The First-Ever Tower of London Wedding

Wedding: 24/01/2020

Posted by Emily | 17 June, 2020

Wakefield Tower wedding ceremony Tower of London

This world-famous medieval castle in London has made a new legacy with the ultimate team in tow: Food Show on catering, Veevers Carter on flowers, Noah Two by Two on photos, and Event Concept on production. The outcome? An unforgettable wedding ceremony and reception for Jonathan and Jay at the Tower of London.

The Tower of London in Tower Hamlets is an extraordinary royal wedding venue on the River Thames, that has faced almost a millennium of victorious battles, notorious captives, and ceremonial tradition. It now stands as an integral part of London’s fascinating history, and it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The past is ever-present Tower of London weddings, and the various event spaces within its grounds provide authentic century-old backdrops and unique settings for every style of celebration.

Jonathan and Jay’s twelve lucky guests were mesmerised by the royal palace’s timeless architecture and remarkable riverside location. The evening wedding began after the public museum gates closed, which added to the magic and exclusivity of the occasion. On arrival, the guests stepped back in time and were led on a private tour of the awe-inspiring Crown Jewels, before proceeding to the Wakefield Tower, for a beautiful candlelit ceremony led by Grainne Nixon of Tower Hamlets Registry Office.

Following the service, the wedding party toasted to the newlyweds with their favourite English sparkling Rose, and tucked into intricate canapés by Max Uyanik from Food Show, in the Edward I’s Bed Chamber. The Tower of London’s new chief gaoler, Jim Duncan, was also able to join in the celebrations and invited them all to the Yeoman Warders’ secret and oldest pub in London, hidden within the fortress walls.

Another highlight was their intimate dinner reception in the Martin Tower, which is named after the famous bear who once was housed there. Surrounded by the glass cabinet displays of the retired state crowns, the group enjoyed a 5-course feast fit for a king, including Lake District Fillet of Beef, and a live interactive cheeseboard served on an ancient Oak tree trunk.

Jonathan and Jay’s brief was for the evening to feel ‘regal’, and Laura Drake, Commercial Events Manager, and Jade Jeffrey, Senior Events Manager at The Tower of London, were instrumental in planning the ‘never done before’ wedding format at this unrivalled historic venue. We caught up with Jonathan and Jay to relay their memories and to find out how they came to choose the Tower of London as the backdrop to their majestic landmark wedding.

Real Wedding Venue Highlights

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Tower of London
Location: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
Wakefield Tower Capacity: 40 seated or 80 standing
Edward I’s Bed Chamber Capacity: 20 seated or 40 standing
Martin Tower Capacity: 12 seated
Wedding style: Masculine, Winter, Regal
Venue Type: Royal Historic Palace

Photos courtesy of Two by Two

first wedding ceremony at The Tower of London

Wedding couple at the Tower of London

Tell us a little bit about your wedding idea, and why the Tower of London wedding venue stole your hearts

On a trip of a lifetime to India in 2018, on a Tiger Safari in the middle of the Ranthambore National Park, we got engaged and the planning started that night! It was decided that the wedding would be three separate occasions with the first being a legal ceremony in London. We wanted something small, beautiful and regal with exceptional food and drink and a masculine feel. As our guest list was small and consisted of twelve very close friends and family, we really wanted something intimate and special.

Jay is Commercial Director of Food Show and having catered corporate events at the Tower of London for several years, it had always been a dream of his to get married there, although there was the small issue of it not having a wedding license. However, when we heard that the events team had been granted a license two weeks before our wedding, we were so excited to be the first-ever civil partnership at the World Heritage site.

Candles in the Wakefield Tower at The Tower of London

Ceremony chairs in the Wakefield Tower at a Tower of London wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremony in the Wakefield Tower at The Tower of London

Where did you host your Tower of London wedding ceremony and how did you use the space?

Our twelve guests were seated on faux fur blankets in the wonderful vaulted Wakefield Tower, which was lit with battery-operated candles on 6ft high tiered stands and a beautiful floral display hanging from the ancient cast iron chandelier. We were delighted with these designs by the talented team at Event Concept and Veevers Carter. Jonathan’s mother Debbie read a piece on marriage that she had written to reflect our relationship, before the deal was sealed by celebrant Grainne Nixon from Tower Hamlets Council.

Post ceremony celebrations at the first Tower of London wedding

Canapes by Food Show at the first Tower of London wedding

Where did the wedding guests go for your private drinks reception and dinner?

After the ceremony, we enjoyed delicious canapés and Coates & Seely Britagne Brut Rose NV in Edward I’s Bed Chamber, with its grand fireplace, oratory, and stately four-poster bed. We love the way that The Tower of London takes you and your guests on a memorable journey, with jaw-dropping historical artefacts greeting you at every turn.

We chose Martin Tower for our wedding dinner, and it was the perfect size for our small gathering with closest friends and family. The elegant table setting featured wintry tones of navy, dark pinks and purples to follow the regal theme. It felt so surreal to dine in what was once the storehouse for The Crown Jewels, and Food Show blew us away with their artistic and flavoursome menu.

Wedding meal preparations at The Tower of London by Food Show

Floral wedding table at The Tower of London by Veevers Carter

Tower of London weddings button

Wedding reception in the Martin Tower at the Tower of London

What made your Tower of London wedding day so memorable?

We are honoured to have been the first couple to get married at the Tower of London, and this made the experience all the more poignant. Throughout the evening, our guests were also treated to a private tour of the infamous Crown Jewels, and exclusive access into The Keys, the Yeoman Warders’ secret pub that has existed for 150 years. The morning after the wedding, we then flew off to South Africa to do it all again with a larger party of our friends and family, albeit with sore heads!

Yeoman Warder at the first Tower of London wedding

Wedding couple at The Tower of London

Top four things that Easy Weddings love about this historic Tower of London wedding:

The 1000-year-old setting. Your guests will be enchanted by the history seeps through the walls of this ancient castle; it’s a timeless destination for a noble nuptial celebration.
The riverside location. Many of the event spaces enjoy direct outlooks over the River Thames and the magnificent Tower Bridge. It’s an unbeatable spot for wedding photos.
The versatility of the venue. Across the palatial venue, there are multiple ceremony and reception rooms with different capacities, that suit intimate and grand weddings.
The unique guest experiences. Take your guests on a private tour of the Crown Jewels, watch the Ceremony of the Keys, and pay a visit to the secret resident pub.

To book your Tower of London wedding, visit the website today.

Tower of London wedding website button

Featured Suppliers:

Caterer: Food Show / Celebrant: Grainne Nixon of Tower Hamlets / Ceremony Venue: Wakefield Tower, Tower of London / Flowers: Veevers Carter / Grooms Attire: Reiss / Grooms Shoes: Reiss / Photographer: Two by Two / Reception Venue: Martin Tower, Tower of London / Rings: Cartier / Transport: Wheelie Private Car Service / Venue: Tower of London / Venue Decor: Event Concept

Catering Staff: Splendid London
Furniture: Options GB Ltd