Weddings taskforce pushes for further sector support

25 February 2021 by
Weddings taskforce pushes for further sector support

Representatives of the UK wedding industry have met with a group of more than 30 cross-party MPs who have agreed to lobby the prime minister and chancellor to discuss urgent support for the sector.

The UK Weddings Taskforce is pushing for weddings to resume at a minimum of 50 guests, or socially distanced capacity. It said that weddings of six, 15 or 30 guests are not commercially viable for most businesses, and many suppliers will not survive until 21 June when restrictions are due to be removed.

The calls come after the prime minister announced in his roadmap that live performances and sporting events could resume from 17 May with up to 1,000 attendees indoors or 4,000 outdoors, at the same point that wedding capacities increase from 15 to a maximum of 30 attendees.

Sarah Haywood, spokesperson for the UK Weddings Taskforce, said: "We have been very clear in our discussions with both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and number 10 that anything less than 50 guests at a wedding is not commercially viable.

"While Monday's announcement was good news for some, particularly couples with weddings booked on or after 21 June, many of the 60,000 businesses employing 400,000 people in our sector are now facing the prospect of four long months with zero income, no financial support from the government and the real threat of mass redundancies. The pipeline of work in this sector is enormous. It simply does not make sense for us to be wiped out."

The Catererspoke to several event caterers and venues earlier this week, who welcomed the reopening roadmap but echoed calls for further support as well as clarification.

Danny Pecorelli, managing director of the Exclusive Collection of hotels and venues, pointed out that, "with only one week's notice to confirm that restrictions are lifted, how many people are going to plan the biggest day of their lives without certainty that the government isn't going to shut it down the road again?"

Meanwhile, Alex Head, founder of the Social Pantry, called for weddings and marquees to be considered separately. She said there was "no reason why you could sit in a pub garden and not in a marquee for a wedding".

Photo: Shutterstock

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