Newlyweds Heather and Ben opted for a more unusual way of heading to their wedding reception after falling in love with the canals when they hired ‘Malvern’ from Union Canal Carriers for their first ever holiday together.
Canal based wedding
They fell in love with ‘the cut’ from the moment they first arrived at Union Canal Carriers. It’s a holiday that ensures you step away from the ever accelerating treadmill and pressures of modern life – the peace and quiet, the countryside and wildlife, even towns and cities are different via the canal. They were thrilled with the way Union Canal Carriers were so open to the idea of using the day boat for their wedding day and helped them turn it into reality, also suggesting Heather and Ben look into having the ceremony at St Peter’s Church at Wolfhampcote.
35 close family and friends attended and fully embraced the idea. Some of the female guests were concerned about footwear given that they had to walk along the canal side, up a bank and over a stile to get to the church! Heather and Ben came up with the idea of designing little drawstring bags in which their guests could carry their ‘dancing shoes’ for the evening. The words ‘for the road not taken’ were stencilled on the bags in homage to a favourite poem which seemed apt for the journey they have been on and which lead them to each other.
Vintage wedding dress
Heathers parents got married in August 1953 so her dress was 66 years old when she wore it. Heathers mum passed away in 1997 and wearing the dress felt like a very special way to feel her presence on the day. Heathers mum would have been amazed that the dress would be worn again and that it would get to have a trip on a canal boat!
The Boat Inn at Stockton hosted the reception. Sue and Matt at the Boat Inn were incredible. They decorated the tables and the barn to perfection and made them a gorgeous cake of cheese for the reception, the food was fantastic.
Slow pace and chance to talk
The best thing about a canal based wedding is that everyone slows down… guests really get the opportunity to engage with each other – whether on the boats, walking the towpath or working the locks. Their guests loved the novelty of it all! They also got an insight into the unique heritage of the canals.
Heather and Ben did the very popular Warwickshire Ring taking in 90 + locks in total having a great week with lovely weather! They went back to Braunston and up the North Oxford to Sutton Stop, then the Coventry Canal to Tamworth, Fazeley down into and through Birmingham and then Grand Union back down the Hatton Flight to Braunston.
The newlyweds have now booked their next holiday on the newest hire boat from UCC – Purbeck which has a permanently made bed, a roomy bathroom/shower and easy chairs which are perfect for sitting and enjoying a G&T and a read at the end of the day.
Union Canal Carriers, Bottom Lock, Dark Lane,
Braunston NN11 7HJ