With restrictions getting tighter, the wedding industry is struggling to stay afloat with a second lockdown looming.
Sara Ali, director of the wedding venue, Al-Hamza in Accrington has faced a devastating loss to her business since the new restrictions to weddings.
With the current guidelines, Sara’s business has seen 60 weddings cancelled or postponed.
After ten years in the business, the financial loss has meant that Sara is now looking into different business ventures for the future.
She said: “It’s an indication that we’re not going to be able to reopen as a wedding venue.
“We’re going to look at a tearoom or a restaurant just so our building isn’t stood going to ruin.”
Wedding venues aren’t the only service affected.
Wedding photographer, Luke Richards, was booking 35 to 40 weddings a year but has been struggling for business during the pandemic.
Some couples have opted to get married when they planned but celebrate with friends and family at the reception next year.
Luke said: “Everyone’s so conscious of financial situations that people are reticent to do that because they’ve got to pay for the ceremony, my services and the reception.
“It’s never as cheap to do two separate events.”
Worried about the future of his business, he added: “I’ve been self-employed for years and it’s peaks and troughs, so I’m used to not having work, but I’m concerned and looking at the avenues at the moment.”
Weddings have now been restricted to 15 people following Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Tuesday evening.
Restrictions on weddings:
- Venues are only allowed to reopen if they can do so safely.
- People should follow social distancing guidelines throughout the event.
- Anyone who has symptoms should not attend the wedding ceremony but should stay at home and get tested.
- If anyone becomes unwell at the venue, they should go home and follow stay at home guidance.
Tony Higginson, a wedding and landscape photographer, said: “My bookings are down. In a normal year I book about 30 weddings.
“I’m getting about a third of what I used to.”
Tony thinks the need for photographers will reduce significantly.
He said: “People are not really hiring photographers for 15 people.
“People who are getting married now are getting married because they really want to.”
Further information on the restrictions related to wedding ceremonies can be found here.