Rowan & James Wedding at The Yacht London
The Yacht London is a funky venue that provides a great setting for a Wedding or Civil Ceremony.
Being fully heated, she is a year round venue, providing a beautiful setting in both Winter and Summer alike. With stunning views of the Thames as the backdrop, the marquee sides on the Top Deck can be raised to afford an open air ceremony, but if the English weather fails to co-operate on the day, nothing is lost and the sides can be dropped at a moment's notice without losing any of the riverside vista and magic.
With a choice of rooms over the 3 decks providing varying ambiances for a ceremony and wedding breakfast for up to 100 people, we pride ourselves on a complete tailor-made package so that your special day is entirely personal to you. No fixed menus or packages. Everything will be customised to your specification and our events team will work closely with you to bring it all together within your budget.
In the evening, the Thames transforms into a magical collage of purples, greens and blues and the Yacht similarly changes into the premier riverside events venue where up to 200 plus can raise a glass to the happy couple and celebrate the union until 3am.
The Yacht London. A fabulous day. A wonderful night. An unforgettable experience
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G Wedding Directory would like to thank Rowan & James for allowing us to publish their story.
Andrew & John.
James and I met back in January 2010, and we hit it off straight away. Over the next 18 months we grew closer as we fell in love, and he moved in with me in the summer of 2011. We bought our own place in South West London in 2014, and after a fair few cries of “when are you two getting engaged?!” from our friends, we finally did in early 2015. We have a tradition of going away for the weekend around the anniversary of when we met, and that year James surprised me with a trip to Amsterdam. In the shadow of a colourful Mobius strip – an infinite shape with no beginning or end – James asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.
We knew right away that we had to get married in London; not only is it our home, but it’s been the backdrop for our whole relationship, and is a city we both love. We saw 9 reception venues in all, with quite a range of options, from restaurants to country houses, boats to boat houses. We knew what we didn’t want, but deciding what we did want was harder!
With me having grown up by the sea, and James and I having spent countless evenings walking by the river, the Thames was a huge draw. When we walked aboard The Yacht and saw the beautifully decorated restaurant, the cozy lounge with comfy sofas, and the stunning upper deck bar with panoramic views, it became an instant front-runner. As we chatted to Ross and discovered how flexible and welcoming they were, we became more and more convinced. Still, we were concerned that such a prime location and stunning venue would probably be out of our price range. On the one hand, we’d decided that if we were facing the cost of a London wedding, we had to do it properly, in a venue that really showed off the city. But on the other hand, our budget wasn’t huge! So we were amazed that such a beautiful venue was indeed able to meet our budget with a great package that Ross put together for us, meeting our needs and requests exactly.
We enjoy our food and drink, so the final step was to give it a test. We spent a wonderful evening in the restaurant with Kit and his team, and the decision was made. From then on it was just the fun bits – choosing our menu, choosing our wine, choosing our cocktails… you get the idea!
One of the hardest bits of our preparation was finding our outfits. We realised we are lucky, in that we have fairly standard body shapes, so we were able to find off-the-peg suits that fit us well with minimal adjustments. Tiger of Sweden came up trumps with a pair of suits in a matching cut but complementary colours of blue and green-grey. We topped it all off with beautiful ties and pocket squares; mine (from Turnbull & Asser) continued our city theme with a beautiful London skyline.
If I could offer one piece of advice to any couple planning their wedding, it’d be this: invest in your memories. We spent a long time choosing a photographer, eventually settling on the wonderful Jonny Donovan. James found Jonny online, and he made our shortlist from the beautiful reportage work on his website, then sealed the deal when we met him and he immediately put us at ease. When you’re inviting someone into your big day, that’s a hugely important factor. We did an engagement shoot the year before the wedding, which I’d highly recommend as it got us used to the camera, gave us great photos for our website and invitations, and gave us wonderful pictures of us in a more casual situation that we treasure.
On the wedding day itself, Jonny was incredible. I was barely aware of his presence, yet somehow he was everywhere at every moment, capturing the emotions of the day in a series of stunning pictures that we’ll enjoy forever. I’m sure photos on this page speak for themselves.
During the planning, one of my best women told me to Google ‘top wedding regrets’. Three of the first five articles I found started their lists with not having a videographer, and I can totally understand why. We didn’t consider this option for quite a while (despite me working in TV!) but once we’d decided, we committed to it with gusto. I spent hours and hours watching wedding videos, and I quickly found a benchmark… if a videographer made me cry when watching strangers’ wedding videos, they made my shortlist. Rob at Pretty in White was our final choice, and there simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe how pleased I am that we did this. Watching our incredible video brings back the memories and emotions in the most wonderful way. I understand why people would see video as an extravagance that can be dropped if your budget is tight, but honestly, if you can afford it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The ceremony itself could have also been aboard The Yacht, but we’d decided that we wanted to be married at our local town hall in Wandsworth. It’s a stunning building with a beautiful courtyard and the most amazing marble staircase, and we had our ceremony in the Grand Chamber. This handsome council room has the grandeur I wanted, with the added bonus that its layout works brilliantly for same-sex ceremonies. Instead of a door at the back and a single aisle for the ‘bride’ to walk down, it has two doors at the front, so we came in together from opposite sides and met in the middle.
From there we had an open-top London bus take our guests to The Yacht, while we took a private car. Unfortunately, our wedding day coincided with the Ride London cycle ride, and our bus was massively delayed due to the horrific traffic which resulted. The Yacht were fantastic about this, adjusting meal timings and even the end time with no fuss at all. Our guests arrived to cocktails and canapes, while we took a few moments out in the lounge to catch our breath and enjoy the canapes and champagne that the staff had set aside for us. This was one of the many small, thoughtful touches that really showed how The Yacht went the extra mile.
One thing I loved about The Yacht was that they offered us options around so many aspects of the day – flowers, entertainment, decoration and more, yet they never pushed us to use their suppliers if we didn’t want to. We have friends who are ex-DJs, so we declined The Yacht’s music options, but we did use their florist, and he was phenomenal. The roses, thistles, delphinium and lavender looked amazing, and really made the boat sparkle.
The meal was delicious, and the service was spot on. I never felt rushed or watched, yet somehow our glasses were always full, the champagne was always flowing, and whenever James or I wanted anything at all, someone was there to help. The meal was followed by speeches and our first dance (OneRepublic’s Good Life). Finally, we partied into the night, looking out over the river Thames, the London Eye, the Shard, the Oxo Tower, and many of London’s other landmarks. It was a perfect end to the perfect day.