Response to Boris Johnson’s Press Conference Statement, Monday 14th June

After weeks of increasing pressure, we are incredibly frustrated that yet again, the government has failed to give both couples and businesses what they deserve after over a year of postponements and months of uncertainty. 

The Prime Minister’s statement this evening has not supported weddings. An increase in numbers, coupled with such severe restrictions, is clearly only a token gesture.

The disparity continues; in every other social setting, when you sit down, you are allowed to remove your masks. However, in a formal wedding ceremony environment, without any alcohol, guests will still be required to wear masks. There are aspects and traditions involved with cultural weddings that cannot be undertaken with these restrictions. Couples want to be able to see their friends and family smiling as they tie the knot.

There is a critical and urgent need for government officials, including Ministers Penny Mordaunt and Paul Scully, to liaise with the General Registry Office (GRO), to ensure they are behaving in the fair and reasonable way, that will enable as many wedding ceremonies as possible to proceed over the next 4 weeks.

There is no scientific evidence that dictates we should not be able to have normal weddings, as we know them. The average age for people getting married is 37, and the vast majority will have already had at least one vaccination. We know that couples want to keep their friends and family safe, with 83% reporting that they will ask guests to test in advance of their wedding day. 

Weddings are not fully reopened and therefore, substantial sector specific grants must be delivered immediately.  We know that 40% of wedding businesses are still at risk of closure whilst any restrictions remain in place.

In a poll this evening, 72% of couples and businesses responding stated they feel the statement today is “absolute rubbish”. At What About Weddings, we know that for many couples, the news this evening will still be disappointing. 

Yet again the government has failed to respect and understand exactly what it is that makes a wedding such an important milestone event.

We understand that the UK Weddings Taskforce have an urgent meeting with government this evening, and we hope that they convey the same concerns.