Wedding plans in disarray as town's registry office cancels services
PUBLISHED: 17:06 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 11 March 2019
Wedding plans have been thrown into disarray after a town's registry office cancelled its bookings.
Couples received a shock when they were told Thetford Registration Office would stop conducting weddings at the end of September - with all subsequent bookings cancelled.
Among those affected are Susan Oliver and Darren Norton, who were called to say that their November wedding would not be conducted, despite their confirmed booking and paid deposit.
Ms Oliver said the pair were “angry and upset” by the setback, which had seen them change their venue to Thetford Grammar School eight months before the big day.
The 56-year-old, of Bridge Street, Thetford, said: “Darren received an email from the registry office last week. They did say that The Bell would honour our booking, but we didn’t want to get married there.
“We had also ordered our invitations, but were luckily able to cancel them. We are just glad that it is sorted out now, and we have also found out that this has happened to a couple of our friends too, who were also angry about the situation.”
Thetford Town Council have been moving staff out of its current base at Kings House on King Street to The Carnegie Rooms since January.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “Our team of registration staff have often had to work alone in a public building. This arrangement was unsafe and unsustainable, so we have been working hard to establish a new location for the registration service in Thetford.”
From April the registry office will be relocated to Thetford Library on Raymond Street, where the registration of births and deaths will continue.
Anyone getting married at Kings House up to September 30 should be unaffected by the changes, but couples with existing bookings after this date have been contacted to change their plans. A council open day is planned for next week for affected couples.
The council spokesman said: “To ensure that ceremonies can still be offered in Thetford we have worked with the Bell Hotel in Thetford to offer weekday weddings at no additional cost and we continue to explore further options for venues in Thetford.”
The Bell is a 15th century hotel, bar and restaurant.