Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Possibly our most random post to date but we were contacted by the Southbank centre about a unique opportunity!



Southbank Centre makes its final call-out to all couples who would like to take part in the Big Wedding Weekend, a week before the deadline. The last day couples can sign up is Tuesday 12 August to allow for the legal formalities to be processed. To date more than 75 couples are confirmed to get married or renew their vows on the stage of the iconic Royal Festival Hall.

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 ChoirLondon Gay Men's ChorusDiversity ChoirPink 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.

Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love marks the historic change in legislation in March this year enabling everyone to marry their partner of choice. It also commemorates Nelson Mandela, who along with other political activists including Martin Luther King Jr, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mahatma Gandhi declared that love was the most fundamental way to bring about change.


For more information and images please contact Patricia O’Connor, Head of Press, at / 020 7921 0632 or Hannah Freeman, Social Media Assistant, / 020 7921 0722.

Notes to editors
Tuesday 12 August deadline In order for a ceremony to go ahead, the legal formalities must be completed at least 15 clear days prior to the date of the ceremony. 

The Big Wedding Weekend, 30 and 31 August Up to 20 couples at a time are able to get married or renew their vows in up to six ceremonies (four on Saturday, two on Sunday) on the iconic Royal Festival Hall stage, accompanied by music and performances including the historic organ, in front of an auditorium packed with their wedding guests. The package, which costs £1,000, includes the registrar, ceremony, photography, entertainment throughout the day including a disco on The Clore Ballroom and other events around the building. The wedding parties can also join in a communal feast (an additional £1,000 for up to 40 guests).

The site has been transformed for the Festival of Love with love-themed exhibitions and installations including Sliding Gate, play slides by Sean Griffiths of Modern Architect, which symbolise the ups and downs of family life; Love Flags by Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner using the seven colours of the rainbow, signifying the peace and gay pride movements, which fly from the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall roofs, and the Jubilee Gardens flagpole; the Tunnel of Love by disability arts organisation Heart n Soul, a multi-media, sensory installation with vibrating floors, mirrors, love-songs soundtrack; and The Temple of Agape, by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan, made up of bright, hand-painted signs about love.

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

We'll be there, milling around and congratulating all the couples! Yay weddings!!

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