Las Vegas and Gretna Green are no longer your only options should you want to secretly elope with your loved one, for now it’s possible to get married in just 72 hours in St Petersburg in Russia.
The new law, approved by the local government in St Petersburg, is set to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “from Russia with love”. Foreign visitors will now be able to apply for a Russian marriage license in the city in just 72 hours as authorities in the city attempt to boost tourism using ever-more creative methods.
72-hour marriage licenses aren’t the only thing cooked up by the City Hall however; they have also announced plans for a more aggressive advertising campaign for the city, tax-free shopping for tourists and the possibility of visa-free rail and air travel for foreign visitors.
However, the chance for foreigners to obtain a rapid wedding in the city is hoped to be one of the more popular new attractions, said a city spokesman yesterday.
Registering for a marriage normally takes a minimum of one month in Russia following submission of an application, and even then this is just the minimum – in fact, many of Russia’s registry offices are overwhelmed with applicants in the summer, and couples are often forced to wait for two, three or more months before their request is approved.
Unfortunately for Russians, the new ruling only applies to foreigners – locals will still have to wait the one month minimum.
The City Hall spokesman told reporters that it is hoped the new initiatives will be able to attract an additional 3 million visitors each year. Currently, St Petersburg receives around 5 million tourists each year.