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Inside the 2016 River Thames Wedding Showcase

For the second year in a row, the London weather on an October Saturday afternoon was more than kind as the much-anticipated 2016 River Thames Wedding Showcase got underway at our Butler’s Wharf Pier.

The gates opened at 10:30am, brides and grooms-to-be plus friends and family soon made their way through our floral gateway and down onto the pier which had been turned into an immaculately lawned “garden” for the day, complete with hanging lanterns, a special edition white postbox, into which guests were encouraged to post their comments and in so doing enter a competition to win a bottle of Canard Duchene Champagne, and a juggler! A feat of balance and artistry and great fun to boot!

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Guests were free to explore and enjoy the spectacular Dixie Queen, Elizabethan and Edwardian, each dressed to impress and to showcase different ideas for wedding themes, while a fantastic handpicked selection of suppliers were waiting to meet our visitors and to reveal more about what can be achieved on board. From live music, flowers, photography, food, entertainers and much more, we had it all covered – with attendees having the opportunity to sample from each.

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London’s largest luxury floating events venue and replica paddle steamer, Dixie Queen, was styled as a lively “funfair” venue, with eye-catching festoon lighting and imaginative balloon displays helping to bring the atmosphere alive. Entertainment on board was provided by the world-renowned magician David Redfearn, who never ceases to amaze, and roaming live band Wandering Hands, courtesy of event entertainment specialists Sternberg Clarke. Peckish guests could also treat themselves to a delicious hot dog from a vintage New York-style hot dog stand and capture the moment in a bespoke Say Fromage photo booth.

The capacious & versatile upper deck of Dixie Queen also provided a central space for each suppliers’ showcase stand, allowing attendees to mingle and share ideas as they planned for their upcoming special day – all under an eye-catching “I DO” sign provided by Chilled Events. Ardenti showcased some amazing jewelry, Something Made their beautiful handcrafted stationary, while drinks specialists Stagg & Barber ensured nobody went thirsty and Reflections Photography demonstrated how they can capture your wedding day.

The garden theme was extended to the forward outer deck of the Dixie Queen where guests were able to lay back & soak up the atmosphere in the deck chairs laid out on the lawn, tuck into the picnic boxes specially created by our onboard team of chefs, and to snap a memento of the day using the giant photo frame perfectly positioned to capture the iconic backdrop of Tower Bridge behind us.

The ever popular and rather more intimate Edwardian provided an afternoon tea option for engaged couples to discover, with stunning table layouts and succulent food options on board. Demonstrating her versatility, her upper deck provided an open space for games to be enjoyed in the mild sunshine – or to sit down and simply take in the view.

Meanwhile, the Elizabethan, the second replica paddle steamer in our fleet, was elegantly dressed to reflect perhaps a more traditional wedding theme style. The sounds of our superb jazz two-piece Jane Parker provided some gentle background entertainment whilst TLC’s excellent caterers, foodbydish, offered up the tastiest canapés to those on board. Guests were able to explore the vessel at leisure, sample some fine wine, and to talk to the events team who were circulating throughout the day to discover how she might suit their needs, all under the beaming sun – which poured through the boat’s open roof.

Sadly, the Showcase had to come to an end. Brides collected their complimentary goodie bag, filled with treats, and left to enjoy the rest of their day, replete having sampled some wonderful food & wines, and full of new possibilities for their big day. It was a fabulous event on board the TLC fleet which could not have been made possible without the support of a dedicated and professional team, our colleagues who work with us to provide the extras that enhance the comprehensive service that we aim to provide, but most of all a huge thank you to all who came on board to sample our wares!

If you weren’t able to make it down, make sure you follow TLC on social media and stay up to date with our upcoming events and next year’s Wedding Showcase.

It’s wonderful on water – we look forward to welcoming you on board.