Wedding Photography at Southwark Register Office
South London Wedding Venue Location
Southwark Register Office (often mistakenly referred to as Registry) is set back from the busy Peckham Road between Camberwell and Peckham and not far from Denmark Hill. Almost secluded by trees on an attractive cobbled forecourt, the Grade II listed, the building was originally built as a terraced house in the 1790’s. It is arguably one of South London’s finest small wedding venues – a definite hidden gem and perfect for your wedding photography!
Photographing Weddings at Southwark Register Office
I first photographed at Southwark Register Office for Tony and Leo’s same sex wedding. The beautiful Garden Room struck me as such a lovely space for a small wedding ceremony. Later the same year I documented the wedding of Rachel and Andy and have since had the pleasure of photographing numerous weddings there.
On arrival, guests are shown into the waiting room, whilst the groom has his legal interview. This is a fairly large and ornate room with fireplace, mirror and seating around the walls. Although fairly dark, it’s still a great place for photos of friends and family chatting and meeting each other pre-ceremony.
Our Wedding Photos are Beautiful…
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
What Does Southwark Offer? Wedding Packages and Timings
The basic ceremony is only available on Wednesdays. I have never photographed one of these and it's aimed for couples on a budget. There is no option for the bride and groom to be kept separate. 30 minutes are allocated to each couple for the interviews, 'no frills' ceremony and posed photos outside. Cost is £57.
Available to book for weddings taking place on Thursday - Saturday. It includes the option for the couple to be kept separate. The package includes one reading and entrance/exit music. 40 minutes are allocated to each couple. Cost is £321.
For further information about both packages and your options, visit the Southwark.gov website.
The Bride's Arrival
Normally the bride arrives last with the bridal party so that the groom and guests don't see her. It's important for the photographer to photograph her arrival, so I keep a keen eye on what's going on in the forecourt outside. Sometimes there's time for some 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 story of the day, 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. Then the bride
Sometimes the bride and groom arrive together, but this is a matter of personal preference. Separate is more traditional and but allowed with the Enhanced Ceremony (details above).
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. Common sense and discretion accepted, they actively encourage photography at Southwark with no restrictions. As long as the photographer does not get in the way, they can choose where to shoot from. I normally stand behind and to the side of the registrar's table where I can see everything going on. I also take some shots from the back and behind the couple, particularly during the exchange of rings.
Discretion and respect for the occasion are important, but it is so nice to have have no specific 'rules' to follow. For this reason alone, it is worth recommending Southwark Registry Office as a very special venue for your small wedding, civil partnership or same-sex wedding ceremony.
Beautiful Interior and Setting for a Fantastic Day
The Garden Room is where the ceremony itself takes place. It is well-appointed with it's wooden floors and panelling and seats 35 with room for a further 15 standing. The registrars sit with their backs to a bow window. The lighting at the front of the room is perfect. The soft window light spills through onto the faces of bride and groom and the front row of wedding guests.
Post-Ceremony Posed Group Shots
Following the ceremony, the newly-weds exit the Garden Room through the large door in the middle of the bay window at the front. This leads through to the secluded back garden (hence the name 'Garden Room'). Here the photographer has time to set up and capture those all-important wedding group shots. Sometimes time here is short, depending on when the next wedding ceremony is due to start.
The Newly-Weds' Exit & Showers of Confetti
Guests then walk round the side of the building to the front forecourt. The couple go back through the building and if any guests have brought it, they can and greet the happy couple coming out with handfuls of confetti. Happily, Southwark Town Hall does allow this wedding custom.
There is then 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 on to their reception venue.
Southwark Register Office,
34 Peckham Road,