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Southwark Register Office Wedding Photographer

A South London Venue for Small Weddings

Wedding Photography at Southwark Register Office


Newly-weds share their first kiss in Southwark Register Office for their wedding

A passionate and dynamic first kiss: The Garden Room at Southwark Register Office provided the perfect backdrop.

South London Wedding Venue Location

Southwark Register Office (often mistakenly called Registry) is set back from the busy Peckham Road.  It is ideal for your small wedding and is located between Camberwell and Peckham and not far from Denmark Hill.

Almost secluded by trees on an attractive cobbled forecourt, the Grade II listed building was initially built as a terraced house in the 1790s.  It is arguably one of South London’s finest small wedding venues – a hidden gem perfect for your wedding photography!

The bride kisses her groom as her wipes away a tear at a London wedding

Grooms get emotional too, few more so than Nathaniel, at the beginning of his marriage to Sally…

The bride and groom both laughing during their wedding ceremony in London

…but the tears soon turned to laughter as the registrar got their wedding ceremony underway.

Are You Planning Your Wedding at Southwark Register Office?

I photograph discretely and unobtrusively to capture all the very best moments, leaving you to enjoy your day.

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


Newly married couple kissing on steps of Southwark Register Office

After the ceremony and posed shots in the garden, I took a series of images of the couple together.  This photo of the newlyweds kissing shows much of the front exterior of the Southwark Register Office building.

Photographing Weddings at Southwark Register Office

I first photographed at the Southwark Register Office several years ago and immediately fell in love with it.  The beautiful Garden Room struck me as a lovely space for a small wedding ceremony.  Later the same year, I documented another marriage and have enjoyed photographing numerous weddings there.

The groom places the wedding ring on his smiling bride's finger in The Garen Room at Southwark

My position at the front of the Garden Room meant I could take great photos of everything, including the all-important exchange of wedding rings.

On arrival, an usher shows guests into the waiting room whilst the groom has his legal interview.  The waiting area is a reasonably large and ornate room with a fireplace, mirror and seating around the walls.  Although dimly lit, it’s still an excellent place for photos of friends and family chatting and meeting each other pre-ceremony.

Guests greeting each other at Southwark Register Office

The forecourt is a perfect spot to photograph guests arriving and greeting each other.  However, it can be shaded, particularly in summer, so I used a little fill flash here.

Our Wedding Photos are Beautiful…

Southwark Register Office - Couple Kissing

The photos from our wedding are beautiful.  They have literally made us laugh and cry!  I have recommended Guy to two of our friends who are getting married soon.  Guy helped to make our day really special.  We wanted someone who would capture the day in a relaxed way and that’s exactly what Guy achieved…

Rachel & Andy

The newlyweds leave Southwark Register Office with umbrellas

Don't let the rain spoil your day: The newlyweds were all smiles as they left their marriage ceremony.

Also Consider>> Lambeth Town Hall Wedding Photography.

The couple greet each other before their wedding at Southwark Register Office

Although Hannah and Dave arrived separately, they decided to break with tradition and meet in the hall before their ceremony.

Bride and Groom Arriving at Southwark Register Office Wedding

Bride Isha and Groom Alexandros arrived together, but he waited for her to walk up the Garden Room's aisle.

What Does Southwark Offer?  Wedding Packages and Timings

  • All marriage ceremonies take place in the Garden Room, which has a capacity of 35 guests.
  • If the wedding party exceeds 35, some may be asked to wait outside for health and safety reasons.
  • You must contact the Register Office between 3 and 12 months before you plan to marry.

**Before Covid, the Garden Room had a capacity of 50.  There are no current plans to increase this again.**

The registrar smiles as the couple say their vows in the Garden Room at Southwark Register Office

Wendy and Magnus took advantage of a change in legislation that allowed them to have a civil partnership at Southwark instead of an entire marriage ceremony.

The newlyweds kiss at Southwark Register Office - black and white photo

The photographer usually photographs from the front, but there are no restrictions on discreet movement during the ceremony.

**Please note: these packages offered by the Southwark Register Office are unrelated to my wedding photography.**


Basic Ceremony

The basic ceremony is only available on Wednesdays.    I have never photographed one of these at Southwark, and it's aimed at couples on a budget or who want little fuss.  There is no option for the bride and groom to be kept separate.  Instead, 30 minutes is allocated to each couple for the interviews, 'no frills' ceremony and posed photos outside.

Enhanced Ceremony

Available to book for weddings taking place on Thursday - Saturday.  It includes the option for the couple to be kept separate.  The package consists of one reading and entrance/exit music.  40 minutes is allocated to each couple.  We have been allowed longer than this at some weddings I have photographed at Southwark, but it depends on the day's running and the registrar's discretion.

For further information about both packages and your options, visit the Southwark.gov website.

Wedding guests waiting in room at Southwark Register Office

Guests wait in the aptly named 'waiting room' before the start of the ceremony.

Father and baby daughter sit in register office of Southwark at wedding

An usher shows guests into the Garden Room, and I take the time to take some portraits of them seated.  I love the eye contact from both father and daughter in this one.

Wedding Photographer - Bride Arriving at Small Wedding in London

Bride Estelle arrives slightly nervously at her wedding ceremony with the Registry in the background.  I photographed wide and with fill flash to pick up the detail in her dress, car, and brickwork.

The Bride's Arrival

Usually, the bride arrives last with her bridal party, so the groom and guests don't see her.  Your photographer must photograph her arrival, so I watch events in the forecourt.  Sometimes, there's time for group portraits of the bride with her father or bridesmaids on the steps.  A nice shot is to get her entering through the main door.  It all helps tell the day's story, which is particularly important during a short-day wedding—the more diverse the range of photo opportunities, the better.  Once inside the venue, she goes for her interview whilst the guests are shown into the Garden Room.  If applicable, the bride (and father/bridesmaids) enters the couple's choice of non-religious music.

The bride and groom often arrive together, but this is a personal preference.  Separate is more traditional and allowed with the Enhanced Ceremony (details above).

Bride arriving at Southwark Register Office

Bride Lisa smiles as she walks up the drive for her summer Southwark wedding.

Southwark Register Office bridal arrival with father

Photographing the bride arriving through the doors from the inside is lovely.  This photo is all the more remarkable as her father accompanies Estelle.

Bride giggling as she walked the aisle whilst guest look on

Bride Rosalyn couldn't hide her joy and giggled up the Garden Room's short aisle.

Bride enters the Garden Room at Southwark Registry Office Wedding

A much smaller wedding with only seven guests: I ensured they all sat behind the couple to make it look busier and ensure they were in the photographs.

The Southwark Registrars & Ceremony

I always make a point of introducing myself to the wedding or civil partnership officials.  The registrars at Southwark are very relaxed about wedding photography.  They actively encourage photography at Southwark with no restrictions as long as the photographer is discreet and respectful of the ceremony.

If the photographer does not get in the way, they can choose where to shoot.  Standing behind and to the side of the registrar's table, I can see everything going on.  I also take some shots from the back and behind the couple, particularly during the exchange of rings.

Bride laughing in Garden Room at Southwark

I shot this from the groom's side.  Getting reasonably close enables me to capture all the expressions and emotions of the occasion, such as this lovely smile from Isha.

The bride and groom holding hands and laughing in the Garden Room in Southwark

I just had to accentuate the vibrant colours in this ceremony.  Lesley and Peter were slightly camera-shy, although you wouldn't know it here!

Bride and groom at register office wedding laughing whilst being videoed

Many photographers would find the presence of the videoing guest a little intrusive.  However, I think he adds to this photo and shows what a happy occasion it was.

A couple holding hands during their wedding ceremony at Southwark Town Hall

During COVID-19, Southwark set up the waiting room as an alternative statutory register office.  I photographed a few weddings there.  The couple were told beforehand that photography wouldn't be allowed.  On the day, there was no problem, though.

Discretion and respect for the occasion are essential, but having no specific 'rules' is lovely.  For this reason alone, it is worth recommending the Southwark Registry Office as an exceptional venue for your small wedding, civil partnership or same-sex wedding ceremony.

The smiling groom takes his ring from the registrar as his bride looks on in the Garden Room, Southwark Register Office

Moving around means your photographer can choose the best angle to capture all the critical wedding moments, such as the groom picking up his bride's ring.

Groom places wedding ring on bride's finger at Southwark register Office

Shooting from behind the registrar means giving the photos added context with her inclusion in the shot.

Guests laughing at Southwark wedding in London whilst guests are laughing at something els

This photograph intrigues me: The happy couple only have eyes for each other.  But the guests on the left find something very amusing out of shot and are trying to stifle their sniggering.

Beautiful Interior and Setting for a Fantastic Day

The Garden Room is where the ceremony itself takes place.  Well-appointed with wooden floors and panelling,  the room seats 35 with space for 15 standing.  The registrars sit with their backs to a bow window.  The lighting at the front of the room is perfect, and I rarely need to use my bounce flash.  The soft window light spills through onto the faces of the bride and groom and the front row of wedding guests.

The couple have a tender first kiss at a London wedding

Top First Kiss Photography Tip: The moment just before their lips meet can be the most intimate, so don't rush.

Southwark Register Office Wedding - Couple Signing the Register in Black and White

Most register offices allow photography of the schedule's signing, and Southwark is quite relaxed about it.

the groom signs the wedding schedule behind a Covid screen as the bride and registrar watch

Covid rules meant that the registrar must be behind a perspex screen that introduces reflections.  Thankfully, the screen has now gone.

Register Office Wedding Photographer - Boy Reading

The intimacy of Southwark means that whatever happens, I can get in close.  I love the look on Rachel's face as she makes emotional eye contact with another family member during this young chap's reading.

Newly-wedded couple hugging guests at Southwark Register Office wedding

I usually take congratulations shots in the garden.  However, sometimes guests can't wait, and the Garden Room exemplifies this.

Post-Ceremony Posed Group Shots

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds exit the Garden Room through a large door in the middle of the bay window at the front, leading through to the secluded back garden (hence the name 'Garden Room').  The venue generally allows around 10 minutes for the photographer to set up and capture those all-important wedding group shots.  In the garden, time can be short, depending on when the next wedding ceremony is due to start.

The couple leave Southwark's Garden Room through the French windows and enter the garden

The couple leaving by the Garden Room door: This environmental shot shows the bay windows from the outside.

Bride leaving the Garden Room in Southwark as her groom follows behind

Wait for me!  A thoughtful bride leaves her new husband behind after their ceremony.

Colourful newlyweds leaving the garden room at Southwark Register Office

I added a slight vignette to give this photo a more atmospheric look.

Friends and family hug the bride and groom to congratulate them on their marriage

Two hugs are better than one.  I try to set up the couple to get more into their congratulations photos in the garden.

Group wedding portrait in garden at Southwark Register Office

The garden is a beautiful spot for your group portraits after the ceremony.

The wedding party pose in the garden at Southwark Register Office

I took this family portrait at the end of the garden, which is better for large groups.

Newlyweds pose with their parents with in the garden of Southwark Register Office with the house in the background

I photographed this couple and their parents using the back of the house as a backdrop.

A large posed group photo taken in the garden of Southwark Register Office

Weddings at Southwark don't get any larger than this, but there is ample space for a wedding party portrait in the garden.

Bride in Garden at Wedding

This bridal portrait shows off the bottom end of the garden well.  It is a surprisingly well-kept and ample space with numerous different backdrops with all sorts of potential for various photographs.

Southwark Register Office Wedding FAQ's



A.  The venue is a small hidden gem in South London, perfect for your register office wedding.  The Garden Room is intimate but beautiful, and the registrars are accommodating.  The venue also has a garden for posed group shots, where guests can congratulate the couple.



A.  There is a waiting area where the guests are shown on arrival.  Access to the Garden Room is given a few minutes before the ceremony starts, and there is enough time to photograph your guests entering, being seated, and the groom waiting for his bride's entrance.

The wedding party waving in the garden at Southwark Register Office


A.  Yes - there is no restriction on any part of the ceremony being photographed, including the register signing.



A.  After a short time in the garden, guests can gather at the front of the building and wait for the couple to exit.  Biodegradable confetti is then allowed to be thrown, and I have examples of this happening on this page.



A.  The Garden Room has French windows at the front end, illuminating the couple and the registrar's desk beautifully.  Things get dimmer towards the back, but your photographer can capture all the critical moments with a combination of natural light and bounce flash.

Bridal Bouquet Throwing at Southwark Register Office Wedding

Tossing the bouquet: This was the only time I have photographed this at Southwark, and it is often difficult to capture well.  I think this shows everything, though.

Guests taking photos in garden at wedding in Southwark Registry Office

As the wedding guests take photos, I turn my camera on them.  This photo also shows the back of the house.

Bride messing about with groom in London garden

Although their wedding was on a Saturday, no marriage was directly following it, so there was plenty of time for fun and playful shots of the newlyweds!

Groom spinning bride around and bride laughing

Another fun shot of the bride laughing as her new husband spins her around.

Couple sitting in garden seat under heart at Southwark Register Office

Your wedding photographer has much to think about during the day: I had to spin the heart to get it in the right place for the shot.  There have been some garden additions lately, including this arbour.

The Newly-Weds' Exit & Showers of Confetti

Guests then walk back through the building via a side door to the right.  If any guests have brought it, they can greet the happy couple coming out with handfuls of confetti.  Happily, Southwark Town Hall does allow this wedding custom.

There is a further opportunity for more posed shots outside the front door (I give preference to the couple and close family here) before the wedding party travels to their reception venue.

The couple walk away from the door of Southwark Register Office as guests throw confetti

Confetti is allowed happily... These are some of the best and happiest wedding day shots.  Couples always feel more able to relax after the formality of the ceremony is over.

Confetti is allowed happily... These are some of the best and happiest wedding day shots. Couples always feel more able to relax after the formality of the ceremony is over.

I take a sequence of photographs as the couple walks away from the building.

Southwark Register Office Wedding Photographer - Couple Exiting Southwark Register Office in Camberwell

I do a mixture of colour and black and white throughout the wedding day.  This photo includes many colours, and the background of the Southwark Register Office is lovely.

Whole Wedding Party Portrait Outside Southwark Register Office

The wedding party poses for a group photo outside the front of Southwark Register Office with Peckham Road in the background.

The newlyweds walk down the drive of Southwark Register Office under a clear umbrella

The umbrella-toting newlyweds are leaving their rainy wedding at Southwark Town Hall.  I went on to do a further photoshoot with them in Central London.

The smiling newlyweds depart Southwark Regsiter Office after their wedding ceremony

Black and white gives a different look to a similar scene.  I used fill-flash to compensate for the tree canopy.

Lucas Gardens for Other Wedding Photos

The Lucas Gardens are a couple of minutes' walk away.  You can enter it from the corner of Peckham Road and Vestry Road.

I photograph wedding parties there regularly, as this gives diversity to the photos, particularly at short weddings.  The park is relatively small but beautiful, with attractive backdrops such as flower beds and green foliage for an attractive set of photographs.  There is even a play park for more playful shots...

Newlyweds facing each other with red flowered bushes in the background in Lucas Gardens, Southwark

The Lucas Gardens next door has lots of flowers and foliage, great for portraits of the newlyweds after their ceremony.

Family jumping off step at wedding in Lucas Garens London

Maybe considered a little cheesy by some, a good jumping shot tells of the fun and personalities present on the day.

Southwark Register Office,
34 Peckham Road,
SE5 8QA.


Southwark Register Office Wedding Photographer, Peckham/Camberwell.

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Contact Me to Discuss Your Southwark Register Office Wedding Photography!

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Pen on Sheet Music for Wedding - Poco a Poco Piu Animato

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Wedding Photographer in London, Bristol & Cardiff

Guy Milnes Photography is based between London and Cardiff, covering South Wales, Bristol, London and the home counties.
He has been a professional photographer since 2008 and loves to capture the wedding day's atmosphere as it unfolds naturally.


Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070


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