Trinity Buoy Wharf, my favourite wedding venue in London. Roberta and Conor planned an amazing day at Trinity Buoy Wharf’s main building, the Chain Store. The sun was shining and everyone was just so relaxed, it was such a pleasure to be a part of the day.
I met the wedding crowd at Tower Bridge where we waited for the Boat to arrive to take us to Trinity Buoy Wharf. Along the way we went through a small storm which meant people took cover anywhere they could, luckily this was the only bad weather we’d have all day.
There’s a number of places to have your ceremony at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Alice and Richard chose The Drawing Room a venue that reminded me a lot of St Chad’s Place in King Cross, the venue my wife and I had our reception in… it’s now a burger restaurant!
They then migrated over to The Chain Store where they had their wedding breakfast and drinks out on the Trinity Buoy Wharf’s terrace overlooking the Thames.
Ok, it’s been quite a while since we wrote our last installment about our favourite venues, best London pub venues. So we’re now back with another awesome list of my favourite places to host your wedding day. These venues vary a little from the traditional pub, barn and country house options. But they still offer everything you need to host an amazing wedding in London!
As we are on lockdown right now, I know you can’t actually visit any venues. So we’re hoping that maybe this post could serve as a substitute whilst we’re stuck inside and hopefully give you a few ideas for when we’re released back into the wild.
The cobbles of St John Square outside gives you an old London feel before you even get through the door. Inside feels like a boutique bar and living room. It also had a science/academia/magic vibe going on, like a Hogwarts speakeasy… but maybe that’s just me.
I spent a long while just taking photos of the amazing selection of art, ornaments and taxidermy before I moved on to anything else. There’s more than enough for two weddings guests who’d never met, to get a conversation started.
At the far end, is the cocktail bar, serving a range of bespoke drinks catering to all tastes. It all feels well thought out and authentic rather than a venue trying to be something it’s not. Downstairs is the dining room and party area. It’s not huge but everytime I’ve been here the dancefloor has been in full swing. Need another drink? No need to worry, there’s a bar down here too. There’s also enough room to lay your evening food out.
The Zetter Townhouse has rooms upstairs for the couple and some of their guests, but if you do run out of space there’s always the Zetter Hotel across the road.
Any old part of London that can be kept and repurposed as something we can keep using and appreciating, I’m totally up for! Clapton Country Club used to be a Tramshed and it has thankfully kept that industrial work space atmosphere.
The brick buildings and reclaimed materials give the venue an intimate, rough round the edges feel, like a working artist studio. The main dining area is more urban but with an added rustic touch. It makes you feel comfortable and at home.
It’s a short drive away from Hackney town hall. So, you can get ready there in the morning, meet your guests at the town hall, say your vows and be back at the country club within the hour. Perfect!
After discovering this wasn’t the official cinema for London’s 2012 Olympic Games, I realised it was in fact an awesome cinema, restaurant, café, cocktail bar and fancy members club.
Whether you’re enjoying a film, sipping on a martini or enjoying the homemade food, the quality is consistent throughout. Each area works nicely on its own for any visitor, but as a whole when hiring the venue for a wedding, it’s really quite fantastic.
You can take the cinema theme and run with it, pinning up retro themed posters and adding a red carpet outside for selfies and groups shots, as one of our couples did.
The ground floor is the lovely bar and restaurant. The cinema is on the second floor and the third floor is the über trendy member’s bar. If you’re still around for the dancing in the evening, the top floor is where the disco is at!
The roost is hired as a studio space for artists and commercial shoots, meaning anywhere you turn your head there’s a beautiful backdrop, trendy graphic print or some retro, boutique prop. It makes every photo full of colour and character.
There’s a total of three floors and a basement, so as well giving your photographer an exhausting workout as they run up down throughout the day, you can also choose a different floor for each part of your wedding.
The top floor has two bedrooms opposite each other for the couple to get ready in, so as long as you’ve surrounded yourself with logistically, savvy ushers and bridesmaids who can coordinate the opening and closing of the two facing doors, you’ll get to the ceremony without without a hitch.
There’s a small garden out the back for any smokers, and a basement for late night beats if you want to push the party into the early hours. The Roost is also associated with two other venues, Dalston Heights and Friendly Place so if it’s already booked there are two other great options worth checking out!
I first visited Wilton’s Music Hall a few years back when a couple of close friends got married there. At that point, I’d never even heard of it, but I became immediately keen to shoot there!
If history is your thing, or London is your thing, or theatre is you thing… or just really cool things are your thing, then Wilton’s should be a big contender for your venue. It’s completely magical, filled with history and atmosphere.
The buildings have lived many lives – homes and an ale house in the 1600s, concert hall and saloon throughout the 1800s, a methodist mission saw it through the two world wars until the 1950s, and then it was almost all over when as a derelict rag warehouse in the 1960’s it was listed for demolition. No Londoner was going to stand for that. Especially John Betjeman, who fought with many others to save it.
Through many periods of restoration, it is now an arts venue. Though indeed restored, it’s very much frozen in time as a music hall – from the moment you walk in, it’s like finding yourself in Victorian London. You can almost see the popular entertainment acts play and hear the audience merrily willing them on.
You can hire the whole venue, which includes the bars, the Victorian staircase, and the Hall with its famous barley-twist columns – there are countless photo opportunities and backdrops, everywhere you look is steeped in faded Victorian charm. This venue is so special and completely unique and a fantastic place for a proper east-end knees up.
I hope you enjoyed our 5 cool and quirky London venues recommendations, if you have any other suggestions get in touch, we’re always happy to learn about new places and hopefully when we’re allowed back out I’ll be shooting a few of them soon!
If you want to see more images from our recent weddings then click on gallery on the main navigation.
Early this year, on a slightly grey February day, I had the huge pleasure of shooting the engagement shoot of these two bright things on Hampstead Heath. They’ve since been married in San Francisco – one of my all time favourite places in the world. Perfect. Congratulations guys!
Daniel and Lewis had a beautifully simple wedding day with the ceremony at midday followed by a stroll around the grounds of York House in Richmond. Choosing to keep the guest list low, only two close friends were invited to the day, so I count myself very lucky to have been there to capture such a lovely, intimate celebration.
Mikey started his wedding day with dip in Hampstead Heath Men’s Pond with a group of his best mates and family – an activity I had never photographed before! Luckily the sun was shining and everyone seemed game enough to plunge in the cold water. The rest of the day was a blast from there – fun and modern elements of the day took the form of a reading from Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch during the ceremony, a first dance sung by one of the beautiful bridesmaids, and matching bespoke Converse for dancing (amongst other things!), whilst a more traditional edge was covered by the beautiful surroundings of Camden Town Hall for the ceremony and Gibson Hall for the reception. A London wedding at it’s finest.
I had a little help from a great second shooter called Dawn for the main part of the day, a few of these shots are hers.
It’s really exciting when someone asks for an engagement shoot in a part of London I’ve not had time to explore. When Victoria and Adam suggested their home borough of Peckham, I jumped at the chance, and was not disappointed. Vibrant and eclectic, we found many interesting locations including the Bussey Building, and the sunny summer’s Sunday morning, made for a great shoot.
A highlight about shooting in the summer, is being able to do engagement shoots after the working day as the sun starts to fall across the city. The warm, hazy days produce beautiful light and warm glowing backdrops for my favourite kind of pictures.
Jo + Mikey chose Hampstead Heath for their engagement shoot (and it’s where they actually got engaged!), and we had a great time walking around one of London’s best green spaces, shooting and getting to know each other in the usual relaxed fashion. I love their complementary patterned outfits, the easy summer vibes and ending with a pint in the pub… my favourite way to finish any shoot!
This summer (remember that?!), Sofya + Jamie had an intimate wedding ceremony at the Mayfair Library in London for close friends and family. It was such a sweet, colourful affair – from Sofya’s floral headdress and dusky-pink knee-length lace dress, to the retro bunting, Mexican piñata, old school photos and dressing up hats at The Stag where the reception was held afterwards. Here are our favourite shots…
If an engagement shoot is any measure of the wedding then Kali and Thom’s wedding was going to be fantastic. With a 1920’s theme and set in the Farringdon’s Artisan restaurant and bar it wasn’t going to disappoint. After Kali and Thom had made their vows at Islington Town Hall, everyone jumped on a Routemaster bus for a quick drive through London (seeing some of the new James Bond film being shot near St Paul’s), the route ending at the Artisan where fun, food and dancing was had until the early morning.
Louise and Matt got married in Stoke Newington Town Hall, with the celebrations held in the unofficial reception venue, The Londesborough pub, just minutes down the road. It was a lovely intimate day with a super relaxed atmosphere. Louise and Matt were great fun and super stylish… does it get cooler than a new bride in her leather jacket?
It was cloudy and on the brink of rain when I met Kali and Thom but that wasn’t going to stop us. After all it is January in England – it’s not like we weren’t expecting it. We made our way through Greenwich Park and up to the Meantime Museum, where we experienced a coffee/football incident that almost ended the shoot! But after a quick timeout, we head back down to the Greenwich Market and then on to Kali and Thom’s favourite pub, The Cutty Sark. Both of them are so sweet and easy-going it felt like walking with a couple of good friends, so it’s no surprise I’m very much looking forward to their wedding in April this year.
Here’s where we prove you can still have a beautiful, meaningful day celebrating love and friendship, while blowing tradition out of the water. Michael and Andrew decided to opt out of some of the conventional elements you might come across at a wedding, and the result was a relaxed, fun day, full of warmth and happiness at the Bingham Hotel in Richmond. Congratulations guys, it was a pleasure capturing the day!
Ellie approached us with the idea of a family photoshoot to celebrate her dad’s 60th birthday, at his urban allotment in Caledonian Road, London. Urban vs nature is one of our favourite photographic subjects, stemming from many student projects rooting around forgotten, overgrown car dumping grounds and delapidated power stations. So off Dan went!
Warning: contains seasonal veg, oodles of sister love and a ridiculously cute baby…
Ben and Amy are unbelievably sweet and completely in love – two things that make my job easier! We headed down to a bustling Columbia Road flower market one sunny (and momentarily rainy – it is England after all) Sunday afternoon to take some snaps of this gorgeous pair. It is such a pleasure to know and work with them, and after this engagement shoot I can’t wait to photograph their wedding in Chichester this September.