As a preferred supplier at the Manchester Town Hall, photographing weddings here is a regular occurrence for Shane Webber Photography. Being the recommended photographer is a real honour. In the heart of Albert Square, the Town Hall is a classic photo backdrop of Manchester. Impressive detailing and grand pillars make Manchester Town Hall wedding photography extra special. It must feel amazing getting married here! Owned by the council, the staff here are fantastic and work tirelessly on behalf of so many brides and grooms. Hosting weddings every weekend and on numerous weekdays too, the Town Hall is a hotspot for marriages and keeps the Manchester based wedding photographers busy!
Manchester’s most iconic building
Manchester Town Hall is without a doubt one of the most impressive and iconic wedding venues in the city. With so much history, the building is one of the most prestigious in Manchester’s city centre. This huge building is located in the centre of Albert Square which is a hub for business and councillors. Albert Square hosts Manchester’s famous Christmas markets along with several other festivals throughout the year. Also, a spectacular firework display is put on here for New Years Eve.
This Grade One listed building features stunning Neo-Gothic architecture. It has quickly become not only the home of Manchester’s councillors but also a destination for tourists, conferences, weddings and civil partnerships. The building has also graced the silver screen and can be seen in films such as The Iron Lady and Sherlock Holmes.
Wedding Photography at the Town Hall
Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to photograph several weddings here at the Manchester Town Hall. The Town Hall is perfect for couples who want to enjoy the splendour of a traditional wedding right in the heart of the city. Engaged couples can really get the best of both worlds. Inside the Manchester Town hall is perfect for beautiful traditional photography, whilst outside photographers can explore the city and create some fantastic alternative images for the bride and groom. These two dimensions allow couples who are torn between a traditional and contemporary wedding to achieve both aesthetics.
A common request from brides is to incorporate the stained glass windows into the pictures. At approximately 30 foot high, these windows are definitely a photo feature. Then if you look up, you will notice the absolutely incredibly ceilings of the Manchester Town Hall. Hand painted with precision, the detailing is just remarkable and again this makes for some great images.
The first time I photographed a wedding here was a one-off opportunity as the groom was actually a councillor. As he worked at the Manchester Town Hall and knew the staff here, we were able to take photographs in various locations that are usually off limits. Being able to take photos in rooms where no other photographers have been was a lucky strike. This made for some truly unique Manchester Town Hall wedding photos.
Another fantastic picture opportunity at the Town Hall is to incorporate the tiled flooring which features the Manchester bee logo. Everybody loves the Manchester bee logo and what better excuse to have a picture than on your wedding day.
Finally, outside of the Manchester Town Hall you can really get creative. During the day the city centre is pretty busy, especially on Saturdays, but if the newly weds are up for it then you can really get some great pictures here. Street photography is all about combining people with an interesting composition. Rarely do you get the chance to combine street photography with weddings, so this is highly recommend if the couple are adventurous.
A selection of weddings that I have photographed at Manchester Town Hall:
Joanne and Matthew’s ceremony at the Town Hall with an alternative reception in Manchester
Allie & Joe’s Iranian Wedding at the Manchester Town Hall
Allie and Joe’s wedding was a fusion of a traditional Iranian and British wedding. One of the things I love about my job is that I get the opportunity to experience and be a part of different cultures and traditions that I normally would have the chance to. To shoot an Iranian wedding was fantastic for me as I hadn’t shot or attended one before.
I loved the traditional Iranian touches, a beautiful floor display was set up with a mirror, candelabras as well as special herbs and spices nestled on a bed of luxurious fabric. During the ceremony Allie and Joe were seated on a cushioned bench whilst the bridesmaids covered their heads with a white veil. It is a joy to see couples celebrate and share their traditions and customs on their special day.
See the full gallery of photos from this Iranian wedding.
Joanne & Matthew’s vintage Manchester city centre wedding
The big day is a fantastic opportunity for couples to show their personalities and create a day that is truly unique to them. This is at it’s most exciting for photography when couples opt for an alternative wedding.
Joanne and Mathew showed their style and creativity in their wedding photos with bold colour and urban flair. Their wedding was in Manchester city centre which offered exciting and alternative backdrops for their photos. There is something really pleasing in the juxtaposition of smart wedding attire and cool city landscapes. We got some great photos against brightly coloured walls, creative wall murals and gloomy Northern cityscapes.
Their reception was no less exciting, they really broke the mould with their entertainment choices! Guests were greeted with a vast array of exotic animals to marvel over. I must admit, I wasn’t too keen on getting up close and personal with the massive boa constrictor! They get maximum points for originality, I haven’t seen anyone have bright green tropical frogs as wedding guests before!
Last but not least, as their final move against tradition the couple opted for a fantastic five tier cheese cake. When I say ‘cheese cake’ I mean five wheels of glorious cheese, served with crackers and array of chutney of course. Having a penchant for cheese myself I very much approve!
See the full gallery of vintage wedding photos.
Manchester Town Hall ceremonies
Wedding ceremonies are always a great time for pictures! As the bride walks down the aisle there is so much attention. On the whole my wedding photography style is very bright and happy, but everybody loves a picture of a crying groom. So much work goes into planning every aspect of a wedding day and then as the bride walks down the aisle this is when it all gets real.
I’m always waiting for the perfect moment during a ceremony. By shooting in a discreet and unobtrusive style, couples can forget that you are there during the marriage and this is a great opportunity for emotional photographs. I always keep an eye out for immediate family and loved ones too. As a wedding photographer you need to be aware of everything that is going on around you. By combining multiple elements within one frame you can tell a story better. Some of my favourite photographs capture the reactions of parents as the rings are being exchanged.
Group pictures at the front entrance
Straight after wedding ceremonies at the Manchester Town Hall is a perfect opportunity to get the group photographs done and out of the way. Guests don’t like to stand around for too long so I like to get these pictures done as quickly as possible.
Outside of the Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square is the perfect place for family photos. The huge arch doorway is an impressive backdrop. First of all I start by capturing a confetti photo. Newly weds can exit the doorway, down the steps, then make their way into the square whilst guests throw confetti. When all of the guests are together, it’s so easy to get a group picture for the bride and groom. Then as guests wait to one side, the all important family portraits can be done within 15 minutes (if the groomsmen help that is).
Bride and groom photos inside of the Manchester Town Hall
Some weddings are held at the Manchester Town Hall all day, whilst others head off to a reception venue. With so many amazing hotels and unique venues nearby, brides can split the day into two parts and chose a smaller reception location. When this is the case, it’s best to head back into the town hall with the bride and groom as soon as possible for more pictures. Heading up the stone staircase, newly-wed couples can hold hands and walk whilst photographs take natural pictures. Also, the large stain glass windows made a great background and with clever camera techniques you can get some creative silhouettes.
If the reception is to be held at the Manchester Town Hall then guests will be served canapés and champagne in the adjacent room. Whilst guests enjoy their drinks, it works really well to take the bride and groom off for some photos for 15-30 minutes. Again, walking down the stairs will make an excellent picture; especially if photographed from above. While the bride and groom are still on the stairs, photographers can head to the ground floor and take a picture looking upwards. This gives two alternative angles of view – one from above and once from below. The magnificent ceilings are a must for Manchester Town Hall wedding photography. Chandeliers light up the roof whilst off-camera flash can be used to illuminate the couple.
Quirky pictures around the city
Adventurous married couples may also wish to head into Manchester town centre for some photographs. Cobbles streets around Albert Square really incorporate a northern feel into the pictures – that’s if a bride can walk on the cobbles in heels! Alternatively, turning left and walking up by the post office provides plenty of other opportunities. Long archways make an excellent frame if the married couple walk hand in hand. I have taken pictures here many times before.
For couples that want something even more daring or unique, Manchester’s Northern Quarter is just a short drive away. Here you can find graffiti, coloured walls and some interesting characters! Again, it’s rare that you get to combine inspiration from street photography into weddings so this is a major advantage of getting married at the Town Hall.