Old Marylebone Town Hall weddings are probably some of the most iconic that happen in central London. Right next to Baker Street and not far from Madame Tussauds it has been trendy and very sought after for over a century. I’m there a lot (that’s me David) and I think if I was going to choose a place, especially if I was coming in from another country, this would be it.
In fact, if you were appearing in a Richard Curtiss rom-com THIS is where you would get married, when the girl gets the guy in the final scenes! Or the guy gets the guy, or the girl gets the girl…well you get my drift.
I’m going to write an info piece soon with lots of examples of all the main London Registry offices, as I’ve photographed at all of them multiple times, just to give an insight for prospective couples and other photographers spying on me (lol!). Old Marylebone, Islington and Chelsea Town Hall’s I would put as the big three. All with rich history and plenty of A listers who got married there. Including myself 😉
Honorable mentions also go to Camden Town Hall, Hackney Town Hall and Stoke Newington Town Hall. All great choices.
The December wedding I’m featuring here was shorter than most I do at Old Marylebone Town Hall, as this was both a smaller celebration and a legal requirement for V and P who were getting married later overseas (I wasn’t available for that one). This is quite a frequent request for central London registries though.
On a freezing cold crisp morning I started my coverage in The Holmes Hotel on Chiltern Street, just round the corner from fictional (is he!?) character Sherlock Holmes’s home at 221b Baker Street. V and P were staying at The Holmes and met myself and their wedding party there for celebratory champagne before taking the short walk to Old Marylebone Town Hall.
Our plan was for V and P to spend 15 to 20 minutes with myself on the way. The thing is: all the images features in the blog: Blog – London Wedding Photographers Big Day Weddings (bigdayweddings.co.uk) on Instagram: Big Day Weddings (@bigdayweddingsuk) • Instagram photos and videos, and the galleries on the website: Wedding Galleries – London Wedding Photographers Big Day Weddings (bigdayweddings.co.uk) (there are four of them by the way) are all done in short real world time scales, in whatever the prevailing conditions might be. That’s the best way to be relaxed and natural, as long as your photographer has skill and a ‘can do’ calm attitude! One of my gripes is how much fake stuff I see on socials, where photographers have set up entire wedding shoots with models and other suppliers. While undoubtably some are really pretty and are obviously a form of advert for those involved, it is totally unrealistic, and I believe misleading in expectations for potential couples. Sorry, small rant over!
Ok, so I was delighted to go to Holmes Mews on our little jaunt to the Town Hall, which is tucked away round the corner from the hotel, and then to work in some of the streets I know so well. Of course with a busy city every time you visit a location it may be different, or too busy, or covered in scaffolding, so it’s good to be adaptable and have a backup plan in mind.
Wedding ceremonies at Old Marylebone Town Hall are strictly controlled now, especially since the venue’s refurbishment. I think this is a really good thing and what I mean by that is: it’s a very busy place, a lot of weddings take place there on the main days and if the staff were not clear about when you can go in, how long a photographer has in a particular spot, then it could be chaos, and nobody wants that on their big day. So for those of you in the stages of planning for an Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding, bear in mind that you will get somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes only with you photographer after the ceremony within the building itself. That’s fine because I will get everything we need and more in that time. Your wedding party will have been charmingly ushered out of the building in that time, to get ready on the outside steps for a confetti throw if you are having one.
As with V and P at that point I go outside and get the wedding party ready and super motivated. Then it’s thumbs up time from me, and you come out and enjoy your iconic wedding ‘moment’ on the beautiful steps of Old Marylebone Town Hall. It’s a good time after that to move to the right hand side steps, for any group shots you might have requested, or not!
Two things usually happen after that, one, everyone gets on a Red Routemaster old London bus or taxis, and shoots off to the reception venue. And/or two: our new bride and groom go and do some quick couple shots/portraits in the local area. Don’t ever worry about these though. They are going to be natural looking and sometimes epic, just because… Most people are a bit anxious about having their pics taken, read my reviews though here on the site or Google itself: big day weddings reviews – Google Search We will do natural stuff, gently directed if needs be, that you need absolutely no skills or ability for. We have fun, I will coax candid genuine positive reactions from you, and most of all we will have a blast! Many times I’ve been told it’s one of the main highlights of a couple’s day 🙂
I take a lot of shots, and I give you everything where you are not blinking or falling over, unless it’s funny… For V and P I delivered over 700 edited sots in a fairly short time scale. I’m including their review here.
Jeez these guys were very romantic, they loved to kiss and dance. I didn’t ask them to do that, I just put them in good situations to be able to do what THEY wanted to do! They were both delighted by the results, and ultimately that is what is the single most important thing.
Every wedding is so different even in the same locations, and that is one of the fantastic things about wedding photography and in this case about Old Marylebone Town Hall weddings!
By David Green
Here’s another of many Old Marylebone Town Hall weddings featured on the blog: