Marriage in the UK is officially on the decline, although the interest in church ceremonies has risen for the first time in several years. So if you are planning on getting hitched but are looking for something a little less traditional, what are your options?
One of the most famous placed to get married in the UK; Gretna Green is just over the border into Dumfriesshire, Scotland. English couples under the age of 18 have been eloping to Scotland to marry without their parents’ permission since 1754, Gretna Green just happened to be the nearest village over the border where they could marry.
Nowadays you cannot just turn up to get married, there is a little more form filling to do beforehand. In theory, you can give a minimum of 15 days’ notice before the date of your proposed wedding. Both parties can still marry at 16 without parental consent.
In addition to Gretna Registry Office there is the Blacksmiths Shop and a number of hotel venues which are licenced to perform your ceremony.
For a fee of $60, couples can marry in any one out of a choice of 24 wedding chapels within Las Vegas in the Nevada desert on the production of a driving licence or passport. You do not need a blood test or to wait for a ceremony to be organised. You simply walk in. (There are even drive through ceremonies at some chapels.)
Arguably one of the most famous Las Vegas wedding venues is Little White Wedding Chapel, offering various wedding experience packages including the Michael Jordan Package, Hawaiian weddings and Elvis and Pink Cadillac Packages.
It is also possible to arrange a wedding or vow renewal ceremony within the Grand Canyon or even while taking a helicopter ride over the city of Las Vegas.
In England and Wales, there are a number of wedding venues to choose from:
“The Gherkin”, London’s iconic and prestigious landmark is available to hire for wedding ceremonies on level 39, providing a 360 degree panoramic view of London.
Bournemouth Beach – this is the first venue in England and Wales to be given a licence to perform official wedding ceremonies by the sea. Held in a marquee right on the sea front and accommodating up to 400 guests, this could make an impressive choice of venue.
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton – Up to 40 guests can be accommodated in the Red Drawing Room within this famous George IV palace. This Regency building will provide the most stunning backdrop to your wedding photographs
National Football Museum – in the heart of Manchester, the museum is sited in the contemporary Urbis building with room to accommodate 250 dinner guests. Goalkeeping and penalty shoot-out activities can be arranged.
Writer, Colleen McCormack has written many articles on ceremonies and has visited most wedding venues Kent has to offer.