I normally keep my feed for positive messages and beautiful images of happy days but yesterday's government announcement (not allowing wedding receptions to take place for at least 2 more weeks - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52811509) has absolutely broken my heart. I feel now more than ever I owe it to you to be completely honest and in such unprecedented times it is only right that we as a wedding industry wear our hearts on our sleeves and are honest about just how fearful we are for the future.
Our industry was holding on by a literal thread - an incredibly thin thread of hope that with just 30 guests allowed our industry might just be able to crawl forwards. This has been taken away from us with 24 hours notice and left us in a worse position than ever. We are not 'just a party industry' - we are not frivolous or to be mocked by MPs who don't understand - we are a hugely important milestone in most people's lives.
An entire industry is being left behind and if this continues, the potential outcome for our industry is unthinkable.
We are a billion + pound industry that supports hundreds of thousands of sole traders, self employed and LTD companies. The wedding industry is an eco system of businesses, and each wedding business relies upon the other to deliver an event. We are not corporate - we are individuals that pour our heart and soul into our tiny businesses - we go above and beyond at every turn and make sure our couples have the day they deserve.
This is not just a 2 week delay - it is a smack in the face with just 24 hours notice and absolutely shatters consumer confidence. I'm heart broken for my couples who are nervously taking the next steps forward, unsure of what the right thing to do is. I'm heartbroken for my fellow business owners that are trying to hold it together and come out the other side.
The community spirit, resilience and kindness shown has been incredible and more than ever I am so proud to work in the wedding industry.
We do not want to be 'super spreader industry'. We want a road map and guidelines and to be able to operate safely - as we have been preparing for the last few months. Track and trace could operate perfectly within a private venue with a set guest list. A far cry from the pubs and beaches at the weekend with no social distancing which are all being allowed to continue with just a shake of the head and a few bad headlines in the papers.
We are at a critical point in time that requires us to mobilise, swiftly, and take considered action that will help the government to understand our plight and what absolutely must be done in order to support our industry moving forward. We want safety, we want stability and most of all we want support moving forwards from the government as so many other industries have been given. Without a roadmap, without any guidance from the government, couples, quite understandably, have felt fear and uncertainty, and postponed. Lots of suppliers have already lost all their business for this year. It’s important to remind ourselves at this stage that for most suppliers in the wedding industry, income is seasonal, with July and August the busiest months. Additionally, many wedding suppliers within the wedding industry are freelancers, sole traders and small limited businesses with limited government financial support about to end. Many of them fall into the 3 million people who represent #ForgottenLtd and #ExcludedUK.
Now is the time to speak up for all of our couples and fellow wedding industry friends. Please email your MP and tell them how this crisis has impacted your wedding plans. Find out who your local MP is here.
We are an industry of problem solvers and we know working together we can come through this stronger than ever. To all of my couples waiting for your day please know that I will continue to fight for you to make this right.