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Suffolk wedding venues happy with Covid-19 restrictions despite later openings

From April 12 couples will be able to get married once more, but under guidelines, ceremonies will only be possible in churches and public buildings.

But far from feeling left at the alter by the Government’s restrictions, Suffolk’s private wedding venue owners have welcomed the ‘road map’.

Several businesses have told the Bury Free Press they will be happy to open from May 17 if that is the best way to stop the spread and return to normality.

Suffolk Barn is one of several venues set to reopen for weddings later in the summer.
Suffolk Barn is one of several venues set to reopen for weddings later in the summer.

Rupert Brown, owner and manager of Suffolk Barn at Hawstead Place, said: “Our clients without exception have been brilliant. I am feeling positive. We have been flexible with our customers and they have the opportunity to do what they want to do, so they can hold the event they want.

“There is a lot of uncertainty so we want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.”

The barn, which can host wedding services as well as receptions, is set to open this summer but clients have the freedom to move their event back to next year.

Mr Brown added that the barn did not hold an event last year and the period has ‘not been easy’ financially. “There is a feeling that we are all in this together. We have just taken the news on the chin.

“We look forward to opening the doors again towards the end of May and then fully in June and July.

“We support that decisions were made upon scientific advice.”

Karyn Scott, manager of St Andrew’s Castle Civil Ceremonies in Bury St Edmunds, said: “Because we are a new venue the impact will not affect us as severely as some others. It is just one of those things. We have got to follow the rules like everybody.”

Weddings will still have restrictions until June 21 when mass events can resume.

David Harris, owner of Hengrave Hall, said: “The main thing is for everyone to keep safe. We have a church on site so weddings could still be held there.”

Bryan Gates, operational manager of Bury St Edmunds & Farmers Club, said the venue is restricted to only holding 14 weddings per year.

“We had planned for it,” he said. “We looked at the small print and saw it would not be possible to do anything until May. It has not been frustrating, it is just something to work around.”

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