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Micro-weddings at Vancouver City Hall here to stay for love-struck couples

Last Updated Jul 11, 2021 at 9:29 am PDT

Wedding Commissioner Ruth Lipton, wearing a protective face shield, looks on after marrying Nikki Alexis and Roni Jones during a city of Vancouver micro-wedding pilot program outside of Vancouver City Hall, Friday, June 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Weddings at Vancouver City Hall are going to be a permanent option for those looking for a simple and small ceremony

The motion was proposed by a councillor after realizing there were barriers for couples hoping to get marry at City Hall

According to Councillor Melissa De Genova, City Hall won't be profiting from hosting weddings

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Weddings at Vancouver City Hall will be a permanent option for lovers hoping to tie the knot in a simple and small ceremony.

Pop-up ceremonies had been so popular during the pandemic, so the City decided to make them a permanent fixture.

Councillor Melissa De Genova, who put forward the motion, says she saw other cities around the world offering City Hall weddings to the public for years.

“Even pre-pandemic, we saw couples who would go to City Hall to get married. Everywhere from Toronto to New York — at City Halls across Canada and North America, it’s been an iconic tradition for people to go to City Hall and get married,” she says.

De Genova explains that she proposed the motion after learning about the barriers in place for Vancouver residents hoping to arrange a City Hall wedding.

“I’d received an inquiry from someone about getting married in City Hall, and when I looked into it, I found out that you had to get a special events permit. So, I was looking to enable couples who wanted to get married in this space with their own officiant to be able to do that.

“So when the pandemic was announced, I wasn’t sure what would happen to this motion, but I was actually really impressed with the action that our staff had taken to implement micro-weddings.”

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De Genova adds because of the motion, dozens of couples who were unable how they’d be able to wed when COVID restrictions for venues were in place, reached to thank her.

“My understanding is that the micro-weddings pilot was a success — the only criticism was that there were too many people who wanted to do this, and some people didn’t quite get the spot they wanted sometimes.

“It’s been a bright spot and silver lining of the pandemic, and it’s a way to bring people together when we had to stay apart.”

De Genova tells NEWS 1130 that she’s happy micro-weddings at City Hall will be a fixture in Vancouver for those looking for an affordable way to get married long after the pandemic.

“Weddings often add huge expenses some couples decide to elope in a city that’s known to be one of the least affordable in the world. People being able to get married in a small civil ceremony at City Hall for under $100, in an iconic place in the City of Vancouver is just another way to create accessibility at City Hall. I’m just really happy that Council really voted for love here. I think that we can all win on this one, and it’s something nice.”

“Although not all love lasts forever, I’m really glad that this program is permanent.”

According to De Genova, City Hall won’t be profiting from hosting weddings.

“The costs are breakeven on this. So we’re not making money off this. We do have taxpayers in mind.”

People can book their own City Hall wedding online, with the option of getting married in council chambers, or outside on the plaza.