London Canal Museum is a unusual and attractive place for your wedding or wedding reception. There is something about water that adds extra romance to the most romantic day in your life - your wedding day! You can arrive by boat for an extra special touch. Even if a cruise won't fit into your schedule, the attractive, tranquil urban beauty spot that is Battlebridge Basin is a great setting. Choose a place to celebrate your wedding which will be interesting for your guests, and memorable for life. Book a lasting memory.
The ground floor is ideally suited to receiving your guests. There is ample circulating space and plenty to look at. Conversation between guests who have not previously met will be encouraged by our exhibits and the spectacular opening in the floor which reveals the preserved Victorian ice well below. The rear windows look out onto Battlebridge Basin with its colourful canal boats. In good weather guests will be able to take in the view and some fresh air by strolling out to the waterside. The first floor is the area where the ceremony, if held at the museum, and the main party happen. There is room for 120 people to be seated at tables or in theatre style to watch a ceremony (up to 140 for the ceremony). If you opt for a buffet style unseated meal up to 200 guests can be accommodated.
Typically a reception-only celebration starts with a champagne reception on the ground floor, then guests move upstairs to eat. After the meal, space is cleared for dancing. However there is a great deal of flexibility - you can plan the event in accordance with your own preferences. If the ceremony takes place at the museum this is held on the first floor, except that small-scale ceremonies can be held on the ground floor at 1800 or 1900.
The museum is open to the public every day except Mondays, from 1000 to 1630. The museum is available for weddings and receptions from 1630 onwards. Our conference room is available to be booked for storage in advance and afterwards. This means you can have things delivered before 1630 on the day, your caterers can start preparing, and everyone can be ready more quickly once the hire period starts. If your guests are due to arrive before all the preparations have been completed, on the first floor, they will be happy enjoying a reception on the ground floor whilst catering staff complete their work. Guests should not arrive before 1630 and it is best that they arrive from 1700 onwards unless there is a ceremony at 1700 in which case guests need to arrive around 1645.
Dates available (for weddings that include music and dancing)
A relaxing cruise in the middle of a busy day; a charming and memorable feature of your wedding day; a delight to adults and children alike; something special that will make your wedding different from all the others that your family and friends have attended: that's a what arriving by boat has to offer. The most common starting points are Camden Town, Islington, Paddington and Regent's Park. Marylebone (Westminster), Islington, and Hackney register offices are within 15 minutes' walk of the canal as are many churches and other places where the ceremony may be held. Guests can therefore travel from the ceremony to the reception by boat. You arrive at the museum's own wharf. Refreshments can be enjoyed on board by arrangement with the boat company. A large boat can carry around 90 guests or alternatively you could book a smaller boat for just the happy couple and a few VIP guests to be greeted by the other guests on arrival at the museum. There is no more romantic way to arrive at your reception.
You can set up a bar and we suggest you ask your caterer to arrange staffing. Tables are normally all that is needed. We have plastic tubs available to use as large ice buckets for chilling wine. Provided that the host is paying for all the alcoholic drink, you do not need a licence. Alcohol cannot be sold in the museum without a licence. If you wish to have a cash bar this can often be arranged with a local public house, subject to the Temporary Event Notice procedure under the Licencing Act 2003. A cash bar cannot operate without this. If you prefer, we can provide bar staff at extra cost.
We have been accredited as a green venue by the Green Tourism for London scheme, a part of the national Green Tourism Business Scheme. We will make sure that as much of the waste from your reception as possible is recycled. Please discuss with us ways in which we can make your reception as eco-friendly as possible. For your wedding car and guests' transport we suggest Green Tomato Cars, London's green private hire company.
We charge a fixed price for venue hire and our rates are very reasonable compared to other high-quality venues of similar size and standard. Because you can choose your own caterer, you can shop around for the best deal on catering. The catering is often the greatest expense. We don't charge corkage fees. A typical wedding hire with furniture and a few extras would be around £1500 plus VAT.
The museum is licenced as a venue for civil weddings, conducted by a Registrar from the London Borough of Islington. Ceremonies may take place at 1700, 1800, or 1900. The ceremony is generally held on the first floor, but small-scale ceremonies for no more than 50 guests may be held on the ground floor at 1800 or 1900. After the ceremony the first floor is re-organised for the celebration, whilst guests enjoy a reception on the ground floor. The meal then follows. There is an additional charge for hosting the wedding ceremonly, see the charges page. A wedding ceremony can be held on any day of the week (subject to availability of the Registrar) but if there is to be music and dancing afterwards the date must be one of those that are listed as available on our availability page.
A typical wedding schedule looks like this, but it's your party - so you can plan it as you wish!
|1300||Caterers begin delivering to museum kitchen and meeting room (used as a temporary store)|
|1400 or 1500||Marriage ceremony at Church, Registry Office, or other location|
|1500 or 1600||Optional boat trip to museum to arrive 1700 or later|
|1630||Museum closes to general public. Caterers begin setting up museum first floor with dining tables or other preparations.|
Phase 1 - Reception
|1700or later||Guests arrive at London Canal Museum. Champagne reception on the ground floor|
Phase 2 - Meal & speeches
|1745 or, usually, later||Guests go upstairs. Meal and speeches|
|2030||Guests come downstairs. Cake cutting ceremony in photogenic position. Whilst this is taking place caterers clear the dining tables and fold some of them away to make extra space for dancing. Bar is set up on the first floor.|
Phase 3 - Dancing
|2100||Guests go back upstairs. Dancing on the first floor.|
|2300, midnight, or 0100||End of event. Bar closes 15 minutes or so before the finishing time. Guests depart. Minicab numbers and telephone are available at reception.|
If the wedding ceremony is held in the museum this will take place at 1700 or 1800 or 1900 and the rest of the celebration will follow.
Our long experience is available to help you, if you wish. Based on this experience we have a page of wedding reception planning tips available.
The museum is equipped for business events as well so we have a range of equipment that is sometimes needed at weddings. If you need to show a film, project images, use a sound system for speeches etc. we can help at reasonable charges.