A Bury couple are thought to have had the first ever civil ceremony in Ainsworth. 

Michelle Ashworth, 51 and her now husband Iain, 53, decided to tie the knot in a unique and untraditional ceremony at Casalingo’s Italian restaurant on Church Street.

After a meal at the restaurant and a trip to the registrar, Michelle and Iain discovered that Casalingos had a marriage licence.

Iain said: “We have both been married before and spent a fortune, so we just wanted the day to be about the marriage not about a fancy church or a club, just close family and us.

Bury Times: The married couple and wedding guests The married couple and wedding guests

“We heard about the licence from the registrar and we had dinner there, spoke to Jo and her husband and then booked it. 

“It was amazing they couldn't do enough for us, I would recommend it for anybody wanting a smaller service.”

The couple married in August for a total cost of £940  for the venue, food and drink for 22 guests from 2pm to 6pm.

Cllr Jo Lancaster, who represents Radcliffe North and Ainsworth, is the owner of the restaurant, and after speaking with the registrar, she believes that this was the first civil ceremony to take place in Ainsworth.

Bury Times: Outside area for the wedding Outside area for the wedding

She said: “During the lockdown, we decided to get the restaurant registered for weddings as more people wanted smaller venues.

"We didn’t advertise it much but then a couple came in asking for a smaller venue and said they had been advised to come to us.

Bury Times: Dining area at CasalingoDining area at Casalingo

“It was interesting, we are really proud to have shared that experience and the registrar told us it was the first civil ceremony to take place in the village, so we have made history.

“It was very relaxed, we had a marque outside, the weather was amazing and if people want it, we would love to do it again in  future.”

Jo said, from speaking to people in the area, she feels that with the cost of living among other things, people would rather opt for a smaller more intimate venue.