The new normal for weddings at Chelsea Old Town Hall

Friday 21 August 2020

Since reopening the doors on 4 July, Chelsea Old Town Hall has been the venue of choice for 268 couples tying the knot.

Couples getting married have faced uncertainty about their day with delays to wedding receptions, guest restrictions of up to 30 people, and social distancing in place for ceremonies. However, happy newlyweds have praised Chelsea Old Town Hall for how its staff have adapted creatively to ensure a new kind of special day.

With safety a top priority, new measures have been put in place including keeping a safe 1-metre distance between staff and visitors with floor markings, offering PPE such as face masks and sanitizing wipes, screen shields and hand sanitising points throughout. The Large Hall at Chelsea Old Town Hall has also been set up especially for birth registrations, allowing up to four couples in at one time whilst maintaining social distancing.

Sally Weddell, Registration and Ceremonies Officer at Chelsea Old Town Hall, said:

We do our very best to make every ceremony special for our lovely couples and their guests, whilst still keeping everyone safe.  The question everyone asks is if they can still kiss at the end of the ceremony! Don’t worry the bride and groom don’t need to wear masks during the ceremony and we all still want to see that kiss, although we have seen some very creative personalised bride and groom masks too."

Socially distanced marriage certificate website.jpg

Rich and Rachel Purdy got married on 13 July at Chelsea Old Town Hall and, having booked their ceremony months before, just a few days before their wedding were faced with a tough decision about whether to go ahead.

Rachel said:

Around 10 days before we were due to say ‘I do’, we were informed that we were only allowed to have our parents in the ceremony, no reception, no singing or dancing! In the end we managed to turn it into a very special, intimate (but Covid secure) wedding with our closest family. Sadly, Rich’s family couldn’t attend in person but were with us by FaceTime during the ceremony which was so special!

Along with holding ceremonies, the team at Chelsea Old Town Hall has also been working through the backlog of births during lockdown and registered over 2,171 babies since reopening in June. 

Registrar Summra Nasir has been registering births and even bumped into a famous face or two. She said:

It has been great to re-open the doors at the Chelsea Register Office. Being able to be back at work and able to see people, face to face in a safe environment is so wonderful. The service has been extremely smooth and customers are so grateful to be able to come in and register their babies. It was so lovely bumping into Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams last week. After I registered their first born, son, Theodore back in 2018, they had come back to register their second child, a baby girl called Gigi and were so elated to have been able to register her in person.

Access informaion and online booking for all of our registrars service on our website.