Romance on board

01 February 2016


01 February 2016


Explore the stories of some of the couples to get married on board the SS Great Britain as modern day wedding venue.

We’ve taken a look back at a selection of lovely couples who’ve tied the knot on board.

On Friday 11 July 2014, we were proud to host our first same sex marriage on board for Lesley Mayfield (now Milner) and Claire Milner. Claire and Lesley had their first date here so already had fond memories of the attraction, but that coupled with Lesley’s love of history and Claire’s love of kayaking, anchored the ship as their dream venue. Since being married on board, the couple are now avid fans and have been welcomed as a part of the family at Brunel’s ss Great Britain. They are regular visitors and Lesley is exploring the opportunity of becoming a volunteer.

“What really cemented having such a special day with you was how your staff just accepted my wife and I as ‘normal’ as a same sex couple.

“Even your forms don’t assume male and female, and after crossing out Groom to write Bride more times than I care to remember, you realise the small things really do count on the biggest day of your life so far.”

– Lesley Milner



As if Brunel’s beautiful masterpiece wasn’t picturesque enough, Kat and Adam were married on the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta weekend, which made for a picture-perfect wedding album. Kathryn has always been obsessed with hot air balloons ever since she was little. While watching ‘The Ugly Truth’ starring Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl, following a scene at the end of the film that shows Katherine and Gerard’s characters in a hot air balloon surrounded by dozens of others, Kathryn told Adam how she’d always love to see something like that. Adam the romantic then got researching when he stumbled across Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, where he booked a private balloon and proposed mid flight.

“All of our friends and family said to us “hands down, it was the best wedding they have ever been to!”

“It was BEAUTIFUL! The food was amazing, all of the staff were wonderful, there was so much room to explore and set up extra entertainment. It really was a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

– Kathryn Crowe



Rachael’s father David is a props master and chipped in for this one. He helped make use of the ship’s backdrop to make for a swashbuckling pirate-themed wedding. A giant ship’s wheel, cutlasses and props for the photo booth were all made for a completely unforgettable day. Rachael was looking for something a little bit different and always wanted to get married somewhere with a real wow factor. After their first viewing with one of our Events Coordinators Tom, the couple booked the ceremony and reception instantly. With the wedding now booked on a “pirate ship”, as Rachael had called it, they joked about going all out with a pirate-themed wedding and from there the rest is history.

“We were so pleased to meet Tom and have him in charge of our wedding and he put us at ease for all our worries and concerns about planning in the weeks that preceded the big day.

“Bob who was our master of ceremony, has since become a bit of a talking point about the day because of the fantastic work he did during the day, making sure that things were running as they should, keeping us informed about the running order of things and entertaining the guests while we went off for photographs.

“We could not thank the staff enough for the work that they did during our wedding and everyone who attended the wedding has commented on how good the staff were during the whole day.”

– Matthew Reader



Chris and Claire had the amazing and original idea of bringing some Caribbean themed elements to their wedding on board. Claire and family are of Belize nationality, so it seemed only natural to the couple to include as much of the Caribbean in their celebration as they could. Steel pans set the scene as Claire was guided down the aisle to Chris who waited in anticipation of her arrival. To round the night off, local Power Dub/Reggae band One Shot provided the soundtrack along with some Dancehall classics into the later hours of the evening.

“We chose Brunel’s ss Great Britain because we were after a wedding venue that would knock peoples’ socks off. We spent a fair few months looking at all the country homes/barns/hotels that are situated in and around Bristol and we hadn’t come across anything that actually got us excited. Then we came across a website that happened to mention you can get married on the ss Great Britain… So we booked a viewing and had a nice little tour of the ship and our minds were made up! We just thought that the venue was so different (in a good way) that it would be impossible to NOT have an awesome wedding, all the small corridors, the wonderful decor and all of the original trinkets meant that there was no decoration required by us… plus its situated RIGHT on the harbour, which we love.”

– Chris Keating


If you’re feeling inspired by these amazing couples, please get in touch so we can start planning your special day. We look forward to hearing from you!

Please call 0117 926 0680 or enquire here