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Garden weddings should last 45 minutes with 15 people – govt

The government on Friday directed that all garden wedding ceremonies should last a maximum of 45 minutes and have not more than 15 people.

Weddings are highly social affairs in Kenya, traditionally attended by hundreds of people, including distant cousins, aunts and uncles one has never met, as well as total strangers and colleagues.

“Those opting to conduct their wedding in public spaces such as gardens will be expected to conduct their ceremony within 45 minutes,” State Law Office CAS Winnie Guchu said.

She was speaking during a press briefing on Friday where she announced the resumption of marriage services. The CAS said all applications should be done online.

When the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and Kenya reported its first case, many Kenyan couples grappled with the dilemma over whether to cancel their planned weddings after the government banned social gatherings of any kind including birthdays and merry-go-round.

And while some did, a section chose to carry on, while observing the Ministry of Health guidelines, while others didn’t.

In April, authorities arrested 39 women and put them in a 14-day quarantine after they had attended a pompous wedding party in the capital Nairobi.

Kenyan authorities said the event was crowded and ignored social distancing norms.

According to data from the registrar of marriages, the number of those seeking to officiate their conjugal bond during this period has gone up.