Wedding Photographer Newport Register Office AKA The Mansion House
Newport Register Office (often mistakenly called ‘Registry Office’) is located within The Mansion House on Stow Circle, near the city centre. It is the nerve centre for all weddings within Newport’s administrative boundaries. If you are looking for wedding photographers in Newport, the Mansion House is sure to make for a fantastic day!
Newport Register Office Weddings & Registrars
I have to say that the registrars at Newport are lovely. They are very accommodating and communicative, keeping the couple and their photographer informed and updated every step of the way. It makes for a very smooth wedding day for all parties involved.
The Mansion House takes up to six weddings a day during the summer from 10 am, although most are later than this. On arrival, the registrar’s conduct the bride and groom’s legal interview. They are kept separate if required. In this case, it is the groom who has his interview first. He then waits in the Liscombe Room with his guests for his bride to eventually walk down the aisle.
If you Book a Photographer, It’s Probably for the Liscombe Room
Weddings take place in one of two ceremony rooms (see below). The Register Office is for very low-key weddings with no photographer. So the following assumes that your marriage is in the very lovely Liscombe Room.
The interview room is at the bottom end of the Liscombe Room, and it is through this door that the bride enters and walks down the aisle.
The registrar takes time to provide a personalised ceremony with two readings if required. As far as photography goes, they are very relaxed with no rules. Your photographer can move around unhindered to take the best shots of your exchange of rings.
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They don’t allow photography of the wedding register at Newport, but this is common. Some register offices are more relaxed about this. However, they set up a dummy register for posed photographs afterwards.
After You are Married: Wedding Portraits
When you walk back down the aisle as husband and wife, you enter another attractive room. Here they allow you a few minutes for portraits on the sofa. A staff member then takes you and your photographer upstairs to the landing and the beautiful stained-glass window to have more photos in front of. Then onto the balcony where you can look down (so to speak) on your guests in the garden below. Finally, they will show you out on to the fire escape before joining your guests on the lawn for confetti and group photos.
It’s so refreshing that a wedding venue puts so much importance on wedding photography. The Newport registrars consider this at every turn, and it is crucial to them that you have your day documented as you see fit.
The Mansion House Wedding Photography Rooms
The Liscombe Room: The main wedding ceremony room seats 70 guests and is pretty busy on Saturdays during the summer. You are allowed a couple of readings and your choice of music. The venue supplies floral displays, or you can organise your own.
The Register Office: Available for weddings on Tuesdays only. Just for very basic ceremonies with only the vows and legal paperwork. Only your two witnesses may attend and not your photographer, unfortunately. I wrote on behalf of a couple who booked me at Newport Registry Office to ask if there is any flexibility about this. The venue told me that if I was a witness, then I could attend and take photos, but otherwise not. However, they do allow the photographer into the room after the ceremony to take staged photos then.
To book either room for your wedding ceremony and further information, visit Newport.gov.uk.
More About Register Office Only Marriages at the Mansion House, Newport
I’m guessing that most couples marrying in the register office probably won’t hire a photographer. However, I have photographed a couple of weddings at Newport where the couple only needed me for one hour (yes I cover weddings that are 1-hour if it’s midweek). The register office is only open for business on a Tuesday, and I have to say that it is often hectic.
The Register Office is upstairs in the Mansion House. After the couple have their separate interviews with the registrar, they are whisked away upstairs for their civil marriage ceremony. As mentioned above, they do not allow a photographer at this stage, so I make the most of photographing any guests waiting downstairs. Then I stay on the landing for the happy couple to emerge as husband and wife and capture their descent down the stairs.
At this point, it’s handy to have the guests outside on the steps at the lawn, ready for the confetti shots. Biodegradable confetti is allowed at the Mansion House. So I have the couple wait in the house until I’ve lined up their guests and then ask them to walk around the side of the house to the steps and down them whilst everyone showers them in confetti.
After that, there’s time for group and couple shots on the expansive lawn, veranda and benches skirting the grass before everyone leaves to continue their celebrations.
The Mansion House History and Background
It is a nice touch that at weddings at the Mansion House, the registrar outlines the history at the beginning of the ceremony. It is a history of which they are rightly proud.
It was built in the early 1890s by John Liscombe who was Mayor of Newport in 1905 and continued living in the house until he died in 1914. Liscombe was a local leather merchant and saddler, and it is from this that he built his wealth.
In 1939 the house sold for £3250, bought by Newport Corporation and used as Judge’s lodgings until 1975. It became the official residence of the Mayor until 2009. Refurbishment took place in 2011, and it opened as Newport’s register office. It is now a beautiful venue for small weddings, vow renewals and naming ceremonies.
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The Mansion House,
4 Stow Park Circle,