New partnership for marriages at the Guildhall

Happy couples can now get expert wedding arrangements in Plymouth Guildhall as part of the new partnership between the Council and Emotive Events.

The Guildhall has been licenced as a wedding venue for four years but up until now, brides and grooms have had to be a dab hand at organising.

Now Emotive Events has teamed up with the Council to will help take the hassle and strain out of organising the most important day of a couple's lives.

Under the new arrangement, Emotive Events will take wedding enquiries from staff at the Guildhall and co-ordinate viewing and client bookings as well as assist with the organising of a couple's special day – as much or as little as the client wishes.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Finance added: "We want to make sure that we make the most of the buildings we own and believe that by using a specialist events and wedding co-ordinator, we can attract more couples to celebrate their big day here.

"And as much as our staff are extremely efficient at organising and co-ordinating hundreds of events held at the Guildhall – anything from orchestral concerts to tattoo conventions – they appreciate that they might not have the extraordinary organisational skills, diplomacy or time that's needed to plan weddings."

Emotive Events are based in Crownhill Fort and have 10 years of experience of organising weddings across the West Country.

Director Samm Riley said: "We want to make this beautiful venue come to life and make it easier for people to hold their wedding with us. The Guildhall offers a piece of Plymouth history and with our special touches will be a wonderful wedding venue.

"As a venue, the Guildhall is centrally located and the main hall can seat over 350 people. We can dress it, arrange the catering, and generally take the stress out of the wedding day."

Facts about the Guildhall:

  • The foundation stone was laid in 1870 and it was opened in 1874 by HRH the Prince of Wales, (later King Edward VII).
  • The Guildhall and Municipal Offices survived the first night of the Plymouth Blitz but were gutted by fire in March 1941. Only two months before, when the city was short of cooking facilities, hundreds of Plymothians had packed the Guildhall for a welcome hot lunch.
  • After the war the Minister of Works declared the building unsound in 1950. The Council decided to rebuild it and it was formally reopened by Field Marshall the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in 1959.

Dramatic features include:

  • a staircase of Italian block white marble leading to the main hall
  • the main hall has four metre high Cuban mahogany panels
  • three magnificent chandeliers hang from the ceiling; each weighing half a ton and represent the three towns Devonport, Stonehouse and Plymouth.
  • heavy curtains protect a Gobelin tapestry from the light. Taken from the cartoon by Raphael, it was a gift from Napoleon III to Lord Clarendon.
  • some of Plymouth's historic events are depicted in 14 stained glass windows