Derbyshire wedding planner’s ‘nightmare’ over delay in lockdown



A Derbyshire wedding planner is worried about her livelihood due to the delay in easing lockdown restrictions.

Shardlow-based wedding planner Sophie Stew recently suffered losses of over £ 60,000 over a two-week period due to last-minute changes to restrictions.

Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay in easing restrictions on Tuesday, putting increased pressure on wedding planners like Sophie.

Wedding venues will now set their own limits on the number of guests allowed indoors, provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines and take other necessary precautions.

This delay in easing restrictions has forced many more marriages to adjust or be postponed in order to comply with the rules.

Mid-Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham questioned the logic of allowing thousands of sports fans to Wembley for the European Football Championship or for Wimbledon while maintaining social distancing at weddings.

Sophie has complained that she is not receiving any advice from the government and her clients are being forced to rearrange their reservations, adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of their weddings.

Sophie, director of Imagine Event Design weddings and owner of a wedding boutique on Sadler Gate, believes the government needs to give more advice to people working in the wedding industry.

The 34-year-old said: “The planning side of things is really hard work.

“Last night’s news did not improve things because it disturbs our couples, disturbs our places and our suppliers.

“It’s an absolute nightmare to plan because we’ve had a few cancellations already.

“These are all extra costs because if they postpone it comes at an extra cost for the couple, but if they need social distancing they need extra tables, which are also an extra tablecloth and an extra centerpiece. .

“It increases costs but lowers their expectations for their day. “

Sophie added that the average UK wedding can now cost over £ 30,000, without those extra costs for reorganization and purchasing additional resources.

But, she cannot understand why no additional support has been put in place to help the industry, when there have been a number of financial programs aimed at other sectors.

Sophie added: “Some couples are fine and just said ‘let’s be done’, but that shouldn’t be what it is about.

“We have not been treated fairly by the government because the rules that have been given to us now are those that other venues were given last year.

“If you have a wedding, it’s the same people in the same place all day, but in a restaurant there are people coming and going all day from different places.

“There is no justification for this.

“I feel like it’s a personal attack on weddings when there are thousands of people watching a football game and getting together in big groups, when we can’t even have a wedding.

“I would have preferred an increase in the number over capacity, with lateral flow testing and just some kind of support in place so that we can work and do our jobs.”

Mid-Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has also called for more government support for wedding planners and providers.

She accused Health Secretary Matt Hancock of “taking the wedding industry to the top of the hill and telling them they could open up without restrictions, but took them down again and said : “Only if you can socially distance yourself.

Among the new restrictions, Ms Latham added that it would be extremely difficult for wedding venues to comply with social distancing measures put in place by the government.

She said: “My heart goes out to the many couples who have to delay their marriage again.

“The wedding industry, like others in the hospitality industry, is on its knees, but I’m not sure the government understands its position or the couples who want to get married and celebrate with their family and friends. .

A police officer using a ram to break down the door of the property

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“On the one hand, the government says it’s okay for 40,000 people to be at Wembley for the euros and Wimbledon has full capacity on center court for the tennis finals, then says social distancing must be maintained at weddings.

“I’m afraid that doesn’t make sense.

“I am seriously concerned about whether the hospitality industry will be able to defend itself and I think the government should rethink.”


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