Image: Fiona Kelly Photography
Ok, hands up who loves a good story? Right now, some of the wedding venues that excite me the most are the ones with tantalising tales to tell. And RSA House – holding a VIP Open Day on Saturday 18th April – is overflowing with stories of epic invention, legendary creativity… and history being made.
Not that ANY day in history will be as important as your special day, of course (we have our priorities spot-on here, at Smashing the Glass). But beyond the breathtakingly elegant Georgian façade near the Strand and Trafalgar Square, lie a range of beautiful, opulent (and often surprising) rooms and spaces, just waiting for your story to start.
Holding your wedding at RSA House connects you and your guests to some of the greatest creative thinkers, scientists and artists who have shaped our world. And with 13 different rooms, a capacity for between five and 220 guests, a combination of period detail and contemporary style – and the magically shifting ambience between rooms – it’s a wonderfully versatile venue for your celebrations.
You’ll be met on the Open Day by RSA House’s wedding coordinator, the lovely Nikki Hird, with chilled Prosecco and award-winning macaroons on hand. She’ll lead you to one of RSA House’s main wedding rooms: the dazzlingly opulent Great Room. A majestic glass-domed ceiling lets natural light flood in, showing off the full splendour of James Barry’s epic, narrative painting.
It was in this iconic room that RSA Fellow Alexander Graham Bell gave the first practical demonstration of a funny little invention of his in 1877: something called the telephone. A nice little story to drop into conversation when your guests are taking their smartphone wedding selfies..?
Nikki will also take you to the supremely elegant Benjamin Franklin room. With extraordinary views of the Strand and a gloriously dramatic chandelier, it’s just perfect for your chuppah or wedding breakfast, and can fit up to 150 guests. And for all you entrepreneurial types out there, something to mull over during your first dance: this really is the place of ‘firsts’ – as the ‘Model Room’, was once used to exhibit all kinds of weird and wonderful new prize-winning inventions.
Fancy a change of scene? You’ll head with Nikki down underground, to the exquisitely atmospheric subterranean Vaults. In striking contrast to the splendour of the rooms above, these interconnecting rooms are cool and cosy enough for an intimate wedding, or spacious enough for a party, dance floor and DJ. Soak in the ambience and beauty of the 18th century brickwork, and imagine them as they once were – bustling river-front warehouses – as you exchange vows by candlelight, or entertain your guests with award-winning cuisine.
To arrange your personal VIP tour with Nikki, call her on 020 7451 6809 or email Nikki.Hird@rsa.org.uk. Appointments are from 10am to 4pm on the 18th April (insider tip from me: get in quick, as places go in a heartbeat) and you’ll find RSA House at 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ. If you really can’t make the 18th but would still love to discover this sensational venue, get in touch with Nikki anyway and she can suggest an alternative date to meet.
So, ready for your story to begin? I can’t wait to hear what happens next!