Britain introduces round-the-clock weddings

Last Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 00:17

London: Just married at 3 am! With the lifting of the 176-year-old ban on marrying at night, now Las Vegas-style weddings can take place in Britain from tomorrow.

The government is reforming the marriage law, which dates from 1836, so that people can marry outside the hours of 8am-6pm.

Civil partnerships can also be held at any time of day with the removal of the traditional time restrictions from tomorrow.

Blackpool Tower will be one of the first venues to take advantage of the new rules, offering weddings at sunrise, midnight and even at 3am at the top of the tower, the Sunday Times reported.

The change, to be brought in by the Home Office after public consultation, is designed to give people more choice. It is also hoped that it will unblock long waits to get to the altar.

Mark Harper, the Home Office minister with responsibility for the General Register Office, said: "Removing these restrictions will give people greater freedom of choice when planning their big day."

Churches and other religious venues will still have a right to stick to the traditional wedding times. But other civil wedding venues are expected to conduct all-night weddings.

Kate Shane, general manager of the Blackpool Tower Eye, which is 380ft above ground, said: "We are really excited about this change in the law, as it now means we can offer sunrise, sunset and even midnight weddings at the top of the iconic Blackpool Tower."

In Las Vegas night-time weddings have been popular for decades, though not all of them stand the test of time.

Singer Britney Spears married her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at 5am (local time) at the Little White Wedding chapel. She wore jeans and a baseball cap. The marriage lasted 55 hours before it was annulled.
Kelly Chandler, director of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, was optimistic about the relaxation of wedding hours.

"This is a positive move which allows those planning their big day greater flexibility," she said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 20:49

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