Brunswick House Wedding Photography
23rd november // LAMBETH
Mark & Jonathan
If you have an unconventional wedding venue in mind, 18th Century Brunswick House is a romantic and charming throwback to forgotten London. Like a Russian doll, Mark & Jonathan’s intimate wedding day revealed surprise after surprise for their wedding guests.
I’m based near Kings Cross so if you’re looking for a photographer at Brunswick House, there’ll be no additional travel fees. You may also like to arrange to meet me and look over my reportage photography portfolio in their cafe.
Poetry & Photography By Candlelight at the Asylum Chapel
After greeting their wedding guests at the Grove pub in Balham, Mark & Jonathan conducted their atmospheric candle lit gay wedding at The Asylum Chapel in Peckham. Wedding guests were using their phones to illuminate the orders of service, readings and poems.
With no artificial lighting during the marriage, this tested my low light lenses and cutting edge cameras to their limits! A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of shooting wedding photographs at 12800 iso but with the latest Sony full frame BSI-CMOS sensor, the grain and noise suppression is extraordinarily effective. Combine this with fast f1.4 prime lenses and image stabilisation that nails tack sharp pictures even when hand held at 1/8th of a second. The resulting photos are brighter than the human eye can see while preserving the spirit and flavour of the Asylum Chapel. Capturing this unique ambience would have been impossible using distracting flash. Being able to capture the atmosphere and character using available light is one of the things I enjoy most about my photography.
A Good Old Fashion Knees Up At Brunswick House
After the ceremony, the guests were spirited away to the wedding reception in a London Routemaster Party Bus, retro fitted with disco lighting! We arrived for drinks and delicious canapés. The guests spread throughout the different rooms, each a shrine to grand Victoriana and stylish antiques. I was very tempted by an art deco floor lamp but the whole venue was committed to Mark & Jonathan’s wedding for the day so the antique shop was closed. Probably for the best!
The sun had set even before Mark & Jonathan’s wedding ceremony and by the time we arrived at Brunswick House it was properly dark. I’m a documentary photographer but love the chance to get some relaxed portraits of the newlyweds away from the bustle of the wedding reception. Brunswick House looks somewhat incongruous, a grand 18th century house encircled by cast iron railings and gardens situated within Vauxhall roundabout in the heart of the city. Had there been some daylight left, I’d have suggested a little 15-20 minute portrait photography walk. There’s Vauxhall Park or the open spaces behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern where my dance class do their sports day – I know the surrounding area well! As it happened we stole five minutes for posed photography as the guests found their seats for the meal. We snapped some night portrait photos on the steep steps to the imposing front door.
Guests spread throughout the raised ground floor for the reception. The intimate room sizes and exquisite furniture makes you feel very much at home. Plenty of quiet space for guests to chat while the kids dance to the wedding band in the next door rooms. Food is served upstairs. The adjoining rooms make for a very inviting dining room, perfect for speeches in the round. The staff were friendly and the comfort catering was excellent. Home-made banana pudding fit for discerning foodies! Jackson Boxer (Orasay, Notting Hill) and Frank Boxer (Frank’s Café, Peckham) own the hospitality side of the business. They’ll be glad to work with you to plan your event. There’s also a cool speak easy style basement meaning dancing can continue until 1am without disturbing the neighbours. Because of the room zoning, this really is a very versatile space for weddings and events. The traditional lighting is excellent for photography and the bulbs don’t strobe or mess with the colour. These days, it’s all too common to have to shoot around extreme wall lighting to avoid silhouetting people in the photographs. Beautiful Chandeliers are an atmospheric yet photogenic way to light with the glow spreading from the centre of the room out.
About Brunswick House
Located next to Vauxhall underground station in south west London, Brunswick House makes for a most unexpected inner city wedding venue.
The original 17th century Belmont house was extended in 1758 by the Dawson family. It was a mansion house with facilities for coaches and stables. The original site measured three acres and a lease for a timber dock on the river Thames. A private jetty originally serviced the house from its back garden but the Thames was embanked over time.
A fire in January of 1860 gutted the east part. The house which had been divided in two in 1811 and the fire saw the London and South West Railway Company take ownership of the complete property. The land was used for goods and the building was repaired and re-united as an office for railway staff. The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was consigned to the scrap heap of history as the industrial revolution took centre stage. The house remained under railway ownership until 2002 when it became a squat. Vandals destroyed much of the historical records within the house. A major restoration has since seen the house returned to its former glory.
The site is now the Brunswick House cafe and London Architectural Salvage and Supply Company antiques showrooms. ‘LASSCO’ has been instrumental in the sensitive and admirable restoration using its enviable access to antiques and historical reclamation supplies. The Vauxhall and Nine Elms area has seen a massive redevelopment from its Brutalist and industrial history. Vauxhall station is a major transport hub and there are many residences, bars and nightclubs nearby. The US Embassy has set up at 33 Nine Elms since 2017 enveloping the mansion house as a rare historical hold out in the new ‘Embassy Quarter’. The regeneration of Battersea Power Station continues to transform the area but I daresay Brunswick House will outlast them all.
Huge congratulations to Mark & Jonathan on their wedding at Brunswick House. Wishing you both all the happiness for the future.