Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Photographer

The Iconic Central London Venue

Wedding Photography at Chelsea Old Town Hall/Register Office

**Taking bookings for weddings at this venue for 2020-21 now**

Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Photography - Exuberant Couple Exiting Down the Town Hall Steps

Numerous couples have left the iconic Chelsea Old Town Hall happily married. I love it when this clearly shows as with this exuberant pair

A Tasteful Refurbishment, Ideal for Photography

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Register Office (often mistakenly called ‘Registry Office’) is located within Chelsea Old Town Hall in London SW3.  It is a venue in which I love photographing weddings and civil ceremonies, even more so since the recent refurbishment.  I have shot there numerous times (26 at the last count!).

Rossetti Room Wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall

The pale olive green of the Rossetti Suite is ideal for some pleasing wedding ceremony photography.

Bride and Groom kiss as guests look on at wedding in Rossetti Room, Chelsea

Sealed with a first kiss:  the Chelsea newly-weds share a kiss with their guests looking on.

Whoever thought about the colour scheme and finer refurbishment points seems to have seriously considered the wedding photographer.  Many venues feature unsightly signage and fire points in the most beautiful doorways and locations.  Not so here… Of course, important health and safety law has been considered, but seemingly with very strong thoughts on aesthetics.  Most signs that remain are easily edited out.

The colour palette has been very well thought out too.  The shades are very subtle and work well with photography and artificial lighting if required..

Bride with father Wait for Ceremony to Start in Hall of Chelsea Register Office

The bride waits with her father in the hall for the ceremony to start. Next to them is the door the The Harrington Room – the smallest of the three ceremony rooms.

Rossetti Room Wedding from Door in Chelsea Town Hall

It’s the same wedding as above. Shortly before the Bride’s entrance, I took this of the Groom waiting with his guests.

Groom Waiting Nervously in Rossetti Room, Chelsea as Bride Enters with Father

It’s traditional for the bride and groom to arrive separately. Here, the groom’s nerves are very apparent as he waits for her to enter the Rossetti Room. This small room makes it easy to photograph nboth at this moment.

Bride and Groom entering the Brydon room at Chelsea Old Town Hall whilst guests watch

Lucy and Daren did things the non traditional way and entered their wedding ceremony together:  here, they enter the Brydon room.  The room comfortably seats 38 guests and is the largest at Chelsea register office.

A Great Location on the Trendy King’s Road, London

Chelsea Old Town Hall is situated halfway down the long King’s Road, in the vibrant heart of Chelsea.  The area surrounding the registry office is mainly urban, but a stone’s throw away is the splendid St Luke’s Church and gardens which is great for portraits after the ceremony (see bottom of page).

Newly-weds also travel elsewhere for their reception where there is further scope for more candid shots. The renowned Bluebird Restaurant is a five minute walk away and proves a popular choice for couples who require an intimate meal after their nuptials.  There is also The Ivy with magnificent floral displays outside which is even closer.

Bride Tossing Bouquet at London Registry Office

This photo of the bride tossing the bouquet shows off a little more of the location on the King’s Road.

The Waiting Area and Stairs

On arrival, guests are shown into the waiting area at the back.  This is also a through way with the splendid stairs and landing window – a fantastic opportunity for some stunning portrait shots.

Sometimes the couple both join the guests here and wait for their pre-wedding interview slots.  Other couples prefer to remain separate as is tradition.  In this case, the groom generally spends time here with the guests, whilst the bride arrives a little later via the side door on Chelsea Manor Street.

Wedding couple waiting with guests before ceremony at register office

There is a waiting area where the couple and their guests can wait for their ceremony time slot. Subtle window light will enable the photographer to capture some attractive shots during this time.

Build Your Own>> Bespoke London Wedding Photography Package

Black and White Portrait of Children at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office

Taken with window light from the stairway window: I love black and white photography, and the window provided perfect light and shadows for this shot of three siblings.

Portrait of bride in pink taken before wedding

At the same window (different wedding), I took this portrait of Renata by the window on the stairs. I like to make good use of waiting time to take good photographs like this.

Read More>> Short Day Wedding Photography – Ideal for Register Office Weddings

Wedding Rings and Vows at Kensington and Chelsea Old Town Hall/Register Office

The registrars at Kensington and Chelsea are very laid back and happy with my photographing the wedding from the front. Deniz was smiling all the way through the ceremony and it was amazing to capture such joy and happiness as Tobias places the ring on her finger.

Couple Laughing with registrar at London wedding

Photographing from the front also enables me to capture anything unexpected that happens. I honestly can’t remember what the humour was here, but I’m sure that it sparked a memory with the couple when they saw the photo.

Marriage Certificate Presentation in Chelsea

The registrars make a bit of a presentation of the marriage certificate. Not all register offices do that!

Chelsea Register Office Confetti & Congratulations

After they are married, the couple wait in the ceremony room as the guests assemble on the steps I like to arrange everyone into a tunnel which the couple can walk through when they exit the venue under showers of confetti.

It’s another plus point that confetti is allowed for Chelsea Old Town Hall wedding photography purposes.  Often, venues in Central London don’t allow confetti for the reason that it could be regarded as litter.  But the registrars at Kensington and Chelsea have no such issue and many great shots have been taken on the steps as the happy couple leave in a confetti shower.

Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Confetti

One of London’s most iconic backdrops for wedding confetti!  I love it when the guests throw plenty into the air as it makes for some more dramatic photos.

The newly-weds are covered in cofetti on the steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall

The guests here had confetti rockets that almost obscurd the exiting couple!

Laughing Newly-Weds Coming Down Steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall in Shower of Confetti

Although the confetti was more sparse at Laura and Aaron’s wedding, they more than made up for it with their obvious happiness and joy!

Couple laughing with Guests on Steps of Chelsea Register Office

A few seconds later and they stop for a moment of joyous intimacy. It’s so important that your wedding photographer looks for and captures moments like this.

Newly-weds kissing on steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall whilst guests watch

On exiting the venue, the building’s facade provides a fantastic stopping point for a cheeky post-ceremony kiss!

Post-confetti, wedding parties naturally start congratulating the couple with hugs, kisses and warm good wishes.  This is an ideal time to capture some of the wedding day’s most emotive shots.  Time constraints can limit this, particularly on a Saturday, but I feel it’s important not to rush everyone…  However the posed shots need to be taken before the next wedding group exit…

Family and friends hugging couple outside town hall in London

The moments after the confetti when family and friends can spend time with congratulations is one of the most emotive times to capture and provides some fantastic wedding photography moments.

After Ceremony Portraits on the Iconic Steps

I supply a questionnaire when couples book me for their photography.  This includes a section for any posed shots that they need.  It makes things run more efficiently to have a point of reference when taking the posed wedding portraits.

So, after everyone has given the couple their best wishes, we go straight into taking the posed group shots.  I work through this as quickly as possible.  If another wedding does back up behind us (it doesn’t often happen but can do), I have a clever dodge to get the shots whilst alleviating congestion (see below).

Short Wedding Day at Chelsea Old Town Hall

A wide shot of the newly-weds shows off the ornate facade of Chelsea Old Town Hall beautifully.

Bride with sister pose on steps of Chelsea Register Office

The Bride poses happily with her sister before the next wedding party exits behind them…

Chelsea Group Portrait Photography Tip

The above and below photographs perfectly illustrate what to do in the event that another wedding party starts to exit if we are still photographing on the steps:

After the above photo, we had to move on to allow the following wedding to exit.  I took the below group shot only a couple of minutes later but it’s not the same location.  Chelsea Old Town Hall also houses Chelsea Library which has a different entrance with an identical facade.  Apart from there being no flowers outside, you wouldn’t know that it was a different location.  There are people frequently coming and going, but this can be worked around to capture any remaining shots.

Portrait of Couple with Family Outside Chelsea Library

A few metres away, Chelsea Library provides an identical backdrop for any remaining photos.

Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Photography Rooms


Couple's hands holding each other in front of Rossetti Room door sign at wedding

The Rossetti Suite is a beautifully intimate space in which to hold your nuptials.


The Brydon Room:  The beautifully elegant Brydon Room has an interior tastefully decorated in yellow and seats 38 guests.  It features a fairly long aisle for you as a couple or the bride alone to walk down (if you choose to uphold this tradition).

The Rossetti Room:  Equally elegant but for a smaller guest list.  The Rossetti Room is the more popular room but only able to accommodate up to 12 guests.

The Harrington Room: The smallest room has limited availability, being available just three times a week.  It accommodates up to 8 guests.  I have yet to photograph in this room and feel that not many photographers have.

I love raw emotions and bride Sally certainly wore her heart on her sleeve laughing hysterically during the confetti sequence.

Kensington Town Hall Wedding Photography Rooms

The Committee Room:  This room seats up to 38 guests and lies on the first floor of Kensington Town Hall.  With wood panelling, it is tastefully decorated in blue and yellow.

The Mayor’s Parlour:  Only available on Fridays and Saturdays, the Mayor’s Parlour seats up to 68 guests.  Modern in design, it has wood panelling and is well lit.

The bridal party arrive in the entrance hall of Chelsea Old Town Hall

A bride arrives glamorously and fashionably late for her wedding ceremony.

Illustrious Marriages:  Reasons for it’s Iconic Status

Over the years many notable people have been married at Chelsea Old Town Hall including Judy Garland and Wallis Simpson which makes it one’s of London’s most iconic small wedding venues.  An appearance at number 16 in The Independent’s list of 50 Best Wedding Locations in 2011 was for good reason.  In fact, The Independent calls it, ‘still one of the hippest places to get married‘.

Young Female Wedding Guest in Hall of Chelsea Old Town Hall

Following closely on from the photo above, I took this portrait of a bridesmaid in the hall. It shows how there is potential for attractive photography no matter where you go inside the venue.

Groom looking over shoulder of guests in Rossetti Room at Chelsea Old Town Hall

Here, the groom goes through the reading with a guest shortly before the ceremony starts.

Also Consider>> Camden Town Hall for Your Civil Marriage

Kensington and Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Photographer - Exchange of Wedding Rings - Black and White

A very important shot to capture: I try to photograph a sequence of the wedding vows and exchange of rings.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Registrars

If you are having your wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall, you’ll find the venue and staff so easy to deal with.  The staff and registrars are all very helpful and approachable and it’s obviously important to them that you get the most from your day. The same goes for your photography.

There are no issues about my moving around during the ceremony – although I do try to be discrete and observe the occasion..  The Kensington registrars do seem very keen that I take all the required shots to present to the couple later on.  This makes the job of wedding photographer so much easier.  They are also very happy to allow photographing of the actual signing of the register which so many wedding venues do not.

Best Man Presents Wedding Ring Whilst Bride and Groom Watch

The best man hands the rings to the ceremony officiant. The relaxed nature of the Chelsea registrars makes close up shots like this possible.

The registrar points out where the bride needs to sign at a London wedding

The registrar points out where the bride needs to sign the register. They don’t mind me photographing the signing at all.

Registrar shaking hands with groom and holding wedding certificate

They like to make a presentation of the wedding certificate at Kensington and Chelsea Registry Office. Not all registrars do this and it’s a nice touch and good photo opportunity.

Bride Kissing Groom in Rossetti Room

A peck on the cheek for a very happy and newly married groom!

LGBT+/Gay Weddings at Chelsea Old Town Hall

If you are having your small same-sex wedding in London, then look no further than Chelsea Old town Hall.  The registrars are very open and accommodating and the venue is truly gay friendly.  In this day and age, that shouldn’t need to be pointed out, but I think it’s reassuring to know for gay wedding couples.

Gay wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall - Girl Presents Rings

I love the look on the face of this little girl as she presents the rings at Martin and Antoine’s gay wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

Moving On to the Next Location: Posed Shots at St Luke’s Church

The posed shots are normal the last photographs I take before moving on to the next venue.  If the couple have booked me for 2 hours or longer, there is time for a walk to take some more couples posed photos locally.  There is no more a suitable location than St Luke’s Church – a five minute walk away.  With it’s 19th century Gothic Revival architecture, magnificent doorway and arches, it provides superb directional light – fantastic for wedding photography portraits as the two photos below show…

Wedding Couple Kissing Portrait Outside St Luke's Church Chelsea

This door is to the side of St Luke’s.  Slightly hidden from view, it is perfect for intimate shots such as this.

Black and white portrait of married couple back to back either side of a church wall

At the front entrance door, I take some fun photos that really get across the personality of the couple.

Kensington & Chelsea Register Office,
Chelsea Old Town Hall,
King’s Road,
SW3 5EE.

Kensington Town Hall,
Hornton Street,
W8 7NX.

Chelsea Old Town Hall Wedding Photographer – Guy Milnes Photography.

Having Your Wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall?

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Groom Signs the Register with Bride Watching in Chelsea Town Hall

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Wedding Photographer in Cardiff & London

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


Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070

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