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Vale council making getting married outdoors easier as Covid scuppers weddings

VALE of Glamorgan council is planning to make getting married outdoors easier as coronavirus continues to scupper weddings.

Many couples have had to postpone their wedding as social distancing rules have prevented large groups indoors.

Currently the council only offers statutory ceremonies, which by law must be inside a licensed permanent structure, with couples celebrating afterwards with separate organisers.

But new bespoke packages could soon be offered by the council where couples can also have non-statutory ceremonies outdoors, perhaps in gazebos or teepees.

The plans are set to be approved by the cabinet on Monday, June 7. Details of the new bespoke packages were revealed in a cabinet report.

The cabinet report said: “Where a couple decide that they would prefer an outdoor celebration, they will usually marry in their local register office and then use a private celebrant to perform an outdoor ceremony in their chosen location at a later date.

“Most couples would prefer that the statutory and non-statutory ceremonies take place on one day and at the same location. Many other local authorities are already successfully providing this service.

“Offering this service could be seen as an opportunity for couples who may have had to cancel, postpone or compromise their wedding plans in the last year to finally celebrate and would provide an opportunity for a safe, socially-distanced celebration.”

Bespoke packages could include less conventional ceremonies including sand-pouring, handfasting, or religious music, which would not be allowed at a statutory civil ceremony.

Weddings would cost £950 on Monday to Thursday, £1,000 on Fridays, £1,050 on Saturdays, and £1,150 on Sundays and bank holidays. The changes would bring in more revenue to the council than currently.

The cabinet report added: “Many couples choose a statutory ceremony with their local registration service followed by a celebratory ceremony with a private celebrant.

“In this case, the council receives £46 from couples who live within the Vale of Glamorgan and nothing from those who live elsewhere and choose an outdoor ceremony in one of the approved premises in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“By offering this package and providing both elements, the council would be the sole provider.”

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