Chelsea Register Office wedding photographerFor your Chelsea wedding
Getting married at Chelsea Old Town Hall?
If you’re getting married at the iconic Chelsea Old Town Hall, chances are you’re bubbling with excitement and thinking about photos. You may be planning an intimate ceremony with just two witnesses or a few dozen of your nearest and dearest, and on the day would like to spend as much time with them as possible. Which means that you just need an hour or two of photography.
That’s what I do.
You can book photography from one hour upwards*. One hour covers the ceremony itself with photos on the steps including a few portraits of the two of you. One and a half hours – the most popular option – has more time to include your arrival at Chelsea and portraits of the two of you taken nearby. And two and a half hours allows for photos of you chatting with your guests during your drinks reception (and/or photos of the two of you taken further afield e.g. a London landmark).
If you’re not sure, give me a call on 01342 811631 or simply get in touch via the enquiry form. We can talk through your plans and what you would like from your wedding photography. We’ll work something out together.
It’s all part of the service.
*Register office wedding photography coverage (attendance) including all of your personally edited, hand-finished, ready to print digital files from just £399, including travel and VAT.
CHELSEA OLD TOWN HALL
Many famous people have married at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office including Judy Garland, Patsy Kensit and Jim Kerr, Prince Pavlos of Greece, Irving Penn and Lisa Fonssagrives, Wallis Simpson, Patrick Vieira, Marco Pierre White, Michael Winner, and Sir Seretse Khama (the first President of Botswana) and Ruth Williams.
Chelsea Old Town Hall (the home of the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office) is a large Grade II listed Victorian neo-classical building built between 1908 and 1916. As you look at the front of the building you will see that there are two main entrances, both with stone steps:
Left hand side – the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office (the main entrance via the stone steps is for couples leaving once they are married, often under a hail of confetti). There is another entrance on Chelsea Manor Street which takes you to the main Register Office reception. Up the steps from the reception there is a waiting room for you and your guests before you are invited into one of the three ceremony rooms.
Right hand side – the Large (Old Town Hall) Hall and a Smaller Hall. These can be hired out for exhibitions, sales, corporate events, weddings (ceremonies and or receptions) and private functions. This is also the entrance to the library which runs down the centre of the entire building
There are three rooms in which you can marry and these are:
Brydon Room – a spacious, elegant and impressive room. There is a permanent pedestal floral arrangement (always very smart in white, cream and green) but you can add your own to the table if you require. You can also customise your ceremony with readings and music.
Ceremony capacity = 40
Ceremonies from £375
Rossetti Room – the most popular venue. It is quiet, elegant and relaxed. There is a permanent floral arrangement (always very smart in white, cream and green) but you can add your own to the table if you require. You can include one reading and two pieces of music.
Ceremony capacity = 14
Ceremonies from £270
Harrington Room (Tuesday to Friday at 9:15am only) – this room is simple and understated and can seat up to 8 guests in addition to the couple.
Ceremony capacity = 10
Ceremonies from £180
For more information on booking, payment and giving notice please contact the Register Office.
Kensington and Chelsea Register Office
Chelsea Old Town Hall
London SW3 5EE
T: 020 7361 4100
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (late Thursdays to 7pm)
Saturday 10am to 6pm (by appointment)
Sundays and Bank Holidays (by appointment)
Car and taxi: drop off points are either on Chelsea Manor Street which will lead you to the side entrance or there is a handy drop off lay-by between the two step entrances on the King’s Road
Underground option 1: Sloane Square and (stop H next to Hugo Boss) buses 19, 22, 211, 319 (Chelsea Old Town Hall) or 12 minute walk
Underground option 2: South Kensington and 49 bus (Sydney Street / Old Town Hall) or 11 minute walk
What time should we arrive?
You and your guests should all be present at Chelsea Old Town Hall at least 15 minutes prior to your ceremony. There is a waiting area (with loo) just up the stairs from the Chelsea Manor Street entrance. If you are keen to walk in separately to your ceremony and only see each other for the first time when you stand together side-by-side for your vows the Registrar’s Office will advise you on timings and entrance plans.
When and where do we have the meeting with the Registrar prior to our ceremony?
Your Registrar will conduct a legal interview with both of you, either together or separately, in private. There are two meeting rooms used for this interview and they are positioned right next door to the ceremony rooms. You will be asked to confirm all of the details that you gave in your Notice.
What does the ceremony consist of and how long will it take?
The Registrar will welcome you and your guests, you will say your vows, exchange (optional) rings, and the sign the official Register. You can also choose to have a piece of music played during your entrance and the signing of the Register. You may also choose to have a guest or the Registrar make a (non-religious) reading. Ceremonies last between 10 and 25 minutes typically.
How many witnesses do I need and who can they be?
Two, who must be over 16 and understand the language of the ceremony. Register Office staff are not allowed to act as witnesses. At Chelsea it is popular for couples who have chosen to marry in secret or without guests to ask Chelsea Pensioners to act as witnesses. For more information please see my Chelsea Pensioners page.
You do not need to know your witnesses.
How do we book Chelsea Pensioners to act as witnesses?
You can arrange this via the Kensington & Chelsea Register Office. For more information please see my Chelsea Pensioners page.
What about confetti on the famous steps?
After your ceremony the Registrars will invite your guests to leave your ceremony room and take their position on the steps outside the Register Office. You can use any kind of confetti and confetti can also be purchased from the Register Office reception desk downstairs from the Chelsea Manor Street entrance. The Registrars will then watch for your photographer to give the thumbs up for your exit. You are then welcome to have any group photographs taken on the steps.
Where can we have couple photographs taken after our ceremony?
St Luke’s Gardens a two-minute walk away and adjacent to the King’s Road (for trees, greenery, flowers)
Chelsea Streets a two to five-minute walk away for traditional white stucco buildings and black railings (for clean lines and archetypal Chelsea shots)
Albert Bridge a ten-minute walk away (for Thames scenes, the Bridge, tree-lined walkways, black lampposts)
Local hotel accessible gardens like Cadogan Gardens adjacent to the Jumeirah Carlton Towers where they have access to a stunning, privately maintained garden where you will have privacy (see my last Jumeirah Carlton Tower wedding here)
Your Reception Venue may have interesting interiors and exteriors that are important to you so do ask me if this is of interest
London Landmarks – you can also choose to have photos taken at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (check for refurbishment scaffolding first); St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge; Tower Bridge; or a location that is special to you both
PLEASE NOTE: The Royal Parks – Kensington Gardens, St James’s and Green Park, Hyde Park, The Regent’s Park, Richmond Park, and Greenwich Park – require a filming permit (website) currently £120 inc. VAT for up to one hour. I can arrange this on your behalf (or provide you with a copy of my public liability insurance)
The time of year and position of the sun plays a large part in this decision, so choose a photographer who knows the area well, at all times of the day, and in the different seasons. Photography between 11am and 2pm when the sun is at its strongest can be trickier to work with so ask your photographer for advice.
What happens if it rains on our day?
For light to medium rain umbrellas work beautifully. Some of my favourite wedding photographs include umbrellas.
For heavy to torrential rain you can have your groups and couple portraits taken back inside the Register Office. The waiting area with its red staircase and black and white floor tiles work well as backdrops.
Chelsea Old Town Hall slideshow
Chelsea Old Town Hall latest blog posts
Leah and Andrew arrived at Chelsea Town Hall for their civil wedding ceremony with their three daughters. In the first floor waiting room we took a few photos before two Chelsea Pensioners from the Royal Hospital arrived to act as their witnesses. Leah had only told...
Cath and William's Chelsea Old Town Hall civil ceremony was on a quiet Thursday morning on the King's Road. They had come down from Lancashire for a few days in London and they combined the trip with getting married at the Chelsea Register Office. They invited just...
We would like photos taken in daylight. What time should we have our Chelsea Old Town Hall Autumn / Winter wedding?
Here is an approximate guide to when it will be dark by month and suggested latest ceremony start times if you would like confetti and groups on the Chelsea Old Town Hall steps and couple portraits nearby taken in daylight:
(Click on grid to see larger version)
This allows 30 minutes for your ceremony and 30 minutes for your confetti, groups and couple portraits
British Summer Time Ends – 29th October 2017 (clocks go back) / Daylight Saving Ends – 25th March 2018 (clocks go forward)
To check the exact sunset time on your day click here.
If you see that it will be dark when you come out onto the Chelsea Old Town Hall steps and would like some daylight photographs you can arrange for these to take place before your ceremony.
Get in touch about your Chelsea Register Office wedding