About 100,000 couples in the UK have had their weddings cancelled or postponed in the wake of COVID-19, a wedding planner says.
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A tearful bride-to-be says she is “absolutely devastated” after her wedding plans were ruined by the government’s decision to postpone the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.
Amanda Kellett, from Grimsby, was due to marry her fiance Christopher Carr on 8 August and had booked a wedding reception for family and friends to attend.
But on Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrapped plans to allow wedding receptions of up to 30 people in England from Saturday, saying coronavirus infection numbers were “creeping up”.
Ms Kellett, who became engaged in November, said she was “completely floored” after hearing the announcement during a work call.
She told Sky News: “I was devastated. Absolutely devastated.
“We’ve received lots of phone calls from guests asking what’s happening. We’re still trying to get our heads around the implications.
“We’ve got friends and family who’ve booked hotel accommodation. We’ve booked hotel accommodation.
“We just don’t know how much of our wedding we can actually move forward with.”
Ms Kellett said most of her wedding arrangements were in place in December but “everything was on complete hold” during lockdown until restrictions began to be eased.
“It’s been a tremendously difficult and emotional four weeks,” she said.
“Weddings are stressful enough without COVID, but we’re planning on quicksand all the time.
“We’ve spent a lot of money organising, paying funds up front for the reception [and] the printers.
“We’ve tried to keep our guests up to date and a week ago we said everything’s going ahead.”
Despite the PM’s announcement on Friday, Ms Kellett said she and her fiancé “will definitely be getting married this year – that is the priority for us”.
She added: “We will now be getting married and having to wear face coverings. It will be a COVID wedding but we’ll make it as special as we can.
“We’ve been through a hell of an emotional rollercoaster and the most important thing is to get married.
“In terms of a reception, we’re now looking at what options we can have, probably outside, in accordance with the government guidelines – but of course that’s all weather dependent.”
Wedding planner Sarah Haywood told Sky News that the government’s decision to no longer allow receptions of up to 30 people was “a further blow to a decimated industry”.
She said around 100,000 couples in the UK have had their weddings cancelled or postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We already had no roadmap, we’ve now no support,” Ms Haywood said.
“This must be a huge blow to consumer confidence in going forward with us.
“Who’s going to plan a wedding reception now?
“I think it really is the final nail in the coffin.
“The business sector of the government needs to wake up to the fact that we’ve fallen off a cliff already.”