The UK wedding industry is worth more than £14bn to the UK economy every year, and is serviced by approximately 150,000 businesses with over 400,000 workers employed in the sector every year. A great proportion of these businesses are headed by female entrepreneurs and yet again, the government has been criticised for dismissing a sector heavily populated by women. Weddings impact millions of people in every corner of the country every year and they creates millions of memories in the hearts and minds of people in every part of society. Having lost 2020 to the pandemic, couples and businesses are now seeing 2021 slip through their fingers. Businesses teeter on the edge of collapse and couples report sky-rocketing stress levels as both groups are left in the dark.
In most countries weddings are still heavily restricted or banned from taking place due to restrictions in place around the Covid19 pandemic. In the UK, the wedding industry has been closed in all but name since March 2020 without any meaningful or targeted financial support. Couples have once again been told they cannot get married and have been left without any plan in place for when this restriction will be lifted.
What About Weddings, led by campaign managers Annabel Beeforth (Love My Dress), Tamryn Settle (Wild & Oak) and Jessie Westwood (Studio Sorores), is asking the government for financial support and guidance on reopening.
“We must not lose our talent. We must not lose livelihoods. We must not forget the importance of love and commitment in society.” - official What About Weddings statement.
“It’s easy to dismiss weddings as frivolous events but that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what they are and what they mean, to couples, to businesses, to the economy and to society as a whole,” says wedding celebrant Tamryn Settle, who is part of the campaign led by industry professionals to shine a light on the current issues surrounding weddings.
The What About Weddings campaign demands a roadmap for the industry with a clear plan for recovery and protection of many thousands of livelihoods and jobs, clarity for couples, and a fiscal package to support the wedding sector who have lost almost an entire year of work already.