More on the Big Wedding Weekend
At London's Southbank Centre
We were so sad to miss the Festival’s Opening Weekend (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June} which was an in-depth look at the seven types of love with talks, debates, workshops, readings and performances. Highlights included writer and founding faculty member of The School of Life, Roman Krznaric, talking about the Different Varieties of Love; Dr Bettany Hughes and Professor Angie Hobbs discussing the nature and power of erotic love; and a Flirtology workshop with social social anthropologist Jean Smith.
Dr Bettany Hughes, said: “I’m fascinated by the millennia-long history of the power of love from the Bronze Age to the present day. We can learn a huge amount from the Ancient Greeks and in particular, Socrates. For him, Love has a purpose. It is the life force, the desire to do, to be, to think. It is the thing that makes us feel great about the world, and therefore makes us be great in it.”
The whole site has been transformed with love-themed exhibitions and installations including Sliding Gate, a series of play slides by Sean Griffiths of Modern Architect (previously of architecture firm FAT), which symbolise the ups and downs of family life and the strong bonds between families; Love Flags by Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner using the seven colours of the rainbow, signifying the peace and gay pride movements, which fly from the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall roofs, and the Jubilee Gardens flagpole; the Tunnel of Love by disability arts organisation Heart n Soul, a multi-media and sensory installation with vibrating floors, mirrors, love-songs soundtrack, which pays homage to the cheeky, flirty Tunnels of Love of yesteryear; Siege Weapons Of Love by Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich, giant bright pink inflatable cannons and a tank inviting visitors to make love not war, which is part of their Friendly Frontier Peace Campaign; and Pragma Tree: Growing Together, a playful installation by The Edible Bus Stop including a large tree, symbolising Pragma, a love that is enduring, patient and strong, and seating.
And then as well as all of the wonderful things described above is Big Wedding Weekend (30-31 August) inspired by Agape – the love of humanity. This final weekend will see couples get married at Southbank Centre in mass ceremonies and celebrations in the Royal Festival Hall, which will be a completely different and affordable take on the ‘big day’. Two of the Royal Festival Hall ceremonies have already sold-out and 70 couples are signed up to marry or renew their vows. Hundreds more couples will be able to ‘marry’ in an inflatable chapel. We just love this idea so much!
The mass wedding weekend will be both a communal celebration and a political act, helping to reduce the financial barrier to marriage. The package, which costs £1,000, includes the registrar, ceremony, photography, entertainment throughout the day including an evening disco on The Clore Ballroom and other events around the building. The wedding parties also have the option to join in a celebratory communal feast on The Clore Ballroom (this costs an additional £1000 for the couple and up to 40 guests).
For more information on this fabulous and unique opportunity