Butlin's to offer Elvis weddings: 'Theme' ceremonies to feature crooner, cowboys and gangsters

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The Independent Online
EVER EAGER to shake off its downmarket image, Butlin's, the original happy camper, is to introduce Elvis Presley-style, Las Vegas weddings to Britain.

An Elvis lookalike crooning Love Me Tender as you walk down the aisle is the centrepiece of one of a range of theme ceremonies the company plans to offer at its Wonderwest World holiday centre in Ayr, Scotland.

If that is not your thing, Bugsy Malone nuptials, complete with Chevy, violin cases and gangland shoot- out, and wild west weddings, with cowboy outfits and 10- gallon hat cakes, are other alternatives to 'boring' old- fashioned weddings.

'People meet at Butlin's, laugh together and fall in love,' David Shelley, Wonderwest director, said. 'We often get asked if we can arrange for them to get married. Until now it has never been possible.'

The church is currently used as a storeroom. But restored, the small white building on the shores of the Clyde, with the Isle of Arran as a backdrop, would be hard to match for romance.

'Couples want to mark their special day with something a bit different,' said Mr Shelley. 'But travelling to Las Vegas or the Caribbean can be expensive and, in the end, a little lonely. It means you have no chance of sharing your day with friends and relatives.'

A Wonderwest wedding would certainly be a shared occasion. Couples are expected to honeymoon in a special Butlin's suite with heart-shaped bath and champagne, and all those relatives who could not have made it to Barbados can be housed in nearby chalets.

Mr Shelley says there is no legal bar to his proposals. Local clergy see no problem in reconsecrating the church and the first wedding is planned for March. Ceremonies are expected to be conducted by a Church of Scotland minister.