16 June 2015

First wedding takes place at Brighton’s historic Council Chamber

Brighton’s historic Council Chamber, home to decades of political debate, was filled with a different type of vow and commitment this weekend.

Arron Clark and Lisa Nicol were the first couple to be married in the Council Chamber at Brighton Town Hall which was licenced for weddings earlier this year.

The couple have been together for ten years and love living in Brighton & Hove. Arron traces his Brightonian roots back three generations so when it came to their wedding day, the couple wanted a venue in the city centre which fitted their family heritage.

Lisa explained: “We chose the venue because it is in the heart of the Lanes, and the room has a sense of charm and importance. Arron’s Grandfather has run a shop in the lanes for 40 years and our two children were both born in Brighton.” 

The Council Chamber is on the second floor of Brighton Town Hall with a semi-circular seating arrangement designed for everyone at meetings to be able to see the speakers. It is also a perfect layout for a wedding ceremony, with a maximum capacity of 120 people.

Sue Baker, registrar for marriages for Brighton & Hove city Council, said: “It was wonderful to do a ceremony in this beautiful room. Now we can cater for larger wedding parties, it will be even better for the couples coming to be married in Brighton Town Hall as this gives more choice. Arron and Lisa were utterly charming and seemed to enjoy the experience of making history here today.”

The sense of history is evident in the room’s traditional wooden panelled décor as well as the wall display featuring the names of all Mayors dating back from present day to Lieutenant Colonel John Fawcett, first Mayor of Brighton, in 1854.

Cllr Alan Robins, Deputy Chair of Economic Development and Culture committee, said: “Congratulations to Lisa and Arron on their wedding day and for making history in the city by being the first couple to be married in the Council Chamber. As a local councillor, I have often taken my place in the chamber to consider the major issues facing the city. Yet we also have seen occasions of celebration, such as when Honorary Alderman of Brighton and Hove are declared in the chamber. It is an impressive room with a fine heritage, a very fitting venue for starting married life.”  

About Brighton Town Hall

The current building is on the site of a former market which was also previously the location of St Bartholomew's Priory garden.

The building was designed by archite

The foundation stone for the current Town Hall was laid in April 1830. The Town Hall was completed in 1899 and is now a listed building.

The building was designed by architect Thomas Cooper in classical style.

The Old Police Cells in the basement are also licenced for weddings.

About Brighton & Hove City Council Register Office

Registrars from the council's register office have conducted 458 marriages, 14 civil partnerships and 117 conversions to marriage so far this year.

Find out more about the register office and weddings in Brighton & Hove