Tower of London wedding photographers
Tower of London wedding photography
HM Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB Tel: 020 3166 6226
The Tower of London is a truly unique London wedding venue offering the lucky wedding photographer a rare opportunity to capture some memorable wedding pictures in a wonderfully famous historic Royal English setting.
The Tower Of London – a brief history
The Tower of London's history begins in the time of the Normans when William, Duke of Normandy defeated King Harold at The Battle of Hastings in 1066. Work on a permanent fortress stronghold began in the 1070s and the building of the immense White Tower, which dominated the skyline for many miles and proclaimed the rule of William the Conqueror was completed by 1100 and was to give the castle the name of the Tower of London.
Over subsequent centuries The Tower has played a significant role in the history of England. Henry Vlll expanded the Royal residential buildings especially for his wife Anne Boleyn 's coronation in 1533 but after that it's use declined. Its use as a prison during this period however grew dramatically as religious and political enemies were increasingly incarcerated there and during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) the Tower was literally crammed to bursting point with prisoners. Yet over the centuries only 22 executions have taken place there, the last to be beheaded was Lord Lovat in 1747 and the last ever was Josef Jakobs, a German spy who was shot by firing squad in 1941.
In 1649 after the execution of King Charles l, the Crown Jewels on orders from Oliver Cromwell were broken up and melted down. With the restoration of the monarch in 1660 the use of The Tower as a national prison declined and it changed its role to that of providing military supplies and equipment and so became the Office of Ordinance along with holding the new Crown Jewels.
In 1845 The Duke of Wellington had the foul smelling moat drained and converted into the dry ditch it is today and after the destruction by fire of the Grand Storehouse he also started work on creating a new barracks to accommodate up to 1000 men. The 19th Century was to see many of the Tower's institutions leave such as The Royal Mint in 1812, the animal menagerie in the 1835 and which was to become the basis of London Zoo in Regent's Park (spot the lion, monkey and elephant figures around The Tower grounds today), the Office of Ordinance in 1885 and the Record Office in 1858. During this period Anthony Salvin an architect and leading figure in the Gothic Revival was employed to change the fortress to a more medieval style and subsequently transformed the Beauchamp Tower, the Salt Tower, the Chapel of St John in the White Tower and the Wakefield Tower.
Known officially as 'Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, The Tower of London' it is still officially a royal residence and there is a house inside called 'The Queen's House' available if she should wish to stay. Interestingly the Deputy Chancellor of Nazi Germany Rudolf Hess who was imprisoned there during World War ll stayed at The Queen's House though then it was called The King's House.
Wedding photography at the Tower Of London
With over 2.4 million visitors a year the Tower of London is England's most popular paid for visitor attraction so as a wedding photographer working there you have to be mindful that there will at any time be hundreds of paying visitors from around the world milling around. So the sight of a Bride being escorted across the grounds by Yeoman Warders will naturally gain a lot of attention as they try to get their own very special Tower of London wedding photographs.
The Yeoman Warders, also know as Beefeaters are selected from the Armed Forces after having completed 22 years of service live on site at the Tower and are an important part of the wedding day. They begin by ceremoniously escorting the Bride from her final preparations in the building of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers , across the cobbled courtyard past the manned sentry post outside the Jewel House (which houses the Crown Jewels) to the wedding ceremony in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincular. Naturally this makes for some wonderfully unique and colourful wedding pictures.
A chapel has stood in this position before the Norman invasion and was incorporated into the Tower during the reign of Henry lll and has been rebuilt twice, the last time in 1520 during the reign of Henry Vlll. It is used by the Tower's 150 community ( many of whom are residents) and amongst the many dignitaries buried there are three Queens of England, Anne Boleyn, Jane Grey and Catherine Howard. Unfortunately wedding photography is not permitted inside the Chapel though a picture taken from the open door is allowed.
After the wedding service, the newly-weds pass under the traditionally raised spears of two Yeoman, another classic wedding photograph opportunity before being escorted to wherever the group wedding photographs are to be staged and then back across the cobblestones to the reception at the New Armouries Banqueting Suite. Naturally the Bride and Groom must have a wedding picture posing with the Warders who as well as looking resplendent in their eye catching uniforms (the full state dress uniform of a Yeoman Warder with all it's gold thread costs over £7,000 each) are on great form throughout the day's proceedings (you should hear them in full flow when they are recounting the history of the Tower to the tourists) though you wouldn't want to mess with them.
Further Tower Of London wedding photographer opportunities
Further wedding photography opportunities are available on the South Wall where personal wedding pictures of the Bride and Groom come with historic and fascinating backdrops such as The White Tower, Tower Bridge and the The Shard.
Later during the evening's wedding proceedings, usually after the wedding breakfast all the guests are invited to watch the historic Ceremony of the Keys whereby at 9.53 pm the Chief Yeoman Warder sets off with an armed escort of the Queen's Guards to lock the gates to the Tower. This ceremony has taken place every day without fail for hundreds of years and is the oldest military ceremony in the world. Unfortunately for the wedding photographer, no pictures are allowed which is probably a good thing as you do get to soak up the unique atmosphere of the night's proceedings.
All in all being a wedding photographer at the Tower of London is a truly fascinating experience though with so many great and unique vistas there is never enough time in the day to capture all the wedding photography opportunities. We didn't see any ravens on the day, but we did see them a few weeks before as there are at least six there to prevent the Tower crumbling and great harm befalling the nation and we didn't get to see any of the Tower's seven ghosts though whether they would reproduce as digital images is a matter for conjecture.
Tower of London wedding photographer testimonials
Tracey and Rob, Wandsworth, London – Wedding photographers at The Tower of London
HM Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB Tel: 020 3166 6226
For more information and to check our availability for your wedding day at The Tower of London contact us today