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27/06/2014

Hire a boat for your wedding

Having travelled on most of the boats on Lake Windermere from being a young girl, as an adult I was completely unaware that you could hire them out for personal use. I am assuming that other people are in the dark about this also, which is why I am writing this article.

When it came to booking our wedding at Langdale Chase, it seemed extravagant at first to arrange a boat ride from their private jetty for our wedding guests. However, the more we looked into it- it seemed like the natural choice.

My husband proposed to me in a rowing boat and we were getting married beside the biggest lake in the district, so it felt like the decision had already been made for us.

Photos: bridesmaid dresses

It turned out to be one of the best things we did over our wedding weekend. We decided that with a full wedding day, we would invite guests staying the night before on the lake with us as a precursor to our evening meal. A ride on a boat after all is the perfect way to work up an appetite, and that it did!

Everyone commented afterwards on how it helped to break the ice between our guests from both sides of the family and brought them together as one.

Windermere Lake Cruises allows you to take food and drink on the boat as long as you tidy up afterwards. Between 25 of us, we managed to drink 18 bottles of bubbly and an assortment of food including nuts, cakes, strawberries and crisps, which certainly helped to cement some new friendships!

The two hour trip also allowed us, as the bride and groom to be, to get around everyone to thank them for coming and have a well needed catch up.

The boats are rented out by the hour; however for an additional £100, for every extra hour you have, you can extend it for as long as you like. Two hours seemed like a lifetime when we were booking it, however, the time passed quickly and upon reflection I think an hour would have not warranted enough time to speak to all of our guests.

I would suggest if you are thinking of doing this for your wedding that you book early as the boats are needed for tourists if you are getting married at peak times.

When we arranged the boat we met with Sandra Tonge who was extremely friendly and helpful when were going through the booking process. Of all of our wedding arrangements this was the least stressful and had no complications along the way.

We hired out Princess of the Lake, which is one of their traditional wooden launches, as we felt it was in-keeping with the hotel decor and period. This seats 50 people, with 25 under cover and 25 exposed to the elements. We were worried about the weather and it did rain a little, however everyone came prepared in their waterproofs, as it can not only get wet but chilly on the lake. But anyone who has visited the Lakes before knows that you need a back-up plan! There are other boating options if your wedding party is larger, that have a bigger capacity an on board bar and toilets.

The boats can be decorated by your stylist with ribbons if you want to tie it in with your colour scheme for the big day too, so you can customise them to match your wedding décor.

Overall, I would not hesitate to arrange a boat again for a big occasion, as it was the best way to introduce everyone while enjoying the beautiful scenery around Lake Windermere. It is obviously a great photo opportunity too, with the backdrop of the mountains in all of your pictures!

My Mum made us an album of all the best pictures from the boat, so we now have a keepsake from the eve of our wedding. I would urge you to do the same; even though our wedding is just over a month ago now, I am already forgetting minor details of the weekend- so if you hire a boat for your big day make sure you capture plenty of moments on camera!

See also: princess wedding dresses

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