Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding Photography 2022 – Marriages at Westminster Council House
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.
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…
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
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!
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:
Having an LGBTQ+ Wedding?>> Read My Same-Sex Wedding Photography FAQ’s Here
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.
We’re Absolutely Delighted with the Photos…
[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.
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.
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:
The Soho Room:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Light, bright and fantastic for photography, the Pimlico Room seats 20 guests - decorated in pale green with a period feature fireplace.
The Westminster Room:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Old Marylebone Town Hall,
Westminster Council House,
97-113 Marylebone Road,
London NW1 5PT.