Weddings and private events
To create your special occasion for family and friends, we want to make sure we achieve exactly the right amount of formality and ceremony. For the times of joy and celebration with your family and friends, we aim to make your event beautiful and memorable, and importantly, very personal to you.
We can cater for parties and receptions of different sizes, and we are especially delighted to now be able to offer Wedding Blessings in our lovely Chapel. If you so choose, you can now be married, blessed and have your Wedding breakfast or party all in the stunning rooms at the Charterhouse.
With our approved suppliers, or suppliers of your choosing, we offer a bespoke service in consultation with you, to create an event that will delight you and your guests.
It may add to your special experience here at the Charterhouse, that all profit goes directly to the Charterhouse charity, with has housed and supported older people in need since the 17th century.
Please note that, due to the special nature of the Charterhouse as an almshouse for a community of older men and women, events can only take place between 8.00am and 10.00pm.
We know that you will have many questions and we very much recommend reading our FAQs at the bottom of this page before you make an enquiry about the Charterhouse and availability. We have tried to cover off all the things that matter to you most.
To make an enquiry giving the details of your proposed event please fill in our Enquiry Form here, or you can contact our team on email@example.com.
Charterhouse Wedding FAQs
Booking your wedding or civil ceremony
What should our first steps be when booking our wedding or civil ceremony?
We recommend first of all reading through these FAQs! These details should answer many of your queries and help you with your planning. Then we suggest you arrange a visit in person so we can show you all the rooms and spaces. This is a complex site with many possibilities, so it’s good to see all the options at first hand. Once you have decided to hold your event here at the Charterhouse, you will have a designated Event Coordinator who will manage all arrangements.
Does the Charterhouse have a civil ceremonies licence?
Yes we do. We are licensed to have marriage and civil ceremonies in all the available rooms other than the Chapel and Chapel Cloister. We cannot hold civil ceremonies in our outside spaces.
Can we get married in the Chapel?
No, the Chapel cannot be used for weddings – but you can have your blessing there.
Can we have a humanist ceremony?
Yes, you are welcome to have a humanist ceremony in any of the available rooms other than the Chapel and Chapel Cloister.
Do we need to book a registrar separately?
Yes, you need to contact Islington Registry Office to book a registrar for your wedding. Please ensure that your preferred date is available with your chosen registrar before reserving a date at the Charterhouse.
Can we choose our own religious celebrant for the blessing?
Yes, you are very welcome to choose your own religious celebrant for your blessing. Please note that the Preacher at the Charterhouse, Reverend Canon Ann Clarke, is also available for blessings in the Chapel on certain occasions, your Event Coordinator can give you more details about this.
How long is the wedding/civil ceremony/blessing?
It is worth discussing your ceremony or blessing with the registrar or celebrant as these services can vary and they may be able to be altered to your preference.
Are all your available rooms licensed for ceremonies?
Yes, ceremonies can be conducted in all the available rooms but not outdoors.
How long can we reserve a date for?
You can reserve one or more dates as early as you like. Those dates are then held for you but are not confirmed until your deposit is paid. If we should get another enquiry for your reserved date you would still have priority, but we would then ask you to confirm your date with your deposit within 7 days.
When and how do I need to confirm the date?
Your date is not confirmed until your deposit is paid (50% of the quoted price). Unless there are other enquiries about your reserved date, it can be kept reserved right up to seven days before the event.
What is the deposit we need to pay?
Your deposit is 50% of the quoted price.
What is your cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy takes into consideration both events outside our control that impact on whether we can open, as well as the reasons you may need to cancel.
What happens if we book for some or all of the event to be outside and it rains?
When planning any outdoors element of your event we will always consider a “weather-proof” option as good weather is sadly one thing we cannot guarantee.
When do we make the final payment?
The balance will be invoiced seven days after your event, and payment is required within 21 days of sending.
When do we need to confirm the final menu and guest list size?
You have until seven days before your event at the very latest to confirm your numbers with us and to confirm your menu choices if you are using our preferred caterer. Other caterers will have their own policy for menu choices and guest numbers which you will need to double check with them.
Can you offer our guests a tour of the Charterhouse during the event?
Yes, this is definitely possible, subject to availability on the day. A tour of the Charterhouse can last from 15 up to 45 minutes and would be charged at £10 per person (regardless of the duration of the tour).
What is the best way to organise our event?
We really recommend hiring a dedicated and experienced co-ordinator to help manage the day if this is possible. This will take the strain away from you, especially if you are bringing in all your own suppliers (dry hire) so you can enjoy the day with your family and guests without dealing with any of the logistics. You will have a dedicated Event Coordinator at our end – who ideally should have one point of contact with you (the client) to ensure there are no confusions or mix-ups.
Can we bring our own caterers, florists, production company etc?
We have a preferred caterer which we can tell you more about on application. As an alternative to using our preferred caterer you are very welcome to bring in your preferred catering supplier (once agreed with us) who will also supply all service staff, necessary equipment, crockery, linen, etc. Please note, external caterers cannot use our kitchens but we can provide alternative spaces for a temporary kitchen. There is a £500 + vat fee for bringing external caterers in. You can also hire and bring in your own choice of other suppliers such as florists, production teams, musicians or DJs at no extra fee. Please consult with your Event Coordinator about bringing in these external suppliers – on most occasions it will be necessary to meet on site with the contractors and discuss all the logistics, access and any restrictions in detail. NB we can make recommendations of a variety of suppliers we have worked with before.
Can we bring our own wedding cake – is there a cutting charge?
Yes – please do feel free to bring your own wedding cake. The cutting fee will depend on which caterer you choose.
Can we bring our own wine and spirits – is there a corkage charge?
If you choose our preferred caterer you are welcome to bring all your own wine and spirits. There is a £10 corkage charge per 750ml bottle of wine, and £15 charge for each 750ml bottle of spirits. We will chill all the drinks for you. Other caterers will have their own policies.
Can we bring any animals (e.g. pets) into the Charterhouse?
We allow guide dogs on the premises, but no other animals. Outside we can also consider well-behaved dogs on leads, and horses.
Are there high-chairs for children and a children-friendly zone?
We have no high-chairs on-site so please do bring your own if you need them. All children under 14 need to be supervised by designated adults at all times during your event (in consideration for the older residents, and the value and fragility of our décor and collections).
Can we take photographs on site?
A location fee allowing you to take photographs is included in your costing unless you are booking a ceremony only in which case a photography session on-site is charged in addition at £300. Couple photos are possible in all available spaces, while large group photographs can only be taken where space capacity allows – so please discuss these with your Event Coordinator. (NB photographs must only include your guests and service staff, and not Brothers or Charterhouse staff).
Can we have live music or a DJ and dancing?
We are very happy to have music on-site but we have to be mindful of residents. We can have DJs and dancing in the Norfolk Cloister and Old Library (up to 9.30pm). In other areas we can have live music but not as loud.
Can we live-stream the service and/or event?
We have live-streaming facilities here at the Charterhouse and can offer this at £200 per event. Please note we cannot give a 100% guarantee of offering live-streaming as there may be issues with the internet that are outside of our control. In case of any issues with the connection, you won’t be charged the live-streaming fee.
What are the room capacities?
Please see our rooms and spaces page for more details.
Can we have fireworks or confetti?
You can have hand-held sparklers outside but sorry, no fireworks. We can allow confetti outside as long as it is biodegradable (e.g. flower petals). Unfortunately, we cannot allow rice.
Can we use candles or any other open flames?
As long as they are smokeless, you can have candles both inside and outside, and smokeless flaming torches or flambeaux are also possible outside.
Are there any décor restrictions?
Please discuss any other décor choices with your Event Coordinator. There may be a few other restrictions – for example flowers whose petals can stain the flag floor in the Chapel and Chapel Cloister.
What type of tables and chairs do you offer?
We can offer both long and round dining tables. Generally, we recommend long tables as we can accommodate more people more comfortably that way. We also have poseur tables for stand-up receptions. For seating we have mahogany bentwood chairs with dark green seating pads.
Do we get to specify the layout of the room?
There is some flexibility in how we lay out each room, depending on numbers and catering. We will do our best to create a layout that suits you.
Do you have sound and AV facilities on site?
We are able to offer very limited sound and AV facilities. We also have designated AV suppliers with whom you can discuss your requirements directly.
Are there any other charges e.g. for cleaning, staff, room hire we need to be aware of?
Our venue hire rates include cleaning and all room hire. Any additional costs will be outlined in the bespoke quotation which we will send you. If you are bringing in your own caterers, all cleaning will be expected to be done by your suppliers including rubbish disposal off site.
Access and storage
Is there a place we can get ready before the event begins?
We have a smaller room which can hold up to five people, suitable for getting changed or ready before the event (with limited toilet access).
How long before the event starts would we have access to the site?
We allow access to the site one hour before the event is due to start. We are happy to discuss exceptions if they are unavoidable.
Where would the wedding party and guests access the Charterhouse buildings?
You and your guests can enter through the Gatehouse or the Main Entrance – and it is possible to have both entrances open. Please note that the museum entrance is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, while the Gatehouse entrance is used by residents and people with appointments so perhaps offers more “exclusive access”. The Museum can be closed especially for an event, which incurs a £1,800.00 + VAT charge for the whole day or £350+ VAT per hour. That covers the revenue loss.
Regarding public access, we also need to be clear that, when people want to use the Chapel for a blessing, that space and the Cloister are parts of our public museum. During the day, unless you hire the space exclusively (and pay the charge for museum closure) we cannot guarantee there will not be the possibility of people walking into the Chapel during the ceremony.
Is there any accommodation you recommend nearby?
We have two good hotels in the close vicinity of the Charterhouse. Malmaison London which is right next door, and The Rookery, which is a four-minute walk away.
Is there parking available?
Limited parking is available for disabled access. There is paid parking available nearby – we suggest Euro Car Parks at Charterhouse Square, NCP carpark on Aldersgate St – Barbican, Smithfield carpark – behind the meat market.
Is there disabled access to the site?
Yes, our site is fully accessible.
Can we leave anything behind to pick up at a later date?
Yes, this can be arranged – but we would ideally like everything picked up by the following day. (NB we are not liable for theft, loss or damage of any belongings left on our site).
Can you store wedding gifts safely somewhere on site?
While we can offer space to accommodate wedding gifts during the event, or until the following day, we cannot accept liability for theft, loss or damage while they are on site.
How many toilets would be available?
We have two sets of toilets on site with enough provision for the room capacities we offer.
Logistics, site rules and insurance
Are there any other restrictions we need to be aware of?
We always need to keep in mind the very special nature of our site, with respect for the privacy of the older residents in the almshouse and infirmary. Many of the restrictions already mentioned are for this reason, but unexpected restrictions may also occur which are out of our control and may impact our ability to run events on certain days.
Will the Brothers be on site during my event?
The Brothers who live here permanently will be on-site during your event. They will be made aware of your event, and will respect the areas designated for you and your guests (though they may need to use the same lift on occasion). We ask you to please in turn be respectful of their privacy and proximity.
Do you have public liability insurance?
We have our own public liability insurance but will also expect you to apply for your own event cover insurance and to share a copy with us.
Do you have security on site?
There is security on-site all week round – but there will also be a designated security person present during your event.
Do you have health & safety and risk assessments covered?
We have full H&S and risk assessments in place which we can share with you as required.