There is so much to consider when choosing a wedding venue. What if the venue only has one room and it rains? Where do the guests go during change-over? There are questions people don’t think of, so this list tries to encompass those questions while giving you the low-down on the best Wedding venues in Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham in Torbay… plus a bonus venue if you fancy somewhere just outside of the bay.
Torbay, located in the county of Devon, is an incredible place in the UK to get married due to its diverse range of wedding venues, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. The region offers a range of options for couples, from historic castles and elegant country estates to charming coastal resorts and quaint village halls.
The area is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, including rolling hills, stunning coastlines, and lush greenery, providing a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
The Torbay region is also rich in cultural heritage, with a range of historical sites and landmarks, providing a unique and distinctive setting for weddings. The region is renowned for its hospitality and friendly locals, making it a welcoming and memorable location for a wedding celebration. With its diverse range of options, stunning scenery, and rich cultural heritage, Torbay is a top destination for couples looking to exchange their vows in the UK!
#1 – The Osborne Hotel, Torquay
Situated just above Meadfoot Beach, the Osborne Hotel can offer a lot of options. The single most useful asset is that they can leave the decision to have the Wedding inside or outside within an hour or two of the ceremony.
A number of places will decide on the morning or even the night before. Not so with the Osborne Hotel. The hotel has an outside bar area, an inside bar and also a bar contained within the reception room itself. It isn’t as easy to keep away from the guests outside, but inside you’ll be in your own separate area.
There are a couple of very nice locations close by that offer some truly lovely Bride and Groom shots for your Gallery.
Parking can be difficult in the summer months and you must check in your vehicle when you arrive as they have number plate recognition cameras in place.
The food has always been first class and I really enjoy having Weddings here!
Why would you choose the Osborne Hotel?
- The option of having the ceremony outside
- If you want an outdoor wedding, this venue can get very close to the ceremony time before deciding to have it indoors or outdoors
- The outside area has lovely views over Meadfoot
- Some very nice scenic options within a short drive of the hotel
#2 – Berry Head Hotel, Brixham
The Berry Head Hotel has a very light and clean reception and ceremony room. With nice views and a large room capable of holding a lot of people.
One of the nicest things about the Berry Head Hotel it has its own private area right by the sea. This makes a lovely backdrop for the Bride and Groom shots.
You may have to watch out for a local Brixham Ferry photo-bombing your Bride and Groom shoot, with the passengers all shouting out ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ at the top of their voices 🙂
The staff turn around the room quickly and as you can see, it makes a lovely room for meals and evening entertainment. They move the tables for the evening and there is a dance floor in the main room. This room also has its own bar which is staffed all day long.
The reception room has a bar so you can keep away from the guests. You also have your own area outside for drinks and chatting. The views from everywhere here are truly lovely!
Why choose the Berry Head Hotel?
- A dedicated bar for wedding
- Option of having the ceremony outside
- A ‘closed-off’ area outside for guests, with stunning views across the bay
#3 – The Headland Hotel
The Headland Hotel is situated at Daddyhole Plain in Torquay. This venue also has a lovely light and airy feel to it, something that suits my style of Wedding Photography very well. The reception room has plenty of natural light flowing through the room.
There is where local knowledge is King. I know of a secret spot not far from the hotel which offers some stunning views of Meadfoot and the Bay…
The outside area can hold a few dozen people but you would also have the gardens below. This is a lovely, spacious area for your guests and a nice place for those formal portraits.
Why choose the Headland Hotel?
- Large rooms for large groups
- Nice garden area for guests and formal photos
- Lovely spots nearby for Bride and Groom photos
- Dedicated bar for wedding party
#4 – Torre Abbey
Torre Abbey is a wedding venue that you may not have thought of, but having shot a wedding there, I can tell you, it’s unusual, quirky and a lovely place to get married.
My Wedding couple chose the Undercroft for the ceremony and the Spanish Barn for the reception. The Undercroft is below ground, with three small, slit windows letting in a little natural light. There are also small, LED lights. None of these gives off a lot of light so it creates a really dark, moody vibe.
I couldn’t see the guests at the back of the room as it was too dark. That meant I needed a more light and airy scene so I could include the guests in the photos.
The Undercroft is a room for experienced photographers only. The photo below makes it look light and airy but it was a lot darker. We had to be creative and light the scene carefully. The very low, non-white ceiling will make using lighting quite challenging for less experienced wedding photographers.
Once the ceremony is over, the grounds offer some amazing scenes for photos. On overcast days you have a whole host of possible locations. On a bright, sunny day you have fewer options but there are still places to take the formal and Bride & Groom photos.
The Spanish Barn is HUGE and can be turned into anything you fancy. This wedding had an Elvis theme so that became part of the feel…
Why choose Torre Abbey?
- This venue can hold a lot of guests
- If you want something unusual or quirky
- Dedicated Bar
- Beautiful grounds and close to other stunning views for Bride and Groom photos
#5 – Bickley Mill
Located near Newton Abbot, Bickley Mill is just outside of Torbay but it is too nice to not be included.
If you fancy a smaller, more intimate wedding, this is one to consider. The ceremony room is small but cosy. It is also light and airy.
The ceremony room becomes part of the reception room so after the ceremony you need to move outside so the staff can turn the room around. Thankfully, you have the decking area closed off to everyone else so you’ll have your own unique area. The decking area is also the best spot for the confetti if you’re planning on having it.
The gardens make a nice area for photos and once the ceremony room has been changed over, it makes for a nice, intimate area for the reception.
Why choose the Bickley Mill?
- A lovely spot for small, intimate weddings
- Closed off decking area for wedding party
- Nice grounds for small formal groups
#6 Palace Theatre
If you fancy a themed wedding then the Palace Theatre could have you covered. There are several pros to this venue and only a couple of cons.
First off, the dressing rooms backstage are the rooms used for hair and makeup. The hair and makeup ladies will love this room, as will your photographer. Bulbs all around the mirrors make you feel like the star you are.
The room called ‘Stage Left’ is where your reception will be. The number of guests allowed will depend on the number of extras you have in the room. If you have a hog roast, casinos and so on, it will decrease the number. It’s a very unique room for a reception.
The main attraction will be getting married on the main stage. You’ll be standing where many stars have stood as you nervously say your vows. The first kiss is quite a spectacular photo on the stage, especially with a confetti canon on either side.
My couple had the meal in Stage Left but had the speeches in the main theatre. Again, this is very unique and nothing else quite like this.
The main thing to consider photography-wise is that this is not the venue for an inexperienced photographer. The challenges in the auditorium are big. I shoot a lot of Theatre work so I am experienced in the challenges of lighting the scene.
Everyone gets pulled into the theatrics of the day and there are a lot of smiles here.
Why choose the Palace Theatre?
- If you want something very unique
- You want full control over the room style
- If you love the Theatre!
- Choose your photographer carefully! This is NOT an easy ceremony to photograph!
#7 – The Party Barn
This is also one of those truly unique venues where it is your dreams that turn into reality. If you fancy a really rustic Devon Wedding, the Torbay Party barn is the venue for you!
Andrew looks after you like few others do. He is a super-friendly, helpful, attentive and all-around nice guy. Just watch he doesn’t get in the shots like the one above 🙂
This is a working farm and so the farm animals are all around. The kids love this venue! The only thing supplied here is the barn, a bar, and toilets and that’s it. You bring everything to turn it into whatever your heart desires.
My most recent wedding here had the ceremony ‘side-on’ instead of lengthways. This was a great idea. If you have it lengthways you have corrugated panelling as the backdrop. By positioning it the way this one did, you have lovely textured walls as the backdrop instead. The photo below shows you what I mean by how I think this is a much nicer angle to have the ceremony.
Andrew may even drive you to a secret spot for a lovely sunset shoot with the Bride and Groom.
Be warned though, this is not a well-signposted venue. If you’re having your wedding here, make signs to put up from the Ringroad to the barn. Everyone will love that you did this!
Why choose the Party Barn?
- This is as rustic as it gets
- No parking issues at all here, you all park in a huge field
- You turn the venue into anything you want
- Clean toilets and bar
- No hotel guests etc to worry about.
- Kids love the animals
#8- The Grand Hotel, Torquay
The Grand Hotel is situated just beside Torre Abbey beach and Torquay Railway. If you have guests arriving by train, the Grand Hotel couldn’t be any easier to get to.
The ceremony room has been refitted and looks amazing in photos. This room is huge and can hold a LOT of people. Everything here is easy to access and the wedding party will have its own outside area for wedding guests.
There are only really two small things to consider. The first is that there isn’t really anywhere for a big group shot on the grounds. You’re restricted to taking the photo by the stairs and doors into the bar…
The only other issue is that there can be a smell emanating from the beach. You don’t have this all the time and at high tide, the issue isn’t as bad. In the summer it can be quite strong so just be aware of it.
The plus is that you have a small garden for the small group portraits which look lovely.
There is no parking at this hotel. There used to be free roadside parking outside but this has been almost entirely covered in double yellow lines. The good news is that there is a drop-off point right outside the main doors. There is a LOT of paid parking in the train station car park which is just across the road.
They have a separate room which can be used for the evening’s entertainment. Again, this holds a lot of people and looks lovely at night!
Why Choose the Grand Hotel
- The rooms can hold a lot of people
- Plenty of rooms for wedding guests to stay in
Why you may not want to – an update (November 2022)
The Grand Hotel has a sister hotel in Torquay called Abbey Sands Hotel. The Abbey Sands Hotel cancelled all their weddings and events with no notice for this year and next year, in favour of housing immigrants. One of my couples next year may have to postpone a year or two because they couldn’t find another venue for next year.
I’m hoping the Grand Hotel won’t follow suit, cancelling everything with no warning, but in my eyes, it is now a plausible possibility. Given how hotels are in huge demand for this type of housing, it is worth taking this into account when deciding on this venue.
If you need a Wedding Photographer for a Torbay Wedding please get in touch!