COUPLES planning on tying the knot in 2018 have until 16th January to register for a Romantic Valentine’s Day ceremony in Yeomanry House.
Valentine’s Day is usually an extremely popular day for ceremonies, with many couples choosing to marry at the register office on Castle Hill, or in licensed hotels and premises around the town.
The deadline is looming for applying for a wedding licence for Valentine’s Day this year, which falls on a Wednesday, with spaces still available at present.
There are also spaces available on one of the other most romantic days of this year – the Royal Wedding Day on Saturday 19th May.
This year is a particularly poignant one, being the last opportunity to marry at the Grade II listed building before it closes its doors and the register office moves to its new home in Reading Town Hall at the end of the year.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Consumer Services, said: “Valentine’s Day is such a special choice of day for a wedding. The registry team say there is always a lot of energy around Yeomanry House and it just feels alive with romance. For couples wanting to declare their love for each other on Valentine’s Day they have until 16th January to register – so get in touch as soon as possible.
“Since it became a register office in 1969, Yeomanry House has seen thousands of ceremonies in Reading over the years and as a result, is special to many families. This year will be the last opportunity to hold your ceremony in this location. Yeomanry House is still open for business as usual until the end of October 2018, so I’d encourage couples to seize the day and register as soon as they can before the move to a new location in December! It is also a lovely place for renewing your vows or for baby naming ceremonies.”
For information about registering a wedding for Valentine’s Day or for booking other ceremonies, call 0118 9375533.
People can view a virtual tour of Yeomanry House: www.reading.gov.uk/ceremonies
Details of Ceremony Fees: www.reading.gov.uk/article/10446/Register-office-fees-and-charges
Find out more about ceremonies here: www.reading.gov.uk/marriage
Background on the move to the Town Hall
The decision to close Yeomanry House and relocate to the Town Hall was part a package of savings, efficiency and income proposals totalling nearly £20 million that went before the Council’s Policy Committee on Monday July 18th 2016.
The proposal was part of the Council’s Asset Management Plan, which details how the Council is making the best possible use of its buildings to help reduce running costs and contribute to closing the budget gap by through the sale of buildings, as well as providing a better services to residents: www.reading.gov.uk/media/5706/item11-2/pdf/item11_(2).pdf
Operational and maintenance costs for Yeomanry House are high due to its age and there is also limited scope to undertake cost effective refurbishments as a result of its listed status. The current strong room in the building has run out of space and there are issues with accessibility.
The relocation of ceremonies to the Town Hall will provide an attractive and historic setting with a choice of internal and external backdrops for photographs, including the nearby Forbury Gardens, which is a short walk away.
The purpose-built ceremonial suite will be on the ground floor and is fully accessible, and plans include providing a suitable drop-off for a wedding car at the main entrance to the Town Hall. New registration facilities at the Civic Offices will be a significant improvement in terms of the accessibility issues currently experienced by visitors to Yeomanry House.