Getting Married in The Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall is an historic place to get married (one of the very first gay civil cronies in the country was right here!) and just happens to be one of the most beautiful. Lucky for me, I live just 15 mins walk away. I was actually married here myself and every time I walk past I’m still impressed. 

There are a lot of rooms to choose from at Islington Town Hall, but, let’s talk about getting married in The Council Chamber. I'm including a bunch of photos from a wedding a just shot there last week so you can get a good idea of the space.

From a photographer's point of view, I love it! It's right at the top of the marble staircase which means you and your guests don't need to weave through any corridors, you're basically straight from the street, up the stairs and in your room.

There's a beautiful vaulted ceiling and lots of stained glass windows, so there's loads of light and space for me to move around. Which means I am free to get the shots I want without disturbing anyone. Sometimes (even in big churches) I am stuck in one tiny space with very limited options for photos, so to be here in this big airy room is a treat.

Things You Need to Know About Getting Married in the Council Chamber

  • It's pet friendly.
  • It seats 85 guests on weekends, 50 guests on weekdays. This includes everyone except the couple, registrars, and one professional photographer (see, we're special!).
  • The room feels pretty intimate because the seats are in a semi circle which means no one is more than 5 rows way. To be honest despite the grandeur of this room I think it feels very cosy, warm an welcoming. It's not at all intimidating.

Your Arrival at Islington Town Hall

Chauffeured cars, taxis and private hire buses (more about the bus in a minute!) can stop outside the building to drop off and collect couples or guests, but they don’t have general parking available. There is a paid car park at the Business Design Centre near Angel but that’s a bit of a walk away.

Be there with your guests at least 15-30 mins before your ceremony time. When you arrive, check in with the staff on the desk so they know you’re here - don’t just wait outside for them to get you. On busy days there will be a lot of people around with multiple ceremonies happening in different rooms at the same time, so it’s important you make yourself known as the staff won’t go searching for you. 

Your Ceremony The Council Chamber

When it’s time they’ll take you and your partner into an ante room for your pre-ceremony interviews. If everything is running to time (and it usually is) the guests will be shown straight into the Council Chamber to wait for you.

First Look Before The Ceremony

Some of my couples like to do a “first look” before they’re married, where they see each other for the first time on their wedding day. Sometimes couples are interviewed together so this needs to be organised before you even go into the Town Hall. Sometimes, as was the case for this wedding, the couple were interviewed separately so the first look was much easier. So, check with the staff when you're booking your room.

Amazing staff at the Town Hall

I have shot a lot of weddings here at the Town Hall and I have to say the staff are terrific. Kind and helpful, but clear with important instructions to keep everything running well. For this particular wedding the bride's brother was running late (delayed flight) and because this was the last ceremony of the day all the staff agreed to hold everything for 20 mins so he could make it. That's why you can see one important guests dressed quite casually!

After The Ceremony

After the ceremony and a bit of hugging and congratulating, I like to get everyone outside for the confetti and any group shots on the steps. On busy days there will be a lot going on outside. Somehow (I’m not sure how they do it) the wonderful staff at the Town Hall manage to plan things so everyone gets their time on the steps - but it is limited - so we will be organised and make room for the next wedding party. If it gets too busy on the front we can always use the steps on the side of the building where it's much calmer.

Then I’ll probably take the couple back inside for a few shots and then back out on the street for a few shots. I know some very cool spots for photos close by so your guests won't be waiting long.

And that’s it! Many wedding parties then walk down Upper Street to their reception venue. This particular couple held their reception a short drive away at The Standard Hotel opposite St Pancras. They have a lovely private room upstairs with a private balcony. It's a great space actually, so I have included some photos of that for you below as well.

Don't Miss Your Bus!

One crazy thing happened for this particular couple. Because things were running late and we were pushed for time I did a very quick photo shoot with Couple after the ceremony. They hired a red London bus to take everyone to the reception venue and of course, we didn’t want to keep everyone waiting for long. So we literally had about 10 minutes for the photo shoot and as we were walking back towards the bus, the bride Cried out, "Oh my God, that's our bus!“ as this big red bus drove right past us!

It turned out the driver just assumed that we were all on the bus and just left without us! The couple had no phones and no money, but thankfully I was able to call an Uber XL and it all turned out fine in the end.

For more information and to book The Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall for your wedding click here

If you have any photography questions get in touch. Once you send your enquiry you'll be able to download a free copy of my very useful Wedding Guide.

Wedding Photographer Gary Williams


If you're looking for more than just posed photographs, if you want your wedding day to be documented authentically, capturing real emotions and heartfelt connections – then you've found your documentary wedding photographer. Get in touch and let's create memories together. If you want to know more about me, click here.