'It is painful' - Wedding plans in jeopardy over potential June 21 delay
- Credit: James Bass
Wedding venues, couples and suppliers across Waveney have been left worried after early indications suggest June 21 lockdown easing will be delayed.
Currently, 30 guests are allowed at a wedding and the spread of the delta variant has cast doubts on whether these numbers will be able to increase.
Figures from the UK Weddings Taskforce claim the industry face losses of more than £325m for each week delayed.
Tasha Raven from Corton, in Lowestoft, was due to get married to her fiancé Vince on July 31, 2020, but since then she has had to postpone the wedding three times.
The couple are now hoping to have the big day on July 30 this year at the Victoria Hotel in Lowestoft after postponing previous dates in October 2020 and February 2021.
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With the prospect of a delay to lockdown easing on June 21, Miss Raven is now worried.
She said: "It has been so stressful trying to plan a wedding throughout this pandemic and it has left us both feeling ill, rundown and stressed.
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"If lockdown is extended and we are unable to operate our wedding at full capacity by July 30 we will just have to operate at reduced numbers with 30 guests.
"But this is so hard because you then have to ask certain guests not to join us and we both have such a huge family.
"We have both got to the stage now where we are putting things off waiting for this announcement on Monday and then we will end up cramming afterwards."
Ivy House Country Hotel, which is a wedding venue located in Oulton Broad, has recently been refurbished with £200,000 of work.
There is now worry from chairman Dr Adrian Parton that if lockdown restrictions are delayed, several weddings after June 21 will have to be postponed by the venue.
He said: "We have eight weddings planned at the venue for the first 10 days in July and if lockdown easing is delayed at least four of these will be postponed.
"I have a PhD in Molecular Virology and looking at the data I feel it is unfair that certain venues are treated differently to others.
"The current vaccine data does not suggest a dramatic rise in hospitalisation numbers so I hope the government takes a common sense approach when Monday's announcement comes.
"Perhaps a tiered approach would work for wedding venues because it is unfair we have to endure the same restrictions as other parts of the country when rates in the east are low.
"Couples are starting to get jittery but I think they are just waiting for the definitive answer on Monday now.
"It is just so sad for all the couples, suppliers and everyone involved who have been waiting for the big day for more than a year now.
"We will survive and adapt but it is painful."
Vicki Laws has recently started working as a supplier for weddings part-time and also works as a GP in Lowestoft as well.
For Mrs Laws, the impact has not been too bad because she only works as a part-time supplier but the knock on effect the pandemic has had on her clients has been hard.
She said: "Many of my clients are very wary right now about making huge bookings for supplies because they have no idea how many people they can have at their wedding yet until Monday.
"There are various supplies people haven't bought such as photo backdrops since the pandemic began and worry overall about paying big deposits.
"I think wedding companies have been fairly lenient on payment for people though considering the circumstances everyone is in.
"I think the guidance from the government so far has been clear but for a lot of people if lockdown easing is delayed it will be a shock to the system.
"It is hard to tell what will happen at this stage but I think June 21 lockdown easing should continue because deaths and hospitalisation figures still remain low."