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Christmas a magical time of year. It’s also the busiest time of year for marriage proposals. According to Bridebook.co.uk, around 100,000 couples are thought to have become engaged over the festive season.

January becomes the busiest time of the year for planning weddings. New and excited brides-to-be will begin making their initial enquires, and putting together perfect Pinterest mood boards. We’re looking at you, Meghan Markle.

So you’ve found Mr or Mrs Right, you’ve met the in-laws and they’re just about bearable. You’ve picked your ring, you’re engaged. Now what?

It’s time to start thinking about where you see yourself walking down the aisle.

A lot of us have fantasised about our dream wedding. What it’ll look like, where it’ll be, who we’ll invite – and who we won’t. It can be stressful to say the least. But one decision we’re making a little easier for you is where to have your wedding.

We’ve whittled the list of options down to the very best Manchester city centre venues, each with their own unique charm, size, style and character.

Whether you want to tie the knot in a beautifully elegant memorial hall or go off the beaten path with a bowling alley wedding – yes, it’s a thing – we’ve done the hard work for you.

Wherever you decide to have it (in Manchester), the important thing is to let loose and have fun. You’ve found someone who’s willing to spend the rest of their life with you. That’s the hard bit. Now it’s all plain sailing.

Here’s our picks of the very best venues in and around the city centre, in no particular order.

Memorial Hall at Albert Square Chop House

Your special day demands a memorable venue and The Albert Square Chop House provides just that. The venue is in the heart of Manchester city centre and will give you the red carpet treatment from the moment you arrive. Regarded by Historic England as one of the very best examples of Venetian gothic revival architecture in the country, the Memorial Hall was built in memory of Prince Albert, the love of Queen Victoria’s life, so it’s the perfect place for couples to seal their love. Wedding planner Lawrence is an expert in his field and will help you ensure your big day goes off without a hitch.

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Victoria Warehouse

As well as hosting some absolutely incredible events spanning from Warehouse Project raves to gin-fuelled escapades, Victoria Warehouse also opens its doors to weddings.

The architecture of The Bays at Victoria Warehouse offers both a wonderful acoustic and an intimate setting steeped in history. The industrial pillars and original brickwork have been lovingly restored to reveal a striking backdrop across two rooms; ideal for both traditional and contemporary celebrations. You really couldn’t get married anywhere more unusual and atmospheric.

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The Ainscow Hotel

You can be confident that your wedding at The Ainscow Hotel & Spa will be just as you imagined. This place oozes luxury and finesse. You can opt to go the whole nine yards or work with the talented team on a smaller scale, more intimate wedding. A private dining space can be hired with direct access to the stunning roof terrace. There are plenty of wedding packages to choose from, including breakfast and/or an evening buffet, with red carpet on arrival and a dance floor to party the night away.

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King Street Townhouse

King Street Townhouse boasts magical views from the heated South Terrace overlooking Manchester city centre. There are two areas that can be used for weddings and both offer a mix of modern and historic decor. Food choices include a traditional sit down wedding breakfast or, if you’re looking for something a little more informal, a BBQ or hog roast on the terrace. If you want to keep it old school, the afternoon tea is always a great option. The townhouse is hosting wedding open day on Saturday 13th January so head down if you’d like to get a better idea of what’s on offer.

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The Lowry Hotel

The Lowry Hotel offers two packages from £1,500 for 15 guests or can work per head to suit your needs.  Both packages include masters of ceremonies, champagne on arrival for all guests, chair covers and overnight stay as well as an a la carte wedding breakfast and evening buffet.

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Great John Street Hotel

Possibly Manchester’s most urban wedding venue, this former Victorian school house has been transformed into a chic luxury townhouse hotel which can also accommodate civil ceremonies and receptions. The unique atmosphere and decor will charm even the most awkward of guests. There’s a pewter bar, glorious overhead chandelier and the showpiece south facing Rooftop Lounge and Playground. It’s a sister hotel of King Street Townhouse and offers bespoke weddings to suit all needs, with a capacity of up to 200 guests.

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The Macdonald Hotel

Whether you’re planning an intimate wedding or a grand affair, you’ll find everything you could wish for at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel. There are luxurious function rooms, stylish bedrooms and pampering spa facilities that will wow your wedding guests and provide a spectacular backdrop to your wedding photographs. They provide a private bar and DJ hosting the perfect musical accompaniment. If you want to bust out in gangnam style, that’s up to you.

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The Midland Hotel

Luxurious, timeless and sophisticated, The Midland is one of the finest wedding venues in town. Celebrate your love for one another in this Grade II listed building, stroll beneath the marble arches and dance the night away surrounded by your family and friends before retiring to one of the hotels stunning suites. There’s lots of choice, with five suites available to suit your individual guest list, all with exquisite decor. The hotel’s facilities can cater for you after the wedding too. Complete with two acclaimed restaurants, an award-winning Tea Room and a luxurious spa, it really is the perfect place to spend your first few days as a married couple together. Prices start at £440 per suite hire.

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The Hilton Hotel

The exquisite Deansgate Suite can accommodate weddings and civil ceremonies from 70-500 guests and offers fantastic views of the city skyline. The hotel’s team of expert planners are on hand to provide a customised service to ensure your wedding day is unforgettable. After all, what better place to say your vows than overlooking your favourite city?

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Chetham’s

Fall in love with the magical atmosphere of Chetham’s and say your vows in the medieval Baronial Hall with its beautiful inglenook fireplace and magnificent timber roof. Dating back to 1421, the mellow sandstone buildings, ancient stone cloisters and richly appointed rooms are full of character and history. Nothing like a little vintage class to set off your big day right.

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All Star Lanes

Why walk down the aisle when you can walk down a bowling aisle? Believe it or not, All Star Lanes has a full wedding licence. The private bowling room offers its own cocktail bar, karaoke, iPod docking station and, of course, two bowling lanes. The All Star staff will be on hand to help arrange a tournament and serve a selection of food from the menu of light snacks and canapés whilst guests enjoy unlimited bowling and karaoke.

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