Chelsea Old Town Hall is truly a classic place to tie the knot, and I'm a local Chelsea wedding photographer, lucky enough to have it right on my doorstep! With a variety of beautiful ceremony rooms, a location in Central London, and gorgeous spots nearby for all the photos your heart could desire, if you're looking for a place to get married in London, especially if you're having an intimate wedding, I can think of few better locations.
As I've shot at Chelsea so many times, I thought I'd compile a handy guide with everything you need to know if you want to get married at this fab venue, with loads of photos that will hopefully inspire you. If you'd like to skip ahead just click the links below, or else scroll down to read the whole thing!
Getting married at Chelsea Old Town Hall: The Basics
Chelsea Old Town Hall is in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, situated a short way from the centre of London (traditionally thought of as Charing Cross). It's in a beautiful, well-heeled area with loads going on nearby, including amazing reception venues and gorgeous hotels to stay in.
The Royal Borough has a really helpful website, where you can view photos of the ceremony rooms, check availability, and book yourselves in. There are also great sections on local wedding suppliers (where you will also see me - hello!), and other venues in the area. So if you're thinking you want to be a Chelsea bride/groom then that's a great place to start.
Getting married in the Brydon Room
This popular room is large, bright, and sunny, and has a decent amount of room to manoeuvre, which is always appreciated as a photographer! It can seat up to 38 people, and is available every day of the week.
According to Chelsea Old Town Hall's website, this is the room where royalty, and other famous couples, have tied the knot! And I don't blame them; I can't think of a bad word to say about it. This is my favourite room at Chelsea register office and I'd always recommend it as a lovely place in which to say 'I do'.
Getting married in the Rosetti Room
The Rosetti Room, at the front of the registry office, has space for up to 12 guests, so it is great for intimate weddings, but has more space than the tiny Harrington Room. It is also available every day of the week.
The Rosetti Room is a fair bit smaller than the Brydon Room and photo angles are a bit more limited, but it's a wonderful, light room for your small Chelsea wedding.
Getting married in the Harrington Room
This is the smallest of Chelsea's offerings, with space for up to eight people. It has limited availability between Monday and Friday, and offers a cosy space for the most intimate of weddings.
Getting married in the Cadogan Suite
This is my absolute favourite place for a Chelsea town hall wedding. The powder blue walls, the fireplace, the MOULDINGS. However, it's important to note that despite being in the Town Hall, it isn't part of the registry office, and is instead run by the Conferencing and Events Team, who you'll need to contact for availability if you have your heart set on it. One of the good things about the Cadogan Suite is because you're hiring it directly, as you would, say, a hotel, you can decorate the space and make it your own!
The Cadogan Suite has room for 116 seated, so plenty of space for all your nearest and dearest, and comes with a private ante-room off to the side where everyone can leave coats, bags, presents etc - and it's also perfect for drinks and mingling afterwards!
Getting married in the Small Hall
Alas, dear reader, I have not had the pleasure of shooting in this beautiful space yet, as the Small Hall (contrary to its name), is for big weddings, seating up to a whopping 150 guests! Like the Cadogan Suite, it is not part of the registry office and has to be independently hired. The big room boasts loads of daylight, period features, and a wealth of space to do with as you please. This is a perfect venue hired in conjunction with the Main Hall for your reception, so you never even need to leave the building! And, when it's so beautiful, why would you want to?
Photo Locations - the perfect places to take your Chelsea wedding pictures
There are so many great places nearby to take your wedding photos that you're spoilt for choice! And if you don't want to stay local, iconic spots such as Westminster, South Kensington, and Hyde Park are only a short taxi ride away.
Chelsea Old Town Hall itself
The confetti shot on the steps of the Town Hall is instantly recognisable, and a MUST HAVE if you're getting married here, so don't forget to bring some confetti with you, and plenty of it for a dramatic photo!
If you really want to go for it, do what Harry and Lidia did and get confetti canons! (Though, beware, they're louder than you think they'll be - hence the bride's surprise!!). And the more colourful the better to really make the shower pop.
You can also grab a cute group photo of all your wedding guests on the steps once you're done with confetti - or do all your family group photos there if your group is small enough, and another wedding doesn't need to follow you out the doors.
The flowers around the door also make a sweet backdrop to photos, so think about taking the time to take a couple shot on the steps if you have a chance.
You don't need to even venture to any other streets to find great spots for your photos. Head westwards along King's Road for literally two minutes and there are some great spots to hit.
Next to Chelsea Fire Station, there is a long stretch of wall which plays host to a changing series of murals. For a long time the street in front of this wall was dug up for roadworks, meaning pictures in front of some awesome murals weren't possible, but the roadworks are now long gone! This was the perfect spot for Tori and Shannen, who had told me their favourite areas in London were Camden and Shoreditch, and wanted some of their pictures to have that kind of vibe.
Also next to Chelsea Fire Station is Dovehouse Green...which is a great small open space for photos if you don't want to venture that little bit further to St Luke's Gardens (see below).
Across the road from Dovehouse Green you can find The Ivy Chelsea Garden, which often is covered in beautiful flowers, though it can be hard to get pictures there due to all the selfie-seekers trying to do the same. Another minute's walk down the street you will find the perfect pink paradise of Peggy Porschen.
Putting aside your wedding photos for a moment - GO HERE FOR BRUNCH SOMETIME. The pancakes are amazing, the cakes are delicious, and the service is always great. The staff also don't mind if you take a few snaps outside, though you will frequently have to compete with floods of tourists doing it for the 'gram.
There's usually a very cute pink bike covered in flowers down the side of the café, and being that it is on a side road, it is a little quieter. The photos above, and the one at the beginning of this segment, are making the most of its vintage charms.
The doorway of Peggy's is decorated differently depending on the season, but it is always beautiful! I loved the 'tea time' theme (above), and below you can see the doorway decorated with plenty of twinkly lights and pink branches for Christmas, and dried flowers and pumpkins for autumn.
You can't go wrong with this GORGEOUS street, teeming with perfect photo spots. It's right next to Peggy Porschen, and once you've gone a minute or so down it, the bustle of King's Road vanishes and it's quiet and quaint. The street stretches around several bends, and eventually leads down towards the River Thames, so is a great route for some varied photo options.
If you like beautiful period doorways and lots of foliage, you're in the right place, and you can find them all the way up and down the street.
One of my favourite spots (which you can't often get a decent photo angle for due to so many cars parked in front of it), is these stunning pink doors. These buildings were actually the studios of the artist JMW Turner from 1811-1829!
Just around the bend, you can find this really quaint spot with an ornate bench, situated perfectly between two white pillars.
You can also utilise the bench for some fun group photos, as Harry and Lidia did when they brought their friends along for their photo walk.
The section of road near the bench is usually very quiet so don't be afraid to step into the middle for a stroll - or a dance!
Down by the Thames
It's a short walk from Glebe Place down to the Thames, which is populated with beautiful places for your wedding photographs. Take a stroll along Cheyne Walk like Chaz and Megan above, visit Chelsea Embankment Gardens for a bit of greenery, or cross the road to get some pictures by the river or on the striking Albert Bridge.
Just off the embankment, you can find No. Fifty Cheyne, a really nice blue pub with lovely foliage outside, and while you may also want to consider it for your intimate wedding reception, it also makes for a nice photo opportunity!
A few streets over, Oakley Street is worth a visit for its pink 'LOVE' door alone. It's near the river end of the road, so easy to combine with a visit to the Thames.
St Luke's Gardens
This small, pretty park is a good shout for group photographs, as it is usually quite quiet and only a short walk away from Chelsea Old Town Hall. It is also perfect if you want photos with a bit more greenery, but don't want to travel to one of the big parks.
The outside of St Luke's Church itself is also nice to utilise for photos, or just use as a backdrop for your group shots.
And with foliage everywhere, you can take lots of arty shots in the bushes!
HELP, IT'S RAINING
So what to do if the skies have opened and you can't enjoy any of these stunning spots near Chelsea Old Town Hall? Well firstly, a bit of drizzle doesn't need to ruin your day. I always recommend that my couples purchase a couple of clear umbrellas ahead of the wedding, just in case the weather is bad. They don't block any light and don't look bad, so you can still get the shots you want.
However, if it is truly bucketing it down, sometimes going outside can be off the cards unless you want to have a pretty miserable experience, and ruin your beautiful wedding outfits! Well, don't panic. Chelsea has some lovely spots inside where you can take photos.
The end of the Town Hall where the Cadogan Suite, the Small Hall, and the Main Hall are, is probably slightly more aesthetically pleasing, but the whole building is nice inside. The waiting area in the registry office has a great period staircase, as well as a really cute pink and white flower wall.
Intimate wedding reception venues in Chelsea
So you've had your perfect wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall - where do you go next? Fortunately, the area is teeming with lovely pubs and restaurants, and all the suggestions below are walkable within ten minutes, so no need to load your guests into a stream of taxis!
This lovely pub has an unexpectedly large garden available for hire, as well as a wide range of indoor spaces. It's only five minutes' walk away, and is really lovely. The food is also delicious!
I mentioned this beautiful blue pub earlier, which has a range of spaces to hire for your intimate wedding reception. I've also had dinner here, and can attest that the food is lovely!
This fantastic Italian restaurant in Duke of York Square boasts a conservatory and private patio at the rear, available for private hire. It's really nice inside, with the huge mirrors, brick walls, and foliage giving it a rustic, industrial look. It is a short walk from Chelsea Old Town Hall and handily close to Sloane Square station for all your transport needs.
This restaurant not only serves yummy food, but it has four private dining rooms to hire, as well as a new private event space. It also boasts a large terrace out the front, so if you're wanting a venue where you can take the air, this is a great choice.
And of course, if you don't want to have your reception somewhere in Chelsea, the rest of central and west London is only a short hop away. The easiest way to ferry your guests to the next bit of your wedding is to hire a vintage Routemaster bus like Sofia and Sian did - and you can pop some bubbly while you're travelling and keep the celebrations going!
There's a lot more I could say about the benefits of tying the knot in my neighbourhood, but that's it for this blog (though do feel free to message me if you want any more tips or suggestions!). I really hope this blog has been helpful and given you lots of inspiration to plan your own magical Chelsea Old Town Hall wedding!
I really love being a Chelsea Old Town Hall wedding photographer, so if you're looking for someone to capture your big (or small) day, I'd love to hear from you. Hit the button below to contact me!