Lincolnshire County Council administration staff have received training on how to conduct wedding ceremonies, due to a significant increase in the number of couples tying the knot in the area.
A report to be presented to the Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny Committee at the local authority states that 1,783 marriage ceremonies were conducted by Lincolnshire Registration Service between January and October 2021. This figure is over double the number of marriage ceremonies carried out during the same period last year, which stood at 711.
The authority has stated that the newly trained staff members, who will be working additional shifts, will be working mostly at weekends to cover the increase in demand. It said that training the current employees to be able to conduct ceremonies was a better option financially than hiring completely new staff.
The increase in demand for wedding ceremonies has been linked to the lifting of Covid-related restrictions from spring this year onwards, with larger events being allowed to go ahead from July. Prior to this, the national lockdown and policies put into place to protect as many people as possible meant ceremonies were restricted.
Speaking to the BBC, a councillor at the authority praised the registration staff, as well as the newly trained employees, for their hard work in trying to meet the needs of the couples. Demand for wedding services in the area is anticipated to continue to increase, and the council is making preparations to be able to keep up with this.