Council Cuts Ceremony Costs To Encourage More Business

Porthcressa Register Office

Porthcressa Register Office

The Council wants more silver and ruby weddings ceremonies at the islands’ Register Office and to encourage it, they’re halving the cost.

Superintendent Registrar Alison Gardner told members at Tuesday’s Policy and Resources Committee that they’d only had one such ceremony in the past 18 months.

She said the price wasn’t competitive with other areas in the Southwest and felt it was better to have one ceremony at £200 than none at £400.

As only one registrar is needed, rather than the two required for a wedding or civil partnership, they’d still make a profit, says Alison.

She also recommended a modest increase in fees for weddings and civil partnerships of 2%, in line with prices found elsewhere.

Alison said people pay a premium to get to the islands in the first place so a small rise was appropriate.

But Cllr Richard McCarthy felt the services on offer might need marketing better. He said non-statutory ceremonies sound dull but they’re actually very important for some people. He said the Council could make more of them.

Alison said they produce a brochure with a list of services but the Register Office has a limited advertising budget of just £150 a year.

They’d used social media more, like Facebook and Twitter, and had been helped by the Islands’ Partnership. It’s resulted in a 27% increase in ceremonies in the past two years.

Councillors also heard that an inspection carried out by the General Register Office had given the service a glowing review.

Alison says the inspector was delighted with the new ceremony room at Porthcressa, and told her it “couldn’t get any better.” They’ve now been granted retrospective approval for the facility.