Greenwich Yacht Club is a true hidden gem of a London wedding venue. It’s nestled on the Greenwich peninsula, just downstream from the O2 and literally built ON the Thames. The clubhouse venue is an architecture lovers dream, standing up high on stilts over the river and built from glass. When Grace and Jiten got in touch and asked me to photograph their Greenwich Yacht Club wedding I was chomping at the bit to take up their offer! They filled their day with bright colours, mountains of delicious food, two heartfelt ceremonies and a lot of laughter. Scroll down to read all about it and see the snaps.
What’s your love story? How did you meet?
We met on a night out in South London. I overheard Jiten talking about someone I went to school with and butted into his conversation. He then proceeded to call me Georgina for an evening and persistently asked if he could pass for Mexican … the rest is history!
What was the proposal like?
We didn’t really have a traditional proposal as such. We had lots of conversations about whether or not marriage was for us and eventually mutually agreed it was. I was then browsing vintage engagement rings online and found the perfect one in a shop near where we live. Jiten just said ‘lets go and get it!’ but we had agreed it was too soon to be planning a wedding so he hid it from me for 6 months! When the time was right we took it to our local park with a bottle of wine (and a packet of chips from the chippie) and sat under a tree and Jiten gave it to me then.
How did you find planning your wedding at Greenwich Yacht Club?
Mostly it was fun and we enjoyed doing some of the tasks but there were definite moments of stress and we had to remind ourselves that we were consciously trying to make this a low-key and fun wedding and not to get wrapped up in things that did not feel like us or were just doing to meet others expectations.
Why did you chose Greenwich Yacht Club for your wedding venue?
We wanted somewhere where we could have all elements of our wedding in one place to minimise travelling about and having to pay extra for transport – so we were looking for somewhere suitable for civil ceremony, Hindu ceremony (let us have a fire!) and a party. We wanted it to be local to us so only looked in South East London and wanted it to be relaxed, a bit different, low key and informal. We found the perfect place in Greenwich Yacht Club which ticked all the boxes and immediately just felt fun and relaxing!
What did you both wear?
I wore a 50s style tea-dress because I have always loved vintage clothing and wanted something less formal than a more traditional wedding dress but still to feel special in it. I had a pair of gold heals for the ceremony but abandoned them for the Hindu ceremony and went bare foot, and then just wore sandals in the evening. I wore my grandma’s earrings for a personal touch and they were 60s esque so went well with my dress. I was given a gold mangalsutra (wedding necklace) during the Hindu ceremony so wore that for the rest of the day. I had a dried flower crown first for the civil ceremony and replaced that with a 60s headband in the evening. Jiten wore a blue suit with a peacock lining and bright yellow tie as he wanted something colourful and fun.
We both wore traditional Indian wedding outfits (red, white and gold) for the Hindu ceremony, though I went for an Anarkali rather than sari as it was more comfortable and I could dress myself. Though in reality it took three bridesmaids and my sister in law to get me in and out! Jiten abandoned the turban as he felt it was too much.
What sort of theme did you go for with your decor and styling?
We wanted the wedding to be as colourful as possible and that was our only theme really. We just went for brightly coloured bunting etc… and let the beautiful flowers do the talking. We had some traditional hindu elements (like a religious mandap) but made these ourselves so just made them as colourful and bright as possible. I really wanted natural, meadow type flowers and our florist made bouquets more amazing then I had ever imagined and really were the centrepiece. We also had a giant poster of Sly Stallone in Cobra as Jiten has always loved him and all things 80s and its a film we both love – that was definitely a talking point- we did actually tweet Sly a photo of this but alas he didn’t reply.
What were your wedding ceremonies like?
We decided to have our ceremonies (civil and Hindu) with only immediate family and a very small handful of close friends as we felt it would be more intimate and less intimidating! this was great as it felt like all of our guests were in the wedding and afterwards they all said they felt very included in such an intimate wedding. Civil ceremony: we had both been milling around with our guests before the ceremony so we didn’t have a grand reveal and then walked down the aisle together. I did not want to be given away and we felt like it was a good symbol of how we want our marriage to start – we were also nervous so it was nice to be there together.
We chose a ‘This is the place’ by the talking heads to walk down the aisle to as it is a fun, romantic (and most importantly 80s) song that we both already loved and has a light hearted feel to it. We contemplated the Rocky Theme tune but decided it was too out there! we kept the ceremony short and sweet and avoided the very traditional parts and public vows. My two sisters did readings, one read an extract from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ which was one of my childhood favourite books and the other wrote a poem which made everyone cry! The ceremony felt really special and remains a definite highlight because it felt really personal.
We then had a Hindu ceremony which was a complete contrast. We found the UK’s first female Hindu priest, Chanda, which was great as it felt really feminist and she was amazing. she is really kind and funny and put us all at ease whilst keeping the service spiritual and meaningful. The ceremony was really colourful and fun to do. Jiten had to present me a mangal sutra (wedding necklace) which he couldn’t do up and was busy strangling me with it until his sister in law rescued us!
What was your plan for the reception?
In contrast to our tiny ceremonies we wanted a massive party with all of our friends and family. We had 150 guests for an informal buffet meal of Indian food and drinks, speeches, cake and dancing. The speeches were a definite highlight, we had Jiten, the bestman, bridesmaids and me doing speeches. Everyone was quite merry by then and they were a really funny part of the day. Jiten even got his entire family doing a Leeds football chant!
Did you have a first dance?
We avoided this like the plague as we felt it was too traditional for us (and too intimidating as neither of us can dance!) – our friends more than made up for this on the dance floor.
What entertainment did you have?
We had a vintage style juke box as we don’t always agree on music and thought it would be fun to let people choose their own music – which turned out to be a very eclectic mix! this was great as it was a great talking point. It also looked really good and was a fun edition to our décor.
What is your advice to other couples getting married?
Go for it and enjoy it as much as possible. We had a bit of stress in the run up but not too bad, and the day itself more than made up for it – we had the best day ever (far better than we imagined) and it all felt worth it! My only real advice would be not to get swept up in other peoples expectations and stick with what feels right for you as a couple and make sure it reflects your personalities.
What was it like to work with me as your wedding photographer?
AMAZING from start to finish. We were both really worried about having our pictures taken as we are both a bit self conscious but you made us both feel so at ease and it ended up being a really fun experience. The pictures are great and so many friends and family have commented that they are the best wedding photos they have seen. More than that though it was like having another friend at the wedding and we had loads of fun with you. THANK YOU.
Such nice words from Grace!!! I’m feeling all flustered and bashful now. Keep scrolling to see all the fun photos from Grace and Jiten’s Greenwich Yacht Club wedding.
Greenwich Yacht Club Wedding Suppliers
Venue – Greenwich Yacht Club
Bride’s white dress by Cutting Edge Brides
60s Style Headband from Anthropology
Groom’s blue suit from Ted Baker
Groom’s Hindu suit from Bollywood Borrowed
Flowers by Katie at The Flower Hut
Make up by Ivona
Hair by Anna at Box Hair in Deptford
Catering by Satkeer Catering
Hindu ceremony led by Pandit Chanda Vyas