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Bromley Civic Centre Wedding Photographer

The Old Palace, Bromley Weddings

Wedding Photography at Bromley Civic Centre/Register Office

**I’m taking bookings for weddings at this venue for 2023-24 now**

 

Whole wedding party waving on steps outside the Old Palace at Bromley Civic Centre

The Old Palace’s Georgian architecture provides a perfect backdrop to the entire wedding party at this Bromley Civic Centre Marriage.


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.


Small wedding group photo outside the Old Palace, Bromley - with sun flare.

Portrait shot after the wedding, as the sun disappeared behind the Old Palace. This is the side of the building that you and your guests will see first after entering the modern entrance of the civic centre.


Grooms approach the Old Palace holding hands at Bromley Civic Centre

The grooms approach the Georgian facade of the Old Palace whilst their guests watch on.


Guests arrive up the path to Bromley Register Office

Taken the other way with the more modern buildings in the background.


Guests shaking hands and smiling at Bromley Register Office wedding

A short while later, guests greet each other outside the Old Palace.


The grooms enter the Function room with guests watching for their gay wedding

I feel they could have come up with a more imaginative title for the Function Room, but it’s a charming space for the happy couple to make their appearance and walk down the aisle.


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!


Brides laughing whilst exchanging rings in Bromley Civic Centre

Exchanging their rings: Slow down and enjoy the moment is my advice to couples at this traditional part of the ceremony.


Brides exchange rings whilst male relative looks on at Bromley Civic Centre

A few seconds later and I went wider to show the ring-bearer looking on.


Newlywed brides have their first kiss in Bromley

The first kiss: a good reason to slow down so your photographer can get the shot.


Grooms seated at their wedding ceremony from the back

Bromley provides attractive floral displays in keeping with the occasion and elegant surroundings. I try to capture as many of these details as possible for the couple throughout their wedding day.


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 reads with guests watching at a wedding at Bromley Register Office

An overview of a wedding in the Function Room. The double doors at the back lead to a similar room – also part of the same suite.


Grooms buttoning their jackets at gay wedding in Bromley

I’m not quite sure why the grooms were buttoning their jackets at this point! But it was part of their day, so I photographed it.


Read More>> Short/Micro-Wedding Photography – Ideal for Civil Weddings.


Same-sex brides excited and holding hands in Bromley wedding ceremony

I shoot from lots of different positions and angles to present a diverse set of images. At this point of their ceremony, couples’ are always too involved in each other and the ceremony to notice me at all.


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.


Posed signing of dummy register at gay wedding in Bromley Civic Centre

I took a few shots of the grooms with their backs to the guests. This photo is of their actual register signing.


Groom poses for dummy wedding register signing at LGBT marriage

Then I turned them round to give a clean background with the fireplace and portrait of Queen Anne.  It provides the couple with the choice of which they’d prefer for their wedding album.


Happy brides pretrnding to sign a dummy schedule at Bromley Civic Centre

Black and white can make all the difference and give your photos a more elegant and timeless feel.


The couple pose with their witnesses at register office wedding in Bromley, Kent

The witnesses are invited to pose with the couple as they played a major legal part in the signing.


Guests photographing couple at registry office wedding

I also invite the guests forwards to take photos of the couple if they wish, which gives me a chance to take more natural shots of friends and family at the ceremony.


Mothers hug grooms at gay wedding in Kent

I love it when this happens: The two mums can’t wait to congratulate the couple and rush forwards to hug them. So, I took a sequence of this moment of dynamic wedding fun!


Couple being congratulated by parents at register office wedding in Bromley

An even better moment was when a dad joined in, and the mum’s hugged each other! It’s wedding photography that I can’t stage and happens unexpectedly!


Registrar presenting certificate to couple at register office wedding

A thing of the past:  Presenting the marriage certificate is a wedding photo opportunity that is no longer, thanks to the register going online.  The certificate will generally be posted to you after the day.


Grooms walking down aisle at register office same-sex wedding

The newlyweds walk back down the aisle with their friends and family watching on.


LGBTQ couple leaving wedding ceremony via Functio Room door to garden at the Old Palace in Bromley

The happy couple exiting the door from the Function Room into the gardens.


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.


Bride grets male relative after wedding ceremony in Bromley

Usually, guests want to congratulate the newlyweds straight after exiting the building into the garden. This generally happens naturally, but sometimes they’ll need some prompting.


Guests throwing confetti over same-sex brides in gardens of Bromley Civic Centre

Biodegradable confetti is allowed in the grounds of the Old Palace.


Suited bride hugs guest at wedding in Bromley Civic Centre

Weddings are laden with memorable moments, and on no occasion is there so much love. The congratulations are a special time, and I’m particularly vigilant to capture as many hugs and kisses as I can.


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!


Whole wedding portrait of newlyweds with guests outside Old Palace in Bromley Civic Centre

A shot of the whole wedding party. Moving down the garden to the steps, means I can include the whole of Bromley’s Old Palace as the backdrop.


Brides posing with family members outside Bromley Civic Centre's Old Palace

The Georgian exterior is a fantastic backdrop against which to take the family portraits.


Group posed wedding photo of happy couple with parents

Exactly the same place as the above image, but turned landscape to include more of the building.


Bride gives camera eye-contact whilst her bride kisses her on cheek at LGBTQ wedding

And don’t forget the all-important couples’ portraits. Just be yourselves and magical moments happen…


Bromley Civic Centre Wedding Photography Rooms

 

Ornate fireplace and chairs at end of the Function Room in Bromley Civic Centre


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.

Registrar gesturing at groom just before exchange of rings at wedding in Kent

The Bromley Civic Centre registrars are very accommodating and allow the photographer to get close for shots like this.


Also Consider>> Woolwich Town Hall for Your Civil Wedding Ceremony.


Happy couple holding hands at wedding in Bromley, Kent


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.


LGBT wedding with groom placing ring on his partner's finger maintaining good eye contact

A very intimate and personal moment: Couples rarely notice their chosen wedding photographer at the crucial time they exchange rings. These two only had eyes for each other.


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.


Same-sex wedding grooms standing together in front of Bromley Civic Centre

The Civic Centre’s modern entrance gives no clue to The Old Palace’s historic beauty where they hold the wedding ceremonies.


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.


Back of guest's head and neck taking a photo at LGBTQ wedding

And finally: I’m not sure why, but I really like this photo. It’s just a different view from a wedding that I don’t generally focus on. I just wish I could remember why I took it!!


Civic Centre,
Stockwell Close,
Bromley.
BR1 3UH.

 

https://www.bromley.gov.uk/

 

Bromley Register Office Wedding Photographer – Guy Milnes Photography.

Having Your Wedding at Bromley Register Office?

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Groom poses for dummy wedding register signing at LGBT marriage

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Wedding Photographer in Cardiff & London

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

https://guymilnes.com/

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