The Ritz Restaurant

Michelin-starred dining

How to Plan the Perfect City Wedding

Discover our guide on how to plan the perfect wedding in London and curate an unforgettable celebration for you and your guests in the capital.

Bride in the Queen Elizabeth Room

Congratulations on the engagement! Now that the excitement has somewhat settled, you’re probably wondering what comes next. The gap between the engagement and the actual wedding can be a lengthy one, filled with needless stress and uncertainty too. After all – for many couples – this will be the biggest event you’ve ever had to plan, while taking into consideration what kind of day you want and what will be most suitable to your friends and family.

Planning a wedding in a city comes with its own set of challenges, however it can be very rewarding as a city like London offers endless opportunities for beautiful backdrops, historic surroundings, and a truly romantic atmosphere.

Table laid for a wedding in the William Kent Room

Planning is the key to ensuring that your big day runs smoothly and that means taking care of a lot of details in advance. The style, the food, the music, the flowers, and so much more. While the thought of accomplishing all of these tasks might feel overwhelming, giving yourself enough time is the very first step. One of the advantages of organising a wedding in the city is the availability of fantastic venues and vendors that will help to make your wedding dreams come true.

Wondering how to plan a wedding or what the best wedding venue for your desired style is? Here we will discuss how you can start to plan your special day and what you will need to do prior to ensure that it’s one to remember for years to come.

The Charm of City Celebrations

London attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year – tourists, couples, day-trippers. It’s not difficult to see why; the city is a living history book, with the ability to provide a picturesque backdrop for any occasion. Lovers of history and modernity will be equally appeased as the city combines the best of both with ease.

London skyline featuring the London Eye and Big Ben

The other advantage of a wedding in London is the city’s accessibility. Whether your loved ones are coming from other parts of the country or the wider United Kingdom or, perhaps, travelling internationally, everyone will be able to get to the city with relative ease. London is one of the best-connected cities in the world with multiple airports and train stations (local and international) all within the city itself or its vicinity.

You won’t have to worry about finding enough accommodation for your loved ones either – you’ll have plenty of options to choose, including the style of the accommodation and the area your guests would prefer to stay in.

Entertaining your guests in the city will be effortless – London is the perfect playground for anyone staying here, whether that’s a day, a weekend, or a week. London is a sprawling city with multiple neighbourhoods to discover. For any of your non-London native guests, consider creating a map or a guide to the city in advance – you can detail a few of your favourite spots and tell them which of the landmarks are worth a visit.

Whale skeleton at The Natural History Museum

London offers an extensive programme of things to see and do, no matter the season. The list of museums to visit is close to endless, though a good start is the British Museum to get to know Britain’s storied history, the Victoria & Albert Museum is a must for art and fashion lovers alike, while the nearby Natural History Museum and the Science Museum will appeal to everyone, especially children.

Art lovers will be spoilt for choice, whether they’re after the classics or prefer more contemporary works. The National Gallery is well worth a visit to see a varied collection of the world’s most famous paintings as is the National Portrait Gallery, just around the corner. The Tate Modern is a must visit to see contemporary artworks and installations while the Tate Britain offers a mix of classics and modern works under one roof.

That’s only the start, as there are so many iconic things to see and do. From seeing the Buckingham Palace and strolling around the nearby Hyde Park to taking in the sights of St Paul’s and the river Thames, to seeing the Houses of Parliament, Tower of London, and the London Bridge – the city can offer something for everyone.

Finally, London is one of the best cities in the world for a spot of shopping. From international and native designer brands, to antiques and jewellery, areas like Mayfair and Knightsbridge offer endless options to explore.


View of St James's Park

How to Start Planning a Wedding

The first thing you’re likely to hear after your engagement is questions around the wedding date. In reality, you won’t be able to set a precise date without figuring out a few elements first.

Before you start looking into any of the finer details, you’ll need to establish two things: the overall feel you’d like the wedding to have, and the budget. The feel you would like your wedding to have will influence what time of year you will likely host it in, the kind of surroundings that will be required, and so forth.

Once you know your budget, you will be able to start contacting wedding service providers who will give some realistic dates based on their schedules. It’s been said that the average engagement lasts around fifteen months, giving couples plenty of time to think, plan and arrange the big day. This amount of time will also give you the most choice when it comes to wedding service providers as well as musicians, photographers, and videographers, all of whom get booked many months in advance. Six months is typically the shortest amount of time in which it is advised to plan the celebration, though the more time you can give yourself and your potential suppliers, the better.

Wedding flowers in the Queen Elizabeth Room

 

If the idea of planning everything yourself doesn’t appeal and you would rather let an experienced professional take care of it instead, you may consider hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner does not mean that you won’t have to make decisions, but they will take the burden of administration from you, leaving you to focus on the finer details of the ceremony and the party.

Spend the first few weeks post engagement creating a vision for the wedding, looking for inspiration and collating a few key images that you can use to communicate to others exactly what you’re looking for. Having visual aids will greatly help in explaining what you would like to achieve and help you to avoid any miscommunications.

Organising a Wedding in the City

Knowing your style is the first step. The next is finding the right location for all the different elements of the wedding.

Create a shortlist of your ideal wedding venues. It’s best to not have your sights set on one and pick a few instead. Having options means you won’t be disappointed or spend additional time looking for alternatives. Three or four options is a good number to have in mind.

Table laid for a wedding in the Marie Antoinette Suite

The venue will dictate how many guests you can invite. Or, if you know that your guest list is likely to be very large or very small, you may need to pick a venue with this in mind.

When it comes to the guest list, think about what impression you would like to come away from the day with. Would you like to spend quality one-on-one time with your loved ones or does the ideal day look like all your friends and family, gathered together for a big party? Whichever one you opt for, you will need to give your guests plenty of notice to save the date, ensuring that they can make it to the celebration.

The Deluxe Suite

Now that a guest list has been set and the invites sent out, you may need to help your guests with accommodation if they are travelling from outside of the city. Again, London is full of wonderful options for you to choose from. For an extra special stay for those closest to you, there is no better wedding accommodation than The Ritz London. Booking a room or a suite for your guests at The Ritz will give them an unforgettable experience and a taste of historical luxury they won’t experience elsewhere.

Just like with your wedding venue, you’ll need to create a shortlist for other suppliers. It all starts with research and spending time finding ones that match your style, then reaching out and seeing whether their availability aligns with yours.

The food and refreshments are of vital importance to any wedding celebration, from canapes at cocktail hour to the dinner itself. Remember, well-fed guests are happy guests. Part of the fun of finding the right caterers is going to taste all the possible options before finalising your menu. This again is a time-intensive process that also needs to work around your schedule. Of course, don’t forget the cake – if you choose to opt for one. London is home to multiple famous bakeries, renowned for their wedding cake-making skills, ready to translate the cake of your dreams into a sweet reality.

To make your day even more special, you could gift yourself a night at one of The Ritz’s glamorous rooms, creating even more of a sense of occasion for your city wedding. As one of the world’s very best hotels, you can be sure that spending a night at The Ritz after your wedding will be an unforgettable affair, complete with impeccable service, stunning interiors, and history you won’t find elsewhere.

One of the Best Wedding Venues in London

If you would like to have a once-in-a-lifetime wedding – and one that won’t be forgotten any time soon – then consider hosting your wedding at possibly the best wedding venue the city has to offer, The Ritz London. As the city’s most iconic hotel, The Ritz offers endless elegance and is conveniently located at the heart of the city on Piccadilly, with Green Park a stone’s throw away.

Having your wedding at The Ritz means hosting your celebration at the impressive William Kent House, a Grade II listed building which adjoins the hotel. The House comes complete with a sweeping staircase, perfect for making a stylish entrance, while The Grand Hall houses a piano, should you wish for its sound to accompany the celebration.

The Ritz has a wedding licence meaning that you can host your wedding ceremony here and say “I do” among grandeur and history.

You can also choose to host a part of your celebration with us, opting for a hotel wedding reception. We will help you to plan a perfect reception for yourself and your guests. You can be sure that the reception will be a sophisticated affair as our dedicated team of butlers, waiters and the concierge staff will take care of all your needs. Our elegant private rooms can accommodate up to eighty guests while the William Kent House can accommodate up to fifty guests. We can help you to pick the best setting for your reception, based on your desires and specifications.

Whether you decide on the private rooms or the William Kent House, you can be assured that every detail will be thought through in advance. The rooms themselves evoke feelings of opulence and old-world glamour, tastefully decorated in shades of cream and beige, with red and gold accents. An ornate chandelier graces every space while additional candles can provide a softly lit, romantic glow.

Our chefs will work with you to create a bespoke menu using only the finest, seasonal ingredients. We’re also able to cater to different dietary requirements so that every guest is able to enjoy themselves equally.

Our in-house wedding coordinators will work with you to get every detail just right. We’ll get to know you and your style, what your vision for the event is, and then take you through all the options to make it come true, suggesting relevant ideas to make the day even more special. Tell us your needs and desires and everyone at The Ritz will find a way to make it happen.

Hosting a wedding in the city needn’t be stressful. When done right, it can be an unforgettable experience. London offers so much to both the couple and the wedding guests, providing entertainment, history, and some of the world’s best wedding services all in close proximity. For the ultimate city wedding, there is of course no place like The Ritz London. A city icon, everything about the hotel evokes feelings of romance and elegance, while the staff instinctively know the value of detail.

Your wedding is the most special occasion, let The Ritz London make it an unforgettable one.

THE RITZ RESTAURANT

Enjoy a Michelin-starred weekday lunch.

Immerse yourself in the world of The Ritz

150 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1J 9BR
TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 20 7493 8181

THE RITZ HOTEL (LONDON) LTD
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO.64203
VAT REGISTRATION 773 8638 79

150 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1J 9BR
TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 20 7493 8181

THE RITZ HOTEL (LONDON) LTD
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO.64203
VAT REGISTRATION 773 8638 79

150 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1J 9BR
TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 20 7493 8181

THE RITZ HOTEL (LONDON) LTD
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO.64203 VAT
REGISTRATION 773 8638 79

THE RITZ HOTEL (LONDON) LTD
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO.64203
VAT REGISTRATION 773 8638 79