250 Island marriages or civil partnerships put on hold

Coronavirus has disrupted everyone in one way or another but for 250 unfortunate couples on the Isle of Wight, their marriages or civil partnerships have been put on hold.

When the virus first hit, weddings were restricted to the registrar, bride and groom and two witnesses. However, when lockdown was enforced no marriages or civil partnerships were allowed to take place.

This has meant elaborate dos, simple ceremonies and all the trimmings have been postponed while measures were put in place.

The Isle of Wight Registry Office, run by the Isle of Wight Council, has been assisting couples who have had to put their futures on hold.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council said: “Ceremonies have not gone ahead because they are not permitted by the government and this remains the case currently.

“During the lockdown period, the Register Office has been liaising with affected couples accordingly, who will have made their own decision whether to rearrange to a later date or to cancel. Most have rearranged to a later date.

“The Register Office has assisted approximately 250 couples since 24 March 2020 whose marriages or civil partnerships have been affected by coronavirus.

“We are currently awaiting the next government announcement.”

A limited service on the Island has resumed for taking notices of intention to marry on Monday (June 15) but only for ceremonies that had been booked in July, August or September this year. The Register Office will be contacting couples directly to book them in, strictly subject to social distancing and hygiene procedures.

Although, the latest update to government guidance has revealed no plans for civil partnerships or marriages to recommence.

On the government’s website it says: “There is no change at this time – you cannot gather in sufficient numbers indoors to enable a wedding ceremony.

“We understand the frustration couples planning a wedding must be feeling at this time.

“We are keeping these restrictions under review and will ease them as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Special exemptions are being made for marriages and civil partnerships to take place, in line with Public Health England’s guidelines, for those who are seriously ill and not expected to recover.