Wedding Photography at Morden Park House, Merton
Photogenic Morden Park House
I have photographed weddings at Merton Register Office (often mistakenly referred to as Registry Office) many times and it is a venue that keeps on giving. Officially known as Morden Park House, the venue includes the register office and is located within the grounds of Morden Park. On arrival, it’s existence isn’t immediately obvious, being secluded somewhat by the modern South Thames College off the A24. When the Georgian Grade II listed building did reveal itself to me, I found it to be a gem of a wedding venue and extremely photogenic.
The Sheridan Room: Plenty of Space for Photography
The marriage ceremonies I’ve photographed at Merton Register Office all took place in the Sheridan Room which backs out onto the park. I immediately fell in love with the room as it had beautifully large windows and French doors on two sides, allowing the most gorgeous Spring morning light to filter in. There was also plenty of space to move around at the front enabling me to photograph discretely from all sides. The room has recently undergone a facelift. Gone are the carpet and huge window drapes. The room now has a crisp and fresh look.
Arrival at Merton Register Office
There is a barrier to the drive up to Morden Park House. Taxis may have to leave you by the barrier, but wedding cars are generally let through to drive up to the house. For guests driving, Morden Park Car Park is just by the house and is exceptionally cheap at just 40p/hour.
The first port of call is usually the reception to let them know of your arrival. Here, there is a small waiting area where guests may wait until it is time to go through for the ceremony.
The Merton Registrars
The registrar’s at Merton Register Office seemed very relaxed about wedding photography; I didn’t even get the usual talk about not photographing the register signing afterwards. I shoot in a very low-key way and I think that registrars appreciate this approach. It’s as important for me to observe the sense of occasion as it is to get the shot. OK, maybe almost as important…
The Register Signing and Photography
The wedding registrars at Merton Register Office don’t seem to mind photography of the signing. However, I always make a point of asking as some, even within the same office, may have differing views on this. In any event, they will produce a ‘dummy’ register afterwards for some posed shots complete with flamboyant quill!
I have to say I much prefer to photograph the actual signing as this is much more natural with expressions and moments that are difficult to recreate.
Morden Park House Wedding Ceremony Rooms
The Sheridan Room: The smallest wedding ceremony room in the house benefits from French windows which open directly onto Morden Park. The room seats 20 guests, but you can invite up to 30. Recently redecorated, the room has a fresh and light feel and is perfect for photography.
The Lord Nelson Room: With its gorgeous Georgian Bay Windows and ornate crystal chandelier, this room can seat up to 40 guests comfortably. A view of the courtyard and direct access to the magnificent staircase means this room will provide great opportunities for your wedding photography.
The Ewart Room: For larger weddings at Morden Park House, the Ewart Room is perfect. It is located upstairs and can seat up to 100 guests. Merton.gov’s ceremony brochure suggests booking early as this room is very popular. You can even book live music such as a string quartet to add to the ambience.
The Courtyard: Is actually a gazebo and courtyard. Situated at the back of the venue, it is available for hire from May to September. In poor weather, the ceremony may be relocated indoors at the registrars’ discretion.
Unfortunately, photography is only allowed in the Courtyard for guests using it to get married. I asked on behalf on one couple if this would be possible and the venue was very strict about this.
After your Ceremony…
You’ll exit the room to the ornate, marble paved entrance hall with grand staircase, pillars and mirrors. This lends itself immediately to posed couple shots and time may be spent here. Then I assemble the guests outside the front door ready for the couple to exit for their confetti sequence.
The front of the house is beautiful and naturally many couples choose to have some posed group photos there.
How long you’ll have for confetti and posed group shots largely depends on the day of week and time of the year. Saturdays in the summer are exceptionally busy. However, if you are rushed, there’s the adjacent parkland where there is plenty of potential for stunning backdrops for couples wishing to incorporate it into their special day.
Merton Register Office FAQs
Q. WHY GET MARRIED AT MORDEN PARK HOUSE?
A. The venue is set within acres of beautiful parkland close to local transport links in South London. With its Georgian features and ornate ceremony rooms, the venue makes a wonderful backdrop for small to medium wedding ceremonies.
Q. IS PHOTOGRAPHY WELCOMED AT MERTON REGISTER OFFICE?
A. Yes, the venue is photographer friendly. Your photographer is generally allowed to move around during the ceremony to get the best shots of your vows and rings exchange. I always make sure i introduce myself to the registrar beforehand to reassure them that I will be discreet and observe the occasion.
Q. IS THERE DISABLED ACCESS & FACILITIES AT MORDEN PARK HOUSE?
A. Yes, there is access for guests with mobility problems. There is a lift to all floors located through the back door to the reception area. There is also a fully accessible toilet suitable for wheelchairs. There is step-free access to all the ceremony rooms. Blue Badge holders only are allowed to park within the venue grounds.
Q. IS CONFETTI ALLOWED AFTERWARDS FOR A PHOTO SEQUENCE?
A. Your guests are allowed to throw biodegradable confetti after your wedding outside the front door. Confetti is not allowed inside the building or in the Gazebo area. A few minutes after your ceremony is allowed for this.
Q. IS THERE AN OPTION FOR A DRINKS RECEPTION AFTER OUR MARRIAGE CEREMONY?
A. There is an option for drinks reception when using the outdoor gazebo for your wedding. It is for 2 hours from the beginning of your ceremony and includes one or two drinks/person for up to 100 guests. A charge is made for this in addition to your ceremony fee.
Merton Register Office,
Morden Park House,