Awesome Top-Tips for Booking your Perfect Alternative Wedding Venue from Natasha who works at the Asylum in London

Welcome to the wedding supplier Q&A series where every Sunday afternoon we’ll be speaking to a London based wedding supplier and uncovering information to make planning your wedding easier. Each supplier has been hand picked because of their awesome personality, love they have for their couples and knowledge of their industry. I’ve also tried to find suppliers that are unique to give you a taste of what’s possible.

This week we’ll be speaking with Natasha from the Asylum, a Wedding Venue in South London. Asylum is like nothing else I’ve seen in London. During the 2nd World War a bomb came through the roof of the chapel setting it on fire. All the wooden sections of the chapel were destroyed, but the stain glass windows and memorial plaques  which were boxed up, survived. 

Having seen photos of the venue I was half expecting a damp smell when I arrived, but instead I was welcomed by a fresh breeze, an almost warm atmosphere and a welcomed silence which as any Londoner will know is rare in this city. Whether you’re interested in the Asylum specifically or looking for tips for booking any wedding venue read on.

1. Tell us a bit about the story behind your business & why you do what you do?

The Asylum is run by Maverick Projects which was set up by Jo & Dido, who like myself are both artists. They took on this space about 4 years ago now and originally using it as an arts, theatre and opera venue (the place has great acoustics). The venue was licensed for weddings in 2012 and now half of all weddings in Southwark take place here. Photos from our first wedding were shared on a well known blog we started getting more and more requests. The rest is history.

Almost every Saturday this year is already booked (through both the summer and winter).We never had to push it commercially, it’s always been something that people have found out about organically through blogs, magazines and friends, which makes it feel kind of special. 

Along side the weddings we also have some exciting commercial jobs and art projects that take place at the Asylum. We’ve had a lot of photography shoots and music video promos with the likes of Professor Green who shot his video Avalon here, and Little Mix with Little Me. We’ve also had Teen Vogue here and a Game Of Thrones Christmas Special Interview. We also still very much support the arts and had a very successful artist residency last year. I think clients like the fact the venue is multi functional, it creates a good energy.

Asylum Alternative wedding venue London | Matt Badenoch Photography, The Chapel

2. What are your Top-Tips for a couple choosing their wedding venue?

  1. Get your date penciled in as soon as possible. Venues get booked up fast, we’re now getting bookings for 2017

  2. Check if the venue is willing to be flexible to what you want. Ask if the venue has any restrictions. These may regard decorations, moving furniture, capacity, noise levels and curfews.

  3. Try and ensure both of you are equally involved in the planning of your wedding. We’ve found these to be the nicest ones, when both of you are sharing ideas and having fun with it.

The wall, Asylum Alternative wedding venue London | Matt Badenoch Photography

3. I love quotes, do you have any favourites?

There’s a quote we always have on the board in the office:

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” – Steve Jobbs

This works because we’re always pushing for the next thing in a really good way, saying to each other – “let’s go for it, let’s jump in the deep end.” I think that’s a really good attitude to have. It also ties into why we’re called Maverick Projects.

Cracked wall, Asylum Alternative wedding venue London | Matt Badenoch Photography