Wedding Photography at Cardiff City Hall – The Historic Register Office in Wales’ Capital City
One of my favourite wedding photography opportunities is the confetti sequence. At Cardiff City Hall they allow bubbles. More of the sequence at the bottom of the page.
City Hall: A Beautiful Venue for Your Wedding
Cardiff City Hall is a beautiful venue with lots of significance for marriages having been a permanent fixture of the city since 1806. It is very popular amongst couples and with wedding photographers alike, with a variety of wedding spaces to suit both the smallest and more elaborate wedding gatherings.
Rae and Martin pause for a kiss as newly-weds in the beautiful entrance hall area.
A Cardiff City Hall wedding is a lovely engagement for a wedding photographer. Its beautiful interior lends itself to your ceremony and leads to beautiful memories of your big day captured forever. The lush exterior is a great location for attractive wedding photography portraits. With the City Hall façade in the background, you will have amazing photo images of your big day.
Bride Dania looks pretty as a picture as her father walks her down the aisle for her marriage in St David’s Room at Cardiff City Hall.
Helen and Clare booked me for an hour for their gay wedding at City Hall. So I photographed their portraits on the grass outside with the beautiful exterior in the background.
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Special Price for 1 Hour’s Mid-Week Short Wedding Coverage
Special Price for 1 Hour on Friday & Saturday
1 hour + beautifully edited photos uploaded in a mixture of colour and black and white.
Includes some arrivals shots, the ceremony, congratulations/confetti and posed shots in the gardens.
For 2 hours and above please visit my South Wales Wedding Photography Prices page.
A nice shot to capture is the wedding party walking away from the venue after the marriage ceremony.
The ornate entrance really is beautiful and does justice to the Bride as she enters for her wedding ceremony.
Coming in from the outside: the father of the bride proudly walks her through the entrance of Cardiff City Hall.
Room 103: The Guests’ Waiting Room Pre-Ceremony
Upon arrival, wedding guests are shown into the waiting room (labelled 103) which adjoins St David’s Room. The couple are either kept separate or can arrive together depending on preference and have their separate interviews with the registrar as the guests wait. This gives your photographer time with the guests to photograph a few natural moments that the couple wouldn’t otherwise get to see. At the appropriate time, everyone is shown into St David’s Room or St. Dwynwen’s Room for the wedding ceremony. (See ‘Cardiff Register Office Wedding Rooms’ below for further details of which would be suitable for you).
Two guests waiting in the basic but attractive ‘Room 103’ waiting room. The room has chairs running around the walls, but the only feature is the ornate Victorian fireplace with floral arrangements.
In the corridor outside Room 103, the bride’s sister gives her a last minute good luck kiss prior to the ceremony commencing.
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When I pointed out how nice the fireplace looked, one guest hammed it up a bit. I’m always happy to document the daft moments as well as the serious.
A short while later and the wedding guests are seated in the St David’s Room awaiting the couple’s arrival and the beginning on the ceremony.
A Venue Conveniently Located in the Centre of Cardiff
Cardiff City Hall provides a variety of rooms to suit the style of your wedding and accommodate the number of guests you have invited. It is ideal for couples wishing for intimate wedding ceremonies. The building has beautiful hallways that the wedding photographer can capture you and your party walking down before and after your wedding.
Another photo from Helen and Clare’s LGTBQ wedding. Thy were quite taken with the portrait of the Prince of Wales in the grand entrance hall and wanted a portrait with him before their ceremony.
LGBTQ/Same-Sex Wedding Photography at Cardiff City Hall
If you are having a gay or LGBT+ wedding, then the venue is ideal and caters for all non-religious civil ceremony style same-sex weddings. I have photographed a number of gay weddings at Cardiff Register Office and the experience for the couple is exactly the same.
The entrance doorway to the main hall. Another wonderful photography moment.
First in a set of three taken in St. Dwynwen’s Room. Looks and smiles between the couple are so important to capture and give more meaning to the set of photographs.
In some venues, the ceremony is conducted against bright light from the windows. This can result in loss of contrast but it is easily rectified in the editing.
If only a photograph could speak: I often take photos of the couple laughing but can rarely remember why. Usually it’s a mix up of words or the ring not going on as easily as it should.
Cardiff Register Office Wedding Rooms
The Register Office: Here you can only have only your 2 witnesses and it includes just the wedding vows and exchange of rings. The ceremony is very quick and probably not suitable to hire a wedding photographer for. Although if you did want it documenting, they may accommodate, so do ask if you can bring a photographer.
St. Dwynwen’s Room: Can hold 10 guests and can include your choice of music to be included in your wedding ceremony. They do not allow you to write your own vows for ceremonies in this room.
St. David’s Room: With a capacity of 65 people and elegant decorations, the room is City Hall’s largest and suitable for medium sized weddings. Your choice of vows, music and readings may be included. (Pictured Below).
A shot from the back of the St David’s Room – Cardiff City Hall’s most popular ceremony room. Here the Bride and Groom are about to take their vows.
The much smaller St. Dwynwen’s Room: Seating only ten guests, this room is ideal for couples on a budget or wanting a more low-key ceremony.
Cardiff City Hall Wedding Spaces
Council Chamber: The smallest room of the rest accommodates up to 94 guests seated ‘arena’ style in a circle (50 more guests may be seated in the gallery). It lies directly below City Hall’s majestic dome and includes wood panelling and marble pillars. This makes for a deceptively ornate wedding ceremony. It offers an intimate and memorable setting for your wedding.
The Marble Hall: Possibly the most beautifully ornate of Cardiff City Hall’s rooms licensed for weddings. The Marble hall, can comfortably fit 150-200 hundred guests. As its name suggests it has marble pillars and stained windows for decoration enhancing the atmosphere of your wedding event. Items from City Hall’s art collection finish the room nicely.
The Assembly Room: If you have a large number of guests, the Assembly Room will be the best venue you can have. With a capacity of up to 500 people, and beautiful Victorian architecture, this room provides the aura and space for a day to remember. It is richly decorated and includes a stage and bespoke lighting. Sets can be accommodated to enhance your wedding and your guests experience.
The bride throws her wedding bouquet on the grass outside City Hall. Although I’m not quite sure that all involved were eligible single females.
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Before the ceremony, there is lots of chances to photograph some family moments like this impromptu portrait: A grandfather sits with his grandson in St David’s Room before presenting the rings (below).
The presenting of the rings was given even more meaning as it was the happy couple’s son who offered them for the vows.
Great Reasons to Have Your Wedding at Cardiff City Hall
The beautiful wedding spaces make it possible for some very memorable Cardiff City Hall wedding photography. The intimate and elegantly decorated interiors and exquisite exterior will create the perfect background for your wedding photos. Whether going all out for your big day or a simple wedding event, wedding photography at Cardiff City Hall will provide lasting memories of your wedding day.
Exchange of the wedding rings – I make sure I photograph this from many different angles. At Cardiff City Hall, the registrar ensures they hold this pose for a while as the vows are said. This helps the photographer a lot.
The Signing of the Register
The Cardiff registrars are more strict than many about photographing the signing. So whilst the couple and their witnesses perform the official signing, I concentrate on the guests and take some photographs of them chatting after the ceremony. The registrar then sets up a ‘dummy’ blank book for the couple to have some posed shots with. Many couples see the funny side in this and it goes against my personal style of documentary photography, however we all go along with the pantomime and some nice portraits are possible.
A nice portrait of the newly-weds staged signing: The pen holding is secondary and most even forget their holding it.
It’s customary for the witnesses to join the couple for a signing portrait. This can make for some fun shots as here.
The couple leaving the venue is a very important moment, as it’s the first time the newly-weds will make a public appearance as a married couple.
An unexpected handshake and another lovely portrait for the album. Your photographer should be looking for shots like this.
The Perfect Venue for Your Perfect Wedding
If you’re looking for venues for the perfect wedding ceremony and the most striking wedding photography in Wales’s capital then look no further than the registry office and Cardiff City Hall.
A tender moment between a mature couple after their wedding vows.
This venue is one that has unsightly signs near most of the doors. There were a few on the right of the St David’s Room entrance which I had to carefully remove – in the photographic edit of course!
The newly-weds leave via the main entrance accompanied by their son. Unfortunately a passer by decided to leave at the same time but it’s still a nice portrait.
On a quiet day, the entrance hall is a fantastic location for the important group shot of the whole wedding party. On a Saturday, the venue has quite a high turnover of weddings, so this may not always be possible.
An easier shot to take is a portrait of the bride on her own. The doorway and architecture made the perfect backdrop for some striking wedding photography.
Cardiff’s Most Photogenic Exterior
In addition to the beautiful and ornate wedding rooms on offer, the exterior of Cardiff City Hall offers many and varied wedding photography options. With its well-maintained grounds and beautiful exterior your wedding photography will be very memorable. The wedding photos that you will have to treasure will be beautiful. Being a well-known historic location, City Hall provides an exclusive atmosphere for your wedding photography.
The portico at the front of Cardiff City Hall offers some fantastic directional light for congratulations and hugs as the party exit the building.
There is also good opportunity for some fantastic portrait shots of just the couple. The contrast of sun and shadow works well here.
Start of a 23 shot confetti photography sequence (not all shown here). I ask the couple to start a long way back and then shoot as they approach the camera in a shower of confetti (or bubbles as here).
I love the look on the Groom’s father’s face as the couple make their way through the guests’ confetti and approach the camera.
A group family shot in the park behind City Hall. Due to it’s close proximity, the Alexandra Gardens are an ideal spot for family photographs after the ceremony… You can see the City Hall in the background.
The Alexandra Gardens have the Welsh National War Memorial at their Centre. With a wide-angle lens, this provides the opportunity for some superb couples portraits.
If hiring a photographer for just an hour, it may not be possible to visit Alexandra Gardens. However there’s lovely greenery outside the front of the city hall to be used as backdrop for some beautiful posed shots.
Cardiff City Hall,
Cardiff City Hall Wedding Photographer – Guy Milnes Photography.