Refurbished register office at Hanley Town Hall opens doors to love-struck couples
BRIDES-TO-BE and their future husbands had a chance to view a newly refurbished register office.
Hanley Town Hall hosted an open day yesterday following the £14,400 redecoration of its two ceremony rooms.
The rooms, which previously looked dated, now have new curtains, carpets, furniture and a fresh paint job in keeping with modern tastes.
Brides and grooms have a choice between the larger Bennett Room, which seats up to 70 people, and the smaller Mitchell Room, which has space for 20 guests.
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The rooms were officially re-opened at the event by Stoke-on-Trent's Lord Mayor Terry Crowe.
Officers from Stoke-on-Trent City Council hope the refurbishment will attract more couples looking to tie the knot.
Caroline Casey, an operations officer, said: "More people are choosing to get married away from churches, and the register office is a much more reasonable option than approved premises.
"Originally, we just used one large room for weddings.
"The decor was very dated, as it hadn't been refurbished for many years, and it just wasn't very attractive and not very appropriate for a couple's big day.
"But now it looks much better. It has been re-decorated in neutral colours, such as gold, which will go with the sort of colours that brides and bridesmaids wear these days.
"We've also refurbished a second, smaller room, which wasn't being used before, and hadn't had any work done on it since the 1960s.
"This room sits up to 20 people, so it will be suitable for smaller ceremonies.
"Both rooms have beautiful original features, such as the marble fire places and the windows."
The number of weddings held at Hanley Town Hall increased from 366 in 2010 to 420 in 2011.
So far this year, there have been 284 ceremonies, with another 110 booked between September to December.
Melanie Thrasher and Adrian Ashman, who will be getting married at the register office on September 22, were among the couples who attended the open day.
Adrian, aged 47, from Middleport, said: "We thought the rooms looked very nice.
"We came to view the register office before the refurbishment and it wasn't as good. But now it looks much more modern."
Charlene Whitlow and Steven Ford, aged 27, from Whiston, near Cheadle, will also be getting married at the register office.
Charlene, aged 29, said: "We really like how it looks now. Steven's nan got married here years ago, and he says it looks a lot better now. I really like the colours."
As well as weddings, the two rooms are available to be used for a variety of other ceremonies, including civil partnerships, citizenship ceremonies, naming ceremonies, renewal of vows and commitment ceremonies.