EAST QUAY VENUE
Choosing your wedding venue has got to be the biggest decision in the wedding planning process (other than your photographer of course!!) and if you are looking to get married in Kent, East Quay is one of the coolest venues around. Having shot loads of weddings at this amazing seaside spot in Whitstable, here's my guide to East Quay Venue.
East Quay Venue Wedding Photography
The East Quay Venue in Whitstable has to be one of my favourite wedding venues in Kent.
Full of character and charm and set in the perfect location on Whitstable beach, the whole vibe is just super relaxed. Add to that a fantastic team and the chance to put your own personal stamp on the venue, it definitely makes East Quay one of the coolest places to get married in Kent.
As a wedding photographer who's been lucky enough to photograph loads of weddings at East Quay, I've got a pretty good inside track on what it's really like to get married at East Quay. So here's my guide, updated for 2023, to what you can expect from a wedding at East Quay Venue (spoiler alert, it's really good!)
- The Location
- The Space
- The Ceremony
- The Confetti
- The Drinks Reception
- The Wedding Breakfast
- The Party
- The East Quay Venue Team
- Useful Information for East Quay
- Places to Stay Near East Quay
- Cool East Quay Vendors
Whitstable has this whole atmosphere of relaxed cool and for me the East Quay Venue just totally captures that vibe perfectly.
Situated in the still working East Quay Harbour with The Whitstable Oyster Company working next door there's a real energy and charachter that is totally unique. You can literally step out the door and onto the shingle beach where Oysters have been harvested for hundreds of years, what could be better!
The venue has its own cordoned off area on the beach with deckchairs and benches where you and your guests can sit and relax or easily wander down to the waters edge.
East Quay has a great feel to it, there's a seperate dance floor and dining area and both areas have a stage which is perfect for any entertainment/bands aswell as setting up your top table.
On slightly chillier days there's a lovely wood burning stove that creates a great cosy atmosphere.
You can make use of East Quays tables and chairs which fit the aesthetic of the room perfectly but are able to add your own decorations and flowers (as long as you don't damage the walls!)
Whilst the venue can host your ceremony downstairs (for 70 guests) I’ve only ever seen it done on the mezzanine section upstairs which provides room for up to 100 guests.
The ceremony room is lovely, again full of charm, character and sea views and tends to be set up in one of the two possible ways below, either facing towards the back of the room, or towards the side
I have to admit as a photographer I’m always happy to see it set up with the couple facing the side as they will be lit by the natural light coming from the windows behind and there also feels like there's a bit more room.
After the ceremony has ended you guys will exit down the stairs followed by your guests. If you decide to have confetti (which you definitely should by the way!!) you will be ushered around the corner by one of the team at East Quay to enjoy a glass of champagne with your new husband or wife for a few minutes whilst your guests are directed out to the beach area to line up and grab handfuls of confetti (biodegradable of course!). This always makes for a really great shot and is always followed with massive hugs with all your friends and family which makes for some great photos.
The Drinks Reception
I always think you should spend at least 10-15 minutes seeing your guests before getting into any of your photos. The team at East Quay will be on hand with canapes and drinks and if you fancy, some of Whitstables world famous oysters! Again, this is a great chance for your photographer to capture some natural shots of you with all your friends and family. It makes for photos full of excitement, laughs and hugs.
Once you've had a chance to grab something to eat (important) and something to drink (more important!) and see your loved ones we can then move onto any group shots you’d like which can be done either on the beach or inside and can be as serious or silly as you like : )
If you would like some portraits of the two of you alone then we'll just slip away for 25 minutes or so and you really are spoiled for choice at the East Quay. A walk along the beach, the beach huts, the quay itself, it’s all right there.
The Wedding Breakfast
What could be better than fish and chips by the beach and The East Quay Venue provides absolutely the best fish and chips you’re ever likely to have (trust me, I’ve had it a few times now!). The venue can accommodate up to 120 guests for your wedding breakfast and has a variety of options including Hog Roast, BBQ or a more traditional sit down menu. The catering is done in house in their open plan kitchen which I always feel creates a really nice energy in the room.
The room can be set up in a few ways but the most common way is with the top table up on the stage area which makes a great spot for your speeches for which East Quay provides a microphone to help any nervous speakers!
After your speeches are all done it’s time to chill for a bit as the room gets turned around by the East Quay team for your evening. Quite often if the weather's nice guests will head out to the beach to watch the sun go down before the evening kicks off and maybe enjoy an ice cream from Treats on a Tricycle.
For the evening party there’s a stage and dedicated dance floor which is perfect for your evening entertainment to set up and do their thing! Check out The Redfords or Groovezoo for great wedding bands!
With the lights down low, everyone nicely relaxed and the sun setting on Whitstable it makes for an amazing party.
The East Quay Venue Team
I have shot weddings at dozens of venues all over Kent and the UK and in my experience this is one of the friendliest, most professionally run venues out there and as a wedding photographer having a dedicated coordinator to help things run so smoothly is super helpful (and I'm not just saying that because I like their fish and chips!)
You can have the coolest, most spectacular wedding venue in the world, but it's the team running it and the suppliers you surround yourself with that really makes the difference.
Useful Information for East Quay
Telephone Number - 01227 772 157
Address - East Quay, Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AB
100 people Ceremony / 120 people Wedding Breakfast
Access to the Venue
From 9am, music stops and bar closes at 12am, venue closes 12:30am
Car Parking near East Quay
There is a car park right next to the venue and you will receive 10 complimentary parking vouchers for you to distribute to important people and suppliers. This car park can get really busy at times, especially at weekends when it’s sunny, so it may be a good idea to mention this to your guests. There is however plenty of other car parks in Whitstable which are within walking distance of the venue (depending on how comfy your shoes are)
Here’s a comprehensive list of car parks in Whitstable
Places to Stay Near East Quay
One of the great things about East Quay Venue is that you can take the chance to make a weekend of your stay in Whitstable, here are a few great places to stay in the run up tp the big day!
Whitstable Fisherman's Huts
150 year old fisherman's huts converted into lovely little self contained apartments, perfect for your preparations before the wedding or somewhere to stay on your wedding night.
They are literally right on the beach and a 5 minute drive / 10 minute walk to East Quay Venue. They are absolutely gorgeous inside and are affiliated to East Quay. There are 13 huts in total and incredibly popular so book early!
Telephone - 01227 280280
Hotel Continental Whitstable
A beachfront hotel a few minutes walk along the seawall down to the venue. A sister company of East Quay Venue, wedding couples and their guests get a 10% discount on the night of the event! There are 22 rooms and check in is from 3pm.
Telephone - 01227 280 280
Whitstable Air B and B's
Whitstable is absolutely full of amazing Air B and B’s and can make a really nice homely alternative for somewhere to stay in the build up to your day, just like Zoey did here.
Website - https://www.airbnb.co.uk/
Cool East Quay Vendors
Boards By Jess - Chalkboards and modern caligraphy
Light of my Life - Prop Hire
BluBelle Creative - Florist
The Redfords - Band
Fiddlin About - Acoustic band
Luxurious Glitter - Glitter Bar
Story Tree Booth Co. - Luxury Photo Booth
The choice of your wedding venue can have a huge effect on the whole feel and vibe of your wedding day, for a really good guide on how to choose your wedding venue check out this guide from Bride Magazine. But, if you are looking for a chilled out, relaxed, seaside wedding venue in Kent then I honestly can't think of a better venue than East Quay.