11th May 2021
Dear Prime Minister,
Wedding Sizes and Wedding Reception Guidance
With 6 days to go until the next phase of the lockdown easing roadmap, couples due to get married in this next phase and wedding organisers still do not have parity of guidance with other hospitality and events sectors from 17th May or more assurance that restrictions will be lifted on 21st June.
This has left thousands of weddings and the entire wedding sector in complete disarray. This is causing an enormous amount of financial and emotional trauma to couples up and down the country and to the entire sector. It is disproportionately affecting women who make up 80% of the industry.
For example a wedding dress designer cannot have fittings even though it they are as COVID secure as beauty treatment and so cannot reopen, and a flower business which relies on wedding reception business is still not getting enough bookings to re-open as so many engaged couples are not clear about the wedding guidance.
In February, it was stated that guidance would be published in ‘due course’, but three months on they have heard nothing. It is not good enough. I urge you to publish this guidance immediately. In Scotland, where there are similar numbers, the guidance will move to 50 guests permitted at weddings, then 100 guests allowed from June 7th and at weddings and 200 from late June.
The glaring disparity and unfairness between how the wedding industry has been treated compared to other parts of the economy has also failed to be addressed over the past few months. There has not been any pilot events and very little evidence or data published to justify the continued cap at 30 guests. From next week, hugging and physical contact will be allowed and and sport stadiums can have 1000 guests, yet weddings are still limited to 30 guests. I simply cannot see the justification in this.
And if there is justification, then I at least ask you to publish the data and evidence behind it.
I have been many events organisers and couples in my constituency over the past few months. They feel totally abandoned and mistreated and have lost thousands of pounds due to this disparity and lack of clarity and guidance.
I implore you think again on this and give the wedding industry the clarity and parity it desperately needs.
Fleur Anderson MP