21 May 2010, 05:41
The number of people getting married in civil ceremonies in Oxfordshire has fallen.
Just over 2,000 couples tied the knot in the county in the last 12 months, nearly a hundred fewer than the year before.
Jackie Bugeja, the head of Oxfordshire's Registration Service, thinks people have been putting weddings off during the recession: "I think people are being a bit more cautious and waiting to see what will happen. Hopefully when we come out of this climate, the bookings will rise again and people will spend and have their dream wedding."
The Civil Marriage business is worth around £63 million pounds to Oxfordshire's economy.
Around 31% of weddings held in Oxfordshire are couples who aren't from the county. Jackie believes there are several reasons behind this.
"We tried very hard to promote Oxfordshire as THE place to marry and we're very fortunate where our location is. It's very easy to travel from London or the North. We have some of the best venues in the world I think.
"You've got eveyrthing in Oxfordshire: the beautiful countryside, the Cotwolds, the palaces, the barns, the boats, a private island - everything for anybody to suit their taste and size of budget as well."