A brand new ceremony room has been opened in the heart of Chester.

The Merchants Suite, located in the Merchants House on Crook Street, is a, well-lit venue with its own exclusive entrance.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, have confirmed the Register Office will move into the Merchants House.

The first marriage in the new room took place on May 1, uniting Shaun Bewley and Lucille Romoc, a couple who previously maintained a long-distance relationship between Hong Kong and Chester. The couple said: "It’s like making history, being the first of many couples to get married in a place."

Councillor Christine Warner, the Council’s Cabinet Member for homes, planning and safer communities, hailed the new ceremony space.

Chester and District Standard: Shaun Bewley and Lucille Romoc were the first people to get married at the new venue

She said: “Many congratulations to Shaun and Lucille on their big day, we wish them a long and happy marriage.

"The new ceremony room is fresh, bright and modern, I’m sure many more couples will enjoy holding their ceremony in such lovely surroundings in the future.

"As well as marriage ceremonies, the room will host civil partnerships, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies.”

Ceremony rooms like the one in Goldsmith House, the previous location, were once a major venue for marriages.

Established in the 1970s when weddings were allowed only in churches or civil Register Offices, these local authority rooms hosted countless couples.

However, legislation passed in 1994 permitted marriages in approved venues, including hotels, resulting in a decrease in ceremonies held in Register Offices.

Currently, the council’s Registration Service officiates approximately 450 ceremonies a year in their Chester venue.