Guildford Register Office is located just to the south of the town centre of Guildford Surrey. There is some onsite private parking but the Office can be very busy particulary on summer Saturdays with lots of ceremonies in quick succession so everyone should allow plenty of time. The upper car park is reserved for limousines and such like and the lower car park is reserved for guests.
Peter has worked with the Register Office staff many times and they have always been friendly and very helpful.
Many couples who book Guildford Register Office 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 exterior of Guildford Register Office. The mature gardens and the steps from the main entrance are ideal locations for lots of group photos and portraits:
There are two function rooms available for wedding ceremonies. This is the larger of the two. Even so its quite a tight fit at the front as you can see in the next photo. The officiant conducting the ceremony stands behind the front lectern. The second officiant sits behind the desk to the camera left whilst completing the paperwork during the ceremony. The bride and groom of course stand in front of the lectern. Guests making readings usually stand in front of the left desk. Once the ceremony is finished and the official paperwork completed and signed usually a registrar brings the bride and groom over to the desk to the right for some "official" photos and some snaps by the guests.
The Guildford Register Office staff are very easy-going and professional photographers can stand behind the right desk throughout the ceremony. There is very little space and so if video is desired Peter recommends that he shoots both stills and video from the same position at the front. There is little opportunity to shoot video from the rear of the room as guests stand during a significant amount of time and this blocks the view.
The weather does not always behave itself:
Once the marriage ceremony has taken place there is an opportunity to shoot some posed photos with the bride and groom and usually also with the witnesses:
Then the guests are invited to shoot their own photos of the bride and groom:
A must have photo is the bride and groom as they come out of Guildford Register Office after their wedding ceremony:
The steps outside the main entrance to Guildford Register Office is an ideal position for a group photo with all the guests:
The gardens outside Guildford Register Office are quite compact but are mature and photogenic. Great for shooting some of the important groups and portraits with family and friends:
All sorts of cars old and new are chosen by couples who have their wedding ceremony at Guildford Register Office:
Extended limousines are ideal if you have a large wedding party!
Inclement weather should be planned for - obviously! Things were pretty much rained off on this wedding day all day long - what a shame. Peter set up some photographic lighting at the reception venue - which was at Hoebridge Golf Centre in nearby Woking - and we were able to shoot everything inside:
The time available to shoot photos at Guildford Register Office after the ceremony can be quite limited because there may be other ceremonies both before and after your own. One cunning plan is to schedule your own ceremony as the last one of the day so that you don't clash with other couples. It may be advantageous to have the majority of the "must have" groups and portrait photos at a separate venue even if the coverage is not to include events later in the day such as the speeches and first dance.
There is a pleasant location within a short walk of the Register Office - St Catherine's Chapel and hill. You would need to take your cars away from the Office though and there is virtually no parking next to the chapel so on-street parking needs to be found. A little further away are the beautifully maintained Guildford Castle Gardens.
This bride and groom chose Merrist Wood Golf Club for their reception:
Its a good idea to plan a list of important group photos. This can save a lot of time and reduce any worry to a minimum. The next photo is the bride and groom with the best man and his wife:
This couple chose the Percy Arms Chilworth for their wedding reception. The bride also got ready at the Percy Arms before the ceremony at Guildford Register Office:
This couple had their wedding reception at The White Hart in Guildford after their ceremony at the Register Office:
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