Moscow weddings get a little less merry with champagne and musician ban

Weddings at registry offices in the Russian capital are often thought of as a jolly affair, with live music and champagne flowing. Now nuptials in Moscow are somewhat more sober, under a new ban on musicians and alcohol.

Registry offices traditionally employed external contractors to provide the happy couple and their guests with music, food and a professional wedding video. But now officials have had enough of dealing with these requests, and as such have decided to stop offering the extra services.

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According to a report by Russian newspaper Izvestia, citing Deputy Head of the Moscow Civil Registry Department, Marina Maslova, the new rules were officially introduced on 1 May but only came to light yesterday.

Couples will now have to make do with pre-recorded music and organise a photographer themselves. They must also make sure the person they choose to capture the day has the appropriate attire — the new rules also dictate that photographer and videographers follow a dress code.

To those sad not to be able to ease wedding nerves with a tipple, the press secretary to the department, Yevgeniya Smirnova, explains that the “drinking of alcoholic beverages” is prohibited in public places and that “to drink champagne in a registry office has always been forbidden and never happens”. Given that champagne has been a common feature of Moscow weddings, it seems that there is a significant gap between theory and practice. No more: when applying to marry, couples are now handed a copy of the rules to ensure they know them.

If the idea of a silent, sober wedding pains you, you can sign this petition calling for officials to drop the rules.

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