London hidden gem wedding venue: a Deptford wedding that looks destination

Take a look at the glorious sunshine, editorial surroundings and joyous atmosphere for Jack and Jose’s wedding day,  and you’d be forgiven for thinking it took place abroad: in Italy, Portugal, or Jose’s native Spain. But in actual fact it was smack bang in the middle of the city, on the bank of the River Thames! It’s a venue that you probably won’t have ever heard of before but will be grateful you know about now: the London hidden gem that is The Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford.

A same sex wedding in Deptford

A London hidden gem wedding venue

The Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford is perhaps one of our capital’s best kept secrets: an incredible Grade II* listed building that dates back to the 18th century. Not only is it of historical importance, but this London hidden gem is also the most effortlessly cool venue and events space thanks to its current owners Willi and Chris.

When they bought the house in 1998 they worked on restoring it to become a home for creatives, mixing the delightful Georgian architecture with a laidback, modern aesthetic inside. The result is an editorial dream house, and as Jack and Jose love travel, art, fashion, and interior design, it was the perfect place to say their I dos.

(Want to see some more jaw-dropping London wedding venues? Check out some of my other favourites on my blog.)

A destination wedding in London at The Shipwrights Deptford
London hidden gem wedding venue: a Deptford wedding that looks destination wedding
London hidden gem wedding venue: a Deptford wedding that looks destination wedding

Glorious outdoor wedding ceremony

Thanks to the glorious June sunshine that was making their London hidden gem wedding even better, Jack and Jose got married outdoors in the garden which backs directly onto the River Thames. They opted for an independent ceremony led by Natalie from Modern Rituals, who was simply the perfect match: she not only lived down the road in Liverpool from where Jack is originally from, but also spoke fluent Spanish, so she could represent both halves of the couple!

Their 100 or so guests sat on chairs on the lawn facing out to the Thames, another amazing part of this particular venue. As well as forming the most spectacular backdrop for the ceremony, the Thames also provided some hilarity when, as Jack and Jose said their vows in front of their loved ones, a large party barge sailed down the river blaring out ABBA, with the guests onboard belting along with it…as the boat sailed past, ABBA faded into the wind, and we got back to the ceremony!

And though they didn’t use the house itself for their celebration in the end, I made sure to make the most of this London hidden gem by taking some portraits in amongst the amazing furniture and plastered walls.

Same sex wedding in Deptford London
A destination wedding in London

Hot pink table setup

I said it on instagram and I’ll say it here too: the year of pink in weddings is well and truly upon us, and I for one am thrilled about it!

Once the happy couple had said their I dos and celebrated with a confetti toss, it was time for the reception to begin. Long trestle tables were set out on the courtyard, shaded from the sun by the House itself. Hot pink tablecloths sat atop the tables, as well as jars of gorgeous, messily-but-immaculately arranged flowers, which together made the perfect setting for their feast. Jose is a fashion buyer and designer for Kurt Geiger, so the styling was always going to be top-notch, but it still blew me away!

Another reason Jack and Jose loved the idea of getting married at The Master Shipwright’s House was because it’s in Deptford, the same neighbourhood where they bought their first house together almost 3 years ago. (On the morning of the wedding, I met them at their – stunning! – home, before walking down the High Street to the venue.)

This also influenced the suppliers they chose, as they wanted to keep it as local and personal as possible. This included their florist Bleakhouse Flowers, who they often buy flowers from for their house, and the catering, which was done by one of their favourite local restaurants, Klose and Soan.

wedding catering from Klose and Soan
A hot pink table setting for a destination wedding in London
Spanish tapas for a destination wedding in london

All-night garden party

After the meal, Jack and Jose officially opened up the dancefloor – apart from it wasn’t a dancefloor, it was the whole lawn. Yep, with the backdrop of the Thames and the majestic London skyline, guests let loose and threw shapes for hours, all soundtracked by the brilliant, sequinned Wedding Smashers on the decks.

With drinks and good conversation flowing and the last golden rays of the sun shining, the lawn was alive with activity as Jack and Jose’s guests drank, danced, and mingled. It was just the most perfect, laidback day, and the perfect celebration of their love.

wedding smashers dj in London
wedding guest dance on a lawn to the wedding smashers dj in London
wedding guest dance on a lawn to the wedding smashers dj in London

Natural editorial wedding photography

If you’re planning a high-fashion, low-stress wedding day and are looking for a natural editorial wedding photographer to shoot it, I’d love to hear from you. Or maybe you’re also planning an epic celebration at this London hidden gem, and need someone to immortalise it – you can get in touch here to tell me all about your plans (bonus points for a travelling ABBA boat party, too…)

With thanks to these suppliers

Venue: The Master Shipwright’s House, Deptford

Florist: Bleakhouse Flowers https://www.bleakhouseflowers.com/

Celebrant – Modern Rituals https://www.modernrituals.org/

Catering: Klose & Soan https://www.kloseandsoan.co.uk/

DJ: Wedding Smashers https://weddingsmashers.com/