Dezeen Magazine

10 wedding chapels that are extraordinary

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to marry in St George's Chapel, Windsor, this weekend, Dezeen looks back at 10 weird and wonderful wedding chapels.

Seashore Chapel. China, by Vector Architects

A creation of Beijing studio Vector Architects, this concrete chapel is designed to look like a drifting boat when the tide rises.

Along with a room for ceremonies, the chapel includes a meditation room big enough for just one person, a toilet, small office and a mezzanine level for a piano player.

Glass Slipper, Taiwan, by government of Taiwan

This Taiwanese church, shaped like a giant version of Cinderella's fabled glass slipper, is made from over 320 tinted glass panels.

Standing 16-metres tall the unusual shape of the venue makes it a popular backdrop for couples' pre-wedding photographs.

Rainbow Chapel, China, by Coordination Asia

Located at G+ Park in north Shanghai, the facade of the Rainbow Chapel displays 65 different colours on 3,000 glass panels.

The colours transition from warm tones of red, orange and yellow to shades of green, blue, purple and pink.

Wedding architecture from the Dezeen archives

The Ribbon Chapel, Japan, by Hiroshi Nakamura 

Set in the grounds of the hotel Bella Vista Sakaigahama, the Ribbon Chapel has a rooftop space where nuptials are completed, before the couple descend together down an elaborate spiral staircase.

"Just as two lives go through twists and turns before uniting as one, the two spirals seamlessly connect at their 15.4-metre summit to form a single ribbon," said architect Hiroshi Nakamura.

Tower of Love, UK, by dRMM

Nicknamed Blackpool's Tower of Love, this shimmering seafront chapel's golden exterior is composed of stainless steel shingles.

It hosts ceremonies on the top floor, where a long vertical window frames a view of the iconic Blackpool tower, whilst a reception area and restaurant contained inside the building offer views out across the sea.

Eco-Thon Hotel in Lake Biwa by Ryuichi Ashizawa Architect & Associates

Sound of Wind Chapel, Japan, by Ryuichi Ashizawa Architect & Associates

A row of harp strings pulled taut across the opening of this chapel turn the building into a huge musical instrument when the wind blows.

Describing it as a "calm space," on a lakeside in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, its architects "sought to make a stringed instrument like the one present in Greek mythology, used by the god of the wind, Aeolus."

Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel by AZL Architects

Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel, China, by AZL Architects 

The form of the Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel is designed to evoke the form of a butterfly.

It is clad with wooden strips that have been left their natural colour, which stand in-front of solid white walls.

Pleats.M, Japan, by Hironaka Ogawa

Zig-zagging pleats embellish the facade of this wedding centre in Saitama, Japan, the first in a chain of marriage centres for a wedding brand.

Architect Hironaka Ogawa was briefed to come up with a strong brand identity that could be reused for other locations, resulting in pleats that "can fit into any shape by expanding and contracting."

Nanshan Marriage Registration Centre by Urbanus

Nanshan Marriage Registration Centre, China, by Urbanus

Architecture firm Urbanus designed this cylindrical registry office in Shenzhen to look like it's been showered with confetti.

Small square panels speckle the building's gridded aluminium skin to create the confetti-like exterior, with wedding parties arriving and departing ceremoniously across long narrow bridges.

Forest Chapel by Hironaka Ogawa and Associates

Forest Chapel, Japan, by Hironaka Ogawa

In the garden of an existing wedding centre, the chapel's steel columns create irregular arches for the bride to walk beneath. Wooden pews provide traditional rows of seating for guests.

"I took the trees in the garden as a design motif and proposed a chapel with randomly placed, tree-shaped columns," explained Forest Chapel's Tokyo-based architect Hironaka Ogawa.