John Lennon and Yoko Ono were famously married in Gibraltar’s Civil Status and Registration Office in 1969. At the time, and in the intervening years, the registry office was a fairly nondescript space, more focused on functionality than providing a memorable romantic and spiritual setting for this important date in so many people’s lives.
Not that this prevented thousands of couples from signing their vows there. This year alone, according to a report on GBC News, more than 1,600 couples were married on the Rock, including over 1,500 from abroad.
Now, more than half a century after Lennon and Ono became the office’s most celebrated newly-married couple, the government has announced the venue’s move to more attractive surroundings.
“The Civil Status and Registration Office (CSRO) is pleased to announce a significant milestone in enhancing its services by relocating the venue for marriages to the prestigious City Hall (from last Friday 15 December). This strategic move aims to provide a more professional and iconic setting for couples entering the union of matrimony.”
The government has invited both residents and visitors to explore the enhanced marriage registry services. “The new venue, within the historic City Hall, offers a picturesque and culturally-rich backdrop for weddings, aligning with the CSRO’s commitment to delivering exceptional service and memorable experiences for its clients.” The administrative office for marriages will remain at Joshua Hassan House.
Announcing the move, the acting head of the CSRO department, Karl Triay, said, “We are excited to bring marriages to the City Hall, a location that befits the significance of the occasions we celebrate. This move reflects our commitment to ensuring that every aspect of the marriage registration process is conducted in an environment that is both dignified and memorable. We look forward to welcoming couples to the new, beautifully-appointed space and continuing to be part of their special day.”
Minister for tourism and culture Christian Santos added, “This relocation enhances Gibraltar’s appeal as a premier destination for weddings. The historic significance of City Hall will undoubtedly contribute to making Gibraltar a sought-after location for couples seeking a distinctive and memorable wedding experience.”
Chief minister Fabian Picardo also welcomed the move, saying it was “a testament to Gibraltar’s commitment to providing unparalleled services to its residents. City Hall, with its rich history and timeless architecture, will undoubtedly add a touch of elegance to the marriages celebrated within its walls. This relocation underscores our dedication to creating meaningful and unforgettable experiences for couples choosing Gibraltar as their wedding destination.”