Last Saturday I was at none other than The House of Parliament to photograph a wedding!

It’s one I’ve been looking forward to a long while and I could hardly believe it when I was there!

The happy couple were the lovely Abi & Simon, who threw a surprisingly relaxed day considering the grandiose surroundings!

I hope you enjoy this story of a very special day!

Clare & I joined the gang for their preps around Warwick Avenue, infamous thanks to Duffy’s teary vid.

I joined team bride at The Colonnade Hotel

…where the girls were in mid-makeup in the beautiful honeymoon suite

Simon had sent his wife-to-be a beautiful book of William Blake Poetry

As a rule, I dig on any bride that chooses shoes in a colour other than white.Loving the Union Jack coloured garter!

Once the chaps were ready, they headed across town on the London Underground!…to this looker of a wedding venue!

Such an iconic building, so steeped in history. I could study it’s detail for days.Not everyone can get married in the Houses of Parliament. To do so, one (lets use the Queen’s English eh?) must know/be affiliated with an Member of Parliament, and then if they attend/give permission, one is allowed to use the Member’s rooms.  Because Simon works as a Lobbyist with a Member of Parliament, who attended, they were able to host their ceremony in the Member’s Dining Room, their reception on the terrace overlooking the Thames and their wedding meal in the Churchill Suite.

Happy days!

Meanwhile back with the girls ‘Executive Bridesmaid’ Shef helped Abi into her patriotic garter!

Team Bride assembled!

I only noticed after they were all ready that the wedding colour scheme was The Union Jack!

One proud father…
…with choice ‘I loved her first’ cufflinks!

After an airport-style security screening, members of the public enter the Houses of Parliament into the Hogwarts style ‘Westminster Hall’; a vast hall that’s seen numerous royal banquets, the trying of Captain Braveheart, William Wallace, and a dead Oliver Cromwell (who struggled to defend himself, was found guilty & killed again), as well as the spot in which public figures are laid in state for the public to pay their respects to (such as the the Queen Mother & Winston Churchill).  Apparently Henry the VIII used to enjoy a spot of tennis in here back along, and one restoration found his balls in the rafters, so to speak.  A grand, historical place indeed.

I posted a few pics from our pre-wedding tour in Abi & Simon’s blog post here if you’d like to read more about the rooms.

Anyhoos – it was great to follow the girls up the grand stairs…Through the outstanding Lobby (the place in which ‘Lobbyists’ harrang MP’s on their way into the Houses of Commons/Lords) and into the wedding

(The wedding certificate was given to the most responsible member of the duo)And back out as man & wife!There are huge restrictions on where you can photograph around the Houses of Parliament, but fortunately we’d been granted permission to shoot in the Lower Waiting Hall outside the Members Dining Room.  It arguably the best waiting room I’ve ever been in.  Beats the one at my dentists anyways.

I digress.

But it was the perfect spot to whistle through the family groups…

…and have a bit of fun with the wedding party!Then we used the area around the Lower Waiting Hall for a few flash-lit portraits

The pre-wedding shoot we’d done in December really helped these guys to loosen up and relax together in the portraits. 

The background helped too eh!?

AwwAfterwards, we headed down for a few quick portraits on the terrace, with a view over the Thames

Abi & Simon then joined their guests for a few glasses of fiz and a mingle

Simon decided to do his speech during the reception

One proud wife!

During the mingling it was great to catch up with Jane & Jonathan, whose wedding we’d also photographed in London last September (blog here).

The wedding meal took place in the grand Churchill SuiteAfterwards, as dusk fell over Big Ben, guests were invited to take an official tour of the houses of Parliament!

While I put together their on-the-day slideshow, Clare joined the tour and said it was fascinating to be allowed inside the House of Lords (no sitting allowed in there for plebs!), and to hear the backstory around the Lobby, Commons & Westminster Hall.  We thought it was a brilliant touch to get a little history lesson at a wedding!

Then the gang headed out into the drizzle to board a vintage London bus (both of which feature in all the best London weddings)

Ding ding. All aboard!Then we headed back across London to the Colonnades hotel to continue the party

Deciding against having an official first dance, we headed on after the happy couple cut the cake.

Fun times all round eh?  I do indeed love my job, and the places in which it takes me!

Thank you Abi & Simon for inviting us along to join your wonderful London wedding!  Here’s wishing you a long and lovely life together and a happy honeymoon!

x Barns & Clare x

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