A New Kind of Wedding for an Era

Published on 6th August 2014

On 30/31 August all couples, gay and straight, young and old, are invited to get married or renew their vows on the iconic Royal Festival Hall stage in London. Join the party for all-day dancing and unforgettable entertainment, and then spend your honeymoon in one of our luxury London Dreamhouse Apartments.

But be quick; the last day couples can sign up is Tuesday 12 August to allow for the legal formalities to be processed.

The Big Wedding Weekend, on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 August, is the finale to Southbank Centre’s summer-long Festival of Love, which explores seven of the most powerful variations of love identified by the Ancient Greeks. This weekend is inspired by Agape, the love of humanity, and up to 20 couples at a time will marry or renew their vows in up to six ceremonies over two days.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: “We decided to hold the Big Wedding Weekend, the finale to our Festival of Love, to celebrate the historic change in the law that all couples now have the right to marry. Couples who would like to take part have just one week left to sign up to the event, which is set to be a truly memorable occasion.”

Southbank Centre is working closely with Lambeth Council, who are providing all their registrars in the borough for this special occasion. Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “The Big Wedding Weekend is going to be a really fun and celebratory occasion and I’m proud that Lambeth is a part of it. I hope as many couples as possible take this opportunity to be part of such a unique event. The Festival of Love is all about accepting love in every form and is a great way to celebrate the fact that everyone in our society can now marry their partner of choice.”

Everyone can enjoy music and singing in the Royal Festival Hall and outside terraces over the weekend to mark this communal celebration with choirs including Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, led by Lea Cornthwaite; The Fourth Choir; London Gay Men’s Chorus; Diversity Choir; Pink Singers and Chantage. During the ceremonies, the choirs will sing, Total Brass will perform, the recently refurbished organ will be played, and all guests will be invited to sing-along to the congregational song It Must Be Love by Labi Siffre, and covered by Madness. Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, a choir of 30 performing together for the first time, will sing Going To The Chapel by The Dixie Cups during the Wedding Breakfasts.

Couples will also be able to ‘marry’ in an inflatable church over the weekend and will receive a specially-designed ‘wedding’ certificate. Outside celebrations include ballroom dancing with Nicky Miles, a mass singing moment at 3pm on both days when everyone will join together to perform It Must Be Love in a mass singing moment; and the Wedding Olympics, hosted by Lost & Found – wedding-themed games including Champagne Dash, and Bridesmaids’ and Ushers’ Kiss Chase. Evening entertainment includes live music by The London Gay Big Band and DJing by Anna Greenwood in The Clore Ballroom plus love-themed party rooms in the Royal Festival Hall spaces.

For more info visit southbankcentre.co.uk/bigweddingweekend