• Andrew Charles

Getting Married at Dudley Register Office

Photos by Andrew Charles Photography

Have you booked your wedding at Dudley register office?

Maybe you are thinking of booking your wedding in Dudley and are searching for the ideal venue?

As Priory Hall is located less than a mile from my home and I have photographed many ceremonies at the venue, I thought it would be helpful to provide an insight into the register office and share my thoughts on why Priory Hall is an excellent wedding venue and might be the ideal choice for your special day!

Where is Dudley Register Office?

Dudley register office is located at Priory Hall, which stands in the center of the beautiful Priory Park and 12th Century St James Priory ruins.

Address: Priory Hall, Priory Park, Dudley DY1 4EU

What are the facilities like?

  • The office offers two ceremony venues, The Priory Suite or The Castle Suite as well as the statutory register office.

  • There is a side entrance for wheelchair access and toilet facilities for people with disabilities.

  • Ceremonies are performed every day from 10:00 to 16:00 for most of the year. In winter appointment times will vary according to daylight hours.

Priory Hall is situated in the grounds of Priory Park. There is no charge for parking at the Hall, in addition there is on-street parking available and nearby pay and display car parks.

The Priory Suite

Photos by Andrew Charles Photography

Whilst I have had the privilege of photographing lots of weddings at Dudley register office, I have only ever attended ceremonies within The Priory Suite. This being a high quality approved premise that can accommodate up to 68 guests. The suite retains the original, hand carved, full oak panelling, windows and stone fireplaces. It is furnished to a very high standard of décor.

There is some car parking available for guests and wedding cars are able to stop outside the entrance creating some fantastic photo opportunities. (Disabled parking is also available).

The Priory Suite is a hugely popular venue, summer Saturday prime time slots often get booked up to two years in advance!

The History of Priory Hall & Ruins

The original priory was founded in 1160 by Gervase Paganel, in memory of his father. It was established as a dependency of the Cluniac Priory of Much Wenlock and was dedicated to Saint James. The priory was built from local limestone, quarried from Wren's Nest. The first known prior, mentioned in Gervase Paganell's charter, was named Osbert. In 1238, the bishop of Worcester and the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield came to an agreement as to the bounds of their respective dioceses whereby it was decreed that the town of Dudley, with its churches and appurtenances, should belong to Worcester, while the castle and priory should remain under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. The priory was dissolved in 1395, but refunded as a denizen priory soon after.

The priory was enlarged after being founded. A surviving piece of one of these enlargements is an archway to the Lady chapel area of the Priory, built in the 14th century, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is believed that the Lady chapel was constructed by the Sutton family.

The priory was closed by King Henry VIII in the 1530s as part of the nationwide Dissolution of the Monasteries. Following the dissolution, the priory was granted to Sir John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland in 1540. Following his execution, the buildings fell into disrepair and became ruinous. In the 18th century, part of the ruins of the church had been used by a tanner, a thread manufacturer, and for grinding glass and polishing steel. The surrounding area became industrialised. The nearby pools were drained and in 1825, Priory Hall was constructed.

In 1926, Dudley County Borough council purchased Dudley Priory and the surrounding rural land as part of plans to develop a new residential area. Dudley Priory was incorporated into the new Priory Park, to serve the new Priory Estate.

In 1939, archaeologist Rayleigh Radford put stone lines in the grass to mark out the walls of rooms and cloisters in the priory. Rayleigh Radford also excavated medieval tiles which are now exposed at the surface.

The Appeal

  • Priory Hall, set within acres of wonderful parkland, giving the impression of a stately home.

  • Beautiful grounds of Priory Park and the 12th Century St James Priory ruins.

  • High standard of décor and elegant oak panelled Priory Suite.

  • Cost effective – with fees of £250 Monday to Thursday, up to £585 for a Sunday ceremony.

Shout out to the Staff

I, as the professional wedding photographer, and all of the guests and of course the brides and grooms are always in my experience very warmly welcomed to the venue by all of the staff and Registrars that work for Dudley council. They make every effort. to ensure that every wedding is as special as can be and nothing is too much trouble.

Wedding Photographer's Point of view

The setting of Dudley register office is absolutely ideal from a photography perspective. The main driveway directly outside the Priory Suite presents a perfect beginning to a wedding album with the opportunity to photograph the wedding cars arriving under the imposing backdrop of the Priory Hall.

During the ceremony beautiful pictures of the couple can be captured under the warm glow of the chandeliers, with plenty of natural light available from the large bay window. The original, hand carved, full oak panelling and stone fireplace help to create a truly elegant and decadent space for the occasion.

Photos by Andrew Charles Photography

The ample space and greenery directly outside Priory Hall help provide excellent backdrops for the compulsory family and group photographs after the ceremony. With the grounds of Priory Park with the addition of the ancient ruins creating the perfect setting for some romantic portraits of newlyweds. Not only can the Hall and ruins help to create grand and imposing scenes, but there are also numerous more secluded spots and areas to capture the romance of the day.

Bethany & Luke's Wedding

Photos by Andrew Charles Photography

I hope I have succeeded in giving you an insight into Dudley Register Office and explained why I think it is an amazing Wedding Venue. Please visit the official website for booking details Should you need a professional wedding photographer to capture your wedding day, look no further.

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