Lothian Chambers Registrars Office is probably our favourite civil wedding venue in Edinburgh. This grand old building is located at West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
**Note** Following the leasing of the Lothian Chambers to the French Consulate in 2017, Registration Services moved to 253 High Street (part of the City Chambers). You can read about the replacement wedding venue here. The information about Lothian Chambers will be updated when the new French Consulate building is ready to welcome wedding guests in future.
We’ve photographed and filmed many weddings at Lothian Chambers and always enjoy being there. Read on for useful information about weddings at Lothian Chambers and contact us as we’d love to photograph or film your wedding day.
Constructed in 1904, Lothian Chambers was designed by architect James McIntyre Henry. Featuring three different suites for weddings, you’ll find a room size suitable for most weddings. I’ve photographed weddings at Lothian Chambers with just five people present – the Bride and Groom, the Registrar, a witness and me photographing/being the second witness. I’ve also photographed weddings at Lothian Chambers with almost 100 guests present – there is something to cater for all requirements.
When guests arrive at Lothian Chambers, they usually wait on the gathering space in the lower part of the building. This modern addition to Lothian Chambers is contemporary in style and a great place to photograph the wedding party and guests if the weather isn’t favourable.
From the gathering space, guests make their way up Lothian Chambers’ impressive red-carpeted staircase (there’s also a lift available for easier access for the infirm, less able or parents with pushchairs).
The City Of Edinburgh Suite
The largest of the rooms available at Lothian Chambers Registrars Office, The City Of Edinburgh Suite can accommodate up to 110 guests in addition to the couple and their witnesses. Originally the main Council Chamber, this impressive room features dark wood panelling topped with beautifully carved mouldings, contrasting with the lighter coloured wooden floor. Light streams in from three large arched windows overlooking Parliament Square and St Giles’ Cathedral. In addition to the natural light (a Lothian Chambers wedding photographer’s dream!), there are three ornate chandeliers which hang from the vaulted ceiling.
After the wedding ceremony, the newly-weds sign their marriage schedule at a decorative desk located at the front of the room – always a great photo opportunity for everyone!
The Melbourne Suite
The Melbourne Suite consists of 2 adjoining rooms which can be used together or separately. Overlooking Melbourne Place on George IV Bridge, The Melbourne Suite can accommodate up to 40 guests plus the couple and their witnesses. There is beautiful wood doors and window surrounds as well as a marble fireplace. Located at the rear of the suite is the signing table.
The McIntyre Suite
The McIntyre Suite is the smallest of the three suites available for weddings at Lothian Chambers. Up to 24 guests, in addition to the couple and their witnesses, can be accommodated in The McIntyre Suite. As with the Melbourne Suite, there are beautiful wood doors and window surrounds as well as a marble fireplace. Located at the front of the Suite is the signing table.
The Melbourne Suite and The McIntyre Suite share a small anteroom which can be used by the couple and their witnesses before entering either suite.
After your wedding at Lothian Chambers Registrars Office, it’s usually time to take photos of the guests and newly-weds. Over time I’ve found that the following timeline works well:
- A few minutes shooting photos of the newly-weds on the marble-pillared first-floor landing and red-carpeted staircase – family and guests wait in the suite or downstairs in the gathering space.
- 20 – 30 minutes photographing the newly-weds with family and friends. Outside in Parliament Square using The Signet Library or St Giles’ Cathedral as a backdrop (weather dependent!). Alternatively, smaller groups may be photographed indoors in the gathering space.
- 30 minutes with the newly-weds shooting a range of natural and contemporary photos. Parliament Square, the steps at the side and rear of St Giles’ Cathedral, the beautiful arches at the back of the High Court, and, of course, the Royal Mile and Old Town followed by departure to your reception venue.
Lothian Chambers Registrars Office Wedding Photos
A few photos from our Lothian Chambers Registrars Office weddings: