London has an abundance of beautiful wedding venues, not least the town halls around the city. I’m a London wedding photographer and I’ve shot ceremonies at several town halls across the capital. Because they are hugely popular and often time constrained, I’ve put together top tips to think about when planning your London town hall wedding.
Arrive on time
Sorry brides, but the fashionably late tradition is one to avoid at a town hall wedding! Because most town hall ceremonies are back to back, it’s in your favour to arrive on time. This will pay off when you have more time post ceremony to greet everyone and revel in the congratulations.
2. Take five
One lovely thing about town hall weddings is that after the ceremony, you’ll normally get 5-10 minutes to yourselves while everyone else lines up outside for confetti. This is a great moment to just let it sink in that you’re now married.
It’s also the opportunity to do some quick portraits in the venue if you want them. Some venues like Islington Town Hall will give you 5 minutes in their famous and very photogenic corridor.
However, my experience is that it depends on the town hall and the staff on the day. Some are much more accommodating to having pictures done, while some want you outside straight away so they can get the next couple in.
Talk to your wedding photographer about where else you would like your portraits done if there isn’t much time. You may be able to catch a quick one or two after the ceremony, but I would recommend taking some more time at your reception venue. You could find somewhere en-route!
3. Have someone organise your wedding party for confetti
As a wedding photographer who sees herself as much more than just that, normally I would get my loud voice on and organise the confetti line up. However at town halls this isn’t normally do-able. This is because I would be using those quick 5 minutes to do portraits. This is where your groomsmen or bridal party should be made the most of! You’ll want get everyone in a narrow line and make sure they are loaded with confetti all the way down. If everyone is lined up quickly before we come out of the venue, the more time it gives you after to greet everyone.
4. Be prepared to do group shots elsewhere
I have had mixed experiences at town halls when it comes to doing group shots. Most of the time I’ve been able to do a quick group shot of everyone outside on the steps. This would normally be straight after confetti as all the guests are in one place already.
However, because of the back to back nature of town halls, it may be that the next couple are already starting to make their way in or their guests are hanging around outside. This means sometimes it isn’t always possible to do more group shots outside.
If you would like group shots, I would recommend doing them at your reception venue. Here, you’ll have more control and time over them. Depending on the town hall, you could also chat to your photographer to see if there is anywhere next to the town hall where you could do them. For instance, Hackney Town Hall has a large space out the front and a quiet road on the side.
There you have it! Some of my top tips if you are planning a London town hall wedding. They are absolutely great places to get married but be prepared to be flexible when it comes to photography and having time after the ceremony.
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