Copenhagen City Hall is the most wonderful and perfect place for a cosmopolitan Danish Ceremony, it is a stunning building that towers over the main square in the city. They hold thousands of ceremonies every year, to sit on the steps in front of the main doors and see all the couples go in and out is amazing and you can't help but smile and offer to take photos!
Not only is the venue breathtaking but the registrars ensure that every ceremony they conduct is as special as the next one... Jesper spoke to us about his role there as the Head of the Wedding Office...He is an amazing man, whom we love just a little bit more (if that is possible!) every time we speak to him.
Interview with Team Copenhagen City Hall
Q - Can you please introduce yourself and who the team at Copenhagen City Hall are?
A - I am head of the Wedding Office at Copenhagen City Hall. We are a team of 12 people, but we also work closely with more than 20 people from different departments who work as registrars for a couple of hours every week.
Q - Tell me a little about yourself and why you became a registrar, how you ended up becoming a registrar and how long you have been a registrar.
A - I became a registrar in 2015 when I worked as a consultant, long before I transferred to the Wedding Office – almost anyone working in the City of Copenhagen can apply to become a registrar. I thought it would be a great way to get away from the computer screen and meet some happy people from all over the world and be a part their special day.
Q - Do you have any wedding, ceremony or event that has been particularly memorable to you and why?
A - Yes, a few years ago I had to perform the marriage ceremony of a couple before the should ran the half marathon. It was pouring down so everything had to be done quick but with so much love, humour – and audience. They we’re the cutest.
Q - Do you get to eat lots of wedding cake?
A - Most couples celebrate with cake in the City Hall Garden or away from City Hall, so that is not part of my job, unfortunately.
Q - What is the busiest time of year for you? And which season do you prefer and why?
A - Summer is without a doubt our busiest season – everyone wants to be married from May to September. And I can relate, because it gives couples the possibility to celebrate outside! Inside City Hall, the season doesn’t matter. But as a registrar, you sometimes get to marry people at private events, and then it is really fun to marry people in the summer in beautiful park etc, but in the colder months, I get to visit a lot of beautiful wedding venues in the city.
Q - What is a typical wedding like in City Hall?
A - The couple usually arrives 10 minutes before and wait in our waiting room with the nice mural paintings and a balcony facing the Great Hall. The registrar then comes find the couple and their guests and take them next door to the smaller and more intimate wedding room. Along with the registrar are two official witnesses. During the ceremony, the registrar delivers a short speech, and the couples is asked, if they want to marry each other. After they confirm, they exchange rings if they wish.
When the marriage papers have been signed, the couple receive their marriage certificates and the ceremony is over. Afterwards, they are welcome to stay in the Great Hall or in the City Hall Garden and celebrate, if they with.
Q - What advice do you have for couples to ensure they experience a wonderful wedding ceremony?
A - Just relax and enjoy the special moment. Look deep into your partners eyes. And don’t forget to turn off your cellphone!
Q - Any special advice on dealing with wedding-day nerves?
A - Deep breaths and a firm grip of your partners hands.
Q - Can you describe the ceremony in Copenhagen City Hall in three words
A - Romantic, informal and uplifting.
Q - What sort of behind the scenes work do you do that couples might not know about?
A - We practice the pronunciation of the couple’s names before we perform a ceremony. Couples from all over the world come to marry here, and some names are just very exotic and hard to pronounce for a Dane.
Q - What is the favourite part of your job?
A - Seeing a lot of couples so happy and excited - you can sometimes feel their love for each other filling the room. But honestly: If my speeches them so much that they cry a little, I am very pleased.
Q - What do registrars do in the spare time for fun and relaxation?
A - I cannot speak for all registrars, but I go on hiking trips and tend to my new balcony plants.
Q - Are you able to say the wedding speech in 3 different languages off the top of your head?
A - Yes, I think you can wake me up at night, and I would still be able to say it.
Q - Can you describe the City Hall look and feeling/vibe?
A - It’s a beautiful impressive building with a lot of history, but also with a million small details with interesting stories hidden everywhere in the architecture and the decorations. It is and old building, but it does not feel ‘heavy’ or dark, but instead rather inviting.
Q - Is there an interesting or fun fact about the City hall or Copenhagen that couples may not know that we can share?
A - Some of the decorations on the walls, floors etc. are askew or put in backwards. This may seem like the interior designer was just sloppy, but it is actually a deliberate mistake. The Italian workers installing the terrazzo and the mosaics followed a well-known tradition from many cultures all over the world of ‘deliberate imperfection’ to show God that they are aware that only his creation is perfect.
Q - Somewhere locally you would recommend a couple to visit whilst they are there?
A - Visit some of the many neighbourhoods around Copenhagen’s city centre like Nørrebro, Vesterbro, Østerbro or Amager and experience the authentic Copenhagen lifestyle.
Q - Tell us about a funny, hair-raising moment during a wedding ceremony?
A - Sometimes, the bride or groom’s phone rings during the ceremony. And occasionally, the bride or groom answers the phone! So I can only recommend that you switch off your phone beforehand.
Q - Is it possible to have a “personalised” ceremony? Are there any “special request” that couples ask you? or maybe in the past you have had some request really “unique” or weird that you want to share with us…
A - Yes, you can choose to book a registrar. He or she will then come to the wedding venue that you have chosen and give a personalised wedding speech and ceremony. As a registrar at theses events, I always do my best to accommodate the couple’s wishes.
Q- What is the maximum amount of people you have had in the ceremony room for a wedding?
A - Our wedding room can hold up to 60 people, and it happens once in a while that we see a wedding party of that size.
Q - How many weddings does your town hall perform per year?
A - Around 6.500 – and we still have time for more ?
If you are wanting to find out more about marrying in Copenhagen then please see our Blog series;
The Copenhagen City Hall Wedding
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