Have you ever wanted to get married in the Town of Erin's stately council chamber? The Hillsburgh venue will soon be available for interested couples.
And if you prefer to tie the knot off-site, a township official can do that too.
Erin council passed a bylaw earlier this week authorizing township clerk Lisa Campion to perform non-denominational civil unions.
Campion explained the town recently started offering marriage licenses, but now, pending final confirmation from the province, the new bylaw will allow the town to play an even bigger role in residents' special days.
"Since reopening we've had residents come in and we've been issuing the licenses, but they weren't able to get married at town hall," she said. "So now we're very happy to offer a one stop shop for municipal services ... we'll help them with their actual marriage license and then if they want to get married at town hall, we're able to do that as well."
For $250, Campion will marry couples in council chambers during business hours. She explained prospective legal partners will likely have around four sample ceremony scripts to choose from. Limited decoration is also an option.
"We will allow minimal decor, so far as balloons, but there's going to be guidelines in terms of, you know, no confetti in our chambers that we have to vacuum after," she explained.
The price to use council chambers rises to $350 after hours.
Finally, to have Campion come to another location in Erin to perform the union — perhaps the couple's home or Victoria Park — the cost is $400.
As for how popular the new service will be, Campion can't predict, although she did speculate it could perhaps appeal to people who have pushed off their nuptials because of the pandemic. Ultimately, the number of couples who take advantage of it isn't really the point.
"As far as we're concerned, we've not overly concerned about what the numbers are," Campion said. "We just want to be able to offer the service to our residents, whether it's one, whether it's 10, if we can make an impact for our residents and offer them something, that's what we want to do."
During the council meeting Coun. John Brennan suggested, depending on demand, the town could consider purchasing in a small arch to provide a backdrop for wedding photos. He said something similar was employed in the past when the Town of Erin offered wedding services previously.
Meanwhile Mayor Allan Alls joked perhaps newly weds "should detour to my office and I can give them good advice."
Once the town receives final confirmation from the provincial division registrar, it will begin advertising the new marriage services on its website.
For her part, Campion is looking forward to it.
"I'm really excited to be part of our residents' special days (and) work with them to make it a ceremony they envision," she said.
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com