Wedding Photography at Fulham Library
The Fine Art Collection Corridor deep within Fulham Library, presents as an unusual and stunning backdrop to those all-important wedding portraits.
Fulham Library is one of London’s more recent wedding venues only accepting bookings since 2016. Grade II Listed, the library was built in 1908 at 598 Fulham Road.
With it’s prime location in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, it is conveniently situated and easy to get to for you and your guests. Parson’s Green is the nearest underground station which is on the District Line.
This page features images from the marriage of Jenny and David whom I photographed in Autumn 2019.
Bride Jenny and David pose shortly after the previous photo was taken at the end of the corridor. I had to ask her to be more serious for this one and she carried it off beautifully
A portrait taken from this unusual angle shows the entire height of the ornate entrance at the front of the building. I didn’t us this one as it made the couple look exceptionally tall!
The bridal party arriving on the corner of Fulham Road and Clonmel Road whilst some late guests try to discreetly sneak past.
The wedding guests seated with the groom standing at the back shortly before the bride’s entrance. This is a wide shot of the Exhibition Hall which is Fulham Library’s wedding space.
Fulham Library as a Wedding Venue
As a new venue, the library has maintained it’s original features and this makes for a fantastic experience for the bride and groom. Wedding ceremonies are held in the Exhibition Hall on the first floor. To get there. all the guests must pass through the Fine Art Collection Corridor (see photos at top and below). This comprises of a long hallway full of glass fronted, dark oak book shelves running the entire length from floor to ceiling. This makes for a fabulous backdrop for the bridal party to make their entrance against. It is also well worth while to spend time here with the newly-weds after their ceremony and drinks reception.
Here’s part of the sequence as the bridal party enter the Exhibition Hall:
The bride waits with her father at the end of the Fine Art Collection Corridor just before entering for her marriage ceremony.
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The bridal party begin to enter the Exhibition Hall. I question the logic of placing a coat stand adjacent to the entrance door – I did this in black and white purposefully as an orange Sainsbury’s bag was not a good look! Maybe I’ll mention it on my next visit…
The Exhibition Hall is painted pure white which means no odd colour casts to contend with in the photo edit.
The Fulham Library Exhibition Hall
Wedding Ceremonies are held in the Exhibition Hall which can accommodate up to 120 guests. There were 70 guests for the wedding on this page, so at maximum capacity things may appear a little less spacious. However, I found there to be lots of room to move around particularly at the front where I was able to change position to get the best ceremony portraits.
The room has white painted wooden panelling which is great for natural photography. The room immediately struck me as having the appearance of an overlarge attic room. This is only apparent in the photos when taking a wide-angle shot of the whole room. I loved the character and structure of the hall.
As bride Jenny reaches the ‘altar’, she and her groom see each other for the first time.
Another view of the Exhibition Hall. Shot from the back, this shows the front where the Hammersmith and Fulham registrars conduct the ceremony.
I like to move discretely during the ceremony to take shots from various different angles and perspectives. The ‘clean’ look of the Exhibition Hall enables me to take a nice distraction-free shot of the couple from the back.
“If any person present knows of any lawful impediment…” The couple usually turn to look at their guests at this point and I’m ready to capture the moment.
Readings by family and friends are a popular way to personalise your wedding and to lengthen the ceremony a little.
Although I do move around, I’ve never had a couple complain that I was distracting. At this point, you’ll only have eyes for each other…
A few seconds after the last shot and this one shows off some more of the upper part of the room.
The all important exchange of rings – the H&F registrars are very amenable to photography with few restrictions.
I love the eye contact from Jenny here as she places the rings onto David’s finger.
It’s intimate moments like this that make me love what I do…
Their moment of marriage is enhanced pictured with family and friends in the background…
The first kiss: I ask couples to try to remember to slow down for this shot as sometimes it can be all too fleeting.
Signing the Register – Hammersmith & Fulham Rules
The registrars introduced themselves to me as being the ‘nice’ borough registrars. And I must say they were an absolute pleasure to work with. They have no rules and are happy for the photographer to move at will to take the required shots. They even offered to move out of the way to enable me to get a ‘clean’ shot of the couple.
The Hammersmith and Fulham registrars really care about making the day special for the couple. They are friendly, happy and amenable throughout as in this photo taken as a witness signs.
So, regarding the actual signing, I’m happy to say that there are no restrictions there either. Obviously they expect the the photographer to exercise common sense. The register is a legally binding document (it says so in the vows) and as such should be treated with respect. This includes discretion and tact when photographing the signing. There is also the grey area of data protection, so it is best not to get too close during this time. However, the fact that they let me shoot the signing at all is much appreciated and better than having a ‘dummy’ register set up.
I’m always on the lookout for moments of love and affection such as this. It’s a really nice, contextual image of how things actually were at that moment.
Wedding Bookings at Fulham Library
Useful to Know When Booking Your Wedding:
- Bookings are taken for weddings on any day of the week.
- London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham can be contacted on 020 8753 3877 to discuss your requirements.
- Bookings cost £350 (Mon-Thu), £450 (Fri) & £550 (Sat-Sun).
- A £100 deposit is required to sequre the booking.
- A drinks reception may be added after the ceremony if required.
- Parson’s Green is the Nearest tube station which is on the District Line.
- There is time allowed for up to two readings from family and/or friends.
Wedding Congratulations, Drinks & Group Shots
Below is a selection of congratulations photos which demonstrate the relationships between the couple and the guests well. Fulham Library offers lots of space for me to move around to grab a variety of these shots.
The venue puts on a drinks reception for about an hour after the ceremony. This is a great way for everyone to mingle and enjoy the setting and ambience before moving on elsewhere for the wedding breakfast.
I love to capture both bride and groom hugging simultaneously. Often they are separate when they meet and greet the guests but it’s great when they’re together like in this one.
This guests was the person who introduced the couple to each other. It’s worth finding things like this out so I know who to prioritise for shots like this.
The white walls at Fulham Library enable me to use bounce flash to good effect without fear of awkward colour casts in the photos.
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I think the chap on the right was trying to keep out of the photo, however, he didn’t bank on my use of wide-angle lens.
The bride is congratulated with a hug from her brother. However it’s the couple on the right having a cheeky kiss that makes the photo more striking.
During the drinks reception, the bride and her father share a moment and she wipes away a tear from his cheek.
There’s always one: I love daft moments at weddings and this chap was happy to send himself up.
I stood on a chair to take this group shot of the whole wedding party. The Exhibition Hall at Fulham Library provides ample space for this shot.
During the drinks is an ideal time to take any portrait shots that the couple need. I do this at the front end of the hall by clearing some chairs back. An usher who knows most of the guests is useful to give me a hand ‘ushering’ people as I needed them.
A smaller group shot of the couple with their parents. Incidentally, the door on the right had a ‘Fire Exit’ sign above it. I removed it where possible for aesthetics.
The bridesmaids all looked pretty as a picture as they posed with the bride.
Sometimes group shots are quite serious and staged, so it’s good to mix things up a bit. I took a sequence of these guys lifting the bride.
Couples Portraits at Fulham Library
As the wedding party make their way downstairs, I take the opportunity to steal the couple away for some portrait shots of them together. There are a couple of examples at the top of the page but I also include some below to show off more of the fantastic Fulham Library wedding venue.
These portraits also neatly coincide with the couple’s exit through the building to the outside world. It’s a sequence which I also photograph.
Placing the couple at the bottom right of the frame allows a wider shot show more of the book display cabinets.
Freshly married and the bride walks ahead of her new husband as they exit to the outside world.
A nice touch: David punches the air as he appears behind Jenny at the entrance doorway to Fulham Library.
And finally: A nice standard kissing shot of the couple on the steps of the fabulous Fulham Library.
598 Fulham Road,
Fulham Library Official Weddings Page
Fulham Library Wedding Photographer – Guy Milnes Photography.