Fulham Palace: a beautiful medieval wedding venue in London

In the many years that I’ve been a Fulham Palace wedding photographer it’s become one of my favourite SW London venues both for the beautiful architecture and gardens, and the super-friendly staff. I typically shoot a wedding there a few times a year and it’s always a joy to be back.

From a wedding photographer’s perspective Fulham Palace offers so many wonderful opportunities to make my favourite kinds of photos – candid reportage-style images in photogenic surroundings, and some beautiful creative portraits too, with no ‘posing’ required. And I’ve got plenty of favourite spots for photos in and around the Palace grounds, from the walled botanic garden to the bankside walk along the River Thames.

30 of my favourite Fulham Palace wedding day photos

Here’s a selection of my favourite photos from just some of the weddings I’ve photographed at Fulham Palace over the years. I hope you’ll get a feeling for how much love and joy I capture at every wedding! And at the end I’ve included one of my 30-second preview videos I sometimes send to couples while they’re waiting for their full gallery to be edited – this one is from Emily & David’s wedding ceremony at Fulham Palace, with drinks and dinner at City Social in London.

If these are the kind of wedding photographs you’re looking for then I’d love to find out more about your plans. Just get in touch and we’ll have a chat soon.

 

Your whole wedding day at Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace works perfectly as either an all-in-one location for your whole wedding day, or just for your reception celebrations. I’ve seen ceremonies in the Great Hall and the cosier drawing rooms, but the Chapel is also available. All of them are perfect for a medium-size guest list and then you can invite more people to join afterwards.

In good weather the gorgeous archway entry into Fulham Palace’s courtyard makes for an impressive grand entrance as a married couple, perhaps in a classic wedding limo or even being piped in by bagpipes. Or you could have your confetti moment at the main door to the palace itself.

After some group shots and portraits around the Palace grounds, the Courtyard itself has plenty of space for your guests to spread out (and if it’s raining then either the Great Hall or the marquee have got you covered, literally). I’ve seen the Courtyard play host to all kinds of wedding entertainment, from a harpist to string quartets to a roving brass band on stilts, as well as food suppliers ranging from oyster shuckers to popcorn and ice cream stands. And of course the Bovingdons team can keep everyone fed and watered with canapés and champagne.

For your wedding breakfast there’s a huge solid-walled marquee around the side of the Palace, a blank slate for you to style however you like in your wedding themes and colours. Or for medium-sized guest lists there’s the high-ceilinged Great Hall, which definitely gives your wedding breakfast that medieval banquet feel.

Then in the evening when it’s time to really kick back and party, the rear cafe rooms can accommodate a band and dance floor, with a pair of separate rooms for the bar, and a cheese table, and plenty of lawn space to spill out onto at the back.

 

 

There’s so many photo opportunities at Fulham Palace!

The very fact there’s a medieval bishop’s palace right in the heart of SW London makes it such a novel wedding venue anyway, but as a photographer the opportunities it offers to create striking images put it high on my list of favourite venues.

My top photo spot at Fulham Palace? Easy: their 3.5 acre botanic garden at the back of the Palace. It’s by far my favourite place on the grounds to create stylish, artistic portraits of you after your ceremony. And no, you really don’t need to be posers, I love my wedding portraits to feel as natural as possible!

After ducking through the decorative brick archway the walled garden feels like a tranquil urban oasis where you can wander hand-in-hand through winding paths amongst the flowerbeds, knotted garden and apple orchard, while I get my lens low in amongst the foliage and steal candid-feeling shots of you having a snuggle and enjoying those first few moments of married life together.

Two long paths cross in the centre of the garden, each lined with trees or arching foliage, the perfect spot for a creative wide shot framing the natural symmetry of the scene with you framed artistically in the lower centre of the frame – it’s a photograph that’s as much about the gorgeous location as it is about you, and these sorts of portraits are perfect for couples for don’t feel like natural posers. I’m certainly not a natural poser myself so I can completely relate.

In the SW corner of the gardens is a huge holm oak tree, believed to be over 500 years old and known as one the Great Trees Of London. It’s rightly roped off for its protection, but that area is surrounded by trees and when the sunlight is just right, filtering through the canopy of foliage, this part of Fulham Palace can make for some magical photographs with a forest-glade feel.

And if you’d like some photographs that capture both the Palace architecture and the natural beauty of the gardens there’s a lovely spot between the chapel and the main Palace building where we can make use of the climbing wisteria, the low-hanging canopies of nearby trees, and the ancient red brick of the chapel walls.

 

 

A church ceremony in Fulham and Putney

If you want a church wedding ceremony with the reception at Fulham Palace there’s plenty of churches in the surrounding areas of Fulham and Putney.

The closest is All Saints Church, Fulham, next to Fulham Palace and Bishops Park. It’s an historic Grade II listed building on the banks of the Thames and right by the northern approach to Putney Bridge, protected from traffic and pedestrians by it’s own walled gardens. Classic movie fans might remember it from the 1976 movie ‘The Omen’! For great photographs after your ceremony I love the narrow tree-lined path from the main entrance through the church gardens, and then it’s a short scenic stroll along the River Thames embankment path to Fulham Palace.

Staying this side of the Thames, about five minutes drive away you’ll find Holy Cross Church in Parson’s Green. Tucked away on the corner of a residential side-street, the simple brick exterior belies the beauty inside, with high white walls, rich wooden pews, tall clear church windows to let glorious daylight stream in (a wedding photographer’s favourite kind of light) and a stunning wooden-beamed arched ceiling overlooking your ceremony.

On the opposite side of Putney Bridge is St Mary’s Church, Putney. I’ve actually not yet had the pleasure of photographing a wedding ceremony here, so maybe you’ll be my first? But I lived in Putney for several years and can tell you the church has a slightly more modern feel inside than its more traditional sister across the Thames, with your ceremony taking place in a more ‘in-the-round’ setting. Fulham Palace is a gentle 15-20 minutes walk over Putney Bridge and along the Thames embankment walkway. Or just hop in a car and be there in five minutes.

Finally, a touch further away, but only 10-15 minutes by car, is All Saints Church, Putney on the boundary of Putney Common. One of only two churches in Putney (the other being St Mary’s), you’ll enjoy a traditional church wedding decorated with striking artistic stained glass windows on every aspect. Being set back from Lower Richmond Road across Putney Common it’s peaceful and has plenty of space for a couple of waiting private-hire London Buses to carry your guests over to Fulham Palace.

 

 

What’s the best time of year to get married at Fulham Palace?

Fulham Palace is one of those very special venues that can accommodate a wedding at any time of year and make it feel special, so there’s not really any time of year to avoid having your Fulham Palace wedding.

That said, if you want to make the most of their beautiful outdoor settings like the courtyard, rear lawns, and walled garden, you’ll want to book a wedding date between spring and autumn. Weather in the UK varies wildly in spring but you usually can’t go too wrong with a date from May to September – sometimes it can be surprisingly cold and windy even in April!

I’m no meteorologist, but I do have a very handy app on my phone called Sunseeker, and that lets me work out exactly where the sun is going to be at any time of day, any day of the year. It’s incredibly useful for making sure you’re not drenched in strong overhead sunlight when we’re doing your group shots and couple portraits after the wedding ceremony.

For example, you might have your eye on the main entrance in the courtyard for your group shots, but on a sunny day by the afternoon that part of the courtyard is never sheltered from the sun and there’ll be strong shadows across your faces. So It’s actually better to move into the shade on one side of the courtyard.

Alternatively, there’s a gorgeous wall around the side of the Palace that’s covered in a beautiful green creeper plant (wisteria, I think!) but until the sun goes down a little behind the trees you’ll have the sun right in your eyes so your wedding party will all be squinting at me!

So in the summer don’t worry about where the sun will be for your portraits, I’ve got that covered for you – all part of my wedding photography service.

If you’re going for a Fulham Palace wedding in autumn or winter, we may not have quite as much luck with the weather, and you’ll probably be indoors for most of the post-ceremony cocktail hour, and the reception that evening. But depending on your timings so long as it’s not snowing or blowing a gale it’s still possible to make some gorgeous portraits outside in natural light.

Recommended Fulham Palace wedding suppliers

Here’s some links for the venue (in case you haven’t already found it!) plus some of my favourite suppliers who I’ve worked alongside on Fulham Palace weddings over the years, from bridal hair & makeup artists, to florists, to entertainers.

Fulham Palace Weddings | fulhampalacevenue.co.uk/wed • Bovingdons (planning & catering) | bovingdons.co.uk • Mary Jane Vaughn (florist) | maryjanevaughan.co.uk • Albert + Arthur (florist) | albertandarthur.com • Mystique Flowers (florist) | mystiqueflowers.co.uk • Kristina Gasperas (hair & makeup) | kristinagasperas.com • Carla Francesca (makeup) | Instagram • Blush + Blow (hair & makeup) | blushandblowlondon.com • The Dominos (band) | thedominos.co.uk • Daniel Mills (pianist) | http://www.danielmills.co.uk • Chelsea Fine Stationery | chelseafinestationery.com • EffectEvent (event design) | effect event.co.uk • All Saints Church Fulham | allsaints-fulham.org.uk • Holy Cross Church Parsons Green | holycrosschurchparsonsgreen.org.uk • St Mary’s Church Putney | stmarys.parishofputney.comAll Saints Church Putney | allsaints.parishofputney.com