Will wedding numbers increase in 2021? This is the burning question that we are all asking. To be honest, not one we will definitely know the answer to. In order to get a better idea of what the situation might be like during this year, we need to look at the facts.
The Current Rules
According to the government website, weddings are only permitted in exceptional circumstances during this third lockdown. Exceptional circumstances that they refer to are where a partner is seriously ill and not expected to recover. Or if they undergo serious life-changing treatment. Even in these circumstances, weddings are capped at 6 people to include all those at the ceremony that aren’t working.
The Current Situation
Currently as it stands, we know that COVID-19 cases are dropping but deaths are still quite high. The Prime Minister is suggesting that we might be able to ease lockdown from the 8th March at the earliest. But what does that mean?
We also know that the vaccine roll out is currently a success. It is expected that the most vulnerable will be vaccinated by the middle of February which is fantastic news. What we now have to consider is how the vaccine responds to any new variants of COVID-19. This is something we won’t know right away.
What Should We Expect?
The only way we can make an assumption on whether the numbers will increase is by reflecting at how they responded the first time around. Following the lockdown last year, they allowed all weddings ceremonies to go ahead up to a maximum of 30 people. It wasn’t until August that they allowed a wedding reception to follow providing social distancing guidelines were adhered to – but no dancing. As the cases began to rise again, the tiered system meant that the restrictions on weddings fluctuated from allowing 30 people, to 15 people to 6.
The current situation is worse for sure, but the hope of the vaccine bringing the pandemic to an end may impact the government’s responses. Will they hold restrictions a bit longer to protect as many members of the public as possible? Logically, you would probably think so. But to what detriment to the economy?
We could expect that the easing may be slower to allow for the vaccine to roll out and prove the vaccine’s effectiveness on the new strains of the virus. Or by mid February, they could be confident enough to respond more favourably to a relaxation of the rules for weddings in the UK.
Providing the vaccine works against the new strains of virus, and the government meet their vaccination promises, I give reason to believe wedding numbers will increase by mid summer. However, it’s too early to say what those numbers will increase to, and when they will be allowed.
If the vaccine doesn’t work against the new strains of virus, then I would expect number fluctuations as we experienced last year.
Don’t Lose Hope of Your Dream Wedding
In an earlier blog post, I discussed how to plan a wedding during COVID. Other than waiting, all we can do at the moment is make decisions based on a ‘worst-case’ scenario. If you are restricted to lower numbers, it doesn’t mean the true meaning of a wedding is gone. There are still fantastical ways we can keep your day special.
Undeniably, the restrictions we have experienced has reshaped the industry. Many couples are proceeding with a smaller wedding and investing their budget into aspects they wouldn’t usually be able to afford. Couples are also holding ceremony only weddings, with a larger gathering being planned for the future. You can get a real feel of the benefits a small wedding can bring in another blog post I wrote last year.
Make sure you give yourself a break from it all. Numbers will increase again, but when that will happen is completely out of our control. If you feel a bit lost with your wedding, then book a consultation with me today. We can review where you are at, and make a plan on how we can move forward.