Marylebone Town Hall and Harrild & Sons wedding

Marylebone Town Hall wedding

Betty and Mark hired me as their fun London wedding photographer for their had a relaxed civil wedding with an informal ceremony where they didn't want the morning prep and instead I started the day with Mark and his friends at a local pub. The Old Marylebone Town Hall is a brilliant fun London wedding venue that is based right in central London with a beautiful elegant stone column entrance that's ideal for your big group shots, before you go on towards your London pub wedding.

Betty kept it classic with a long veil and modern silk slip style wedding dress and Mark wore a blue suit with a deep maroon patterned tie.

London wedding bus

After the London wedding ceremony we all jumped on a classic London wedding bus a.k.a a double decker route master. Their guests had drinks on the bus, some sneakier than others!

Harrild and Sons London wedding photographer

Betty and Mark booked me after seeing the first Harrild and Sons London wedding that I photographed, so I was very happy to be back again at a beautiful underrated East London wedding venue that's bang in the middle of London with tons of space for dining, drinks and dancing! It has the ground floor level restaurant, but sneakily a cocktail bar in the basement which acts as a good chance for the team to shuffle the dinner tables away, and for dessert and cake cuttings! It is a big industrial urban style wedding venue with lovely vintage pub and restaurant signs decorating the rooms. The guests and couple all gathered in the main restaurant area for their drinks and canapés, and we did a few family group shots in the corner of the space.

Just before and after the dinner, we had a few speeches in the main restaurant area.

London wedding reception

After the meal, everyone went downstairs into the very swanky cocktail bar for cake and drinks and to allow the Harrild and Sons staff to open up the dance floor. Their own friend and fellow band member of Mark performed their first dance for them, but they let the playlist take over and the alcohol flow in true London wedding party style!

If you're keen on your relaxed London pub weddings then I shoot plenty of those, not just in London but also Brighton pub weddings!

Destination wedding in Belgium

Belgian destination barn wedding

It is always a compliment of the highest order when a member of a previous client's bridal party decides to book you for their destination wedding. It kind of shows that they didn't choose you just on your website, but the full range of your photos sent to them by their friend, and because they got a good vibe from you as a person on the day. I shot Lies and Alexander's beautiful wedding at The Asylum and it was amazing that her bridesmaid Sarah asked me to come all the way to Belgium for their wedding. I guess it was a destination wedding for me, but not for them as they got married in their home town with a classic barn wedding. I started the day at Sarah's family home, where she got ready peacefully with her mum and aunt. I loved seeing the unique architecture that is so different from what I'm used to as a Londoner. Sarah is down to earth but classy, and wore a modern dress with lace sleeves and low back. I rarely include black and white photos in my public blog posts, and indeed don't edit many to black and white in what I deliver to couples, but I found the stunning hard Autumn sun of this largely outdoor Belgian barn wedding too good to resist working with, so forgive me if this blog post looks a little different! Simon arrived at Sarah's house in a vintage car to do their first look.

Castle couple shots

After that we went Sterrebos, a famous local castle and grounds to do some couple photos amongst the stunning woodlands in bright sun, before heading to Simon's family home for soup and some family photos.

Back garden wedding

At their parents' house we had an informal soup and sandwiches lunch in their stunning and perfectly groomed back garden. I love casual family gardens and homes being part of a wedding day as that way everything is personal!

 

At Simon's house they rehearsed their lining up and entry into the church, before all heading into a vintage open bus to the church

They got married at Church ceremony in Kortrijk which concluded with a ribbon ceremony and had plenty of performances from Simon's incredibly musically talented family- his brothers singing and on keyboard and mum on the guitar

After the church ceremony they went back in the vintage bus to their reception venue, a big barn and stables private estate, where they had their first reception. In Belgium they split receptions into two with the party set in the second, and there's a heck load of oysters. That's what I've learnt.

At the venue the reception area was decorated with photos Simon's mum had taken of the family, jars of pink elegant flowers and balloons.

 

After the two receptions which last most of the daylight, everyone went indoors for the speeches and dinner. The couples put disposable cameras on the tables with a photo shot list

After the speeches and dinner the dancefloor opened up big style. And I mean... Belgians GO HARD. I don't have much to say, just photos!

If you loved this destination wedding, feel free to check out this wedding in Italy or if you're planning a barn wedding in England. Thank you to all the lovely suppliers

One Whitehall Place wedding

Royal Horseguards wedding

Hannah and Will are a really chilled out fun couple who had their wedding in a stunning central London wedding venue: One Whitehall Place in the Royal Horseguards. Hannah wore a gorgeous Charlie Brear dress with a polka dot top... she'd warned Will beforehand that she would get polka dots into their wedding and he didn't believe her at first! Will wore a very stylish navy blue velvet tuxedo with his friends and family donning black tuxes. Although One Whitehall Place is a rather elegant traditional setting, Hannah and Will are a chilled out couple who chose it more because they loved the fact that you can hold all your friends and family in the same place as the ceremony and reception, with no need to step outside into the cold which is key in a winter wedding.

One Whitehall Place wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony takes place in a big grand ballroom. The venue has an iconic spiral staircase, and multiple spacious rooms for the ceremony, pre drinks, dinner and dancing where they can easily move guests when turning the rooms around.

After their ceremony Hannah and Will slipped to a side room for a few group shots and couple shots making use of One Whitehall Place's epic interior

After this everyone went into the dinner hall and had speeches between the meal courses

 

Their amazing wedding cake was made by one of their guests, and it was laid out along with the sweetie table and the dance floor back in the same ceremony room

As the photos show, Hannah and Will's friends party HARD. Will managed to sneak in a cheeky game of fives, and some of the guests managed to sneak in some cheeky extra drinks!

If you like this London party wedding check out this Morden Hall wedding, another tube friendly venue that has a grand elegant decor!

 

Planning a small London wedding during coronavirus

Planning a small socially distanced London wedding ceremony

It's now late June and the UK government has just released some clearer and more detailed guidelines regarding social gatherings. At the time of writing this post, they are talking about reopening public places from the 4th July and weddings of up to 30 guests will be allowed from the 4th July onwards, but it's looking unlikely that there will be the reception party afterwards- so it'd be about considering private back garden reception if needed! Although I know it might not be the original plan for a lot of you, I want to reassure you that if your priority is simply to get married either elopement style or with a few family members, and perhaps have your reception party later on in the year, you can do this if you feel comfortable and that there are wedding suppliers out there ready to help you and adapt to your needs. Even before this government lockdown I have already long been shooting small and intimate weddings for couples, usually we call them elopements even if you don't travel that far or hide it from anyone! The smallest wedding I've shot was one with only 4 of us, and I was one of the witnesses.

I'm a recommended supplier at Islington Town Hall, which is likely to be an ideal place to have your legal wedding as it has one of the largest  ceremony rooms of the London registry offices, but I will be available to cover wedding ceremony at Stoke Newington Town Hall as well, and in fact any London registry office that has been approved to have the ability to hold socially distanced wedding ceremonies. As it stands to FYI Islington Town Hall will not be open in July, so only potentially holding ceremonies from August and you should watch out for official information published on their instagram from that time onwards. I believe currently they are not accepting new bookings until Jan 2021 to be able to cater for their existing clients.

At this difficult time, it could be a wonderful thing to look forward to and bring a bit of joy to your loved ones if you decide to have a small wedding ceremony of up to 30 guests, and I want to make sure even if you have to compromise on the scale of the wedding you had planned, that you don't compromise on the quality of your wedding photography. During the lockdown I'll be offering my photography skills in affordable one hour blocks, which is enough to cover your wedding ceremony and some essential photos on the registry office steps. I've shot in wedding registry offices all over London and I've been an essential key worker throughout the start of this national crisis, so I'm very well practised and respectful of the social distancing practices. I'll be cycling to your wedding and wear my PPE to shoot and I will deliver your photos via digital gallery. If the government opts to change their guidelines I will be flexible and adapt to those as required, so you can get married feeling comfortable and safe in the knowledge that you'll still get excellent photos with a professional and respectful attitude.

If you're having to have your small wedding ceremony ASAP because of terminal health concerns (either your own or a parent), please get in touch as I will photograph for you for free.

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If you'd like to book me for your small and intimate wedding ceremony in London just email me on hello@mariannechua.com

   
Marianne Chua.

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