The Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel

Ceremony venue: tick…

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All images courtesy of the Town Hall Hotel.

Here’s what no-one tells you about wedding planning: every decision is dependent on another decision. Which means there are no half measures – you’re either planning the whole shebang or you’re getting nowhere fast.

Fortunately, for me, one major decision that required next to no thought was the venue for our wedding ceremony.

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Jamie and I have lived pretty much in the shadow of the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel for the past five years and it’s one of our favourite places in London.

We both feel ridiculously fortunate to have it on our doorstep – for Friday night cocktails with friends, or a quiet brunch in the Corner Room, or the occasional spoiling night away from home and use of the pool – and I have lost count of the number of times I have caught myself daydreaming about posing for my wedding pictures on its grand central staircase. (And that was before we got engaged.)

The original building dates from 1910 and was updated in the 30s, but it languished as an unloved block of offices until a huge private restoration a few years ago saw its original Edwardian and Art Deco features restored and set in the context of modern design flourishes.

Every room is licensed for ceremonies so a wedding can be perfectly tailored to requirements but for me, there was only one option: the Council Chamber (pictured above).

We’ll be married at the front, with our family and friends watching from the grand walnut and leather council seats that line room, as locals have done since the 20s.

The hotel also offers afternoon teas and beautiful-looking receptions, but I’ll be hitching up my train and walking the party to somewhere rather more raucous afterwards – more on which later.

In the meantime, I must check in with my florist to see how much a carpet of blooms like this would set me back…

Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9NF; 020 7871 0460;

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