London Canal Museum is a unusual and attractive place for your 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 that will be interesting for your guests, and memorable for life. Book a lasting memory.
Weddings in 2020 - coronavirus special page Information about wedding ceremonies and receptions whilst coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
Picture by In The Pink Photography
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 wedding breakfast or dinner is held. There is room for 120 people to be seated at tables. If you opt for a an unseated fork-buffet 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.
The museum is open to visitors until 1630 (except on Mondays) so evening events don't start until after that time. We can usually be ready for guests to arrive by 1700. Guests normally stay on the ground floor to begin with whilst preparations continue on the first floor. You can book our meeting room and our kitchen from 1000 onwards, and indeed over a whole weekend, so that deliveries and preparations can be made well before guests arrive. Most wedding receptions finish at 2300 but a limited number can continue until midnight or 0100. These late-night opportunities are often booked a long time in advance. Dancing can continue until the finishing time, with clearing up beginning as soon as the event has finished.
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 up to 98 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 this can be staffed by your caterer or by staff provided by the museum, or by a third party. Tables are normally all that is needed. We have plastic tubs available to use as large ice buckets for chilling wine and we can arrange a delivery of ice. Provided that the host buys all the alcoholic drink from a licenced supplier, you do not need a licence. Alcohol cannot be sold in the museum without a licence (and any arrangement where money is given counts as selling). If you wish to have a cash bar this will require a Temporary Event Notice procedure under the Licencing Act 2003. A cash bar cannot operate without this. The person responsible for the bar must be running it in a professional capacity, it cannot be the host or a guest.
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 £2,250 - £2,750 plus VAT.
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, Register Office, or other location|
|1500 or 1600||Optional boat trip to museum to arrive 1700 or later|
|1630||Museum closes to general public. Caterers or museum team begin setting up museum first floor with dining tables or other preparations.|
Phase 1 - Reception
|1700 or 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.|
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.