Islington’s celebrity registrar
Cynthia Green meets a lot of residents from across the borough every day. Whether it’s registering the birth of a child or a death in the family, or marrying a couple, Cynthia is a well-known member of Islington Register Office. But, she is about to become even better known from Thursday 15 February when she hits our TV screens again as the registrar on Channel 4’s third series of ‘Married At First Sight’.
The show, which tries to uncover if science can help us fall in love, sees couples matched-up by a panel of experts. The first time they meet is on their wedding day when Cynthia helps them tie the knot. They then jet off on honeymoon and return to live together for six weeks. How many couples will still be together after that?
So how did you get involved?
The executive producer of the show contacted me for the first series last year as I had already done a television programme five years ago called ‘Wedding House’ where I married 46 couples over 25 days. Unfortunately, I could not do the first series due to red tape, but the production company came back to me for the second series and said Channel 4 wanted me to be the registrar on the programme. All the marriage certificates were done by me and the ceremonies took place here or in our venues in the City of London. It’s a great advertisement for Islington.
What was it like marrying the couples?
The couples hadn’t even seen each other before so you can imagine the tension in the room. They are matched perfectly, so I suppose the only thing left to chance is if they find each other attractive. Funnily enough, they usually do!
In the second series, one groom said: “Oh wow, she’s gorgeous” and one of the brides’ legs buckled as she was walking in. I asked if she was ok and she said: “He’s fit!”
Thousands of people apply to take part, but only a handful of couples are chosen. The show is really popular around the world. It started in Denmark and has been on in the United States, Australia, Germany, Finland, and Bulgaria and they have all produced successful unions.
So, can you reveal if any are still together?
No, I don’t know if any of them are! The producers haven’t told me. I have to watch the series like everyone else to find out.
Enough about the show, tell us a bit more about you.
I have been a registrar for nearly 20 years. I started in Bolton, then moved to London and worked for Lambeth and then I came to Islington.
What did you do before this?
I did a variety of different jobs. I worked in catering, secretarial work and probation.
What attracted you to becoming a registrar?
I am very much a people person, but found probation work emotionally difficult at times, with not too many highs and especially having young children at the time. So I started looking for something else and came across the advert for a registrar in Bolton, where I am from, and thought ‘yep that’s for me’.
Describe your typical day at work
I manage mainly the births and deaths side of the service in the week so sort out staffing, deal with all the queries pertaining to births and deaths from the customers, as well as the staff and generally make sure that everything runs as smoothly as it can. It can be a lot of running around, but time flies when you’re having fun.
How many weddings does Islington Register Office have a year?
Just over 2,000.
What is the strangest or most memorable wedding you have conducted?
The strangest was probably the Alice in Wonderland wedding. Visually it was stunning but the bride was quite quirky and wanted me to dress as a caterpillar and sit on a stool, which I obviously refused to do.
There have been so many memorable weddings. One that comes to mind was when the groom did a reading to his bride who had looked after him after a severe car crash where he nearly lost his life. Everyone including the registrars were in floods of tears.
What makes Islington a great place to have a wedding?
The registrars are brilliant with different personalities and characters. The rooms inside the Town Hall as well as the Assembly Hall are all different, but wonderful and cater for all tastes. You can also have your reception in the Hall which is so convenient for couples who want their day in the same place.
‘Married at First Sight’ will be aired on Channel 4 on Thursday 15 February at 9pm.
The Register Office registers births, deaths, marriages and, civil partnership for Islington and the City of London. If you are thinking about getting married, Islington and the City of London have over 40 venues to choose from, from ancient livery halls to modern restaurants. Many couples also choose to Say I Do at the beautiful and historic Islington Town Hall. For more information visit www.sayidoislington.com