Wedding Photography at Bromley Civic Centre/Register Office
**I’m taking bookings for weddings at this venue for 2023-24 now**
London Borough of Bromley Register Office
Formally part of Kent, Bromley is now a London Borough, lying between Croydon and Lewisham and south of Lambeth and Southwark. The Civic Centre is in the town and houses Bromley Register Office (often mistakenly called the ‘registry’ office). To date, I have been a wedding photographer for two marriages there, and I am very keen to explore the venue further. Read on to find out why.
Wedding Ceremony Photography at Bromley Civic Centre
Aside from the restrictions during COVID (no longer in place thankfully), there are no constraints on the movement of the photographer during the marriage ceremony.
I move around discretely and photograph from many different angles, as the following images demonstrate. The ceremony lasts for approximately twenty minutes, giving me plenty of time to capture a good account of this legal part of your day.
My advice is always to take your time with everything. Whether it’s your walk down the aisle, exchange of rings, or first kiss, the longer I have to photograph these special moments, the better!
The Old Palace for a Georgian Feel
Weddings at the Civic Centre’s wedding spaces occur in rooms on the ground floor of the Old Palace. The building (also known as Bromley Palace or the Bishop’s Palace) was built in 1775 on the site of a former manor house. In 1982 they incorporated the building into Bromley Civic Centre, having been a girl’s boarding school and a teacher training college. It now plays a beautiful backdrop to couples wishing to get married at Bromley Register Office.
The Registrar’s Rules & Regulations & the Schedule Signing
The registrars that I have encountered at Bromley Register Office weddings have been lovely and very and photography friendly, making things a lot easier and more relaxed.
In 2021, the register went digital, so now couples sign a ‘schedule’ on the day. Most registrars allow photography of the schedule, but some of the Bromley Register Office prefer this signing not to be photographed. I guess this is for reasons of distraction, but they set up a ‘dummy’ schedule for formal portraits afterwards.
I write much more on register office photography in Chapter 5: Signing the Register of my ‘Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography’. It is well worth a read if this part of the day concerns you at all.
Bromley Civic Centre Confetti & Congratulations
Happily, biodegradable confetti is allowed within the grounds of the Old Palace. There is a perfect place to do this sequence in the gardens, where the steps lead down to the lower lawn. It’s also an excellent time to take shots of all the guests congratulating the couple with hugs, kisses and the odd handshake.
Portraits in the Garden of the Old Bromley Palace
Most couples I photograph want mainly natural shots, but the majority also require staged group portraits outside their wedding venue. There is time for these in the expansive gardens after the ceremony. I have the couple make a list beforehand to ensure things go smoothly and carry out this photography with minimal fuss.
After the group shots, the garden lends itself well to portraits of the couple with various backdrops, including benches, trees and even a lake!
Bromley Civic Centre Wedding Photography Rooms
The Function Room: This suite seats up to 45 guests.
The Chairman’s Room: Unusual in that it has a circular table for up to 20 guests.
The Rose Room: Seating 45 guests, this room is the most affordable in Bromley Old Palace.
The Garden Room: The largest of the wedding suites, the Garden Room seats 130 guests. Not available Monday – Thursday.
- All ceremonies last no longer than 20 minutes.
- The Superintendent Registrar needs to approve all additions at least two weeks before the day.
- Photography is allowed in all ceremony venues and the courtyard, hallway, staircase, and gardens.
- The venue provides the option of a drinks’ reception as part of the package, but not a meal.
- Regular Open Days are held throughout the year to give couples a chance to come along and discuss their requirements.
Also Consider>> Woolwich Town Hall for Your Civil Wedding Ceremony.
LGBT+/Gay Weddings at Bromley Civic Centre
Are you having your small same-sex wedding in South London? Then look no further than Bromley Register Office. The venue is genuinely gay friendly, and the registrars are open and invested in helping you to have the best day. Of course, it shouldn’t need pointing out these days, but it’s reassuring to know for gay wedding couples.
Moving On to the Reception
After the ceremony and posed shots, Bromley offers many venues to move on to for the wedding breakfast. The Civic Centre is a short walk from the town centre with a wide range of restaurants, pubs and hotels to choose from. I am happy to accompany the wedding party for some shots of the early part of the meal. My two-hour package allows time for this.
Bromley Register Office FAQs
Q. WHY GET MARRIED AT BROMLEY CIVIC CENTRE?
A. The wedding venue is located not far from Bromley town centre. Despite the centre’s modern, urban appearance from the front, the Old Palace is where wedding ceremonies take place. It is an ornate and historic building with beautiful gardens for your posed shots after the ceremony.
Q. HOW LONG BEFORE OUR WEDDING CEREMONY CAN WE GAIN ACCESS TO THE ROOM FOR PHOTOGRAPHY?
A. Timings permit about 10-15 minutes for your guests to settle in whilst you have your interviews. Whether you choose to join them or make an announced entrance is up to you, but your photographer should make the most of this time to take some shots of the goings-on.
Q. IS PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED DURING OUR WEDDING CEREMONY AND VOWS?
A. The Bromley registrars welcome photographers’ with few restrictions as long as they are reasonably discreet. However, they still do not allow photography of the signing, setting up a ‘dummy’ schedule instead.
Q. IS CONFETTI ALLOWED AFTERWARDS FOR A NICE SEQUENCE OF PHOTOS?
A. Happily, biodegradable confetti is allowed outside in the garden. The couple leaves through French windows facing out onto the lawn, and the couple can exit in a shower of confetti.
Q. WHAT IS THE LIGHT LIKE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY INSIDE THE VENUE?
A. As with most venues, the light varies throughout, but it is generally good at Bromley. Don’t worry about the light at all; a decent photographer will shoot good photos, whatever the lighting conditions. See my website for examples.