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Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Westminster Register Office

Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photography 2022 – Marriages at Westminster Council House

 

The newlyweds walking down the Old Marylebone Town Hall steps as guests throw confetti

Moments of Celebration: Friends and family throw confetti as the newlyweds leave Old Marylebone Town Hall.


I am privileged to regularly provide wedding photography for civil marriages at Old Marylebone Town Hall and have photographed weddings in all 7 ceremony rooms.  The venue is very photographer friendly and, happily, they have no restrictions on this vital part of your wedding planning.

Read on for info and advice about having your ceremony at Marylebone photographed, along with many examples of my natural photographic style.


The bride leans over the kiss her sister on the cheek after wedding ceremony in London

How special is this moment?  Before her wedding, the bride poses with her sister outside.  The close bond they share is obvious as she gives her sibling an impromptu kiss.  For the photographer, moments like this are precious too.


Bride walking through entrance hall of ornate Old Marylebone Town Hall register office in London

I took this of beaming bride, Melissa, as she arrived in the beautiful entrance hall before her legal meeting with the registrars.


Are You Planning Your Wedding at Old Marylebone Town Hall?

I photograph discreetly and unobtrusively to capture all the very best moments from your day.

With me as your wedding photographer, your memories will be in safe hands, so please get in touch any time to discuss…


A beaming bride and groom exit the Old Marylebone Town Hall after their wedding ceremony

Colourful floral displays adorn the ornate doorway where the couple exit as newlyweds—touches like this help make your day and the photography special.


Bride laughing out loud with groom in front of wooden fireplace at Old Marylebone Town Hall

My photography is all about capturing the day’s laughter, fun, and emotions.  Couples tell me they looked for this personal touch when booking their wedding photographer.


Westminster Register Office Wedding Arrivals

On arrival at Old Marylebone Town Hall, one of the very efficient ushers greets you.  However, your guests may have to wait outside whilst you go for your pre-wedding interview.  Although they allow photography of your interview, I tend to stay with your guests to capture the moments you’ll miss.  Then, when the ceremony room is ready, your family and friends are shown upstairs and seated.


Man with umbrella holding head back and laughing with groom before London wedding

In the street outside, the groom shares a joke with a friend.  But, of course, you can’t hide natural moments, and I’ll be there to photograph them all.


The groom's mother gives him a last minute hug before his wedding ceremony

A hug from his mother helps quell the groom’s last-minute nerves.


Useful to Know When Booking Your Wedding at Old Marylebone Town Hall

  • You can contact the registrars directly by calling 020 7641 7500 or emailing registeroffice@westminster.gov.uk.
  • The booking fee includes the room, two registrars, your marriage certificate, and music choice with bespoke personal vows.
  • The City of Westminster has numerous wedding venues available to hire, including The RAF Club, The Savoy and even Lord’s Cricket Ground.
  • You are allowed 25 minutes before the ceremony to access and gather in the venue room.
  • Saturdays are the busiest day with a high turnover of weddings, especially in summer.  There may be less time for photography and portraits on the stairs and outside, but the local area provides lots of opportunities for more photos, including Baker Street Station and Regent’s Park…  The London Business School is just next door and is part of the same building.  If the wedding party has to move on prematurely, I often finish the group portraits there.
  • A very informative site is the A Day to Remember Website.  It is an official site dedicated to weddings in Westminster, including other licensed venues in the Borough.
  • You can check availability and book your chosen date and room on a form at the above website.
  • The ceremony pricing and cost vary depending on the time of year, day of the week, and even time of day, so if budget is a concern, find out when you can book most cost-effectively.
  • As well as civil marriages, Old Marylebone Town Hall also conducts Civil Ceremonies, Renewals of Vows and Naming Ceremonies.

Bridesmaid with back to camera hugs elderly male relative who is smiling at the photographer at Old Marylebone Town Hall

I took this shot before the ceremony as the guests greeted each other at the entrance to the Westminster Room, Marylebone’s most prominent wedding venue.


Bride with father waiting anxiously in corridor at Old Marylebone Town Hall

Bride Lindsay nervously waits with her father before the start of her ceremony.  The doors to all 7 of the ceremony rooms are off this long, first-floor corridor.


Smiling bride entering wedding ceremony whilst guests look on at Old Marylebone Town Hall

A smiling bridesmaid enters the Westminster Room as guests watch on.  You can see the bride Helen waiting in the corridor behind.


A page boy and bridesmaid entering the Westminster Room at Old Marylebone Town Hall

Weddings have all sorts of variations and changes to the way couples see their day playing out.  Family members are often used to good effect, such as this bridesmaid and page boy entering the ceremony room just before the bride.


The bride and groom may arrive together or separately as is traditional.  The Old Marylebone Town Hall registrars can keep couples separate if they require this – most do, but many choose to enter together, especially at smaller weddings.

I like to arrive to photograph all the arrivals, but it’s photos of the bride’s arrival that most people like to see the most!


Wedding guests waiting in rows for the couple to arrive at Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding

The guests wait patiently for the entrance of the grooms during a wedding in the Pimlico Room.  They rarely notice my lens trained on them.


A wedding couple enter the Knightsbridge Room for their wedding at Old Marylebone Town Hall

The couples’ entrance: These days, couples frequently enter the room together.  There are no hard and fast rules on approaching your day, so do whatever suits you, and I’ll try to capture it all!


Your Wedding Ceremony Photography

Happily, there are no restrictions on the wedding photographer at Old Marylebone Town Hall.  Even in the smallest room, I am given free movement but still try to remain discrete so as not to distract you.

Couples are usually so engaged with the registrar and trying to ensure they get everything right that they don’t often notice me.  They always say how quickly it goes, so my advice is to savour every moment and be rest assured that I am capturing it all to help you remember in the years to come.

I try to shoot from all angles for a good variety of images.  Below I include a series of photographs that demonstrate this:


The couple holding hands as the registrar reads at their Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding

A striking shot of the couple at the start of their wedding ceremony: I used black and white to good effect in this photo.


A male wedding guest presents the bride's ring in Marylebone's Pimlico Room

Couples spend a lot of time thinking about who to ask to present their rings, so it’s vital that I capture it well.


A bearded guest presents the ring to the groom at a London Wedding

In the darker Marylebone Room, black and white can work well with this chap earnestly handing the groom his ring.  I was able to move to precisely the right position to take it.


Groom placing ring on bride's finger in front of the fireplace in the Pimlico Room, Westminster

The Pimlico Room is one of the brighter and smaller ceremony rooms, with the fireplace providing a stunning backdrop for the rings exchange photos.


Bride looking at Groom during Wedding Ceremony in Soho Room of Old Marylebone Town Hall

This shot shows the bride ‘in the moment’ during her Soho Room ceremony as she is about to be married.  Couples’ are rarely aware of the photographer’s presence.


Same-sex couple holding hands at wedding ceremony

LGBT/Gay weddings are popular at the Westminster Register Office, so the venue is well worth considering if you have one.


Having an LGBTQ+ Wedding?>> Read My Same-Sex Wedding Photography FAQ’s Here


The bride holds her groom's face during their passionate first kiss at Old Marylebone Town Hall

The all-important first kiss:  My tip – slow down and take your time.  Morgan and Alex certainly did, and I took several images of their first kiss(es).


The Old Marylebone Town Hall’s Refurbishment and Reopening

The marriage venue was built between 1914 and 1920 by Sir Edwin Cooper.  Understandably the years took their toll on the building, and in 2013 it closed down for a four-year refurbishment.  Happily, it has now reopened.  During the sabbatical, I photographed Westminster weddings at Asia House, Mayfair Library, and the intimate but rather splendid Fitzrovia Chapel.


The happy couple show their wedding rings via a Zoom call in the Westminster Room at Old Marylebone Town Hall

Since Covid, Zoom calls are popular to enable distant family and friends to virtually be there.  Of course, this presents some fun photo ops for the photographer too.


We’re Absolutely Delighted with the Photos…

Bearded Groom Smiling at Bride Whilst Placing Ring on her Finger

[We] were thrilled when we came across Guys’ portfolio – perfect for our 3.15pm wedding at The Old Marylebone Town Hall. …Guy was most definitely able to steer us in the right direction. He was professional, courteous and thoughtful in his approach to our big day, in both the build up and on the day itself.

We had a couple of conflicting requirements; “we don’t want too fake, we don’t want too posed” and “please pose people so that we all look nice in the shot”.  Thankfully Guy knew exactly what I was talking about and on the day he managed to hit both requirements and took some truly wonderful shots of our wedding. He was completely unobtrusive, even in what was a very small venue for both the ceremony and reception.

Our photos were ready for us when we returned off honeymoon which was great, and we’re absolutely delighted with them. Even after the final invoice has been paid Guy continues to be responsive to extra requests and questions. From the bottom of 2 awkward photo subjects hearts, thank you for providing us with the most beautiful visual cues to our memories of our great day – we will treasure them always.

– Sarah & Chris


Inside Westminster Registry Office

The interior at Old Marylebone Town Hall is as striking as the exterior, with more pillars and plush wooden panelling.  The corridor leading down to the ceremony rooms is vast (see photo above).  I like to photograph them using the natural light from the promenade of windows.

The building is fresh and clean, and they have avoided putting messy signage too close to feature doorways and arches.  It means your photographer can take wider shots of the couple without worrying about extra time spent in Photoshop removing items.


The groom pockets the marriage certificate as his father signs the register in the Marylebone Room, Westminster

The chipper looking groom can't hide his happiness as his father signs the register and the bride's dad looks on.  I love shots like this that show several things going on at once.


Signing the Wedding Schedule in Westminster

The Westminster registrars are very friendly and helpful.  Best of all, they work well with the photographer and have no restrictions...

The traditional wedding register has now gone online, replaced at the end of the ceremony by a schedule.  Westminster were always relaxed about the photographer taking photos of the signing, so not much has changed.  The most obvious change is that the registrar sends your certificate by post after your day, so there is no presentation anymore.


In the Pimlico Room, Old Marylebone Town Hall, the couple watch young female guest sign their wedding register

As the witnesses sign, I often go wide to include the newlyweds and registrar looking on.


The groom seriously signs the regiaster the the bride and resistrar chat in Westminster Register Office

I love this photo: As the groom studiously signs the wedding schedule, his new wife chats with the registrar—a priceless moment to capture.


Bride pretends to sign her wedding schedule and looks up at groom who smiles at the camera

The Old Marylebone Town Hall registrars set up a 'dummy' signing, which often causes some amusement.  Some couples like this, but it's not obligatory.  Either way, I'm happy to photograph some posed shots.


Guest points open mouthed at the wedding schedule whilst bride looks up at him laughing

A posed shot following the signing.  Everyone generally feels more relaxed by this point with can make for some fun moments.


Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photography Rooms

There are 7 rooms to choose from for your marriage ceremony.  Here is a list of them, including my highlights of what makes them unique:

 

Happy bride and serious groom leave Mayfair Room after Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding

Newly-weds Lindsay & Greg leave the Mayfair Room following their ceremony.  Greg was happier than he looks here!


The Soho Room:

 

Wedding couple being read the vows by the registrar as the guests watch on

The Soho Room is small but large enough for your photographer to move around easily.  I like to capture different angles, such as this wide shot of the couple having their vows.

 

It is the second most popular room in Westminster Council House and seats 14 guests with 6 standing.  Again, light and airy with a carved feature fireplace and stunning chandelier.  The room is painted in a muted pale green.


The Knightsbridge Room:

 

a guest signs the wedding schedule as the groom gesticulates with bride at Old Marylebone Town Hall

The colourful Knightbridge Room, showing the registration table and fireplace.  The groom seems to be in mid-flow in this shot.

 

This exceptionally light and airy room seats up to 30 guests comfortably.  I love the blue/grey velvet seating and large windows at the back.


The Marylebone Room:

 

Guests leaving the Marylebone Room in Westminster Council House

All 7 of the ceremony rooms at Marylebone have ornate wooden features outside, making for some great exit shots of the couple and their guests after the wedding.

 

10 seated and 5 standing guests.  With its deep and glossy wood panelling, this room is darker than others but no less striking.  The sculpted plaster ceiling and modern chandelier finish the room nicely.  I have taken some of my best wedding photos in this room.


The Paddington Room:

 

Bride and Groom sitting in front of ornate wooden panelled fireplace

This portrait of the couple just before their ceremony shows the disproportionate fireplace in the narrow Paddington Room.

 

Holds 7 seated guests (5 of those on pouffes) and 8 standing guests.  Similar to The Marylebone Room with dark panelling, a magnificent matching carved wooden fireplace and a modern chandelier.


The Pimlico Room:

 

Gay Wedding ceremony in front of fireplace with guests watching from two sides

In the Pimlico Room, guests can watch the ceremony on two sides.

 

Light, bright and fantastic for photography, the Pimlico Room seats 20 guests - decorated in pale green with a period feature fireplace.


The Westminster Room:

 

Female relative gives wedding reading at Westminster Council House with brides and guests watching

I love overview photography that captures everything and gives valuable context to the photographs.  This one shows off the grandeur of the Westminster Room well.

 

The largest and most popular room at Old Marylebone Town Hall seats up to 96 guests and is suitable for a larger wedding party.  'Westminster' has dark wood panelling.  With 3 large windows facing the couple and guests, this is the lightest panelled room.


The Mayfair Room:

 

Registrar handing bride and groom their wedding certificate at register office

The Westminster registrar hands Melissa the wedding certificate at the front of the Mayfair Room.  Sadly, since the register went online, this has been consigned to history, with the certificate being sent through the post a few days later.

 

The Mayfair Room caters for 30 seated guests.  This room would make a fantastic venue for your small wedding day with its tasteful modern lighting, mocha, and grey painted walls.


Group Photo in Westminster Register Office

I love vibrant, colourful wedding photography, with this group photo enhanced by the fresh floral displays on the Soho Room's mantelpiece.  I took this before the ceremony began.


Back shot of bride and groom at wedding ceremony

There is plenty of room to move around to photograph different angles of the couple nicely in the ceremony rooms.  I took this to show off the detail on the back of the bride's dress.


Bride signing the register at Westminster Register Office

The Westminster Register Office registrars are very relaxed about photographing the signing of the register.  Many boroughs aren't...


Main stairacse at Old Marylebone Town Hall - Couple Leaving.

The main staircase is very ornate and excellent for helping tell the wedding day's story.


Bride and Groom Leaving Westminster Register Office

The light outside Old Marylebone Town Hall is stunning and remarkable for capturing both staged and natural wedding portraits such as this.


Confetti and Congratulations at Westminster

The moments around the couple leaving Westminster Council House can be unpredictable.  There's no hard and fast rule around this.  Sometimes they are keen to get outside into the fresh air before their guests, and other times they are kept back until the photographer organises the confetti 'aisle'.  Another variation is when their family and friends congratulate them inside or outside before the confetti.

Whichever way round things happen, confetti is positively encouraged, and I always am sure to check in with an usher to see how much time we'll have before having to move on.  Weekends can be hectic.


The newlyweds walking down the steps at Old Marylebone Town Hall whilst their guests shower them in confetti

Confetti photos present lots of colours, so I edit to accentuate this.


How I Organise the Confetti Photography Sequence

There is plenty of space to be creative with the confetti sequence set up on the steps outside Old Marylebone Town Hall.  I ask the guests to stand on the inside of the handrails evenly from the pillars at the top down the steps.  Small wedding parties, I adapt accordingly.  I then step them forward so there is less distance as the couple pass through.

When the couple leaves the old town hall and descends the steps, I ask everyone to throw the confetti up and high so that it showers down for a spectacular sequence of photos.


The laughing couple descend the steps outside Old Marylebone Town Hall whilst guests throw wedding confetti

It was getting dark as Bianca and Matt descended the steps, but you wouldn't know it from the photos.  My camera and I cope with low-light admirably!


Important to Remember:

Biodegradable is best...  There is a significant move towards biodegradable in an age where we should all be reducing our single-use plastic.  However, many venues disallow anything else, although Old Marylebone Town Hall finds this difficult to enforce due to the high volume of weddings.


Man pouring confetti on heads of laughing couple outside Old Marylebone Town Hall

I don't often covert confetti photos to black and white, but photographs such as this capture the moment in time perfectly.  It says what the couple and their fun wedding day were all about as they celebrate their 'Just Married' status on the steps of Old Marylebone Town Hall.


Congartations hug after wedding ceremony

I love the greeting and congratulatory photos after the ceremony.  It's is one of the critical times for capturing the atmosphere.


Posed Couple and Group Shots

Outside, the area between the front door and the two central pillars offers some stunning direction light.  This makes an excellent location for some small group wedding portraits, especially of the bride and groom.

Depending on the day, couples are allowed time for their photographer to arrange and take some group shots on the steps.  The turnover of weddings on a Saturday is high, so there is less time before being asked politely to move on.  I always liaise closely with the ushers to ensure that we make the most of our time here.  Ideally, there will be time for all the required family photos, a large group shot of everyone present and some of the couple on their own.


Group Wedding Photograph Outside Old Marylebone Town Hall

The splendid facade of Westminster Council House makes a perfect backdrop for the group and posed photography.  I went wide here to


The newlyweds kiss after wedding in London


A Handy Dodge

If your posed wedding photographs are cut short, there is a little cheat:

Next door is the London Business School which is part of the same building.  It enjoys similar architecture and is a perfect backup spot for additional photos.


Wedding party outside the London Business School in Marylebone

I deliberately went wide for this shot to show The London Business School next door to the old town hall - a perfect backup group photos location on busy days.


The bride kisses the smiling groom on the cheek in black and white

I never micro-manage the posing as many couples don't want this.  Instead, I ask them to show their love for each other and have fun.


Wedding couple holding hands and smiling at each other in alcove outside the London Business School, Marylebone

For older couples, simple hand-holding works, although these two did kiss too and their love clearly showed.


Two friends posing with bouquet in alcove outside Westminster Council House

I'd generally shoot this photo on the steps, but it was getting dark.  Using an alcove allowed me to bounce some flash and light the scene.


The bride waves her bouquet in the air in an alcove outside the London Business School in Marylebone

I often photograph the bride on her own if she's up for it, which can produce some fun shots too!


Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photography FAQs

 

Q.  WHAT IS THE LIGHT LIKE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY INSIDE OLD MARYLEBONE TOWN HALL?

A.  Natural light varies across the 7 ceremony rooms.  All rooms have window light, but some are darker than others due to their original features.  A good wedding photographer will be able to cope with extreme lighting situations, so the dark panelling of a couple of the venue rooms will pose no problem.  The decoration is tasteful with light and neutral tones or darker panels in the 7 ceremony rooms.

 

Q.  IS CONFETTI ALLOWED ON THE ICONIC STEPS OUTSIDE?

A.  An Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding wouldn't be the same without a chance for your photographer to capture the sequence as you exit the building and descend the steps in a shower of confetti.  So, yes - the venue encourages the use of biodegradable confetti to finish off your Westminster nuptials.  There is even a form on the Day to Remember website to order confetti, ready for collection on your day.


The groom punches the air as he leaves his Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding with his bride

On their exit from the town hall and in a shower of confetti, groom Dave punches the air with excitement.


Q.  HOW LONG ARE WE GIVEN FOR PHOTOGRAPHY AFTER OUR CEREMONY?

A.  A few minutes are allowed for portrait photography after the ceremony.  Time allowance very much depends on how busy the venue is, and the photographer is sometimes rushed.  Sometimes the wedding party is allowed to remain for photos in the room, although this is unlikely on busy Saturdays.

Photography can take place inside or outside, but confetti happens on the steps outside the venue.  If confetti is important to you, prioritise it and ask your photographer to organise it first to avoid disappointment.  Venue staff are amicable and helpful, and it's always worth checking in with them for guidance on time rather than rushing.

 

 Q.  ARE DOGS ALLOWED TO ATTEND OUR OLD MARYLEBONE TOWN HALL WEDDING?

A.  Yes, the venue is dog friendly, and they are allowed to attend.  Mention this before your day, though so that they can note that a dog will be present.


Bride waving arms in the air while groom holds her

Bride Lindsay can hardly contain her excitement during the posed shots at the top of the entrance steps.


Fun Facts

Westminster Register Office has been the scene of many iconic weddings.  Most famously that of Paul and Linda McCartney in 1969.  Other rock 'n' roll weddings have included fellow Beatle Ringo Starr, Pretender Chrissie Hynde and Liam Gallagher.  Both he and McCartney married here twice.  Even Cilla Black married her manager Bobby there in 1969.


Couple Kissing Outside Front Door of Westminster Register Office

Some wedding photographs are just more serious but never more heartfelt than when these newlyweds kissed on Old Marylebone Town Hall's iconic steps.


Bride hiding face with flowers whilst kissing groom outside Old Marylebone Town Hall

...and finally... 'nuff said!


The Old Marylebone Town Hall,
Westminster Council House,
97-113 Marylebone Road,
London NW1 5PT.

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/

Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photographer - Guy Milnes Photography.

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A witness signing the register at Old Marylebone 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.

 

Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070

https://www.guymilnes.com/

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