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St Albans Registry wedding couple run past wall image

St Albans Registry Office Wedding photographers

By Barnet Wedding Photographers, London venues and events, London Wedding Photographers, Wedding VenuesNo Comments

When you book your St Albans Registry Office wedding photographers, you may or may not know you are booking one of the most unique and also famous buildings not just in Hertfordshire, but the entire UK.

St Albans Registry office wedding venue

Bride arrives at St Albans Registry wedding

I (David) thought that seen as we’ve/I’ve worked at this lovely venue now about ten times that I really should write something about it. If nothing else to be a heads up for anyone considering it for their wedding ceremony.

St Albans registry wedding ceremony 2

St Albans registry wedding ceremony crowd laughing

I love a bit of history and this place has it in spades! St Albans is a beautiful town, a jewel as far as I’m concerned in Hertfordshire, and I often find any old excuse to go shopping there, usually on a Sunday with the family. It was an important Roman settlement and among many other places of interest has a stunning cathedral and grounds, not to mention a brilliant comedy festival in the park.

St Albans wedding couple by wall hand in hand

The registry office itself was the governor’s residence for what was formerly St Albans prison. The prison itself opened in 1867 and closed at the beginning of the first world war. The entrance gate and outer walls still exist, along with of course the part used for the registry office. I love to use those old walls whenever I can in the time I have before heading off to reception venues. The doors to the registry were famously used in the 1974 much loved BBC comedy series “Porridge” starring Ronnie Barker, as the entrance to the fictional Slade Prison. Note the camera phone selfie with myself and the wedding party towards the end.

Wedding couple walk past St Albans registry walls wide shot

Wedding couple walk past St Albans registry walls

I’ve chosen to show my most recent visit as a St Albans Registry Office wedding photographer to be the focus of this blog post. This was a Saturday and my lovely couple were N and R tying the knot officially before their summer wedding in Cyprus. Unfortunately I was already booked on that particular date 🙂

Bride and groom laugh by St Albans Registry doors

I was as usual there in good time to refresh my memory of the venue and to look where the light was best for pics, this is something I ALWAYS do. It doesn’t matter how often you do a venue, one way or another it is different every time.

Wedding couple kiss at St Albans Registry office gates

Bride and groom sit on stone bench St Albans Registry wedding

N and R arrived in separate cars and it soon became apparent there had been some crossed wires and the bridal bouquet and confetti had been left at home by mistake! Good news though that the ever helpful, and I have to say really friendly registrars at St Albans, had an emergency bouquet to hand, which I rather liked anyway 🙂

St Albans Wedding Registry couple in gardens

This was a very intimate wedding, the couple and four guests including one best man and his partner, one sister and the bride’s best friend.

St Albans Registry Office Wedding couple sat on bench in groundsBride and groom by canon St Albans Registry wedding day

Once the ceremony was done and everyone had a good cry, I took N and R around the grounds (admittedly rather small). I made sure to get plenty of the old prison walls and doors in their shots. Plus a very well preserved 1840 siege canon that imposing sits at the front of the registry office.

Wedding couple together at St Albans Registry office


Wedding couple pose by canon at St Albans Registry Hertfordshire

Although I visit a great variety of venues as a London and Home counties wedding photographer, I’m really looking forward to returning to St Albans registry in the near future!

Big Day Weddings selfie St Albans Registry Office

By David Green

Oh and here’s our lovely couple, and Ronnie Barker leaving from the same spot (blurry BBC image)

Bride and groom at St Albans Registry gates

Ronnie Barker Porridge St Albans Registry gates

St Albans Registry wedding couple run past wall image

Alexandra Palace engagement photography

Engagement Shoot at London’s Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill

By Barnet Wedding Photographers, London Wedding Photographer, Wedding Venues2 Comments

It is no secret to those that know us that Joanna and I love Muswell Hill. After all this is where we first met, and where we lived in the imposing shadow of Alexandra Palace. Yickyin and Leo in planning their future wedding found us when searching for a London wedding photographer for their Christmas wedding at The Goring Hotel in Belgravia.

Engagement photography at Alexandra Palace Muswell Hill shoot

They are a couple from Hong Kong and wanted to relax themselves in front of the camera and create some imagery they could use for their invitation cards and general wedding stationery. One or two of the many bonuses of a pre wedding shoot.

Muscle Hill wedding couple in woods

As they also lived in the north of the capital I suggested an engagement shoot at London’s Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill. We love the mixture of urban and classic architecture mixed with natural greenery and trees and a lovely little boating lake. All places that we had taken the children to many times, and as far as a venue goes for engagement photography I don’t think you could ask for much more.

Couple jump in front of London's Alexandra Palace image

You have to know what you are doing though obviously, pictures and emotion don’t creates themselves out of nothing! Another thing we had to bear in mind was the timing of the shoot too as Alexandra Palace can become very busy very quickly. Shooting wedding days in the centre of London that is the norm, so we are very adept at dealing with crowds and crowded places, but it is nice when doing some pre wedding photography to have a little more privacy. This Chinese engagement shoot (that’s how I saw it) was on a Saturday afternoon, however it was so windy, almost gale force, and overcast that crowds were not a problem!

Another engagement photo sat on steps by Alexandra Palace London

In fact only twenty four hours before I had been at Alexandra Palace with the lovely Ashley and Paul who are getting married in London too at the Hampton Court Hotel next to surprise surprise Hampton Court Palace. Their day was typified by strong sunshine which dictated where I could place them, but also added a bonus effect of depth and texture that I could create in the imagery.

Couple pose and smile under Alexandra Palace Arch photo

For Yickyin and Leo we had a dull sky and extreme wind to deal with, but we made this part of the fun and also went for a little more quirkiness to compensate.

Wedding couple laugh by Italian fountains at Alexandra Palace

One thing I have noticed with Chinese couples is that they are very open minded to slightly off the wall ideas, especially if they are from Hong Kong, must be something in the air there! I used quite a bit of creative flash as well to give their photos a little lift in dull conditions.

Highgate Woods engagement photographer image

Alexandra Palace itself has a very interesting history. It was built in 1873, but according to some accounts a roof worker’s unextinguished cigarette started a fire that destroyed the entire structure. Good old Victorian builders didn’t hang around though, and by 1875 they had rebuilt it to a slightly different design.

Engagement photo in middle of Muswell Hill stone sculpture

Nicknamed affectionately “Ally Pally” it is probably most famous for the fact that the British Broadcasting Corporation know to us all here in Great Britain as the BBC, started the world’s first regular high definition television broadcasts in 1936. I wanted to incorporate a little of this history into the engagement photos as you can see from some of the selection here.

Couple cuddle under arches at Alexandra Palace

Wedding couple by Alexandra Palace skate park

To read more on our blog about weddings at The Goring Hotel the destination for these two lovebirds take a look here: Goring Hotel Wedding Photographer and also here: Fuji X100 for your London wedding, and wedding? Yes at the Goring Hotel

Chinese engagement couple under London railway  bridge

Also notice we got lucky for the featured image of these Chinese love birds, as two local winged creatures flew by at just the right time, although I was waiting for something like this to occur anyway as I kept clapping my hands to try and make it happen!

Couple pose for engagement photos on Alexandra Palace steps

By David Green.

London Mandarin Oriental wedding photographer

Chinese President follows in the footsteps of London Wedding Photographers – Big Day Weddings

By London Wedding Photographer, Wedding VenuesNo Comments

It has been very interesting for us both as we sit here editing our latest London wedding today, to watch the coverage in the background of Xi Jinping’s state visit to the capital. It feels almost like the Chinese president follows in the footsteps of London wedding photographers Big Day Weddings! Firstly he is staying at ther London Mandarin Oriental Hotel where very recently we photographed a lovely intimate wedding. That’s the featured image here on this post.  On that particular day staff showed us the “Royal” entrance at the back of the hotel where royalty and visiting dignatories could enter and exit. This was featured on BBC news coverage and included here are a couple of shots of that very entrance that Xi Jinping has been using. The only difference is that for these visits they construct a temporary overhead structure by the distinctive black gates. It was the Chinese who requested previously to move the nearby lamp post to the side, as it kept getting in the way on this drop off and in point! Also we see the red carpet at the Mandarin Oriental was rolled out,  photo included, from our wedding coverage, and apparently this is the same one used for all such high profile visits and weddings. So we treaded that carpet first before Mr Jinping. Read about it here: London Mandarin Oriental Wedding Photography

Newly weds walk through Hyde Park gates

laying the red carpet at Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Secondly a lot of the action is taking place at Horse Guards parade, which is a where we frequently photograph when wedding couples spend sone time alone with us for some extra memorable shots, away from the wedding party and reception. There’s an example image from Aishe and Habib’s lovely day below.

Love at horse guards parade photo

Finally we see that the Chinese president is also going to visit Imperial College London, and it was only days ago that we photographed Nicki and Stephen’s big day in Imperial’s premier event venue 58 Princes Gate, which you can read about on the blog here: London Kensington Wedding Photographers There’s a shot from the venue below as well. That’s one of the great perks of photographing central London weddings in that we get to work at tremendous venues, and also access areas not normally available to the general public.

Kensington wedding photographers

You can read and watch constantly updated coverage of the Chinese president’s state visit on the BBC News website linked here: BBC News coverage of Chinese President’s London state visit

By David Green