Wedding suppliers have pleaded with the government to help 400,000 workers in need.
Industry leaders met with 10th officials this week for important discussions on the need for a roadmap for reopening amid concerns that the industry was “close to collapse”.
After 95% of weddings were postponed in 2020, three-quarters of businesses lost more than 75% in revenue, and some quit.
Tamryn Settle of the #WhatAboutWeddings campaign group told the Mirror, “Companies that haven’t made anything since last year are losing all the money they hoped to make this year.”
Many suppliers say they missed government support.
Venues struggle with fixed overheads, and business owners say self-employment support payments cover only a fraction of lost earnings.
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Half of the companies were unable to access local restraint or additional restraint grants.
Those who averaged just £ 1,334, a poll found.
And the financial burden takes its toll: 90% of suppliers report serious effects on their mental health.
A mirror exam at wedding companies found that many workers suffer from anxiety and depression.
Vendors said they need a realistic plan of when weddings of 50 or more are allowed so that couples can book with confidence.
Others stressed the need to study rapid tests so events can be safely reopened.
Tamryn added, “It is heartbreaking to hear from suppliers who are selling their equipment or moving back in with their parents.
“Not knowing where we are at the moment only destroys people’s mental health.”
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Tamryn called on the government to provide urgent financial assistance to the industry, adding, “We have built a £ 15 billion industry.
“Please don’t turn your back on us. It’s not about opening up when it’s unsafe – companies just want to be there to relax. “
Their plea comes after the newly formed UK Weddings Taskforce asked for an industry-specific support package and the inclusion of weddings on the Prime Minister’s roadmap after the lockdown, due on February 22nd.
Task Force spokeswoman Sarah Haywood said, “The wedding industry is on the verge of collapse.
“It did not receive any industry-specific support despite having been unable to act in a sustainable manner for 11 months.”
Nearly 825,000 couples are slated to get married in the first two years after the events resume, and together spend an estimated £ 25 billion.
A government spokesperson said, “We continue to work closely with wedding industry stakeholders and the Places of Worship Task Force.
“Wedding companies can benefit from the … government support package worth 280 billion in grants.”
Wedding shop owner
Millions said they have been unable to pay in cash since the lockdown began, as supermarkets worst of all have been urged by the Bank of England to track down £ 50 billion of “missing” banknotes hidden in the UK
Emma Meek, who owns Miss Bush bridal boutique, warned she could lose 40% of annual business if the store had to close for the vital first quarter of 2021.
The store in Woking, Surrey, closed for four and a half months last year.
And 90% of Emma’s 2020 brides postponed their weddings and blown their storerooms.
Emma, 54, told the Mirror: “We need to put weddings on par with any other kind of hospitality and recognize their importance to the economy.”
Berni Palumbo Photography)
Brits are being prevented from buying groceries and medicines as more and more shops say no to cash
Lynn Tierney, 64, had 19 bookings on her schedule for the last summer but only occurred two.
She had to get by on her pension and was not entitled to government support.
Lynn of Witney, Oxon said, “It has been devastating. Now we are gradually seeing shifts from this year to the next.
I had 16 bookings this year and now I have 11 on my board. I know a lot of people feel the same way, but I feel like the wedding industry has been ignored and left out. “
Chris Henderson is struggling with depression and could face bankruptcy if his bank refuses to postpone repayments on his bounceback loan.
The 30-year-old from Middlesbrough was homeless before starting his business seven years ago.
Chris said it was “completely heartbreaking” that 90% of his gigs were canceled last year and his diary for this year is currently empty.
He added, “I can’t even sell my equipment … because there is no one to buy it. DJs are all in the same boat. “
Victoria Abrahams-Walker usually helps organize 30 weddings a year,
but she has only managed one since November 2019.
The 41-year-old, who also runs a stationery store in Leeds, said she and her customers are “in limbo”.
She told the Mirror, “If there’s no money coming in but the overheads are the same, how long can you go on?
“We are viable and we did good business, but how long will it be before we turn that faucet on?”
“We need financial support to hold out.”
Videographer Mike Savory, 39, only made two of 43 bookings last year.
He advocated adequate government support and a plan, saying, “If they ruin another year of weddings, I’ve worked damn hard to build my business and reputation, and it’s going to be taken from me. It feels like we’re forgetting. We need help.”
The Norwich father of two lost 90% of his income in 2020, forcing his wife to take an extra day of work.
And for 2021 he has already lost 30% of his annual business.
“I think we all understand that weddings cannot take place,” he added.
Owner of the venue
Venue owner Lara Gill, 32, was canceled from work with stress, anxiety and depression after all 30 weddings scheduled at her exclusive country home in Bude, Cornwall were postponed last year.
With monthly overheads of £ 12,000 and anxious couples – some of whom had to be postponed three times – the pressure got too much.
She said, “I feel like we have been completely forgotten by the government and are not worth their time.
“If we can’t do this season in a usable capacity then I really think the wedding industry won’t be here as we know it.
“It’s just hard that we stayed in this position through no fault of our own, and it feels like nobody really cares.”
Essex bridal hairdresser Jennie Galgey, 50, said it felt like she “lost everything” when she was forced to stop work.
The mother of two said she fought back tears every day after her bookings were cut from 80 to just 14 for the past year.
“I think it’s a human right to get married,” she told Spiegel. “That was a real burden on the brides. We need a timetable.
“And if we don’t get financial support for the wedding industry soon, there will be a lot of people just hanging on by their fingernails.
“Unfortunately, these deals could go under as far as couples are concerned.”