UK Weddings Taskforce Updates
We are delighted to be working within a coalition of wedding platforms to ensure all of our clients are kept as up to date as possible on any developments regarding the UK Weddings Taskforce. Read the latest updates about the Taskforce, their discussions with the UK Government, and points of progress here.
A Message from the Taskforce – 14th May
England Step 3 Receptions Guidance
The Taskforce is disappointed with how long it has taken to get Step 3 wedding guidelines published despite daily conversations with the Government on this. We will be working harder than ever to ensure this delay doesn’t happen again and welcomed the Prime Minister’s point made in the House on Wednesday that he will be making an announcement within 28 days of 21st June to update us on weddings in Step 4.
The update also includes information on the guidance, the formation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Weddings and updates for the devolved nations. Read the full update here.
Message from Taskforce Chairperson – 14th April
I want to thank everyone who took part in today’s elections for the UK Weddings Taskforce – and especially the 30 candidates who stood for election, as without their commitment to stand we would not have a Taskforce at all. Full details on the elections can be seen HERE.
Members of the Taskforce elected on 13th April 2021:
- LaToya Patel: Council of Representatives Chairperson
- Stuart Owens: Pandemic Response Working Group Chair
- Siobhan Craven-Robins: Legacy & Representation Working Group Chair
- Sarah Haywood: Taskforce Spokesperson
- Elio Auletta: Taskforce Deputy Chair
- Nina Beer: Council of Representatives Deputy Chair
- Joshua Dugdale: Pandemic Response Working Group Co-Deputy Chair
- Zeleka Nadine: Pandemic Response Working Group Co-Deputy Chair
- Adeela Fethi: Legacy & Representation Working Group Co-Deputy Chair
- Bhavna Pandya-Barratt: Legacy & Representation Working Group Co-Deputy Chair
- Richard Eagleton: Taskforce Secretariat
- Michelle Taylor: Taskforce Deputy Secretariat
Read the full message here.
Message from Taskforce Chairperson: 9th April
“The Taskforce Elections take place next week. A list of nominees and their statements has been posted on the website. We are delighted to see so many people putting themselves forward and engaging with Taskforce activities. Not everyone who currently holds elected posts is re-standing, and others are standing for different posts alongside many new nominees, including several who are not already part of the Taskforce. This is the right time for us to reexamine where we are, welcome new perspectives and decide together how we move forward. We need to ensure the Taskforce remains and continues to evolve in representing the complex and diverse industry that we are.”
This message also included further key information about Taskforce elections and news surrounding Fundraising, the Events Research Program and more. Read the full update here.
Press Release 16th March
The UK Weddings Taskforce has received confirmation from senior Government sources that weddings cannot take place, in all but a small number of venues, between 12th April and 17thMay with 15 guests, in contradiction to what was stated in the Prime Minister’s roadmap announced on 22nd February.
Read the full press release here.
A Message from the Taskforce: 12th March
The Taskforce has urgently requested that BEIS step in to ensure the wedding guidance is released. They have been assured that it will be within the next few days. Plus, the Taskforce are looking for volunteer businesses to be part of a video project to promote consumer confidence and get couples booking suppliers. More information can be found on the full update. Read the full message here.
Press Release 5th March
Weddings may not have been mentioned in the Budget however that doesn’t mean that wedding businesses aren’t able to access certain grants. Find out what you may be entitled to in the Taskforce’s latest press release. Plus, the Taskforce is asking all wedding businesses to take this short survey.
Read the Press Release here.
Press Release 26th February
In this week’s newsletter, in response to the government announcing a roadmap that prevents most wedding businesses from trading viably until 21st June, the Taskforce sets out the financial proposal put forward to the Treasury.
Read the Press Release here.
Press Release 22nd February
The wedding industry welcomes the inclusion of weddings within the Prime Minister’s roadmap but raises concerns over guest numbers.
Read the full press release here.
Press Release 19th February
The Taskforce continues to push their safe, credible proposal for reopening and encourages businesses to share an official Taskforce badge to show their support ahead of Monday’s roadmap.
See the full newsletter. Download the Taskforce badge here.
Press Release 12th February
Today the Taskforce have shared details of the 5 most important “key” enablers that would help the wedding industry recover faster and that will under-pin conversations with the government.
- Minimum 50 guests or Socially Distanced Capacity (whichever is the lower number) – fewer is not commercially viable for most businesses and should be considered for LRSG (Closed)
- A wedding sector specific grant of £680m to support 60,000 businesses
- The Hospitality 5% VAT rate extended to all wedding businesses until April 2022
- Business Rates Relief to be extended to April 2022
- JRS to be extended to July 2021 and to include NI and pension payments
Press Release 4th February 2021
In the two weeks since our last newsletter, the UK Weddings Taskforce has been meeting regularly to progress the important issues facing our industry and we are incredibly pleased to share with you that we have just secured a meeting with No.10 Downing Street for next week.
The Taskforce remains focused on key tasks, and has gained solid ground on the following:
- Financial Support for the industry – lobbying Government to provide a financial support package for wedding businesses to help the industry survive the pandemic;
- Clarity on a roadmap for the resumption of weddings – agree with Government the conditions for the stages under which weddings can be restarted and operate at increasing levels of capacity.
Over 80 cross party MPs have signed a letter by Neil Parish MP in support of our formal request to Government for sector specific support and a roadmap to safe reopening. The letter and an accompanying press release can be read in full on our website. The Taskforce is still collating MP support, and is actively encouraging you all to reach out and ask your local MP to add their name and backing. Please share your successes with us.
Following the Taskforce meeting with Minister Paul Scully on January 18th, when the formal request for support measures was submitted, the Taskforce has a follow up meeting next week. A recap of the full package of measures we asked for can be seen on our website.
As mentioned above, 10 Downing Street has requested a meeting with the Taskforce next week to discuss our support request. At that meeting we will also press for weddings to be included in roadmap announcements expected to be made by the Prime Minister in three weeks’ time.
The Taskforce will be hosting its second MPs round-table on 16th February. The discussion will be based around outlining the challenges faced by the industry and a brief introduction to UK Weddings (for those who did not attend first Round Table), alongside rationale for industry ask, specifically opening up.
Announcement 23rd December 2020
The UK Weddings Taskforce has issued a press release today, 23rd December. You can read it here.
A crucial part of the work we are doing is to get financial support for the wedding sector and we’d like your help in demonstrating the impact Covid restrictions has had on your business. Please complete a very short UK Weddings Taskforce survey here.
There is now a dedicated website for the UK Weddings Taskforce. We’ll continue to update our clients on the latest progress but would encourage you to also register your business for updates on the Taskforce website UKWeddings.org
A message from the Chair – 23/12/20
We did not lose focus as the Taskforce was taking shape and have had several meetings and conversations with BEIS (the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) about moving our industry forward. It has been agreed that the Taskforce is the official, two-way channel of communication with the weddings sector, and we will be meeting the Minister for Small Business again in the New Year. Our priorities are threefold: financial support for our sector, opening up to larger guest numbers before Easter (which facilitating pilot events could assist with) and addressing more effective, timely and clear communication to assist businesses and couples in planning. An overarching objective is also addressing the waning consumer confidence.
The Taskforce comprises businesses and professionals from across our industry. We therefore have a full understanding and appreciation of what a calamitous year 2020 has been for all UK wedding businesses. What is certain, is that we are a viable industry with an unprecedented amount of work waiting for us when the pandemic restrictions are lifted – more than half a million weddings are in the pipeline. As we head into 2021, we are committed to doing all we can to properly represent the needs of our sector and assist navigating us to the other side with those who hold our fate in their hands. We will then be businesses at the very heart of the economic and social recovery. We head into 2021with all this in mind.
Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful holiday season and hope for the new year ahead.
With very best wishes,
Chair, and on behalf of the UK Weddings Taskforce
Announcement 4th December 2021
For those that missed the first meeting (Friday 4th December), we have a round up of the key points.
The UK Wedding Taskforce addressed the wedding industry today, setting out their plans to secure some much-needed assistance to the industry.
In the meeting, the taskforce detailed the work which has gone on already behind the scenes, and announced their plans to continue working with politicians and government agencies for both legislative and financial support.
They also explained how the taskforce will be appointed by a Council of Representatives (COR), made up from around 25 different industry associations, representing all the sectors of the industry. This will allow the taskforce to give every wedding professional a voice and ensure that no sector is left behind.
The aims of the taskforce were set out, including:
- Ensuring the publication of a detailed roadmap to opening up by Easter
- Boosting consumer confidence
- Exploring the viability of rapid testing and ensuring Covid-secure opening
- Creating a deposit protection scheme
- Addressing wedding insurance & contract issues (including those raised by the CMA)
- Improving consumer and sector communication
- Securing support for businesses
The taskforce will be supported by specialist working groups, who will focus on their own particular areas of expertise. Their findings will then be channeled to the most relevant government agency. The COR will receive regular progress updates which can be passed onto to its members.
The taskforce will also create a communications group, to help improve the communication between the industry and consumers. A number of wedding media outlets, including Guides for Brides, will come together to form this group. One of the aims of this will be restoring consumer confidence, made easier by the fact that the group’s combined reach captures more than 95% of all wedding website visits in the UK.
The communications hub will also be responsible for communicating with the industry with regular updates and invitations to webinars.
Members of the taskforce highlighted the huge amount of work that has been done by so many over many months, including the ABWB (Association of British Wedding Businesses), NAWP (National Association of Wedding Professionals, WVSG (Wedding Venue Support Group) and the team behind WhatAboutWeddings, which combined with the work of so many other groups, association and individuals has got us to where we are today.
Editor: I’d like to add my own thanks to all the team at Guides for Brides who have worked tirelessly since March to aid the work of all these groups and others.
The taskforce also fielded a series of questions from the floor, submitted by wedding professionals in attendance.
- Which agencies will the taskforce work with? – The Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets has been given the remit of taking care of the taskforce and connecting them with the relevant agencies.
- Is there work to be done on our communication, is our communication having a negative impact and how can we ensure that our views are heard sympathetically? – The most important thing to do is to look forward and explain how weddings are going to come back. The taskforce wants to listen and share the views of wedding professionals from all sectors, and the working groups and COR members will help with that.
- Is there work to be done to educate consumers on why safe weddings cannot happen at the moment? – This is part of the reason that the taskforce exists, to educate people on the background to the government’s decisions but also to change the situation.
- Is the taskforce aware of any plans to roll out testing at weddings? Or increase permitted attendance numbers? – The government doesn’t currently have plans for testing at weddings, it would need to be owned and paid for by the industry and there are a number of implementation and accuracy issues. At the moment, there are conversations about increasing attendance numbers but nothing from the government. (Stuart Owens – WVSG)
- Can couples get insurance? And how can we protect our deposits? – The task force has plans to address these issues quickly.
- Will we get advance notice for weddings reopening? – One of the key requests from the task force to the government is to publish a detailed roadmap soon. The taskforce views this as essential.
From the experts
Clarity, Communication and Confidence - that is what we need. This taskforce is an opportunity for us as a sector to help ourselves. We did not know we needed an overarching wedding industry association until we needed it.
If you are registered as a business with this or any of the other communication hub platforms, or a member of an association, you’ll receive a link for the next webinar and we look forward to seeing you there. Otherwise, please check back here for the link.
It was great to see SO much positivity in the meeting. Let’s all share that positivity online now so that couples see it too and we can do a little more for consumer confidence that we all care about so much.
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