The stunning and historic capital of Wales, Cardiff is a city filled with castles, something Wales is well-known for. From sprawling estates to crumbling ruins, it’s truly a fairytale location. The city also has a lively student nightlife, with plenty of great bars, clubs and restaurants that come alive each evening.
It’s also on the coast and is a lovely seaside destination where you can enjoy some great food and views at the popular Mermaid Quay. Just outside of the city, you can easily access the rugged beauty of the Brecon Beacons where you can go hiking, walking and climbing.
Only two hours from the capital, Cardiff is both a convenient and picturesque location for a wedding reception. It is home to a variety of stunning venues, from stately homes to ancient castles and rustic barns.
Wedding Reception Options in Cardiff
In an ideal world, you could just turn up to a picture-perfect reception and enjoy the night. However, in reality, there are a couple of essential things you’ll need to make sure so that your party goes according to plan and is a night you’ll remember forever.
Many people forget about florists when planning both their ceremony and reception on their wedding day, but finishing touches can take your day from lovely to spectacular. Whether you want bright pops of colour, romantic roses or your favourite flower in your wedding bouquet, a florist can create the perfect display to give your reception some elegant detail.
- Wedding Planners
A wedding planner is essential for a stress-free wedding and reception. Whether or not you’ve considered hiring someone to plan your wedding, they can help you with as little or as much as you need leading up to your big day, from the guest list and table plan to booking vendors and organising transportation. You’ll be able to fully relax and focus your undivided attention on your big day, rather than on stressful tasks.
Weddings always leave guests feeling hungry, so hiring the right caterer is important to set you up for a fun night of partying. Wedding caterers can specialise in all kinds of cuisines, from classic British to far eastern Indian or Thai, and even barbecues and picnics. They can also take care of any dietary requirements your guests have or if there are any picky eaters!
Wedding Reception Companies in Cardiff
- Flowers, I Do
A company which calls itself ‘flower artisans’, Flowers I Do are the go-to people in Cardiff to create the prettiest floral bouquets and displays you could ever want. No matter what style your wedding, from bohemian to rustic, vintage or modern, they have flowers to match and will consult with you to find the perfect colour palette and style.
- EPIC Caterers
Based conveniently in Cardiff, EPIC Caterers are a food company with a twist. Founded in 2015, they provide high-end gourmet cuisine that’s modern and fun. Their chefs pride themselves on being able to work anywhere, even in the middle of nowhere (for those of you with a countryside reception). They also offer the option to create your bespoke menu, alongside their pre-set options as well as an inventive drinks menu.
- Gwil I Am
Gwil I Am has more than 20 years of experience planning every aspect of weddings, from the most important such as venues and photographers to the tiny details such as bespoke artists, ice sculptures and candyfloss machines. If you can dream it, they can organise it, so that you don’t have to worry about a single thing on your big day!
Pros and Cons of Wedding Receptions in Cardiff
- It’s filled with history
If you’re searching for a character venue, whether a stately home, palace or castle, Cardiff has more than you could ever choose from. The city and its surrounding area have over 600 hundred castles, so whether you want a small, romantic slice of history or a grand home owned by kings and queens, something in Cardiff will fit the bill.
- A nature lover’s dream
It’s not just the Brecons that are on Cardiff’s doorstep, but surrounding the city you’ll find miles of the classic Welsh countryside, with nothing but rolling hills and also some excellent beaches. For an active pre-wedding break or even an outdoorsy honeymoon, you can enjoy camping and hiking to your heart’s content.
- A diverse restaurant culture
Cardiff city centre is full of buzzing restaurants and cafes. From Mexican to Thai, there’s a melting pot of different cuisines on offer. There’s also a big vegan following so you’ll find lots of healthy foods and cute brunch spots for a post-wedding pick-me-up!
- It’s a windy city
Both being by the water as well as being in Wales, which is notorious for its rainy weather, Cardiff can get some of the UK’s windiest and rainiest weather, particularly in winter. Summer is the best time to book any event in the city, or you can simply make sure to book an indoor venue!
- It's a student hub
Cardiff is both a student city and a buzzing capital, and its array of clubs and bars means, on most weekends and even weeknights, it can get extremely busy in the city centre. It’s an especially popular place for both stag and hen do’s if you’re looking to keep it local, but not if you’re after a more quiet and relaxing run-up to your big day.
- An iconic sporting city
In a similar vein, Cardiff is a rugby Mecca not just in Wales but in the UK, hosting some of the most renowned teams and games throughout the season. If you’re unlucky enough to coincide with these sporting events, you can expect the city to be overrun with people, with little to no public transport or taxi services—not ideal if you’re in a rush!
Famous Locations in Cardiff
- Cardiff Castle
Possibly Cardiff’s most iconic landmark, Cardiff Castle is the most famous and exclusive venue in the capital. It makes for a fascinating day trip where you can explore the grounds, battlements and state apartments. It dates back to almost the 10th century, and if you’re short on time, you can see it all on an organised tour.
- Cardiff Bay
One of the city’s prettiest areas, especially in the evening, Cardiff Bay is a huge waterfront area with plenty to explore. Not only are there a lot of fun sights and activities for kids to enjoy, but there are also lots of paths and trails to explore leading through the wetlands. You’ll also find excellent restaurants and lots of shopping to keep you occupied.
- Principality Stadium
If you can get hold of a ticket, seeing a rugby match at Principality Stadium is a must-do when in the city, although they normally sell out quickly. Even if you can’t get hold of one, you can take a tour of the stadium including the pitch, changing rooms and the underground tunnels. Occasionally, it also hosts shows for some of the world’s biggest music artists, too.