East London Award Winning Documentary Wedding Photographer
I’m going to take a wild guess that you may have just got engaged, are planning a fabulous wedding and are now looking for a stella photographer. If that is indeed the case then Hi, I’m John, lovely to meet you! I’m a relaxed and experienced wedding photographer. I’d love to make you both look amazing and document your big day. If you’d like to drop me a line to check my availability then please feel free to fill in my Contact Form and we can take it from there.
Dalston Documentary Wedding Photographer
I’ve had the privilege of photographing weddings in London and the UK for over a decade. I’m based in Stoke Newington, which is a cute enclave of Hackney in East London. London is a whopper of a City so its fair to say I get around! I love a local wedding and am familiar with most of the amazing venues near me but in this Journal I’m going to cast my net a bit further and run through some of my faves in the whole of central London.
Advice for Planning a Central London Wedding
When you’re planning your wedding and choosing your venue a valuable question to ask is whether you want to actually tie the knot in the same place as your reception. All in one wedding venues such as The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green or Trinity Buoy Wharf make a lot of sense and certainly save on travel. But a vintage bus ride or a Thames Paddle Boat are mega fun and also beak up the day a bit. Many of the weddings I am commissioned to photograph start at a Church or a Town Hall. A secondary venue is hired for the reception celebrations, the drinks, speeches, eating and importantly …dancing!
London Town Hall Wedding Photographer
I get commissioned to photograph all types of wedding. I approach a huge 300 guest wedding with a marquee in the Alderley Edge the same way as I do a tiny 4 person wedding celebration in Islington Town Hall’s Room 99, with a wealth of experience, a ton of energy and a smile. I’m fortunate that I enjoy being a part of a celebration, documenting the excitement. I help to coordinate when needed (confetti, family groups, sparklers etc) and float about in my natural low key style. London has some of the most magnificent Town Halls in the country, all run by talented wedding teams. I’m super familiar with all the biggies, Islington Town Hall, Old Marylebone, Chelsea etc. Hackney Town Hall is particularly wonderful wedding venue and also run by the Hackney Venues team. Hackney Venues also look after other wonderful venues local to me such as The Glass House, Clissold House and the soon to be open Abney Chapel. I’m going to write up a fun Journal on my fave Hackney Wedding Venues soon so prepare to have your minds filled with delicious East London venues.
Award Winning Islington Town Hall Wedding Photographer
I have put this guide together to give you all a little nudge toward some of London finest wedding venues. I have chosen these wedding venues because I have photographed weddings at them and personally think they’re stylish and fun. I am a wedding photographer so my view is completely biased toward aesthetics. I like a venue with multiple rooms rather than one ginormous ball room. I think a wedding should have room to spread out. Often there’s an older generation wanting their own space, a quieter area for a chat as well as a crackers dance-floor. Lighting also comes into my decision making. I can’t stand a venue lit like a hospital ward. The best venues have awesome wedding teams behind them full of knowledge, experience and sense of fun! I also take into account the area the venue is in, does it have attractive out door space for walk and portraits.
Unique London Wedding and Wedding Reception Venues
Right, its about bloomin’ time I got into this list isn’t it! In no particular order, here we go…
#1 Somerset House. The Strand, WC2R 1LA
Photographing a wedding in Somerset House is always a treat. This is a globally recognised wedding venue and London treasure. Somerset House is a living costume drama, an 18th Century glamorous palace in the centre of London. The Fountain Court Yard is a hell of a back drop for a wedding portrait. Often a couple and I will take a little stroll taking out to the River Terrace and then wind our way back through the Fountain Court Yard. Balconies off the ceremony rooms look out over the court yard one way and the Thames the other. This is truly a unique London wedding location. Somerset House Weddings
Somerst House Wedding
I have photographed numerous weddings at Somerset House and each has been very different. Spring is the fabulous in house restaurant, in the new wing. This is foodie heaven and the hiring of Spring for a wedding also includes the bar and drinks and dance-floor space. Other couples have got married in the first floor regency room with balconies and then had their reception in the Terrace Bar beside the river. This Terrace Bar plan kinda suits the summer, definitely outdoor vibes!
Spring Restaurant Somerset House Wedding
#2 Kew Gardens. Nash Conservatory Wedding. Kew, Richmond, London. TW9 3AE. Instagram: @kewevents
Kew Gardens, one of South London’s (and possibly the UK’s) finest wedding venues. The Nash Conservatory is a joy to photograph in. The huge glass house is a gorgeous structure and when bedecked in flowers and set up for a wedding looks amazing. Being made of glass there’s clearly heaps of natural light. Evening and winter weddings get the treat of candle light, warm and romantic. Guests arrive to the Richmond Wedding Venue by the huge ornate Victorian gate entrance, always nice for pictures. A massive bonus when getting married at Kew Gardens Nash Conservatory is the use of the majestic gardens themselves for portraits. The team at Kew even lay on a private golf buggy to wizz the couple (and me, of course) around the site for portraits.
#3 Hurlingham Club. Ranelagh Gardens, London, SW6 3PR.
A wedding at The Hurlingham Club is a bit like stepping back in time, maybe to the 1950’s. The club is a social hub and sport centre. There are pro level grass tennis courts, a cricket pitch and gorgeous swimming pool. This may be up there as the most expensive gym in London! All the weddings I have photographed at The Hurlingham have been 200 + guests and have a formal and elegant structure, think top hat and tails. There is a large Ball Room with direct access to a fabulous terrace over looking the extensive and manicured grounds. The rose gardens are wonderful for a stroll and portraits, particularly at magic hour when the light is perfect.. The standard of service is obviously magnificent so if you’re after old school classic wedding vibes then The Hurlingham Club could be perfect for you.
#4 London Rowing Club. 7, Putney Embankment, SW15 1LB
I had the great pleasure of photographing a stunning wedding reception on bonfire night at The London Rowing Club. Watching the London sky fill with fireworks from the exterior balcony was pretty magical. The wedding ceremony was held at The Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens which is only 15 minutes or so further down the Thames. A very cool balcony runs the length of The London Rowing Club overlooking the river, its a big feature of this Thames wedding venue. Like all my fave venues, The LRC has multiple rooms so a wedding can spread out. On my last visit for a wedding here one of the rooms had table tennis set up which became noisy and fun hang out throughout the evening.
#5 St. John Restaurant. Smithfield. 26, St. John Street, Barbican, EC1M 4AY
St. John is a world famous restaurant and foodie heaven. Its also a banging wedding reception venue with space for dancing, mingling and eating. Clearly St. John is a venue most suitable to a couple who rate food above all else at wedding, the kitchens play a big and central part of the restaurant itself. What I love about the St. John Restaurant wedding venue is the area its in. Farringdon is home to my favourite church St. Batholomews The Great and also Smithfield Meat Market. As you know, I like to take a wander with a couple after a wedding to get some relaxed and unposed portraits. The streets around St. John are amazing for this. The restaurant has a cool bar in an outdoor but heated and covered cobbled space. It’s here a DJ can set up and raised platform is perfect for speeches.
#6 The Depot N7. 1, Carpenters Mews, North Road, N7 9EF.
The Depot (formerly Shillibeers) is an excellent wedding reception party space. The bar is set in its own cute cobbled mews, great for confetti and sparklers later in the evening. The bar is laid out over a various split levels with the main floor space and bar set up for a seated meal. Some of the most raucous and fun weddings I’ve ever shot have been at The Depot, it seems to attract a young and fun crowd. The food at the Depot is pretty decent and there’s a ton of space. The outdoor mews is a huge draw, not only for naughty smokers but evening drinks outside works really well too.
#7 Harrow Great Barn. Headstone Manor, Headstone Recreation Ground, Pinner View, Harrow, HA2 6PX.
If you are looking for a countryside wedding venue but in London then The Harrow Great Barn could be just the ticket. As the name suggests there is a big barn wedding venue that’s often split into two halfs. One half works well for the wedding ceremony while the other is often set for dining and a drinks reception. There are lovely grounds, great for portraits. A cute little cottage, a minutes walk over a cute little bridge works well as a pre wedding venue and is often full of bridesmaids with glasses of fizz.
#8 Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery. Ealing Green, London, W5 5EQ
This is a West London Manor House wedding venue. The Pitzhanger Manor House has super stylish and ornate rooms with gorgeous wall paper and fireplaces. An elegant conservatory overlooks a park which is a excellent for a stroll and portraits. All the rooms are cool and stylish, lots of polished wooden floor boards, ornate staircases and tons of natural light. A walled garden adjoining The Pitzhanger is home to Soanes Kitchen, a tasty restaurant and party space. The walled garden is fabulous in the spring when a huge Wisteria comes into bloom.
#9 Trinity Buoy Wharf. 64, Orchard Place, London, E14 0JW
Trinity Buoy Wharf is simply a fabulous and unique wedding reception venue. The wharf itself has an accessible light house with amazing views over the Thames to the 02. I often join a bride and groom for some portraits in the light house. The main building is a huge old storage facility thats retained all the industrial features. theres lots of girders and exposed brick work. Huge black doors open out onto a glorious terrace next to the river, in the summer this wedding venue is hard to beat. I’ve shot some of my all time favourite weddings at Trinity Buoy Wharf particularly when you arrive by boat from Greenwich.
#10 Crypt on the Green. Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0EA.
Living in North East London I have got to know some of the most fun wedding venues around. The Crypt on the Green ticks a lot of boxes. The Crypt is sub street level, think super cool wine cellar. There’s amazing brick work supported on pillarsand also a cute gardens in the rear. The gardens suit a summer drinks reception and also have convenient wide stone steps that are perfect for a big group picture and family portraits. Above the Crypt is a beautiful Georgian Church called St. James. I particularly enjoy photographing weddings at The Crypt on the Green as the Clerkenwell area is so pretty. I love a stroll with a couple for natural unposed portraits and Clerkenwell streets are particularly Dickensian, lots of twisty cobbled lanes.
Booking a London Documentary Wedding Photographer
If you are on the hunt for a low key and relaxed documentary wedding photographer then please feel free to use my Contact Form to drop me a line. I have availability for this year and next on some of the key weekends. If you’d like to see more of my full Real Weddings then hop over to My Portfolio. If you would like to know a little more about me then you can read a little on my About Page. In the mean time, god luck with your planning and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to chat weddings and need inspiration.