Wedded bliss

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2002, 12:00am

Allowing solicitors to conduct marriage ceremonies anywhere and at any time is a commendable proposal that answers a double purpose.

Not only would it free under-used government resources for more pressing tasks, it would also create new business for the private sector.

In law, marriage is a solemn affair. But for those tying the knot, it is more a joyous, once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Many would not mind spending a fortune to make it exceptionally memorable. The typical wedding hall at the 10 marriage registries run by the Government is simply unable to satisfy many couples' desire to have an exotic ceremony.

In fact, although the halls are all nicely decorated, bookings are few at seven of them because they are inside dull government office buildings. Only three are really popular. They are the ones at Cotton Tree Drive, City Hall and the Cultural Centre, which are conveniently located and set in scenic environments suitable for taking wedding pictures.

Until now, churches have been the only other venues where weddings can be held. But for the vast majority of couples who are not Christians, they are not a real option.

Under the proposal, the seven under-used registries will be closed, but couples will be free to marry before a solicitor authorised to conduct marriage ceremonies.

Apart from creating a new line of business for solicitors, the proposal, if implemented, will likely breathe life into other sectors as well.

Stately homes, historic temples, giant convention halls and plush hotels could all become wedding venues. The belated move should be carried out as soon as possible.