Next year is expected to be a bumper one for weddings in Hong Kong, with more than 30,000 couples tipped to take the plunge. The number of marriages will be fuelled partly by the attraction of Disney theme weddings and proposed legislative changes that will make this possible. The Marriage Bill will be gazetted tomorrow and go before the legislature on June 1. 'Next year should be a very good year for weddings,' said wedding planner Sharon Au Wai-fong. 'I expect the beginning of 2006 to be busier than usual, mainly because of Disney. In fact, the number of weddings next year could be a five-year record.' The September opening of the Four Seasons hotel in Two IFC also would help, said Evelyn Mills, founder of Marriage Maestros. She does not expect an initial rush as couples will wait for positive feedback before planning their big day at the hotel, which would probably mean next year. Gordon Cheung, who owns Wedding Planner, said many couples had decided to get married last year or delay the big day until next year as 2005 is considered less auspicious for marriages. If proposed changes to the Marriage Ordinance are introduced, couples need only hire a qualified solicitor or notary to conduct their weddings. Appointed lawyers will be governed by a code of practice. Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said as was the case now, couples would still be required to submit a notice of intention to marry to the Registrar of Marriages. A copy of the notice was exhibited for 15 days. Barring any objections, a certificate was then issued to allow couples to wed within three months of the notice being filed. But couples will not be limited to City Hall in Central, marriage registries or 'special places' such as licensed churches, and can wed at any time of day. Disney is eager to capitalise on the change by promoting itself as a major destination for theme weddings. In a sign that Chinese-style banquets are likely to dominate its business, the park will allow guests to play mahjong.