28 October 2012

Portrait Gallery as wedding venue?

| Rudolph321
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Hi Rioters,

Have any of you been to the National Portrait Gallery as a guest for a wedding? Or even had your own wedding there?

It’s top of the venue rankings for my ceremony and reception and I’m wondering if there’s anything you loved or hated about it.

I’ve never been to a function there so don’t want to go in blind, and would appreciate your thoughts.


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The NLA do good food, and I know somebody who booked their outdoor area for a party which turned out really nicely. Much better view than from either of the other two mentioned locations.

I had my wedding reception there early this year. Fiona (events) and Anthony (catering) were great. Along the Gordon Darling hall, the food was the other main reason we chose the venue – it was great. Initially were tempted to go with the NGA across the road as that is also a great space but had a tasting with them that was terrible.

Couple of points to make though – you can’t put anything on the ceiling or the floor in either the hall or the terrace room so if you want decorations from the ceiling or a parquetry dance floor you are out of luck, and they are very strict about having everyone out by midnight. Fiona is great at making sure that things run on schedule though.

You can always pay for a tasting if you are unsure about the food. We had 2 tastings (one included in the booking and one extra) to decide what we wanted on the menu.

I have been as a wedding guest and it was fantastic. The ceremony and was held outside followed by drinks and nibbles, then the reception indoors.

The staff were friendly and attentive, the facilities were top notch, and the food was great. The ‘function room’ (I hesitate to call it that because it is a very unique space) was beautiful, and despite the enormous high ceilings and copious amounts of glass it felt very intimate and private.

We were smack bang in the middle of the parliamentary triangle and it felt like the whole building and the grounds were ours and ours alone for the night. Very impressed!

If the NPG require you to use the cafe as caterers, don’t go near it. They are appalling – greasy, unimaginative food. If you can organise your own catering, it’s a great venue – but you would definitely want the big hall, not one of the corporate type rooms off to the side. The natural light makes it wonderful.

Matt Sheppard7:35 pm 28 Oct 12

I went to a corporate function there once, which was quite nicely organised, but never a wedding or anything along those lines.

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