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Arnos Vale Cemetery Wedding Photographer


Wedding Photography at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol


Happy couple descend the steps of the Spielman Centre at Bristol's Arnos Vale

The pillars and descending steps of the Spielman Centre provide a splendid setting for a sequence of confetti photographs as the couple exit their Arnos Vale wedding ceremony.  A gorgeous façade such as this is a boon for any wedding photographer.

A Beautifully Photogenic Bristol Wedding Venue Location

Arnos Vale is the perfect location for your Bristol wedding – just a 15-minute walk from Temple Meads Station and 1.5 miles from the City Centre.

The cemetery is set in 45 acres of heritage woodland and is a real hidden gem.  There are 3 wedding spaces to choose from, or you may add an additional venue for an extra cost.  If you’re feeling very extravagant, you may even hire the third venue for your evening entertainment!

Bride looking out of car door at father at boot with an umbrella

The bride arrives with her father outside the Spielman Centre at the start of her rainy wedding. Happily, the weather cleared up by the time the newlyweds exited.

Are You Planning Your Wedding at Arnos Vale, Bristol?

I photograph discretely and unobtrusively to capture all the very best moments, leaving you to enjoy your day.

With me as your wedding photographer, your memories will be in safe hands, so please get in touch any time to discuss…


Bride entering West Lodge, Arnos Vale from back

Bride Natasha enters the West Lodge building for her interview with the Bristol registrar.

Photography At the Beginning of the Wedding Day

It’s a good idea to book your wedding photographer to start a while before proceedings are due to begin.  They can then liaise comfortably with Arnos Vale’s wedding coordinator (a lovely lady called Buffy) and assess how they will approach the day.  If your photographer covers your wedding preparations beforehand, they should aim to arrive roughly 30 minutes before the bride.

Weddings at Arnos Vale start at 2 pm at the West Lodge.  Traditionally, the groom arrives first for his pre-wedding interview with the registrar.  He then makes his way up to the chosen ceremony venue where the guests are arriving.

The bride arrives (sometimes fashionably late!) for her interview and is driven up the venue’s driveway.  I spend time photographing the bridal party outside before they make their entrance.

Groom hugging friend at Arnos Vale wedding holding colourful umbrella

After his wedding interview, the groom greets guests outside. I loved the colours in his umbrella and tried to feature them in as many photos as I could.

Arnos Vale Wedding Photography Venues

The three wedding spaces are all highly photogenic in different ways.  Each offers a fully bespoke experience, with various upgrade options and a wide selection of meal choices, from a formal sit-down wedding breakfast to a picnic in the woods!  How many other wedding venues offer that?!?


Black and white portrait of newlyweds kissing on steps of the Anglican Chapel at Arnos Vale

The exterior of the Anglican Chapel: It is the perfect venue for some portraits and your ceremony + wedding breakfast.


The Underwood Centre

  • For the more rustic wedding celebration, the Underwood is as the name suggests: outdoors! This venue is literally a wooden roof and woodland clearing, but so unusual and appealing to outdoor and spiritual types.
  • Suitable for up to 60 seated guests and 20 standing during the ceremony.  All 80 can be catered for during the meal.
  • You can order picnic tables to make things easier for eating.  Catering is informal with diverse options, including picnics and hog roasts.
  • Pets are welcome in the Underwood.
  • You are granted access 3 hours before your ceremony to add any personal touches and decorations.
  • Extremely photography-friendly.  Being in the woods, you can easily slip away for some wedding portraits after your ceremony.
  • You must vacate the venue by sunset or 9 pm – whichever happens first, but you can relocate indoors if you have added a second venue.
  • This venue is unsuitable in poor weather.  If the weather looks inclement, your wedding will be transferred indoors to one of the other venues.


The Spielman Centre

  • Glorious Victorian architecture and neutral interior present a splendid backdrop for your wedding ceremony and evening celebrations.  The pillars outside mean a beautiful directional light for your wedding photography of the arrivals, drinks reception, and confetti sequence.
  • 70 guests may be seated for your ceremony, with a further 20 standing.  A seated meal in the Spielman can cater to 70 guests.  However, you can invite 140 guests to the evening celebrations.
  • Includes long trestle tables, but you may upgrade to round tables as an extra.
  • Drinks and canapés are served outside after your ceremony.
  • You can utilise the adjoining Atrium Cafe as an extra space for your evening celebrations.


The Anglican Chapel

  • The self-proclaimed ‘centrepiece’ of the Arnos Vale venues.  The interior and exterior  (with stunning bell tower) are impressive and the perfect venue for an entire wedding day, from the ceremony to the evening entertainment.  Or mix and match with the other two spaces.
  • Holds up to 100 guests throughout the day and 120 in the evening.
  • Various seasonal menu options are available from buffets, to a full sit-down meal.

The bride and her father walking between two pillars at the Spielman Centre, Arnos Vale

The pillars outside the Spielman Centre provide a great arrival experience for the bride as the day begins.

Bridesmaids entering Spielman Centre wedding at Arnos Vale

The bridesmaids enter through the grand doors at the beginning of the wedding ceremony.  I’m always sure to photograph a nice sequence of the bridal procession up the aisle.

The bride walks down the aisle of the Spielman Centre at Arnos Vale

From the back of the Spielman Centre as the groom sees his bride for the first time. Although I still use a little fill-flash to brighten the shadows, those large leaded windows provide excellent light for your wedding photography.

Helpful to Know About Arnos Vale Weddings

  • The wedding day celebrations start at 2 pm and continue through until 11.30 pmLate-night extensions of up to 1.30 am are available for an extra cost.
  • Dedicated wedding coordinator Buffy, along with her team, will see you through every step of the way.
  • The venue is very photography friendly, and the weddings team are keen that your photographer is kept informed and able to take the very best shots throughout the day.
  • There are no restrictions on where you can go on-site, either for a walk with guests or for your wedding photography.
  • The venue provides its caterers, the Cleverchefshttps://www.cleverchefs.co.uk/
  • You must book your wedding through the registrars at Bristol Register OfficeDo check that they are available on your date first.

Pensive bride with groom at the 'altar' in the Spielman Centre, Arnos Vale

The Bristol registrars are very accommodating, allowing your photographer movement around the room to achieve intimate shots such as this.

The Bristol Registrars & Your Ceremony Photography

I always make a point of introducing myself to the wedding or civil partnership officials.  The Bristol registrars are very relaxed about wedding photography and are lovely to deal with too.  They actively encourage photography at their licensed Bristol venues with no restrictions.  Providing the photographer does not get in the way, they move around the room to take the best shots.  Standing behind and to the side of the registrar’s table, I can see everything going on.  I also take some photos from the back and behind the couple, particularly during the exchange of rings.

Shooting throughout the ceremony from different angles and positions means moving slowly and discreetly to avoid distraction.  I think I’m successful in this, as many couples say they forgot I was even there.  I also have the experience to know what will happen and where to be when it does…


For further information about the legal ceremony and your options, visit the Bristol.gov website.

Bride and groom laughing during the rings exchange at Arnos Vale

I love moments like this where their laughter shows the love between them. Having the freedom to move closer allows me to capture this.

Newlyweds share their first kiss whilst registrar claps in background

Their first kiss: I often tell couples to linger awhile for this – they don’t usually object!

Signing the Wedding Schedule

In 2021, the register went digital, so now couples sign a schedule – a sheet of paper with all data later transferred online.

Whereas before, I was not allowed to photograph the register signing at all, now Bristol Register Office have no restrictions around this.  So I can capture this critical moment, including the witness signings.

The groom signs the wedding schedule with his bride and registrars watching on

Photographers’ can now capture the signing without the registrars batting an eyelid!

A guest signs the schedule at a wedding whilst the seated bride and groom chat to each other

When the witnesses sign, the couple often relax a bit. I take advantage to catch a few natural shots of this.

The newlyweds walk back down the aisle of the Spielman Centre while their guests look on

Friends and family applaud the couple as they make their way back down the aisle. Beautiful light spills in through the large doorway, giving a pleasing look to the photos.

The couple exit their wedding ceremony at Arnos Vale Cemetery

Outside the Spielman, there are floral arrangements in keeping with the occasion.

The Newlyweds’ Exit & Confetti Photo Sequence

After leaving the building, the wedding coordinator whisks them through the café and keeps them there until the guests assemble outside.  I waste no time in arranging them into two lines for the couple to pass through.

As the couple leave the building again, I take a lovely sequence of photographs of the confetti being thrown over them.

Wedding confetti shower as couple exit the Spielman Centre at Arnos Vale

Not their original exit from the building: By the time the couple leave for the second time, I’ve arranged their guests into an aisle for them to walk through.

Bridesmaids pick confetti out of laughing bride's hair at Arnos Vale in Bristol

This happens a lot after the confetti, and it’s a fun shot to capture. A perfect memory of a perfect day!

Congratulations & How Photography Fits in with Them

A part of the day that happens quite naturally and without orchestration is the congratulations…

As soon as the confetti settles, friends and family want to say their best wishes to the couple – this is one of my favourite times of the day, particularly at Arnos Vale.  It’s a lovely time where your photographer should strive to capture precious moments and the essence of relationships between those present.

The groom's mother hugs him as he looks into camera - bride and lady chatting in foreground

I think the groom’s knowing look to my camera makes this cheeky congratulatory wedding photo.

Male guest hugs bride as other mill around at wedding in Bristol

Taken from behind the bride, this hug shows off her hair and back of the dress perfectly. Other guests milling around give a good sense of occasion too.

Post-Ceremony Posed Group Photos

Both the Spielman Centre and Anglican Chapel are perfect for posed group shots after the ceremony. I try to photograph a group shot of everyone first.  It makes it easier to break it down into smaller groups and announce what will happen whilst everyone is listening.

When you book my photography service, I provide a questionnaire with a section to list any group photos that are important to you.  This helps streamline the whole procedure, giving me a reference point and speeding things up, allowing you to relax and enjoy the rest of your day.

Whole wedding party outside the Spielman Centre in Arnos Vale

The entire wedding party standing on the steps outside Arnos Vale’s Spielman Centre.

The couple pose with two lilac dressed bridemaids at Arnos Vale

Interesting composition gives the photo a different perspective to show off the centre’s magnificent columns.

The Couple’s Posed Photos & a Chance to Explore

The drinks reception is the perfect point to steal you away for ten minutes for some posed shots of you together.  The vast grounds of Arnos Vale Cemetery are the ideal place to do it…

I say ‘ten minutes’ because I realise the importance of enjoying your day with your loved ones, but I’m happy to take photos of you together for as long as you’re happy to have them.  Half an hour or more can fly by with the scope of different locations around the cemetery grounds!

Couple walking away from camera past some gravestones at Arnos Vale Cemetery

I’m drawn to dereliction, and many of the graves and tombs scattered throughout the grounds are overgrown, giving contrast to the freshness of your wedding day.

The bride and groom pose in the sun outside the Anglican Chapel at Arnos Vale

A standard wedding portrait that I shot in the sunshine outside the Anglican Chapel.

Arnos Vale Wedding FAQ’s


A. The venue speaks for itself.  With 45 acres of heritage woodland to explore and the best in Bristol’s Victorian architecture, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful and diverse wedding venue.  Arnos Vale has 3 venues and you can mix and match them if you need more than one.  There is a wide choice of food options, from a traditional sit-down meal, to buffets, picnics and even a hog roast!



A. The Underwood is accessible up to 3 hours before your wedding starts.  For the other venues, discuss your requirements with the wedding coordinator.

Guests milling about ooutside the Spielman Centre at the Arnos Centre in Bristol

Taken from the Spielman Centre’s steps: On the left side of the photo is the West Lodge, and you can see the Anglican Chapel on the right.


A. Yes – the Bristol registrars are very accommodating, presenting no restrictions as long as your photographer is not a distraction.



A. Confetti is allowed, and your wedding coordinator plays a key part in ensuring this all runs smoothly for the couple and their photographer.



A. The venue is very much geared towards the outdoors, so photography is primarily dictated by the weather and time of day.  Your photographer will probably need to use a little fill-flash to counter shadows and dark areas inside the wedding spaces, but this depends on their style and the light outside.

Wide photo of whole of Anglican Chapel, Arnos Vale during wedding breakfast

The interior of the Anglican Chapel, as the guests are seated for the couple’s entrance and the wedding breakfast.

The bride entering the Anglican Chapel at Arnos Vale and walking between tables

The bride walks between the tables as she enters the chapel. The groom is just in front of her (they did enter together!)

Two women laughing with bottle of wine at wedding breakfast

At the start of the meal, I capture some shots of guests seated. This is a fun one as this pair spot me about to photograph their wine pouring…


Bride and groom seated at table in the Anglican Chapel, Arnos Vale for their wedding breakfast

The top table is beneath the large leaded windows at the front of the room – a spectacular spot for some great photography of the speeches later.

Arnos Vale Cemetery
West Lodge
Bath Road
Arnos Vale


Arnos Vale Wedding Photographer, Bristol.

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Wedding Photographer in London, Bristol & Cardiff

Guy Milnes Photography is based between London and Cardiff, covering South Wales, Bristol, London and the home counties.
He has been a professional photographer since 2008 and loves to capture the wedding day's atmosphere as it unfolds naturally.


Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070


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