Affordable Weddings?




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The District Council is going to get a license to hold civil marriage ceremonies at the Rayleigh Windmill.

There isn’t much space inside- only room for 2 officials plus 16 other persons. But if you want to have a small-scale wedding in nice surroundings, this could be a good choice. There’s a new garden next door for your wedding photos, car parking on the doorstep and the possibility of having a small-scale reception at the Mill Arts and Events Centre.

If you want to get married , do it in a civil ceremony with a few friends, and haven’t got the money for an expensive wedding, this could be an ‘affordable wedding’

The council officers have suggested charging something between ?350-?450.However at the last cabinet meeting , Cllr Peter Webster suggested charging as high a figure as possible in order to maximise the income. He mentioned something between ?500- ?700. Remember, this is the cost for the ceremony itself for a maximum of 16 people, it doesn’t include any kind of reception.

The council officers are going to find out the costs of similar venues elsewhere and report back.

But is the council being greedy if it sets such a higher figure? If the Conservative Party are in favour of marriage , shouldn’t they set a much lower figure? Or should they just tell people that if they can’t afford to use the windmill, they should go to a church instead?

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  • Do you think that there could be same sex weddings and do you think that the council will put in their own registra in way of a councillor conducting the service?

  • My wife showed me your article and I felt compelled to voice my disgust at another example of money-grabbing Tory policies. Surely it would be better to have a lower price making it more accessible to the general populus as opposed to the elite minority.

    Lord Mayor.

  • I would hope that they would include civil partnerships in the deal, having one there would be alot more attractive than the registars office at the civic centre. Well i think so anyway.

    Whatever price it ends up, i think it’s a good idea, and if it’s promoted right could attract people from outside the district.

  • yes but there could be a councillor doing it, it only takes about a week to become someone who can marry other people – wouldnt that be a Rochford first

  • Jeff, I am advised that a registrar is simply a local government officer employed to maintain the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages, much the same as electoral registration and local land charges officers.
    There is no formal qualification and training is provided “on the job”.
    Depending on the salary level and who the Registrar reports to within their authority, the post might be politically restricted which
    prohibits the post-holder from being politically active or a councillor.

    So it is just about possible for a councillor to do this – I’m not sure whether your idea, Jeff ,is brilliant or a non-runner ! 🙂

  • Perhaps the idea is to make the fee so high that it will encourage people back into the churches. Personally I donot feel there will be many takers even at the lower price. It will not replace the traditional white wedding and there are other more attractive alternatives to the windmill.

  • While not a Conservative voter myself, I agree with Councillor Webster -we should indeed charge the highest rate possible and maximise the available revenue.

    The money generated could be ploughed back into further resourcing the windmill for visitors.

    Our church also offers a beautiful venue and a joyous celebratory service – and the rates are much cheaper!

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