Advice for Wedding Venues following the Prime Minister’s Announcement
The Prime Minister has today (31/7/2020) announced that plans to allow wedding receptions from tomorrow have been paused, along with local lockdowns in 3 areas. This is devastating news for the venues, and couples that were finally seeing a glimmer of hope.
If you have weddings in the next 2 weeks
Wedding ceremonies can go ahead, but no receptions.
If your venue licence permits it, you may be able to serve food to up to 2 households as long as it is as a meal, and couldn’t be considered a reception, or serve takeaway food. However, it must be within the terms of your current licence.
If you have weddings after 15th August
The plans are being reviewed but nothing will change before the 15th of August. However, today’s announcement demonstrates just how fragile the situation is. We feel that few couples, or venues, will want to expose themselves to the added financial risk.
Our survey earlier this week shows that the majority of couples with weddings in 2020 already felt that they’d have to postpone.
As ever, we will be encouraging postponements, not cancellations, to reduce the long term financial implications on venues.
Are there any loopholes?
Yes, plenty. However, in the past week, we have noticed a huge shift in public sentiment. Having already sacrificed so much, no one wants their area or industry to be subject to a local lockdown.
Photos of “underground” weddings from brides, grooms and guests have a habit of appearing on social media.
Local authorities and EHOs will be looking for those ignoring the rules; we have already heard of a £28,000 fine being applied to a venue for holding a wedding reception.
It is important to think carefully, before looking for loopholes, about how you will be perceived by others in your sector who are following the rules, especially if there is a spike in your area that causes a total lockdown. Is it really worth that long term reputational damage?
If we are wanting the financial support from the government that we so desperately need for all venues, we cannot be seen looking for loopholes or being the cause of local outbreaks.
Where do we stand financially for these last-minute cancellations?
Couples with wedding insurance should be covered. As this is a frustrated contract, the couple can be charged limited and reasonable costs from the point of contract, but not including maintenance. This would include the costs of all the food already purchased and prepared and other costs specific to that wedding.
We will be encouraging couples to negotiate with their venue to move their wedding plans to an alternative date and accept that there will be costs incurred from such a late cancellation.
Join us on Monday
We will be joined by venue consultant Nina Beer from Occasion Queens on Monday 3rd August at 2pm for an interactive Zoom call for wedding venues. Along with others, Nina is at the heart of the national #whataboutweddings campaign.
We will be looking at the results of this week’s wedding venue survey and couples survey on postponement and cancellation policies and giving you an opportunity to discuss the current government guidelines with us and with other venues.
The link is here: https://guidesforbrides.zoom.us/j/85274351133
Finally … Face Coverings
It is likely that face coverings will be required by law from 8th August for wedding ceremonies in Approved Venues. It’s yet to be confirmed, but the guidance covers places of worship and indoor spaces where people come into contact with those they don’t normally meet.
As ever, we are here to support you in any way we can at such a difficult time.