We all have our opinions on the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we can agree the rules created have been hard to follow, sometimes hard to understand, and in the case of weddings – baffling.
No one disputes the need for caution and personal responsibility for wider public safety, but why allow entertainment venues to open, with thousands set to potentially congregate, yet cap weddings at 30 people until June?
As it stands, the UK wedding industry is hanging by a thread, having lost a staggering £4.8 Billion in 2020 due to cancellations. The latest iteration of the post-lockdown roadmap, which fails to offer timely help to the wedding industry, has caused outrage, with many pointing out the arbitrary nature of the Government’s rules. If entertainment venues, pubs, cinemas can open properly in May, why can’t weddings return to normal?
The lack of clarity and focused help from the Government for the UK wedding industry has given rise to the #whataboutweddings campaign.
What the campaign stands for:
“#WhatAboutWeddings is for everyone in the wedding sector – from couples whose weddings have been impacted, to businesses whose livelihoods are under threat.”
- Actively seeking a roadmap and clarity for safe reopening.
- Encourage and make it easy for couples and business owners to lobby their MPs.
- Educating the media to recognise wedding businesses as valuable and competent contributors to the UK economy.
- Supporting couples devastated by the impact of COVID-19 on their milestone celebrations.
- Researching and analysing sector data and collecting new data to gain a better understanding of the make-up and worth of the UK wedding sector.
- Liaising with UK government on the need for clarity and improved communication, and a package of measures to restore consumer confidence in the ability of our sector to navigate safely to the other side of the pandemic.
Return to Normality by June 21st
At present, weddings are set to be allowed a 30-person maximum capacity in May, though this is not a financially viable number. The consensus is, come the latter part of June, limits on weddings must be relaxed. The wedding industry is a strong contributor to the British economy, and not something which can be left out in the cold. It’s thought up to 400,000 people directly and indirectly rely on weddings for their livelihood and each year we spend £14.7 Billion on weddings.
Also, the wedding industry is seasonal – with 79% of business occurring between the months of April and October – meaning that any chance of recovery is weighted heavily on a busy summer.
We Emotionally Need Weddings
A moving letter written by the well-known website Bridebook outlines that, if we were to lose the wedding industry, we’d be losing a vital part of our emotional recovery from coronavirus. It’s not just about job retention but providing a platform for one of the most positive life milestones, where we celebrate love and friendship. In a time of societal crisis, we need the emotional release and uplifting boost of weddings as an imperative.
It’s hoped the Government will realise how critical the wedding industry is to our economic and mental health and lay out a fair and viable roadmap for recovery. For more information, and to support the campaign, please visit – https://whataboutweddings.co.uk/