The Guildhall Windsor hardly needs any introduction as it is probably the most famous wedding venue in England, having hosted a number of Royal and showbiz weddings.
It is essentially no different to most other local Register Offices and civil venues - except it is rather grander and has the connections and associations!
It is gorgeous both inside and outside and has also benefited from a refurbishment fairly recently.
The registrars responsible for conducting marriage ceremonies at the Guildhall are from the local Windsor and Maidenhead Register Office, which is located in the Town Hall Maidenhead. The staff are some of the most progressive and easy-going in the country, and so there are no onerous rules restricting professional photography and video during ceremonies. Indeed they go out of their way to be helpful.
Sometimes the venue is filled to the rafters with guests and other times there are as few guests as just two - to perform their duties as witnesses. The venue is also popular with older couples who may prefer something a bit different to many wedding receptions, for example they adjourn to nearby Ascot for a day at the Races.
Parking near the Guildhall is a real challenge at the best of times so do make sure that your guests appreciate they need to allow plenty of time.
There is a covered area under the pillars at the front of the Guildhall which can be very useful in the event of inclement weather. Do remember though that this is a popular and very busy venue and you are unlikely to have much time to spare before the next wedding party arrives!
Many couples make the ten minute walk from the Guildhall to the Long Walk for some posed photos with family and friends at this photogenic part of Windsor Great Park. A photo permit is required to use the Long Walk; you can arrange this yourselves - its easy - or Peter can do it for you. At present there are no fees charged for using the Long Walk at the Windsor Castle end for wedding photos - unlike the London Royal Parks.
Many couples who book the Guildhall Windsor prefer a strict target budget or may have low numbers of guests and so like to keep their professional photo coverage to just the one location. Peter offers special short notice / short duration packages for this - please enquire.
The first photo below shows the instantly recognisable and World-famous Guildhall Windsor, location of many high-profile weddings including Prince Charles with Camilla, and Elton John with David.
Just a couple of hundred yards from the Guildhall is the incomparable Windsor Castle. It is possible to feature the exterior in some of your wedding photos but the whole area is of course usually teeming with tourists and so it can be tricky:
The main gates at this end of the Long Walk with Windsor Castle in the background are the usual spot for some posed photos.
Lots of couples like to make their way to the Long Walk after their wedding ceremony in the Guildhall. Public access to the Long Walk is from Park Street and this is a few minutes walk from the Guildhall. There is no parking available in the immediate area and so you may wish to use your wedding car or a taxi if the weather is misbehaving:
If you time it right you may even get some "free" entertainment in the form of musicians marching past the Guildhall during the changing of the Guard!
The Chamber has very nice permanent decorations:
You can see the main Chamber inside the Guildhall Windsor in the next photograph. This is the largest function room and is the room in which most wedding ceremonies take place. The smaller Ascot Room at the back is the room in which Charles and Camilla had their ceremony - for security reasons:
Peter usually shoots a few semi-posed photos with the groom moments before the ceremony starts:
And as you might expect the Chamber also has some portraits of some very well-known people!
Many couples get ready locally so that the trip to the Guildhall is just a short walk, avoiding any traffic problems. Peter has shot many times at the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, the Castle Hotel , and the Harte and Garter Hotel and others nearby:
Coverage often starts with detail photos of your flowers, dresses, shoes, jewellery and all the other subjects which look so lovely at the start of your wedding album:
You can of course arrive in style in your own helicopter if you wish:
This bride had a Town Crier clear her path for her walk to the Guildhall!
At last the bride arrives:
The Chamber in the Guildhall has a raised platform along the front and this is a good location from which to shoot photos and video during the ceremony:
The first kiss is a terrific moment to capture in photos and video:
There are some great character photos of the guests just waiting to be shot during the ceremony:
It is not permitted to photograph or video the signing of the marriage register. However once it is done the registrars usually set up a "mock" signing and invite the guests to shoot their own photos:
Usually the bride can have a few moments to compose herself in the Mayors Parlour before entering the Chamber for her wedding:
The staff are easy to work with and so it is possible to shoot all the important moments in the ceremony including the exchange of rings:
Time for the grand entrance of the bride:
The staff are so helpful at the Guildhall Windsor. The registrar may even shoot a few photos for the guests on their own cameras:
Soon enough its time to face the crowds - and the confetti:
You may then leave for your reception venue:
Or you may decide to walk to your venue, or your riverboat, or to the Long Walk in nearby Windsor Great Park for some photos:
Hopefully the weather will be kind to you during a photo session on the Long Walk Windsor!
Do remember that the Long Walk can be a long way from the nearest shelter should the rain decide to make an appearance!
An impromptu first dance on the bridge!
Your riverboat can be a great location for some group photos:
You may decide to have a few photos at the other end of the town at the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel:
Further afield in Windsor Great park there are some lovely photogenic spots:
The Long Walk is a great location for some group photos:
You can of course have your photos at your reception venue:
The bride next to the hotel is also a good spot for photos:
If you are having a hotel reception Peter normally shoots some photos of the room, the decorations, the cake, and so forth before the guests pile in:
The wedding speeches are a terrific photo and video opportunity:
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