Islington Town Hall wedding photographer

group photos outside Islington Town Hall

Why choose an Islington Town Hall wedding ceremony?

I’m a London wedding photographer with over a decade of experience. I photograph both short and full day weddings all over London, and a lot of the civil ceremonies take place in one of the most popular London registry offices, Islington Town Hall. This London wedding registry office is popular for several reasons:

Firstly, it’s one of the largest capacity registry offices, it can hold 85 wedding guests, using its large council chamber and also the wedding gallery up above. On top of this there are another 5 rooms for smaller wedding ceremonies.

If you want a smaller wedding it also caters really well for that in it’s Mayoral room, the Angel Suite, Room 99, the Richmond Suite and Canonbury Suite.

islington town hall wedding photographer

Secondly, it’s a dog friendly wedding venue. It’s quite rare to find a central London dog friendly wedding venue, but they’re so great and relaxed there, no one in the family has to miss out! If you’re looking for more dog friendly venues in London I’ve written about that here!

Lastly, it’s really well placed in the middle of East London. Therefore is close enough to loads of excellent wedding reception venues. Often my couples take a London bus but it’s within walking distance of restaurants. Lots of restaurants in Islington like Fredericks host wedding receptions, if you wanted to keep the travel logistics easy!

What happens on my London wedding day?

The other question I hear about Islington Town Hall weddings, is what couples can expect to happen on the wedding day. This question gets asked especially in relation to their wedding photography. I’ll often advise couples that I can start their photography coverage from 30 minutes before the ceremony time. It’s not necessary to go any earlier, unless you want to do a first look and take couple photos outside beforehand. The registry office won’t let you or your guests inside before then. Sometimes people prefer this if they have a tight timing to get to the reception venue. Or if they just feel nervous and want to get it done!

Just before your Islington Town Hall wedding ceremony

About 15-30 minutes before the ceremony, you’ll have an interview. This interview usually happens separately. Your identity details are checked, and that you’re not being forced to marry etc. The registrars will then ask you to wait just outside near the top of the central marble staircase. They go inside and give a short introductory speech and arrange who is playing the entrance music. During the ceremony you’re allowed to choose your songs and readings, as long as there’s no religious wording.

After the readings you will say your vows. You can either choose the standard vows or personalise it. The registrar will then call forward whoever has the rings and you will take turns to exchange rings.

vows at Islington Town Hall

You can choose to personalise the exchange even to the point of this one couple who exchanged bottles of alcohol that were meaningful to them!

The wedding admin!

Following that you can have a first kiss and you and your witnesses will sign a certificate. It used to take place in a special book with all the couples and using a special ink and pen. The UK government recently converted to an online system in the UK so you sign a piece of paper to symbolise it. After the ring exchange, the registrars announce you to your guests in your chosen way that you’ve already pre discussed. Whether that be the traditional husband and wife, the new XXXXX (married name), or both of your first names (ideal if you’re not changing your surname) etc. Islington Town Hall is fully embracing of all lgbtiqa couples and they will present you to your guests however you choose.

After the London civil ceremony

After the ceremony, you get directed into the side corridor. Here you will take a short excited moment together and have a few couple photos.

During this 5-10 minute period your guests will head down the stairs and get ready with any confetti they have.

You would then head down ready to get covered and cheered!

The perfect time to do some group photos is immediately after the confetti throw because all the guests are pretty much in position. I always advise my couples that if they do want a group photo of all the guests, this is one of the few registry offices that has the perfect steps for it.

I really hope this helps you plan you Islington Town Hall wedding. If you’re looking for a London wedding photographer then get in touch. Book a fun wedding photographer with confidence.