Wedding Photography at Bristol City Hall
Located on College Green and very near to Bristol Cathedral, City Hall is an ideal venue for your wedding and is very popular with couples and photographers’ alike. The Neo-Georgian architectural style presents as the perfect backdrop for a marriage ceremony and a good photographer will capture you in this historic setting perfectly.
The history of the Grade II listed City Hall goes back to the 1930s when it was designed. However, it wasn’t built until after the war and formerly opened by the Queen in 1956. It has been the seat of local government in Bristol ever since.
Bristol City Hall Wedding Photography Venue
The Council Chamber: Seating for up to 200 guests makes the Council Chamber, Bristol City Hall’s largest wedding venue. The seats face inwards onto a long aisle, perfect for the bride’s entrance. The ceiling is amazing – painted to chart the main events in Bristol’s history. There are two projector screen on the front wall to display a personalised slide show if you wish (see top photo).
The Writing Room: The medium-sized room seats up to 70 wedding guests. Bristol’s coat of arms hangs over the feature fireplace and the room is bright with ceiling height windows.
Lord Mayor’s Reception Room: There is seating for up to 60 guests in a theatre style layout. Full height windows ensures the room is bright and airy with light walnut panels around the walls. There is a huge original stone fireplace which is the focal point of the room.
All rooms are available any day of the week and prices vary depending on day and length of time required.
Build Your Own>> Bespoke Wedding Photography Package
Bristol City Hall and Your Wedding Photographer
The City Hall caters for medium to large weddings and civil marriages of up to 200 people.
The hired staff are very attentive and welcoming and helpful to the photographer as well as the couple and their guests. This makes my job a lot easier as it’s great to have people around that are happy to assist and advise where required..
The Bristol registrars are relaxed about wedding photography. Some request no use of flash but this isn’t too much of a problem – the rooms are fairly well lit. My camera copes well in low light situations if flash is a problem to the registrars.
Also Consider>> Your Wedding at Bristol Register Office
Readings, Music and the Personalisation of Bristol City Hall Weddings
When discussing the running order of their day, I always advise the couple to include readings where possible to personalise, extend and make the day more memorable. The Bristol registrars allow for 2 readings and in the Council Chamber there’s also provision for live music to play the bride in and for the signing and drinks reception after the ceremony. String quartets are popular but you need to arrange these yourself.
Bristol Registrar Signing Rules
The Bristol registrars request that the register signing not be photographed. Every marriage licensing borough or county have different rules and regulations regarding the signing and photography. This is pretty standard outside London, but they do set up a ‘dummy’ register for posed shots afterwards.
I take a few of the couple miming signing, then get the witnesses in the photo too if the couple would like them in.
It’s also a time for some possible congratulations shots as they are able to speak with the guests for the first time. There’s also time for some photo minded guests to come forward and take some photographs of their own too. The resistrar often asks if anyone would like to. I often photograph these photographers photographing the couple to add extra context and fun.
Wedding Bookings at Bristol City Hall
Useful to Know When Booking Your Wedding:
- Registrars may be booked from Bristol Register Office.
- Venue viewings may be arranged by calling the Ceremonies Team on 0117 922 4737 or emailing email@example.com.
- You can make an enquiry quickly using the online form on the BCH website (link below).
- 20 minutes is allowed for the ceremony and options include a drinks reception or full sit-down meal.
- The venue recommends 2 catering companies, or you may choose your own.
Catering for Weddings at Bristol City Hall
There are a variety of wedding packages available for couples marrying at the City Hall. You can have a drinks reception and move on to their reception elsewhere, or stay for their wedding breakfast too. In this case the venue suggests 2 caterers that they recommend. There is information about this on the city hall website. Or you are able to organise your own catering if you prefer to do it that way.
Read My>> Wedding Photography FAQ’s
Wedding Confetti, Congratulations and Group Shots
The Confetti Sequence
Confetti is allowed at Bristol City Hall both inside and out. In the Council Chamber, there’s enough room for it to be thrown as the couple walk back up the aisle. In good weather, having this moment outside gives a change of scenery and adds a different element to your photos.
Emotive Congratulations Shots
After the guests throw the confetti (and sometimes before depending on the running), your guests will want to congratulate you.
Your photographer should try to be in all places at once and be at the top of their game to get a series of wonderfully emotive shots of you and your family and friends hugging and kissing and laughing together. This is a special time and Bristol City Hall provides the perfect backdrop for it.
Posed Group Shots
There are many beautiful backdrops within the City Hall and outside too. If you’ve booked your reception there as well as the ceremony, there’s no need to rush through.
I like to spend about 10 minutes for your group shots, and a further ten with just the two of you. Below is a selection taken in various spaces throughout Bristol City Hall.
Bristol City Hall FAQs
Q. WHY GET MARRIED AT BRISTOL CITY HALL?
A. The neo-Georgian building is one of the most iconic in Bristol. It is the seat of government in Bristol and has a choice of three wedding venue rooms ideal for small to large wedding parties. The staff are helpful and attentive and there are many options available to ensure you have the perfect day.
Q. IS PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED OF OUR WEDDING CEREMONY AND VOWS?
A. Most definitely. The registrars at Bristol are very photographer friendly and are helpful in allowing movement to get the best shots.
Q. DOES THE CITY HALL ALLOW CONFETTI AFTERWARDS FOR A NICE SEQUENCE OF PHOTOS?
A. Biodegradable confetti is allowed both inside and outside the venue, depending on the weather and light outside.
Q. WHAT IS THE LIGHT LIKE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY INSIDE THE VENUE?
A. The rooms are all light and airy with large windows which in daylight illuminate the ceremony. The Council Chamber is slightly more dim due to the distance from the windows to the centre aisle where ceremonies take place. View my website page for many examples of wedding photos taken there.
Bristol BS1 5TR