Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding photographerFor your Westminster Register Office wedding
Marrying at Old Marylebone Town Hall?
If you’re getting married at the newly refurbished Old Marylebone 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.
As a Westminster Register Office wedding photographer, that’s what I do.
How much photography is right for you?
- You can book photography from one hour upwards. One hour covers your civil ceremony and photos on the steps of Old Marylebone Town Hall afterwards. Ideal for an elopement.
- Your photography captures your arrival at Old Marylebone Town Hall, your ceremony and portraits of the two of you taken nearby.
- Your photography starts with your arrival at Old Marylebone Town Hall, the ceremony itself, confetti photos on the steps and continues through to either your drinks reception or portraits elsewhere in London, depending on distance.
If you’re not sure about how long to book, call me on 01342 811631 or fill in the enquiry form. We can talk through your plans and what you would like from your wedding photography. We’ll work something out together.
Pricing starts from £399 including your digital files.
Have your favourite photos from your Old Marylebone Town Hall civil ceremony designed and bound into a leather album that lives on your coffee table or book shelf. Standard sizes and copies for family are available.
Is your date available?
If you would like to check if your date and time are available, please complete the contact form on the left or call me on 01342 811 631.
Old Marylebone Town Hall Ceremony Rooms
In 2014 Old Marylebone Old Town Hall closed for major renovation and refurbishment and Westminster Register Office moved their ceremonies to Mayfair Library. Old Marylebone Town Hall has now reopened for couples wanting to marry in this stunning building.
The exterior (once covered in grime) has been thoroughly cleaned and now sparkles. Even the lions are spotless. And inside, the new rooms are all elegant, stylish and chic (whilst retaining many of the original features).
I have listed the seven ceremony rooms below along with their capacities. If you click on the photographs it will take you through to a room page with more photos and details.
My feeling in January 2018 that I would love every room proved true. By early August 2018 I had worked in all seven ceremony rooms. The 39 weddings that I covered at Old Marylebone Town Hall in 2018 were some of the happiest (and most fun) that I can remember. You can see some of these in the blog posts below. Currently I have 56 booked in 2019 and beyond.
In case you are interested in which room is proving most popular to my clients here is the total split:
Mayfair Room – 9
Pimlico Room – 9
Paddington Room – 11
Westminster Room – 11
Marylebone Room – 20
Soho Room – 33
Knightsbridge Room – 2
If you are struggling to choose which room you’d like to get married in give me a call on 01342 811631.
Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding photography FAQs
What time should we arrive?
You should arrive 30 minutes before your ceremony to allow time for you to be interviewed by your Registrars in a separate interview room. Your guests should all be present at Old Marylebone Town Hall at least 15 minutes prior to your ceremony.
The vast majority of my clients have their interview together and walk into their ceremony together. In this case as long as the Westminster ushers have seen that you are on site they will probably allow a few photos outside / on the steps / under the columns before they call you inside and upstairs to your interview room.
If you are having separate interviews so that the first time that you see each other is at the start of your ceremony, one of you will be seen 30 minutes before and the other 15 minutes before your ceremony.
- Groom (or 1st person) – arrives 40-45 minutes before ceremony so they can have a photo (with family, best man etc.) before they are taken inside and upstairs to the interview room.
- Bride (or 2nd person) – arrives 30-35 minutes before ceremony so they can have a photo (with family, bridesmaids etc.) before they are taken taken inside and upstairs to the interview room.
There is a loo with separate bridal powder room (plus full length mirror) on the left as you enter the building, and the men’s loos are on the right as you enter the building.
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). You will be asked to confirm all of the details that you gave in your Notice. This interview will be held in one of the other ceremony rooms on the same floor as your ceremony room.
If you are together this interview lasts 8 to 10 minutes. If you are having separate interviews it is 8 and 10 minutes x 2.
The interview gives your Registrars an opportunity to get to know you a little and to go through the order of proceedings. If you are having readings, ring bearers and music they will advise each person responsible before your ceremony starts. They will also say ‘hello’ to your two witnesses. Please reassure your guests with duties that the Registrars will look after them. Nothing is rushed and they will guide everyone beautifully.
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 then 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?
You need two witnesses for your Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding. They must be over 16 and understand the language of the ceremony. Register Office staff are not allowed to act as witnesses.
You do not need to know your witnesses.
What about confetti on the iconic Town Hall steps?
After your ceremony the Registrars will invite your guests to leave your ceremony room, go back down the stairs and take their position on the famous stone steps. Westminster Register Office ask that you use biodegradable confetti only.
Your photographer should ensure that everyone is in position and then give you the thumbs up to exit. The staff at Old Marylebone Town Hall never rush this part and they work brilliantly with your photographer to ensure you have a fabulous confetti throw experience.
I am often asked what type of confetti looks best in photos and it’s dried petals. They are colourful and light so they fly brilliantly. Shropshire Petals do small orders (10 cones and confetti), ideal for smaller weddings.
How many petals do I need?
A one litre bag of small petals supplied in a plain card bag with viewing window fills 10 cones or 10 to 12 handfuls (i.e. up to 12 guests)
Small or large petals and colour choice?
Small petals fly best and you get more for your money. However, small petals can ‘vanish’ in your wedding photos if you are marrying in front of a sand or Portland stone building like Old Marylebone Town Hall. Of course if you have 50+ guests then small petals will show up whatever the colour. For smaller groups (2 to 20 guests) either mix in some large petals to add impact OR choose a bright colours like dark purple, bright pink, deep blue, or yellow.
The bottom line is that bold colours work best. Most couples like to match the petals to their colour scheme but for photos it really doesn’t matter unless you are supremely exacting.
Plastic pops, cones or by hand? I’m not a fan of the plastic pops as guests don’t always know that the handle is just a handle and some try pulling it with no result of course! While it’s easier to transport (they have a lid) they look a bit yucky in your photos, and they are made of plastic. Shropshire Petals send a recycling bag with your order but on the day it’s a bit of a faff to collect them all, take them to your reception venue, and then home again.
Paper cones are great (and can be personalised). I highly recommend that you put someone else in charge. Be careful when you fill them at Old Marylebone Town Hall as the staff don’t want petals on their lobby floor. Do fill them inside the building though (the wind can be unforgiving) and do this BEFORE your ceremony. Leave them downstairs with one of the Ushers. They don’t need to be taken upstairs with you. [A confetti cone stand box is useful]
Alternatively, the most faff free method is to bring just the 1 litre bag/s with you. Have someone go down the two lines of guests once they are outside and invite them to grab a handful. So much easier!
Shropshire Petals offer two confetti cannons (filled with their petals) and I think that they are hysterical. But they aren’t a necessity (i.e. over kill) unless you are a big kid like me! The medium is best for smaller parties (up to 30) and the larger best for 50+ parties. In additional to providing loose confetti for the majority of guests, you only need 2 for smaller groups (<12), 4 for medium groups (<50), and perhaps 6 for larger groups (100+). Take the label off the top and give it a twist and voila. There is a YouTube video here.
Ordering lead time?
Large petals last for 3 months and small petals 12 months. You can ‘delay order’ with Shropshire Petals if you are keen to strike this off your ‘to do’ list. They then send your order out 4 weeks before your big day.
Any other advice?
It’s very tempting when you walk outside to hide from the barrage of petals and to close your eyes. Do try and look up if you can and rely on your partner to get you down the stone steps safely. And finally, bring extra confetti for a second (posed) throw so that you have a double go at getting that perfect confetti photo.
Where can we have couple photographs taken after our ceremony?
Your ceremony room because they are all beautiful – full of stunning period features and elegant decor.
Old Marylebone Town Hall the interior corridors and staircases make for wonderful photographs / the exterior offers brilliant fluted columns with stunning light, and of course the stone steps are beautiful too
Walking to your drinks venue the streets in the area all have pretty doorways and street scenes
Regent’s Park is arguably the prettiest garden in London. There are many options throughout the gardens but I have my favourite spots guaranteed to make your photos look amazing.
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
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 wedding day?
Umbrellas* work beautifully in light to medium rain. For heavy to torrential rain you can have your groups and couple portraits taken inside the Old Town Hall. The benefit of an Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding is that you can take most photos underneath the tall columns where the light is best anyway.
*Choose your umbrella with care. Whatever colour you choose will reflect that colour on your faces AND make your faces darker than the rest of you not shielded by the canopy. Black causes panda eyes and darkness. White casts a a mushy (unflattering) light. Clear works best and their designs have come a long way in the last few years (i.e. not as fuddy-duddy) so don’t rule them out. If you don’t have clear be prepared to tip the canopy slightly back to allow light into your eyes. Check with your bride first. Her hair may not thank you if you tip it back too much!
Westminster Register Office latest blog posts
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Mauzima and Ian booked the Soho Room at Old Marylebone Town Hall for their World Cup quarter final wedding in London on Saturday 7 July 2018. Their ceremony was attended by Ian’s family, all UK-based. They will be celebrating with Mauzima’s family in New Zealand later...
We would like photos taken in daylight. What time should we have our
Old Marylebone 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 your group shots and portraits 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. If you would like your portraits taken during daylight, we can arrange to do these before your ceremony.
Daylight Saving Ends – Sunday 29th March 2020 @ 01:00 (clocks go forward)
British Summer Time Ends – Sunday 27th October 2020 @ 02:00 (clocks go back)
To check the exact sunset time on your day click here.
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