10 Best Chelsea Locations by Chelsea Wedding Photographer

Bride and ushers photographed at Royal Hospital Chelsea

The 10 Best Locations by Chelsea Wedding Photographer

As a Chelsea wedding photographer and knowing the location well I thought it might be useful to run through some of the best venues for your service in the area for wedding parties of all sizes, and to make the most of what is one of the more colourful villages in England. Its history pre dates the Doomsday Book and was home to Catherine Parr, Anne of Cleeves and Elizabeth I, no less and of course more recently the famous Chelsea Bun.

1) Chelsea Register Office

This well known register office is famous for its weddings and numerous celebrities who have been married here.  I have photographed many weddings over the years at the venue and have the advantage therefore of knowing the rooms and format for the day well.

The registrars are always friendly and helpful making everything run smoothly and a ensure a happy atmosphere on the day. The choice of rooms means you can select the most suitable for the number of guests attending on the day – The Brydon Room which seats up to 38 guests, The Rosetti Room has a maximum capactiy of 12 guests, The Harrington room seats up to 8 guests and there is also the Small Hall, Cadogan Suite for larger ceremonies.

To see more of my wedding photography at the Register Office please visit the venues page here – Chelsea Register Office Photography by Douglas Fry

Wedding photographer - couple signing register in Chelsea Register office

2) The Steps of Chelsea Town Hall

The Town Hall on King’s Road provides one of the best locations in London for confetti shots. The couple and family can congregate on this flight of steps, normally with many passers by hooting their horns and cheering on the happy couple. The steps are a great advantage too when it comes to family photography, small or large groups can be arranged on the steps with everyone visible.

The Steps of Chelsea Town Hall - couple photographed with confetti

3) Chelsea Wedding Photographer – Chelsea Streets & King’s Road

A great opportunity after the main wedding service or ceremony in Chelsea is to take a stroll through the pretty nearby streets. The coloured houses and winding lanes provide a fantastic backdrop for the photographer to capture romantic photgraphs of the two together. A ten minute walk will see a couple round an easy loop back to the Register offices with an attractive selection of couple portraits, ready then to move on to the reception venue.

Chelsea streets couple photographed after wedding

4) Chelsea Old Church

If the couple decide on a church service then there are numerous local churches, but the one  I have photographed at most often is Chelsea Old Church.

The church was bombed in 1941 during the second world war so the exterior was attractively restored. The interior claims one of the best collections of church monuments outside Westminster Abbey and provides a stunning backdrop for the wedding photography. During the service the vicar allows the wedding photographer up onto the balcony (I go up the steps during the hymns to minimise any noise) to provide photography of the congregation and couple from above, which is a rare opportunity in any church.

More photography at Chelsea Old Church by Douglas Fry can be seen here – Wedding Photography Chelsea Old Church

couple in aisle at Chelsea Old Church

5) Chelsea Embankment

From Chelsea Old Church the Embankment is so nearby and ideal for a few romantic shots once the wedding service has finished and guests are organising themselves ready to travel onto the reception. A quick dash across the road is required but then there is a backdrop of an avenue of trees and of course the view of the river, several bridges and Chelsea town houses for the couple portraits.

Photograph of couple on Chelsea embankment

6) St Luke’s Church in Chelsea

St Luke’s Church in Sydney Street is a beautiful and well known landmark in Chelsea. It is large enough for a bigger wedding and again is within a stones throw of the local Chelsesa streets. It has the advantage of a large pedestrian area in front, so guests can gather before the ceremony, and of course afterwards for the family photographs and to wave off the couple in the wedding car.

St Luke's Church in Chelsea - Exterior photographed during wedding

7) Bluebird Chelsea

The Bluebird Chelsea is a modern and very popular restaurant with large private room upstairs or smaller room downstairs. The views over Kings Road and proximity to Chelsea Old Church and Chelsea Register Office are appealing.  The Bluebird also has a license if you are thinking of a ceremony there. It is very much a contemporary space, with a large dining area filled with eccentric decorations and dramatic foliage…The menu of course is wide ranging with excellent food.

To see some of the weddings I have covered at the Bluebird please visit the venues page here – Douglas Fry wedding photography Bluebird

Wedding Photograph taken of kiss at Bluebird Chelsea

8) The Royal Hospital / Chelsea Pensioners

Further on down the King’s Road the Royal Hospital on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea provides either an excellent reception venue or both the service in the Wren Chapel and reception. I have even photographed in Ranelagh Gardens next to The Royal Hospital. The colourful and famous inmates are very used to weddings here and can always be happily coerced into joining the guests for photographs. There is no shortage of locations here for family photography and wedding portraits of the couple alone.

To see a few a few more of Douglas’s photographs at The Royal Hopital please visit this page – Douglas Fry Royal Hospital wedding photography.

Chelsea Pensioners wedding photograph with horse and carriage in front of wren chapel

9) Chelsea Physic Garden

The Chelsea Physic Garden is a hidden gem, particularly for smaller weddings and is again a short walk down the King’s Road from Chelsea Register Office. It’s London’s oldest botanic garden with over 5000 different plants, some ornamental, and some medicinal. The service is usually held in a small marquee and so there is plenty of space for guests to mingle beforehand and enjoy the reception later, many take the opportunity to the explore the 4 acres before the wedding breakfast.

Wedding photographer chelsea physic garden

10) Local Hotels and Restaurants

Chelsea is extremely well provided with pubs for the ushers lunch before the wedding. Hotels for the bride to get ready in and many restaurants besides for smaller weddings.

Getting ready locally is essential really as London traffic especially on a Saturday can easily delay the ushers or bride travelling to a local church, and that can be an element of stress best done without. Ideally a pub nearby for the ushers to collect together and go over their duties and meet guests arriving early and a local hotel for the Bride and Bridesmaids to get dressed is ideal.
Bride getting ready at Chelsea Hotel
Wedding car in front of Chelsea old church

Chelsea Register Office, Kings Road Bluebird Restaurant, Kings Road, Chelsea Chelsea Old Church Chelsea Physic Gardens Royal Hospital, Chelsea

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Hi Sam, Thank you for sending through these links. We are absolutely delighted with Douglas' work, as well as with his professionalism, discretion and calmness on the day. Many of our guests commented on this too. From our point of view, he has absolutely nailed this and we will be hard pressed to select a 'winner'. Thanks again and best regards, Oliver
Hi Sam, Many thanks, the photos look great! We already received positive feedback on Douglas during the wedding, as people were impressed with his pleasant approach and working style. We now also have responses on the photos, which vary from 'wow', to 'great' and 'beautiful' and pretty much any superlative in between. Neither Anca nor me feels comfortable posing for photos, but we did not have the feeling at all that we were being photographed and feel extremely happy with the result. We have already started brainstorming what occasions we could hire Douglas for in the future! Best wishes, Arjan

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