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Celebrating the celebrants


By Dan Humphreys

Over the past month I’ve been to two family weddings – both of which were supposed to happen in the summers of 2020 or 2021. After two summers of postponed, cancelled, or socially distanced weddings a jam packed wedding season is well and truly upon us.

As with being able to get to professional events like the LGA conference it’s fantastic to be able to go to social events like these happy weddings. Whether you’re an incurable romantic, have a heart of stone or are somewhere in between, no one can fail to enjoy themselves and become infected with the joy of a wedding.

As with so many aspects of life that we tend to take for granted, each and every one of the marriage ceremonies that we attend or take part in wouldn’t possible if it weren’t for the efforts of local councils across the country.

The legal basis for a marriage is overseen by officials in council offices. From applying to get married, to officiating as the declaration is signed and making and keeping those records it’s our ever dependable teams in councils that make sure this is all done and compliant. It’s also our council officers who make sure that the venues at which weddings take place are legally allowed to host those ceremonies.

Every wedding, whether religious or otherwise, is overseen by a official. If these are civil services the official will tend to be a celebrant employed by the council that oversees the area in which the wedding takes place. Many councils now use their own buildings as venues for weddings as well. Whisper it, but for a lot of councils it’s a nice income stream for subsidising other services. But regardless of the commercial aspect for councils, couples wouldn’t pick those venues, often in historic town or city halls, if they weren’t desirable places to hold an event. And it is to the councils who maintain them that we should be thankful.

Finally, after the service we all enjoy the bash that follows. Lots of food will eaten and drink consumed while the dance floor beckons. And again, it’s your local council that has licensed the bar and which ensures that the caterers have their food hygiene ratings in place so that we’re eating and drinking safely.

It’s so easy to forget all the ways in which councils are quietly ensuring that we can enjoy the special moments of our family’s lives. If you’re attending a wedding this summer (you probably are) take a second to celebrant the celebrants and everyone else in the local authorities who makes these joyous occasions possible.

Celebrating the celebrants