Nautical Riverside Wedding on the Thames at Westminster Boating Base

LONDON BRIDE LIFE, WEDDINGS, Informal

Westminster Boating Base Wedding with a Ring Bearer Dog by David McNeil Photography

Hope everyone is very well rested after what feels like the longest festive break! Not that we should be complaining of course…

Today on the blog I’m sharing more of a London Bride wedding. I worked as Jennifer and Matthew’s co-ordinator for their wedding in July at Westminster Boating Base (otherwise known as the wedding venue for Keira Knightly’s character as featured in Love Actually!) and despite having to work a 14 hour day on a week old sprained ankle (yes, ouch) these guys were just so wonderful and relaxed that their wedding was a total pleasure to work on, and to witness. Whilst Jen and Matt certainly made for a particularly gorgeous couple (I think Matt wins best suit for my Groom’s this year!) I have to admit that I think their beloved dog Bowie who was their ring bearer for the ceremony may have stolen my heart a little too…

The day was captured by David McNeil

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Jennifer and Matthew live on a canal boat in London, so were very keen to celebrate their day on the river as it’s something personal and close to them and their families.

“Our hope was for a very chilled out and personal wedding. We wanted to have everything on the River Thames as we live on a barge on the River and its such a special part of the city we grew up in and love.” After getting ready on the boat, Jen travelled with her bridesmaids and their dog, Bowie to their wedding ceremony which took place at St Mary’s Church in Battersea.

As well as having Bowie at their ceremony acting as their ring bearer, (who apparently did a sterling job!) they also incorporated lots of personal music some of which was by their talented friends, “My best friend Sam Bishop played the ukulele and sang ‘Elephant Gun’ by the band Beirut. Matt also surprised me by hiring a trumpet player too, it was a little nod to Love actually and I loved it! We also sang ‘Lean on me’ by Bill Withers in the church which was lead by my bridesmaid Joanna Swainson, who is a very talented singer.” 

After the ceremony, the couple hopped back on board their ‘Just Married’ old police boat to travel up the river to their reception venue, at Westminster Boating Base. Their photographer David was with them to capture some glamorous river portraits which I have to say almost could be the Amalfi coast rather than the Thames!

I really do give Jen a high five as she was climbing ladders, walking her dog and jumping from boat to shore in her lovely dress, not to mention being incredibly calm when we realised she’d got blue paint from the lifebuoy ring on her dress (having been playing with it for the photos!)… Jen I salute you and your amazing positive attitude!

Despite a speck of blue on Jen’s dress, she still managed to look amazing in her Vera Wang White dress and Matthew was very much the boy in blue matching the skies in his dashing suit “Matthew wanted an original suit, which he achieved with the help of Adam Waite and it got a lot of attention!”

The couple arrived at the venue’s own pier to their guests greeting them by waving at them from riverside and then everyone went on to enjoy fizz and canapés on the lawn outside. “It was a wonderful feeling being out on the River waving to everyone.”

The couple chose to have an unusual twist on their wedding breakfast, as an ode to their favourite London restaurant, Duck & Waffle. “The caterers did a spectacular spread; we requested Duck & Waffle (a signature dish!) and they came up trumps! The edible flowers were a nice touch too!”. 

Everyone helped out so much; with mum doing the flowers, Matt’s parents decorating the venue with flag bunting and lending us their old police boat as transport”. 

The set up of the dining area included personal decorative touches; to continue with the nautical theme, flag bunting hung all around the room which was kindly provided by Matthew’s step-father Roderick, their amazingly decadent and fun Choccywoccydoodah cakes, and the tables were abundant with the pretty flowers in vases with hessian table numbers made by Jen’s mother, Valerie. The couple also had miniature paper boats (complete with polo lifebuoys!) as the place settings and each guest had a goodie bag with treats in, such as rubber ducks.

“We wanted a day of fun, which is exactly what we got; the church and boating base were perfect for us, as they both had amazing River views. We had a clear vision and we stuck to our guns, in the end none of the traditional stuff was missed. I think some people have a few traditional expectations so we had to be very clear at times that we didn’t want to do them. If I could change anything I would have added a bouncy castle to proceedings!”

I’m so happy to have shared this wedding, and wish Jen and Matt all the best for their future together! Thanks also to photographer David for letting us share his fabulous work.

Photography: David McNeil / On the day co-ordination: London Bride / Ceremony: St. Mary’s Church Battersea / Reception Venue: Westminster Boating Base / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang White / Bridesmaids: Karen Millen / Groom’s Suit: Adam Waite / Hair: Sarah Hale / Make Up: Julie Cooper / Catering: Trufflehound Catering / Cakes: Choccywoccydoodah

  • I adore the suit colour, just so amazing. Of course the bride looks gorgeous too its just so lovely to see the grooms’ outfit be a knockout too. Dana

  • Sarah Fyffe

    Oh Jennifer is like a movie star- love her hair and Matt’s suit is perfect. A little bit of personality is great to see!