For anyone thinking of getting married in Gibraltar, I thought I'd write about my experience of doing so.
My now husband and I decided to get married in Gibraltar with just my parents as witnesses as we wanted to do something memorable but didn't want all the hassle and expense of a big wedding at home in England.
We emailed the registry office who sent us all the information you need on how to arrange a ceremony and get married in Gibraltar. We booked our ceremony for Friday 1st October at the registry office.
We flew from Manchester with Monarch and stopped for four nights at the Elliot O'Callaghan hotel (which was very nice, good value for a Gibraltar hotel and in a fantastic central location).
I hadn't been to Gibraltar before but I thought it was great. Before we went we were looking at possible day trips to various places in Spain and to Tangier but we found we had more than enough to do in Gibraltar itself on the three non-wedding days of our trip.
Our wedding itself was lovely. The registry office is a 5 minute walk from the hotel so there's no need for a wedding car. Whilst waiting at the registry office for our 'slot' we saw another British couple who had just got married and a Spanish couple were waiting to get married after us. We really liked the atmosphere of that and were all congratulating each other - but those of you who prefer the idea of exclusivity might want to pick an alternative venue than the registry office.
The room at the registry office where the ceremony can take place is small and not that inspiring (but not awful either) - however, they told us we could request to get married in the registry office garden which is pretty. We did that and, although they warned us that there is traffic noise, I have to say that I didn't really notice it as I was too busy focusing on my vows and my hubby. The garden looks great on our photos too. The registrar was lovely and, whilst you can't personalise your vows, they were happy for us to add in some little personal touches such as my dad walking me into the garden and my mum doing a reading.
After the ceremony we walked to the Botanical Gardens which are 10-15 mins walk away. Lots of people were beeping their horns and calling out congratulations which was nice. The Botanical Gardens is a great spot for photos. After that we headed to the Queensway Marina (10-15 mins walk again) and had a fantastic meal at The Waterfront. We had a table right on the marina and they realised it was our wedding day and sprinkled table confetti and gave us our bubbly cork to keep and were generally just really great. The food was fantastic too. (On that note we had great food generally in Gibraltar and can also recommend 14 on the Quay and Cafe Rojo and the little Moroccon restaurant in the square outside the Elliot hotel).
All in all, I can really recommend a wedding in Gibraltar. For those of you with few or no guests, the registry office itself is great and adds to a fun off-the-cuff feel. And I can certainly recommend opting to get married in the registry office garden. If you have a few more guests or want a really pretty outdoor setting and are prepared to make a few more arrangements, the Botanical Gardens is a lovely setting and they do have some covered areas where you can conduct the ceremony if it is wet. If you are having a big wedding and want a venue where you can have your ceremony and a reception then the Mons Calpe suite on top of the rock looks like it would be a great spot.
Happy wedding planning for anyone thinking of picking Gibraltar for their wedding!