Hugo Blomfield and Harvey Westlake made a little bit of history when they became the first couple to tie the knot on Brighton’s historic seafront bandstand on Saturday.
The ornate bandstand, restored to its Victorian glory by Brighton and Hove City Council last year, has just been licensed as an official venue for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.
Hugo and Harvey, who live a stone’s throw away from the seafront, are thrilled to be the first couple to hold a ceremony on the bandstand after closely following the progress of the restoration. The ornate cast-iron bandstand is a Grade II listed building and regarded as one of the best examples of a Victorian bandstand in the country
The ceremony was conducted by the aptly-named Trevor Love, the city council’s senior ceremonies registrar. They were joined by family and friends from as far away as Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Harvey, a finance manager, said: “We love the bandstand, and followed the restoration over the years. It looks amazing now. We thought it would be the perfect place for our ceremony and we are thrilled to be the first, it made it even more special.”
Council leader Mary Mears said: “The bandstand is a much loved local landmark, in a fantastic location right by the beach, and we are getting lots of enquiries about holding weddings and partnership ceremonies there.
“Congratulations to Hugo and Harvey who have made a little bit of history by being the first couple to hold their ceremony on it.”
Hugo, countryside manager at the city council, and Harvey are one of a growing number of people in the city tying the knot. The council’s register office reports a big surge in the number of couples giving formal notice of intention to marry or register a civil partnership – up by 90 in May, for example, from 202 in 2009 to 292 in 2010 and bookings for weddings at the Royal Pavilion are up 20 per cent this year.
Along with the bandstand, other council venues licensed to hold weddings include the Royal Pavilion, the mayor’s parlour at Brighton Town Hall and the council chamber at Hove Town Hall.
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