Alison Gilmore, general manager of the 180-bedroom hotel, told BigHospitality, she hoped the move to allow couples to tie the knot around the clock would give more scope to guests and help boost its events business further.
She said: “Blackpool is a destination that is keen to adopt new and wacky ideas. The Imperial Hotel is always on the look-out for unusual weddings, this initiative follows on from the one we did a few years ago called ‘drive-through weddings’.
“Currently 30 per cent of the hotel’s business comes from its events and weddings and this new package will add a different dimension to the wedding packages we offer.”
Midnight marriage packages will start at £1,200 for a ceremony for 40 people in one of the hotel’s five function rooms. The price includes room hire, red carpet, a themed buffet, arrival drinks and toast. Ceremony costs are extra.
Until the end of 2012 it had been illegal for couples to get married outside the hours of 8am and 6pm in the UK, but a move by the Home Office to reverse a 176-ban made it easier for venues to apply for a licence to offer weddings 24 hours of the day.
Gilmore said it had not been hard to obtain the licence. She had worked closely with Blackpool’s local registry office to push it forward and had got support from Blackpool borough council for the hotel, which claims to have hosted every UK Prime Minister, to offer it.
“The local registry office is always keen to do something a bit different,” she said.
The hotel believes the package will become popular within the steam punk community with the hotel’s mahogany panelled Churchill Room an ideal setting for those who wanted to follow a Victorian or Wild West science-fiction theme for their special day.
Gilmore said: “Blackpool is renowned for being a fun and lively town and we really wanted to create some new wedding packages to reflect that. With so many fantastic, original Victorian fixtures at the hotel, the appetite for steam punk themed weddings is already high and we now also have the added benefit of being able to offer an even more unique twist."