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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 for it.

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, it is ideal for your small wedding.

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

Groom Outside Southwark Register Office

James stands outside the front of the register office building just before his wedding.

Newly married couple kissing on steps of Southwark Register Office

And about an hour later:  I take a series of shots of the couple together. This shot of the newly-weds kissing shows much of the front exterior of the Southwark Register Office building.

Photographing Weddings at Southwark Register Office

I first photographed at Southwark Register Office for a same-sex wedding, and immediately fell in love with it.  The beautiful Garden Room struck me as such a lovely space for a small wedding ceremony.  Later the same year, I documented Rachel and Andy’s marriage and have since had the pleasure of photographing numerous weddings there.

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 very shaded, particularly in summer, so I had to use 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

Female wedding guest with baby arriving at Southwark Register Office

Wedding guests are all smiles as they arrive at the venue. I love the ornate Victorian lamp in the background which adds to the venue's appeal.

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 each other 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 with a capacity of 50 guests.
  • If the wedding party exceeds 50, some may be asked to wait outside for health and safety reasons.
  • You must contact the Register Office between 3-12 months before you plan to marry.

The registrar smiles at a civil marriage in Peckham, London

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

**Please note: these are the packages offered by Southwark Register Office and are not related to my own 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 for couples on a budget or that want little fuss.  There is no option for the bride and groom to be kept separate.  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 music40 minutes is allocated to each couple.  At some weddings I have photographed at Southwark, we have been allowed longer than this, but it does depend on the day's running and discretion of the registrar.

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

Wedding guests waiting in room at Southwark Register Office

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

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

As guests are shown into the Garden Room, 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 and, the car and brickwork.

The Bride's Arrival

Usually, the bride arrives last with her 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.  The bride (and father/bridesmaids if applicable) enters to the couple's choice of non-religious music.

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

Bride arriving at Southwark Register Office

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

Southwark Register Office bridal arrival with father

It's lovely to photograph the bride arriving through the doors from the inside. This photo is all the more special as her father accompanies Estelle.

Bride Entering Wedding Ceremony with Bouquet at Southwark Register Office

The aisle is narrow and often crowded, but I position myself out of the way to still get a wedding photography sequence of the bride walking down the aisle.  Lisa chose to walk up the aisle by herself.

Bride enters the Garden Room at Southwark Registry Office Wedding

A much smaller wedding with only seven guests: I ensured that 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.  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.  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 occasion's expressions and emotion, such as this lovely smile from Isha.

Bride and groom at register office wedding laughing whilst being videoed

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

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

Groom taking ring for bride at 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 here.

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 a further 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 bride and groom and the front row of wedding guests.

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

Many registrars don't allow photography of the actual signing, but Southwark is quite relaxed about it.

Signing the wedding register in South London

I much prefer to photograph the actual register signing. Posed 'dummy' register shots aren't as meaningful.

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.

Southwark Register Office Wedding Photos - Couple Kissing

The first kiss! A lovely shot to capture: Rachel and Andy were so 'in the moment'!

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 is fine for this.

Post-Ceremony Posed Group Shots

Following the ceremony, the newly-weds 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'). Here the photographer has time 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.

Bride and Groom exiting the Garden Room at Southwark Register Office

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

Group wedding portrait in garden at Southwark Register Office

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

Wedding portrait at bottom of garden of Southwark Register Office

I took this at the end of the garden, which has more of an overgrown and wild look.

Bride in Garden at Wedding

This bridal portrait shows off the bottom end of the garden well. It is a surprisingly well-kept and large 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 and hidden gem situated in South London and perfect for your register office wedding.  The Garden Room is intimate but very beautiful, and the registrars very helpful and accommodating.  The venue also has a garden for posed group shots and where the guests can congratulate the couple.



A.  There is a waiting area where the guests are shown to 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 the entrance of his bride.

Entire wedding party waving at camera in garden of Southwark Register Office

This happy group shot of the whole wedding party features the Garden Room windows in the background.


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



A.  After a short time spent 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 a little dimmer towards the back, but with a combination of natural light and bounce flash, your photographer will be able to capture all the key moments.

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 their own 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, there was no marriage directly following it, so there was plenty of time for fun and playful shots of the newly-weds!

Groom spinning bride around and bride laughing

Another fun shot of the bride laughing as she is spun around by her new husband.

Couple sitting in garden seat under heart at Southwark Register Office

Your wedding photographer has a lot 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 on to their reception venue.

Wedding Confetti Shower at Southwark Town Hall

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.

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 lots of colours, and the background of Southwark Register Office is wonderful.

Whole Wedding Party Portrait Outside Southwark Register Office

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

Red routemaster bus picking up guests outside Southwark Register Office on Peckham Road

When all is over, the whole wedding party depart for the reception and celebrations with the newly-weds.

St Lucas Park for Other Wedding Photos

A minutes walk away and sited mostly behind 34 Peckham Road is St Lucas Park. You can enter it from the corner of Peckham Road and Vestry Road.

I have photographed wedding parties there a few times, mainly due to time constraints at the register office or there may be a few minutes of photography time left if the couple booked a short day package.  The park is relatively small but quite beautiful with numerous attractive backdrops such as flower beds and green foliage for a more diverse set of photographs.  There is even a play park for more playful shots...

Bride and Groom portrait in Lucas Gardens South London

St Lucas Park has lots of flowers and foliage, great for a wide portrait of the couple.

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

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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


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