Mersey museums see record wedding requests

A record number of couples are clamouring to hold their weddings at the Liverpool city region venues operated by National Museums Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports

Walker Art Gallery
Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery is a popular wedding venue. Picture by Pete Carr

 

National Museums Liverpool (NML) has received a record number of requests from couple keen to hold their weddings at its seven Merseyside venues in 2022.

For the last six weeks NML is reporting an “unexpected flurry of wedding enquiries” and this year is set to be the most romantic in its history. The include an upcoming wedding booked less than a month ago and a Valentine’s week wedding at the Maritime Museum.

NML operates seven venues – the oldest dating back to the 1800s – and includes some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. They are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Sudley House and Lady Lever Art Gallery. 

It has hosted weddings at selected venues over the past decade, including the Walker Art Gallery and World Museum in Liverpool city centre. Now the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight has become its latest venue to begin hosting weddings.

The first wedding reception was held in the magnificent Beaux-Arts style building at the end of 2021.There is now a series of upcoming weddings planned in the picturesque Wirral setting, with stunning galleries, a beautiful grand hall and one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art.

READ MORE: Big events return to National Museums Liverpool

Rebecca O’Neill, events manager at NML’s events arm, Hosted By National Museums Liverpool, said: “Many of our artworks and collections have their own romantic stories, and we enjoy playing a part in the love stories of today too.

“We’re having our busiest ever period for wedding enquiries – including newly engaged couples, as well as those who have delayed setting a date or rescheduled their wedding. There is growing popularity in art galleries and venues that add an element of culture or nostalgia.

“We’ve also recently found that more people are coming back to their roots to get married – for example, couples living in London but arranging their wedding in their home towns.

 

Lady Lever
Angela Case and Mark Gibson from Bebington were married at the Lady Lever Gallery. Picture by Gareth Jones
Port Sunlight
The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight is now hosting weddings. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

January saw Hosted By National Museums Liverpool – NML’s events brand and inhouse events team – responding to triple the number of wedding enquiries than the monthly wedding requests received during the last three months of 2021.

It has also received external wedding catering requests from other cultural venues in the region. Karen O’Connor, director of commercial enterprises at NML, added: “After a challenging two years for the hospitality and weddings industry, it’s great to have our beautiful venues, talented events team and chefs, in demand.

READ MORE: Liverpool’s cultural sector secures £22m cash injection

“We work carefully to capture special requirements of couples within our distinctive settings – and have plans to extend our wedding offering this year.”

Angela Case and Mark Gibson from Bebington recently became the first ever couple to hold a wedding reception the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Angela said: “After a two-year romance that started just before the pandemic, we wanted to make sure our wedding was a unique and memorable day for us all to enjoy.

“The building is stunning and made for some brilliant photographs and memories – being the first couple to host a wedding reception there felt very special.”

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