Distraught couple face ‘losing thousands’ if wedding rules not eased on June 21

A couple is devastated about losing thousands of pounds if rules around weddings are not relaxed as planned later this month.

Sian Holmes and Daniel Whiteley had arranged to get married with 54 guests on June 25 after the Covid cap at 30 people was due to be lifted on June 21.

But on Monday Boris Johnson is set to announce the plan final easing of coronavirus restrictions will be put off for a month, potentially throwing plans for couples across the country into chaos.

If the restrictions remain in it could cost the Sian and Daniel “thousands of pounds”, they told the BBC, and many more couples are likely to face similar problems.

“It’s not just a party. It is an important life event for people to celebrate together”, said Ms Holmes.

“Ultimately, for ourselves and thousands of other couples and suppliers we just want weddings to take place in a meaningful and a safe way.”

Mr Johnson is expected to announce the easing of rules will be put off until July 19, due to soaring infections caused by the Indian Covid variant.

It is not yet clear whether an exception will be made for the wedding guest cap.

Ms Holmes said the rules for weddings are currently the same as they were last summer despite millions of people being vaccinated.

She also argues the rules for weddings are not consistent with the guidance for pubs and other events.

“I didn’t have a stag do, but the great irony in this is that I could”, she said.

“We could go to the pub, I could meet a lot of my friends. I could be mixing with complete strangers, but after that I couldn’t have a wedding in the same way.

“It just seems really unfair and unusual to me in that weird paradox where you can have a stag do, but you can’t have a wedding in the same way,” he said.

The UK Weddings Taskforce, an industry group, estimates 50,000 weddings booked for the month following June 21st could be cancelled if the lifting of restrictions is pushed back.

They add that the wedding industry would lose £325 million every week so long as the restrictions stay in place.

Tess Forsyth, a director of wedding venue The Tudor Barn in Burnham, said the 30-person cap means her company make a loss, and the rules on social distancing and standing up drinking are “destroying the wedding industry”.

“For every one wedding that we host here, there’s 30 people involved in putting on that day. From our wedding planner, to the bar staff, to the caterers, to the linen company, the lighting people, florists the cake people – that’s 30 people missing out on income, ” she said.