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Islington Town Hall Wedding Photography

A Wedding Venue in North London

Wedding Photography at Islington Town Hall


The bride and groom share an impromptu kiss with colourful bouquet held by her

I photographed this heartfelt kiss just after their wedding ceremony. The floral touches adorning the couple really help make this image.

Islington & London City Register Office

I have photographed weddings at the venue many times and have found it an exceptional and accommodating wedding venue.  All the ceremony rooms (listed below) are unique and photogenic.  So whatever the size of your small to medium-sized wedding (up to 160 guests), you’re sure it’ll be a memorable occasion and a fitting venue for your special day.

The Town Hall incorporates Islington and London City Register Office (often miscalled registry) and the Assembly Hall.  Both are licensed for weddings and photography is welcomed.

Classical in appearance and built in the 1920s, it was constructed and faced with Portland stone.  The interior has impressive Art Deco interiors and the more traditional ceremonial rooms, which make it an outstanding venue for wedding photography and very popular with photographers’ too.

The groom signs the register whilst his bride watches on at Islington Town Hall

Beautiful rooms such as the Mayor’s Parlour at Islington make the venue an excellent choice for a small to medium wedding.  As they sign the register, I took a few like this to show off the ornate panelling.  There’s another in colour further down the page…

A Fantastic Location in North London

Grade II listed, Islington Town Hall stands proudly on Upper Street (otherwise known as the A1).  The venue is very conveniently situated.  A ten-minute walk away is Highbury & Islington train/tube station on the Victoria & Overground Lines.  Just one stop from Kings Cross St Pancras,  and served by four bus routes, it is ideal for your wedding guests arriving by public transport…

The bride and groom greet each other in an embrace on Upper Street, Islington

Outside the venue on Upper Street, the bride and groom greet each other in an embrace before their ceremony.

Bride in Covid mask walking up the steps of Islington Town Hall

I photographed this under Covid restrictions: The bride makes her way up the steps with the bustling Upper Street in the background.

Bride with Father Waiting Infront of Large Arched Windows

The Bride and her Father thoughtfully wait in the corridor outside the Mayor’s Parlour.  This shot was unstaged and shows a moment of quiet pre-wedding contemplation before the ceremony.

Newly-weds leaving Islington Town Hall Wedding

Skipping ahead in time slightly: It’s all over… the ceremony that is! The newly wedded couple leaves the Town Hall to start their new life together. I always photograph a sequence of the couple leaving the venue, and I love this black and white shot.

Photography Time Constraints at Islington Town Hall

Wedding photography is encouraged at Islington but be aware that time can get a little tight, especially on Saturdays during the summer.  I like to spend time both before and after the ceremony, taking couples portraits and group shots in various locations inside and outside the building.

There is usually time for this, but it’s essential to follow the register office staff’s guidance.  And, of course, the wishes of you, the couple.

Guests taking wedding ceremony photos on their phones in the Mayor's Parlour in Islington

Guest photography is allowed at Islington: I took this photograph during the ceremony. The registrars were happy for friends and family to take their own photos as well as the official photographer.

Groom shaking hands with male guest at wedding in Islington Town Hall

Groom Nigel shakes hands with a guest whilst waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle. I’m always looking out for natural moments such as this to photograph.

Registrar Conducting Gay Wedding at Town Hall Wedding

The Mayor’s Parlour is the smallest of the wedding ceremony rooms, and this wide shot shows it off well. Despite its diminutive size, the registrars at Islington are comfortable with the photographer’s presence.

The registrar reads to guests prior to wedding starting at London City Register Office

During the ceremony, this natural photograph shows the room from the other side with the registrar just about to announce the couple.

The Borough of Islington Registrars

A registrar and superintendent registrar will conduct your ceremony.  They are accommodating and seem keen for your photographer to get a good selection of photographs that tell the story of your time at the venue.  The Islington registrars are relaxed and allow the photographer to move around during the wedding ceremony.  The black and white photo above shows how comfortable this registrar was about my presence throughout the ceremony.  I shoot throughout the ceremony, but it’s essential to observe the occasion – I’m always discreet.

The smiling ring bearer hands the groom his ring at a wedding in London

It’s great to get up close: the intimate nature of Ming’s short day wedding was perfect for this photo of his best man handing him the ring.

The smiling ring bearer hands the bride her ring at a wedding in Islington

From a different angle, I captured the ring being handed to bride Jenny.

Wedding Bookings at Islington Town Hall

Useful to Know When Booking Your Wedding

  • You can contact the registrars directly by calling 020 7527 6350 or emailing registrars@islington.gov.uk.
  • You may make provisional wedding bookings up to 12 months in advance.
  • Formal Notice of Intention may also be made up to one year in advance.
  • A non-refundable deposit is required to secure a room and time.
  • Your booking fee includes hire of the room, two registrars, a marriage certificate and personal choice of music and personal vows.
  • The Borough of Islington has many other wedding venues available to hire, including Searceys @ The Gherkin, The Barbican Centre and even Arsenal Football Club.
  • 15 minutes is allowed before the ceremony to set up in the venue room.
  • Saturdays can be exceptionally busy with a high turnover of weddings. So there will be less time for portraits on the stairs and outside. The local area provides lots of photo ops though…
  • There is an outside ramp and lifts to all rooms for disabled guests who are attending.
  • A wealth of information is available on the Say I Do Islington Website. It’s well worth a look to help answer any questions that you have.
  • You can check availability and book your date and room on the website.
  • As well as marriages, Islington Town Hall also does Renewals of Vows, Civil Ceremonies and Naming Ceremonies.

xchange of Rings in Black and White at Islington Town Hall

In the Council Chamber, the Bride slips the ring on her Groom’s finger. A decisive moment to photograph! The registrar often asks the couple to hold the ring there for a while, which is great as it gives me time to take a good selection of photos.

In Room 99 at Islington Town Hall, the groom proudly places the ring on his bride's finger as she smiles

Despite it’s use as the basic ceremony roo, Room 99 is exceptional spacious, ideal for the photographer to move round the couple.

Exchange of Rings at Gay Wedding in Islington Register Office

Taken in the Mayor’s Parlour, this is one of my favourite gay wedding rings exchange photographs. Most couples don’t notice their photographer at this crucial time – they are too busy enjoying the moment.

Read More>> This Venue is Perfect for Same-Sex Wedding Photography.

The bride and groom kiss for the first time at their wedding

The first kiss is an essential but sometimes fleeting shot to capture. But it is such a critical wedding moment, and Islington Register Office is the perfect backdrop to it.

The couple share there first kiss as a registrar claps in the background

Black and white gives a more timeless quality to the photos, and can work better in some cases.

Also Consider>>  Old Marylebone Town Hall:  Another Iconic Register Office.

Gay Marriage Couple Signing the Wedding Register

The borough registrars are very relaxed about photographing the wedding register’s signing, and I prefer natural shots such as this one taken using attractive directional daylight from the window.

The bride signs her wedding schedule whilst the groom watches on

Rules on Signing the Register

The marriage registrars allow photography of the register’s actual signing, but of course, the photographer has to use their common sense and not be too intrusive or close.

Many wedding venues do not allow photography of the signing, instead opting for a staged signing of a ‘dummy register‘.  It’s caused amusement and slight embarrassment with many newlyweds, but not here at Islington Register Office!  They produce a dummy though, and I go through the charade, safe in the knowledge that I have some natural shots of the signing as it happened.

Th bride watches on as her groom signs the wedding register in the Mayor's Parlour, Islington

I went wide for this signing portrait. It shows off the beautiful desk in the corner of the Mayor’s Parlour perfectly.

The registrar presents the wedding certificate whilst the groom pulls a funny face while two guests watch

I love the look n the groom’s face here. Islington’s registrars make a presentation of the certificate which he clearly enjoyed in this lighthearted photo.

Islington Register Office Wedding Photography Rooms


There are 4 rooms to choose from for your wedding.


Bridal party queuing up outside the Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall to enter for wedding

The bridal party waits outside the Council Chamber for the registrar to announced them in. I took a good sequence of them preparing and lining up.

The Council Chamber:

  • The Council Chamber lies at the top of the ornate central staircase and is the largest of the ceremony rooms in terms of seating.  It is airy and light with a vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows.  Seating is almost ‘courtroom’ style with guests seated on three sides on benches and chairs.  There is plenty of room for your photographer to move around.
  • Holds 100 guests seated in the main room with a further 60 in the balcony.
  • The room is not available on Sundays or Mondays.

The Mayor’s Parlour:

  • Furnished in rich red leather and oak panels, The Mayor’s Parlour is the smallest room and is located at the end of the long corridor on the first floor. The fireplace is the focal point.  The couple sits in two large red armchairs with guests to their left and right on a sofa and chairs.
  • Just 12 guests seated on the sofa and chairs may attend a wedding in this room.
  • The room is not available on Sundays or Mondays.

The Richmond Room:

  • Spatially, The Richmond Room is the largest at Islington Town Hall.  Long and with high ceilings and large windows, it would make an excellent venue for your wedding.
  • 60 guests are catered for in forward-facing seats.
  • Only available on Saturdays (except the 2nd of the month).
  • There are restrictions on music volume in this room to respect the proximity of neighbours.

Room 99:

  • The curiously named Room 99 is the most popular but purely no frills.   The colour scheme is red and gold with permanent floral displays.
  • Seating is available for 28 guests.
  • Only Marriages and Civil Partnerships take place in this room.
  • Time is more restricted in Room 99, with just the legal ceremony allowed.  There is no time for extra readings, bespoke vows or even separate registrar interviews and walk-in.  A cheaper pricing structure reflects this and, as a result, the room has a higher turnover of weddings.  If you need a more personal wedding ceremony, one of the other rooms is recommended.  This room is purely for those wanting a no-frills register office wedding.

Wedding Guests Waiting in Hall Before Ceremony with Stained Glass Windows in the Background

This informal group shot of the guests waiting before the ceremony shows some of the venue’s Art Deco features well.

8 guests pose on Chesterfield sofa before wedding in Mayor's Parlour at Islington Town Hall

Whilst the couple were having their pre-wedding interviews, I made the most of the time to take a series of shots of the guests in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Group Portrait of wedding party in the Mayors Parlour of Islington Town Hall

Everything about weddings at Islington Town Hall is geared up to allow for photography. At this marriage in the Mayor’s Parlour, the registrar allowed plenty of time to set up group shots after the ceremony.

Same-sex Couple Walking Down Corridor at Wedding

The corridors you will walk down at Islington Town Hall are splendid and long with large windows lining the way.  Photography is all about the light, which will help your wedding photographer produce some stunning portraits and natural environmental shots.

Islington Town Hall Wedding Photography FAQs



A.  The town hall has a rich history and is perfect for non-religious weddings, accommodating 160 guests.  With its ornate Art Deco features and beautiful ceremony rooms, the venue is the ideal backdrop for short wedding days and those going on to their reception meal elsewhere.



A.  The venue aims to give you, and your guests access around 15 minutes before your ceremony commences.  It can vary slightly, particularly on Saturdays when they have a full schedule of weddings.  This time is ideal for taking greetings shots of guests meeting each other and some small group portraits.



A.  The registrars are very helpful and actively encourage photography.  They even allow the photographer to take the signing of the register.



A.  Yes, wedding confetti is allowed but only outside the town hall.  The steps on Upper Street are the perfect location for this, and it is a great way to exit the venue.



A.  This varies depending on the area.  The hall and stairs can be dim, but the landing area has good window light.  In the Council Chamber, the windows are high, but I can balance this with bounce flash.  The best room for light is the Mayor’s Parlour – great for some pleasing natural photos.

Wedding Couple Seated in the Mayor's Chamber

I love this shot I took of the happy couple seated in the Mayor’s Parlour. They both look so ‘in the moment’ as they wait to take their wedding vows.

Bride and Groom Holding Hands During Their Wedding Ceremony

There is so much space in the Council Chamber to move around in and get the shot. The Islington registrars don’t mind this at all.

First Kiss at Marriage in Black and White

The first marriage kiss is a must-have shot, especially with the gorgeous directional light of the Mayor’s Parlour.  It’s preferred for couples to slow down here to allow the photographer to get the shot.

Group Shot in Mayor's Parlour at Islington at LGBT Wedding - Couple Kissing

This photo shows how the beautiful light coming into the Mayor’s Parlour works so well for wedding group portraits.  The registrars often give time for shots in the room.

Bride and Groom leaving the Mayor's Parlour in Islington

The newly-married couple exit the Mayor’s Parlour after their ceremony. Note the stunning wooden surround around the door.

Newly-weds looking out of the door of Islington Town Hall onto Upper Street

The newlyweds step out onto Upper Street’s town hall steps: On the other side of the road, you can see the Vineyard pub, a popular meeting spot for guests and the groom to assemble before the ceremony due to the proximity.  I have started several wedding days photographing at that venue.

Chinese newly-weds leave Islington Town Hall in a shower of confetti

Islington Town Hall allows confetti on the steps outside which always makes for a great wedding photography sequence.

A newly married couple leaving Islington Town Hall with guests clapping them

If your guests don’t bring confetti, don’t worry… A round of applause works almost as well!

The Group & Couple Portraits on the Iconic Steps

The town hall can be busy, particularly on a Saturday, but they allow time afterwards for confetti and group photos on the steps outside.

I work through these fairly briskly, in case a wedding follows shortly afterwards and we are moved on.  Weddings are generally staggered, but it can happen.  Below are some examples of shots that I have taken after the ceremony.

Bride with bouquet and groom in blue suit pose in front of Islingtom Town Hall

A straight full-length portrait of the couple, featuring some of the building’s architecture in the background.

Couple standing with eight guests on landing at Islington Town Hall

This is on the landing overlooking the stairs. I dressed the wedding party in around the couple for a fun group portrait.

The couple pose with their family, friends and dog outside Islington Town Hall

Their dog was the centre of attention in some of the group portraits. A friend had brought him along to greet them as they exited.

Bride and groom pose with friends outside Islington Town Hall

The most popular sport for group portraits is outside the front. I went wide to include the ‘Islington Town Hall’ engraved name above the windows for added context.

The bride happily tosses her bouquet over her head as three friends try to catch it.

Some brides still like to toss the bouquet, although it’s not as common as it used to be.

And After Your Wedding Ceremony?

Being a civil marriage venue, Islington Town Hall does not cater to wedding receptions, but there are numerous local restaurants, pubs, and hotels. The Highbury and Islington area is very cosmopolitan and has excellent potential for those seeking a good night out or a meal with friends. Sometimes, couples take their guests on a purpose hired Routemaster bus into the city for their post-wedding celebration.

Bride and Groom after Wedding Ceremony at Islington Register Office

The happy couple’s smiley shot shows off the beautiful façade at Islington Town Hall and gives photographic context.  They went on to their reception meal at a local restaurant across the road.

Islington & London City Register Office,
Town Hall,
Upper Street,
N1 2UD.


Islington Council Website


Islington & London City Register Office Wedding Photography by Guy Milnes.

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Witness Signing Register at Islington Town Hall Wedding

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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.


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