Coronavirus and the wedding industry

Could the global pandemic have a positive impact on the wedding industry in the long run?

Coronavirus and the wedding industry… In March 2020, the world changed dramatically as Covid-19 took hold and it was declared a global pandemic. This had a detrimental impact on weddings as venues were forced to close and so many couples had no choice but to cancel their dream days. As we are slowly emerging out of lockdown, we ask what impact coronavirus will have on the wedding industry in the future?

Love surges in lockdown

Summer weddings maybe postponed this year but proposals during lockdown are on the rise as couples spend more time with each other whilst being furloughed or working from home. The Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster have recorded an increase of 10% in proposals compared to last year.

Venue sales manager, Rhiân Pressley said, ‘As people have had more time on their hands it seems to have focussed their minds on what and who is important in their lives. Being a larger London venue, we can still accommodate a decent number of people and have protocols in place to ensure people feel safe and secure.’

Proposals with a difference

Due to the current situation, couples are also getting increasingly innovative with their proposals. One couple due to be engaged in Iceland had the idea of switching it to an Iceland store as an alternative location! Another couple were due to be in Japan under the cherry blossom, however when those plans were scuppered, the fiancé created a treasure hunt in a village where his bride-to-be grew up, consisting of riddles and poems.

Celebrity jeweller Shaun Leane has also seen a rise of 25% in bespoke engagement ring work and celebrant Denise Whitehair from The Guild of Cornish Celebrants has also seen an increase in new enquiries. Denise said, ‘With more time spent together, couples are realising the importance of marriage and ensure their loved one is taken care of should something happen. It’s a wonderful thing to look forward to and spend the time planning.’

Coronavirus and the wedding industry

Wedding planner Siobhan Craven-Robins said, ‘We are currently working hard to move weddings that should have taken place this year to next, so next year will be very busy with many options already booked up.’

Siobhan, co-founder of the National Association of Wedding Professionals continued, ‘The Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the UK Wedding Industry. Nearly four months on, there is some relief to be found with the recent announcement that ceremonies of up to 30 people can take place but we are still treading water and feeling disappointed by the lack of guidance and information forthcoming to help us advise our clients and protect our businesses.

We (NAWP) have been actively lobbying government throughout and recently, sent a document covering all aspects of weddings, the vendors involved, and suggestions for how some semblance of weddings could perhaps go ahead in the short term. Our industry needs to be heard, and we as a professional association, feel it essential that we speak up and try to help.’

Virtual wedding days

Coronavirus and the wedding industry… is it all doom, gloom and delays? We think not… Addressing the couples who have had to postpone their nuptials planners Hazel Parsons and Rebecca Edwards have teamed up with the Cornish Celebrants, photographers, videographers and other suppliers to create ‘Get Wed Online’ so that couples don’t miss out on their day.

Couples can celebrate virtually with friends and family utilising all their skills and expertise to create a professional, slick event. Already a number of ceremonies have taken place, with more to take place in the near future.

Hazel said, ‘Some couples are having to postpone their wedding for up to two years. By having a virtual celebration, it allows couples to emotionally fulfil their betrothal and enjoy the day together whilst allowing the full-scale nuptials to be realised at a later date.’

Rhiân Pressley, from the Royal Horticultural Halls concluded, ‘It’s quite possible that hybrid weddings will be a continuing trend for those who can’t be there in person and it’s something we can offer couples at both halls.’

The Lindley Hall and The Lawrence Hall are both beautiful spaces for incredible wedding celebrations.

To toast newly engaged couples wanting to marry at the halls next year, the venue is giving them £1,000 towards entertainment if they book their wedding before the end of July this year.*

With one metre distancing, the halls could in the future accommodate up to 200 guests for a ceremony and dinner. And if full normality is resumed, up to 650 guests can be accommodated. Planners and couples should contact Rhiân Pressley on 020 7821 3078 to talk through the latest coronavirus guidelines.

Although coronavirus and the wedding industry have had a rocky road in the short term, with more proposals than ever before and many innovative ways of saying ‘I do’, the future certinaly looks bright.

*T&Cs apply, there is no cash alternative and the wedding must be undertaken in 2021


Further reading: Your wedding dilemmas get sorted by the pros