GORTON Monastery re-opened its wedding book when a Salford couple tied the knot at the magnificent building on Saturday 27 June 2009.

The monastery was the backdrop for Emma Kelly and Daniel Karen's big day - the first there in two decades.

The couple, from Swinton, had planned to tie the knot in a Scottish castle before learning earlier this year that the beautifully-restored neo monastery, built in the 1860s, was re-opening its doors to weddings. Emma's mum, from Miles Platting, used to sing in the monastery choir.

Emma, 27, and Daniel, 30, have been together for seven years. Daniel proposed in Venice last Christmas. Emma wore two dresses on the day - one for the civil ceremony and a second for the party. And you'd expect nothing less from the bride who works at her family bridal business, The Confetti Box, in Eccles.

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Elaine Griffiths, The Monastery’s Chief Executive, said: “Emma and Danny’s wedding is the start of another important chapter in the incredible story of this very special building.   It was always our intention to host weddings here. It’s the perfect location and was a natural part of our business plan for the building.  Unfortunately, when we first opened as an events venue two years ago, we couldn’t qualify for a licence for civil marriages because the connection with religious practices was so recent. Now that The Monastery is recognised as a major events venue rather than a church so we were able to get the licence earlier this year.
Gorton Monastery held many weddings in the 126 years when it was a church and it holds many happy memories for local families going back generations. Now couples of all beliefs, faiths and backgrounds have the opportunity to take their vows and hold a celebration party for family and friends in this magical space.  It’s wonderful that we don’t have to turn anyone away. We can cater for every size of celebration, from a small and intimate gathering to a spectacular event for hundreds. We’re so pleased this lovely couple will help us mark another milestone in the Monastery’s history.”

For more information on The Monastery or to book the venue or a tour call 0161 223 3211 or visit www.themonastery.co.uk