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Cathedral garden offered for postponed weddings

Friday - 10/4/2013, 7:19pm  ET

Six weddings scheduled

Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Episcopal bishop of Washington is inviting any couples who had to cancel their weddings on federal property due to the government shutdown to have their ceremonies in a garden at Washington National Cathedral.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde says the Bishop's Garden at the cathedral would be offered free of charge to any couples who want to hold wedding ceremonies outdoors.

Budde says the government shutdown's impact on people's lives is incalculable. She says the church wants to support its neighbors.

"The bishop made the offer because, contrary to what some folks are saying, the shutdown actually is taking a toll on the daily lives of ordinary folks," says Jim Naughton, a spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

The offer was made after 24 weddings scheduled for sites on the National Mall this month were postponed. The National Park Service notified those couples that their permits for weddings are postponed until the government reopens.

Weddings are held at such sites as the Jefferson Memorial.

"It's there for anyone who was going to be married on federal property but then wasn't able to be married on federal property because of the government shutdown," Naughton says.

So far 12 to 15 people have contacted the diocese and six weddings are scheduled over the next two weekends, he says.

WTOP'S Andrew Mollenbeck contributed to this report. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.