UK Weddings with Covid
Nearly one million weddings are in the post-pandemic pipeline, with an estimated boost to the economy of £43 billion over the next two years. 95% of couples have postponed rather than cancel their wedding*. To realise this potential, government support is required to save the 60,000 businesses (employing 400,000 people) who have been largely unable to work since March 2020. 50 million people in the UK are likely to attend a wedding by the end of 2022. UK Weddings Taskforce – the official body designated to negotiate with the government – has called for a “perfectly reasonable and economically viable” financial support bridge to ensure the demand for weddings can be met.
The weddings sector, paralysed by the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic, has been unable to trade in any commercially viable form since March 2020 Currently weddings are prohibited. Many businesses report catastrophic losses and over three-quarters of businesses have reported revenues down by over 75% (Source UK Weddings Survey).
Unlike other sectors, however, the majority (95%) of consumers have postponed rather than cancel their weddings with 220,000 UK weddings postponed since the first lockdown. With 475,000 weddings currently scheduled to take place in 2021, including 196,500 postponed from 2020, the industry is predicted to generate £25 billion for the UK economy in 2021.
The sector is asking the government for assistance and assurances to restore consumer confidence in businesses with a financial support bridge and to provide clarity on a safe and realistic opening up of weddings from Easter to larger numbers now that the vaccine offers light at the end of the tunnel.
Having successfully made the case that business has not been lost but merely deferred, the recently formed, industry appointed UK Weddings Taskforce is now officially representing the sector. It has been engaging in two-way communication with government via the Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully MP, and his department (BEIS).
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