Blank canvas venues tend to elicit one of two reactions – either they’re seen as an intimidatingly empty space, or else they’re a playground for the imagination. If you’re of the latter persuasion and get fired up and inspired at the thought of a vast open plan venue on which to put your stamp for your wedding day, then today’s top ten is going to make you very happy indeed.
As you’ll know from my previous posts in this series, London is my favourite city in the world precisely because of its versatility. Up until now, I’ve not focused on the urban grit and glamour that the capital has to offer, so I’m delighted today to be zoning in on some of my favourite blank canvas warehouse and loft style spaces across the city. Will your wedding venue be among them?
Perserverance photo shoot images by Hannah Duffy
Light, bright, airy and edgy, JJ Studios know exactly how to lay the foundations for your personalised wedding. Raw edges, exposed brick, and walls of whitewash accented by solid, industrial structures simply scream to host a urban-chic wedding that you can firmly put your own stamp on. JJ Media Group have an eclectic array of venues, including chic Wimborne House and Perseverance Works. Both located in Shoreditch, they are the epitome of ‘blank canvas’. Choose from a number of rooms, split over the different levels of each venue. Area and Apex at Perseverance feature high beamed ceilings with plenty of opportunity to go big and bold with hanging installations and statement decor.
The White Loft at Lumiere London does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s white and lofty, and absolutely gorgeous! The light that floods in from central Southwark, through vast windows, is what makes this venue appealing to artists and photographers – so you know that it’s going to be the perfect environment to snap some stunning wedding photos. Winner of the Hire Space Awards in 2018, the team here can help get the creative juices flowing when it comes to making the most of the space and facilities. Able to seat 70 for dinner, the space includes a fully equipped kitchen for you to bring in caterers of your choice. The White Loft is a rare breed, it manages to feel at once vast and intimate, and its all white aesthetic is a stylist’s dream.
Hop down a small South East London side street and head slightly off the beaten track, and you’ll find that Bermondsey Street is hiding a stellar venue. Tanner & Co is a 19th century converted warehouse. If you’re looking for space, Tanner Warehouse has it in abundance. With its own old-London character, it’s sure to add a little something to your design, without being imposing. This is a venue with stories in its walls, and it’s got a faded urban glamour and real punch of charisma about it. Think of this as not quite white-wash blank, but an old canvas that has been prepped and primed for your next painting, and with space for 150 for dinner, you can dance the night away with a whole host of friends and loved ones.
Go underground for 2,500 square foot of ancient railway space. East London’s Hoxton arches is a two-room venue with striking arched
Trinity Buoy Wharf wedding image by Paul Joseph Photography
Take your wedding to the Docklands of London, about a mile East of Canary Wharf. At Trinity Buoy Wharf there are two venues to choose from. London’s only lighthouse is part of the enormous Chainstore and includes a terrace. A historic warehouse with so many open-plan spaces (not to mention jaw-dropping views), this venue is the kind of place that you’ll relish every detail in the planning, as you bring to it to life. With space for up to 300 guests, this is an urban warehouse space that knows how to throw a good party.
For a more intimate wedding, try the site’s second venue, The Electrician’s Shop and Drawing Studio. Exposed brick and steel is just the starting point for an urban wedding, and it’s dry hire, meaning you get ultimate flexibility when thinking about your decor and styling options. One of my favourite things about Trinity Buoy Wharf is its private pier and jetty, meaning you can make the ultimate in stylish London entrances – by boat.
Looking for a blank canvas? How about a cardboard box? No, don’t worry I haven’t gone mad. I’m suggesting old cardboard box factory, Dalston Heights. The space is right up on the top floor of this old building and has some impressive structural features to give your wedding photos a bit of eclecticism. Natural daylight literally floods the top room through impressive skylights, and it’s packed with props, antiques and furniture that you can use to dress the space for up to 200 guests. These give it a quirky edginess, and make for amazing images. Part of the MAD locations family, which also includes converted 4 storey pub The Roost, and sprawling Deptford spice warehouse One Friendly Place, Dalston Heights is a venue with real character, that’s easy to fall in love with.
West Reservoir wedding image by Laura Babb
An imposing silhouette on the banks of the Thames, this four-storey red brick tower represents urban riverside blank canvas chic at its best. It’s tall and airy, gritty yet grand. I love the old water processing equipment that sits high up above reveller’s heads. It’s a piece of city history and it gives the space some added drama. There are two waterside terraces perfect for mingling and cocktails with a view, and inside you’ve got space for 150 to play with and make your own. If you’re looking for a blank canvas with style, the West Reservoir Centre might well be the right choice for you.
This is one of central London’s hidden gems. Originally a church, Dilston Grove sits on the edge of Southwark Park and gives a masterclass in urban-yet-elegant edge. Built in 1911, its poured concrete facade and soaring, rafted ceiling feels raw and romantic, and ready for some stunning styling. There’s something of Peckham’s darling The Asylum in the atmosphere of this venue, and it’s got such potential to make real impact.
As you might imagine from its name, this space in Clapton used to house the cows that roamed the Walthamstow. Nowadays, it’s a fabulous venue for events and photographic shoots. Boasting a main hall and several smaller side rooms, this is a versatile and hip blank canvas space with white painted brickwork and a pitched tin roof. What I love most are some of the hidden little pieces of quirk – think a wooden swing, woodburning stove and cast iron spiral staircase. Contemporary, design led and filled with possibility, The Old Dairy is also licensed for ceremonies, so you can celebrate your whole day in one place.
Last but certainly not least in my list of top ten blank canvas London venues is the gargantuan and, frankly, epic Studio Spaces. Located on a charming cobbled street in Wapping, East London, if you’re looking for space, drama and the possibility for a full-scale wedding production, then you need to pay Studio Spaces a visit. There are three rooms available, each with their own fabulously urban style. The White Studio has floor to ceiling windows and is flooded with sunlight, the Black Studio brings a mean and moody edge to the proceedings, it is made for wow-factor lighting and is the perfect place to party when the sun goes down, and the enormous Warehouse with its exposed brickwork and polished concrete floors is perfect for a sit down banquet. With a whopping 7,000 sq ft of space to play with, if you’ve got a big imagination, then this is the space to let it run wild.
So what’s your favourite of our top ten blank canvas wedding venues London? If you’re looking for your perfect blank canvas wedding venue in London and need help with planning your wedding, do get in touch today!