Published: 14:51, 22 September 2021
| Updated: 14:53, 22 September 2021
Wedding bookings are expected to return to "normal levels" across Kent next month after a busy summer since lockdown restrictions were eased.
Kent Registration Service has experienced huge demand for ceremonies over the last three months, after the government lifted most Covid restrictions in July.
It is fully booked for the rest of this month but the number of bookings are predicted to soon return to more normal levels, according to Kent County Council (KCC), which oversees the running of the service.
It comes as 60% more ceremonies have been held compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to County Hall chiefs, which they say has been a "huge strain" on staff.
Around 3,260 ceremonies have been conducted since April 2021, with 2,500 of these in July, August and the first half of September, it has been revealed.
Cllr Mike Hill (Con), who is KCC's cabinet member for communities, said: "We have had a very busy summer. The back end of July, August and September has been incredibly busy."
The comments made by Cllr Hill, whose portfolio post covers weddings, came yesterday during a hybrid committee meeting involving a panel of several county councillors at Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone.
Large-scale weddings planned for between March 2020 to July 2021 had to be postponed because of the pandemic.
Many couples delayed holding ceremonies until the lockdown concluded on July 19, when restrictions on the number of attendees were lifted.
Before then, weddings could take place with only six people or two households present, unless anyone getting married was seriously ill when a maximum of 30 people was allowed.
Since July, the wedding industry has experienced a surge in demand across the country.
Concluding, Cllr Hill added: "Staff have done it and got through them all. By the end of October, we will be back to normal rates of usage."