Royal Weddings At Westminster Abbey

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

Westminster Abbey is famous for hosting royal weddings and coronations since 1066. 

To date, Westminster Abbey has hosted 16 royal weddings. 

It was the venue for Price William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 and King Charles’s coronation in 2023

Keep reading to discover more about the royal weddings held at this historic site and the eligibility criteria for getting married here!

Who Can Get Married In Westminster Abbey

How beautiful would it be to get married at Westminster Abbey? Dreaming of having your wedding at Westminster Abbey? 

While it’s possible, there are specific criteria you must meet:

  1. A member of the royal family
  2. Members of the Order of the Bath
  3. Reside within Westminster Abbey’s precincts

Royal Weddings in Westminster Abbey

Here are more details about which royal couple got married in Westminster Abbey:

Prince William and Kate Middleton, 29 April 2011

The wedding of William and Kate on 29th April 2011 captivated the world.

Around 2 billion people tuned in to watch the live coverage of their ceremony at Westminster Abbey. 

The royal procession, featuring William and Prince Harry riding in an open-top carriage, was greeted by thousands of well-wishers lining the streets of London.

Kate’s timeless wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, featured hand-embroidered lace and a flowing train, creating a stunning sight as she walked down the Abbey aisle. 

Her bouquet included myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William, and hyacinth, continuing the tradition of royal brides, which included a sprig of myrtle in their flowers.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds enjoyed a carriage ride around London before arriving at Buckingham Palace for a grand reception. 

Later, the Duchess laid her bouquet on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, a gesture honoring fallen soldiers from 1923.

William and Kate’s wedding remains one of the most memorable celebrations of modern times, symbolizing love and happiness that will be cherished for generations.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, 23 July 1986

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding saw Sarah entering the Abbey a few minutes late, with a stunning 17-foot-long train trailing behind her. 

The ceremony was attended by 2,000 guests and featured approximately 30,000 flowers adorning the church. 

Following the ceremony, the couple shared their first public kiss on the palace balcony, witnessed by around 100,000 onlookers.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, 14 November 1973

Around 500 million people tuned in to watch the wedding celebrations on TV, with many eager well-wishers camping out in the Mall overnight to secure a good view. 

The wedding ceremony featured hymns like “Glorious things of thee are spoken” and “Immortal invisible, God only wise.” 

Following the reception, the newlyweds spent their first night at the White House Lodge in Richmond Park before flying off to Barbados for their next honeymoon.

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 6 May 1960

Princess Margaret’s wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones was the first royal wedding ever televised, with a loudspeaker outside the venue so crowds could listen to the ceremony. 

A CCTV system was also installed to allow guests inside to watch the proceedings. 

The couple’s departure to the Royal Yacht Britannia for their Caribbean honeymoon was delayed due to the large gathering of well-wishers, causing traffic congestion.

The Queen and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN, 20 November 1947

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s marriage at Westminster Abbey in 1947 was a significant and joyful event for Britain. 

Their union provided a moment of happiness and hope for all citizens of the United Kingdom.

The royal couple’s enduring love story spanned over seven decades, during which they raised their four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward – and fulfilled numerous royal duties worldwide. 

Following the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing in April 2021, Queen Elizabeth remained dedicated to preserving his memory until her passing on 8th September 2022. 

Their legacy inspires people worldwide, marking them as an enduring symbol of love and commitment.

The wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip received 1,347 wedding gifts totaling just over £2 million. 

The gifts included diamond jewelry, china, glassware, silverware, and a set of books from Winston Churchill. 

Many of these gifts were displayed at St James’s Palace, with the proceeds donated to charity. 

Despite rationing still being in effect, the wedding menu featured modest dishes sourced from royal estates, and ingredients for the cakes were imported from abroad.

King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 26 April 1923

The tradition of using Welsh gold for royal wedding rings began with King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon’s wedding in 1923. 

The wedding rings have been crafted from gold originating from the same nugget ever since. 

The couple’s wedding cake, made by McVitie and Price, was a grand affair weighing approximately 365kg and towering three meters tall. 

It was adorned with intricate icing and topped with porcelain figures.

Spaces Available Inside The Westminster Abbey

The spaces available inside the Westminster Abbey for wedding purposes are:

The Cellarium

The Cellarium at Westminster Abbey provides an exquisite venue for wedding receptions.

It offers seating for up to 80 guests or standing space for up to 120. 

Dating back to the 14th century, this historic space was once used by monks to store food and drink. 

Today, it exudes medieval charm with its stunning vaulted ceiling and warm ambiance, making it ideal for evening events. 

While external catering is prohibited, the venue offers catering services to ensure a memorable dining experience for your special day. 

Prices for hiring the Cellarium range from £6000 per day, with availability on weekdays and weekends. 

The Cheyneygates at Westminster Abbey

Cheyneygates at Westminster Abbey offers a charming venue for weddings. 

Steeped in history, it was once leased to Elizabeth Woodville and served as the birthplace of her son Edward V. 

The venue features a portrait of HM The Queen, adding to its regal ambiance.

This historic chamber is perfect for hosting various wedding events, including breakfast meetings, business lunches, evening receptions, or dinners. 

While external catering is prohibited, the venue offers catering services for a seamless dining experience. 

It can accommodate up to 36 guests for dining, 50 for theater-style seating, 30 for boardroom meetings, 28 for cabaret-style arrangements, and up to 50 for classroom setups. 

The hire fee for Cheyneygates ranges from £1800 to £3600 per day, making it an accessible option for various budgets.

The Cloisters

The Cloisters at Westminster Abbey provide a picturesque wedding setting, offering seating for up to 160 guests or standing room for up to 400. 

This elegant open-air arcade, dating back to the 13th century, offers a charming atmosphere, especially during the warmer months. 

Situated adjacent to the main part of the Abbey, the Cloisters overlook a beautiful grass quadrangle.

The venue offers catering services, ensuring a hassle-free dining experience for wedding guests. 

While external catering is not permitted, the venue’s catering options cater to various preferences and dietary needs. 

With its capacity to accommodate many guests, it’s an ideal choice for intimate gatherings and grand celebrations. 

The hire fee for The Cloisters varies based on the event’s requirements and duration, starting from £12000 per day.

College Garden

College Garden at Westminster Abbey offers a stunning wedding venue, with seating for up to 400 guests or standing room for up to 1000. 

This historic garden, which has been cultivated for over 900 years, boasts breathtaking views of the Abbey and the Victoria Tower.

This makes it an enchanting setting for wedding receptions, dinners, lunches, or daytime business conferences.

The venue provides catering services, ensuring a seamless dining experience for wedding guests. 

External catering is prohibited, but the venue’s catering options cater to various preferences and dietary needs. 

A stylish marquee with a decked porch area and glass front and sides is set up in June and July, offering an elegant event space. 

Outside of these months, a marquee can be arranged to accommodate your wedding festivities.

With its capacity to accommodate many guests, College Garden is ideal for couples seeking a picturesque and spacious setting for their special day. 

The hire fee for College Garden varies based on the event’s requirements and duration, starting from £7200 to £13200 per day. 

The Cellarium Terrace

The Cellarium Terrace at Westminster Abbey presents a unique event space, blending contemporary design with the Abbey’s rich history. 

With seating for up to 40 guests or standing room for up to 60, the Terrace offers a modern setting with picturesque views of the Abbey’s West Towers.

This versatile venue provides catering services, ensuring a seamless dining experience for events hosted on the Terrace. 

External catering is not permitted, maintaining the venue’s standards and ensuring quality service.

Guests can enjoy exclusive access to an outdoor area, adding to the charm and appeal of the Cellarium Terrace. 

The hire fee for the Cellarium Terrace is £3600 per day, providing access to this exceptional space for a range of events.

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About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore