Why leave the wedding industry behind?

Well, the question was clear – ‘why leave the wedding industry behind?’.

It’s just a shame that the answer from Minister Scully wasn’t…

We wish to reiterate some facts for his benefit (even better if Rishi Sunak could have a read too).

The wedding industry and the 400,000 workers it supports around the country are most certainly still being impacted by the pandemic. To claim otherwise would suggest that you are being given misleading information by those you are talking to, or you are failing to correspond effectively with our sector at all.

Why are we not fully ‘bouncing back’ in the way that you seem to think we are? Here are a few reasons based on our community feedback, surveys and direct research:

1. There is STILL no insurance solution for couples. This is definitely affecting confidence whilst perceived risks are still high following government messaging before Christmas, and this lack of financial protection will continue to cause delays in bookings.
We need guaranteed or protected bookings and forward business. We gave you the solution, we still don’t have an answer as to why we were not included alongside public events?

2. There is STILL a lack of confidence among people to forward plan based on government messaging and media narratives around variants. The Office of National Statistics has today released figures saying that 35% of adults don’t expect life to return to normal for at least one year. That obviously hits weddings, particularly when everyone knows we have been one of the most restricted sectors previously.

3. There are STILL a huge number of postponed weddings in the pipeline for 2022. This means that many wedding businesses are still working with couples from 2020, and are still recouping income lost from previous years. Many weddings this year are NOT new income for wedding businesses so let’s not equate being busy to having bounced back to normal trading levels.

4. There is STILL a complete lack of understanding of the industry from this government. We are STILL being brushed off and we are STILL being massively impacted by a lack of consumer confidence at our busiest time for enquiries and bookings. 75% of new bookings typically are made in January and February each year, providing essential cash flow for large and small businesses alike until our busy season starts in Spring and Summer. This critical period of trading has been impacted repeatedly, and ignored each time.

Couples want to plan, they want to book, they want to invest with independent businesses across the U.K.

We know that weddings will continue to be a huge contributor to jobs and the economy for many more years to come. We need to bridge the gap to normality without fear of restrictions or Plan ABC threats, support businesses as they grow back stronger, and give consumers the confidence to go ahead.

#WhatAboutWeddings sincerely want to help, as we always have, and so we continue our open offer to meet and discuss this in more detail, and to give your team access to our latest research and statistics.

Please Minister Scully, can we stop pretending that the wedding industry is now back to normal and let’s get on with positive and productive support measures, because surely a £14.7bn industry that serves every constituency in the country deserves better than this?