Wedding-goers in Nice need to be on their best behaviour since the mayor introduced a controversial new charter banning noisy and disruptive weddings.
The new marriage charter which came into effect on June 1 was the brainchild of City of Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi who decided to prohibit boisterous behaviour at weddings. Connexion France reported couples about to tie the knot must sign the marriage charter before the ceremony and agree to adhere to the rules.
A number of bans will be applied under the marriage charter and include no whistling, shouting, flag waving (especially foreign flags), chaotic parking, no unauthorised music and no dancing in the streets. Couples who fail to comply with the new rules face their wedding being delayed for 24 hours.
The wedding charter has proved controversial and attracted a slew of criticism in addition to being branded racist. France 24 reported the charter bans behaviours more commonly associated with weddings in the North African and African communities, rather than traditional French weddings. A critic from a civil rights organization slammed the charter, saying “It is more geared for those who come from the other side of the Mediterranean, where weddings are traditionally much more joyous and are celebrated openly in public spaces."
Deputy mayor of Nice Auguste Verola defended the charter. He said It’s a question of common courtesy and politesse" adding “It’s not a question of keeping people from ululating or applauding. It’s still a wedding, after all”.
Verola went on to say that the flag waving ban does not target North African or Algerian flags, as all flags will be banned.
Reacting to the ban a protest was organized on Saturday morning. According to Riviera Radio civil rights groups staged a mock silent wedding party as they carried placards denouncing the new rules.