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Couples ‘frustrated’ as council postpones civil wedding ceremonies

PUBLISHED: 11:33 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:13 07 July 2020

While religious ceremonies will not be affected by the council's announcement, couples expecting a registry office ceremony will have to wait until July 25 before they can tie the knot. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/kkshepel

While religious ceremonies will not be affected by the council's announcement, couples expecting a registry office ceremony will have to wait until July 25 before they can tie the knot. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/kkshepel

Getty Images/iStockphoto/kkshepel

Civil weddings across the county will not resume until the end of the month - despite government assurances that ceremonies can continue if safe to do so.

Civil marriages are not resuming in Norfolk until July 25, despite the government allowing ceremonies to go ahead from July 4 with safety precautions in place. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/DGLimagesCivil marriages are not resuming in Norfolk until July 25, despite the government allowing ceremonies to go ahead from July 4 with safety precautions in place. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/DGLimages

Norfolk County Council has announced that civil ceremonies will be postponed until July 25 and that affected couples will be contacted regarding rearrangement.

In a statement on its website, the council said: “The government has announced that small ceremonies can resume from 4 July, where it is safe to do so.

“We are looking forward to celebrating your special day with you but there is a lot of work that needs to be done before that happens.

“Our intention is to resume ceremonies in Norfolk from 25th July. This will allow enough time for us to work with our approved venues to make sure they are safe to reopen and to prepare our teams for a new way of working.”

The council added that it was “really sorry ceremonies cannot commence sooner”, and that couples should “constantly review” the website for updates.

Norfolk County Council said it is working with venues and staff to Norfolk County Council said it is working with venues and staff to "prioritise safety" and that couples affected by the postponement announcement would be contacted in due course. Photo: Archant

But for one groom who was due to be getting married next weekend, he only found out about his cancelled ceremony through the council’s website - and claimed he still had not been contacted by the council directly.

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The man, who does not want to be named, said: “It’s extremely frustrating to hear assurances that registry services can go ahead on July 4 at the government level, to then be informed last minute by Norfolk County Council, through their website, that for some reason this won’t be happening here.

“One of my friends was due to be getting married this weekend - and he only heard about this when I told him after happening upon the information myself.”

In response, a council spokesperson said: “As social distancing continues, only small ceremonies can take place and we understand that may not be the first choice of every couple.

“We will be contacting couples who had existing ceremony bookings to advise them of their new options and find out how they would like to proceed.

“We recognise that this has been a difficult time for couples in Norfolk and we appreciate their patience.”

Although restrictions are in place for ceremonies that will go ahead in other UK counties, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex County Council have all confirmed their intention, via council websites, to resume ceremonies from July 4.

The Norfolk groom affected by the news said he “couldn’t understand” what made Norfolk so different.




















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