A formal request that the City allow small wedding ceremonies to be held at McBurney Plaza was met with enthusiasm by members of Langley City council on Monday night.
Despite supporting the idea, however, some councillors wanted a bit more information from staff before they’d be willing to say “I do” to the proposal.
Matt Creechan, a 20-year resident of the City who plans to be married soon, made his case at Monday night’s council meeting for the addition of the newly refurbished downtown square to the list of permitted wedding venues in the municipality.
The City allows similar events at Sendall Gardens, he noted, adding McBurney could be subject to the same terms and conditions.
Rules surrounding security, noise restrictions, maximum numbers of guests and chairs, limits to decorations and the days and times the space would be available, could all be written into a contract, Creechan suggested.
If wedding parties were not permitted to offer guests food or drinks, it might boost business for area restaurants and coffee shops, he said.
He also pointed to the potential overall benefit to local businesses from an influx of people who might not otherwise visit.
“When I read this I thought it was a fabulous idea, with a lot of benefit to the downtown core,” said Councillor Gayle Martin.
However, shortage of parking is the one potential problem Martin sees in the plan.
“I’m not saying it can’t be overcome.
“Let’s give this to recreation staff to report back and see what could be worked out.”
“The only thing I can see being a detriment is the parking,” agreed Councillor Teri James.
“This would be something that would benefit people who are interested (in using the location) and businesses.”
“You’d never be short of witnesses,” remarked Councillor Dave Hall.
“We’d have to find a way to accommodate those who use (the plaza) regularly as a go-between and a place to sit.”
“Are we competing with ourselves?” asked Hall, noting that offering McBurney as a wedding location might take away business from Sendall Gardens.
But Martin pointed out that having two venues available would be a good thing. If one is booked, the other might be available, she said. “It’s a win-win.”
“It’s an awesome idea,” said Councillor Rosemary Wallace. “I love the idea that residents of the City take pride and want to have their wedding here.”
Council voted unanimously to pass the issue along to staff for a report.