who would make you breathless everytime he spoke. The way he looked at you, the way he touched you set your soul on fire, it was non-extinguishable. And then a short year later, your whirlwind romance had come to a dramatic climax, where rainbow unicorns and magical unicorns come together as one, as they sprinkle magic fairy dust on the couple that’s waiting below, that’s us.
Out of all the wedding venues you had looked at, this was the dreamiest, a riot of unapologetic colour that foretold the story of your dual romance, where mythical creatures transformed into humans to find love and oh how rewarded they were. They were lost in a kaleidoscope of colour, time was but a magical concept, lost in each others arms, the kisses were endless.
What Would Be Your Dream Wedding Venue?