'Fed up' wedding photographer fears 'Freedom Day' could be delayed - costing sector £325m-a-week
A South Yorkshire wedding photographer is among thousands of firms set to suffer a £325m-a-week hit if the government delays lifting Covid rules on June 21.
Charlotte Kaye, of Charlotte Elizabeth Photography, says two of her couples would cancel immediately after already rearranging four times,
The uncertainty could also see weddings booked for later this summer shifted to 2022 or 2012, she added.
And after clinging on through a devastating 2020, she was ‘fed up’ the sector being constantly overlooked.
Currently, weddings are limited to 30 guests in England.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says a final announcement on moving to Step 4 will be made on Monday June 14. Downing Street has said there was ‘nothing in the data’ to suggest a delay would be needed.
But the spread of the Delta variant has raised fears of a delay.
Charlotte, based at Priory Campus, Pontefract Road, Barnsley, said: “In the past few months I’ve received enquiries from couples about my wedding photography services, but who are not planning to book until rules are relaxed.
“The uncertainty about whether their day will go ahead and the difficulty of obtaining wedding insurance has put a lot of people off booking too far in advance.
“If there is a delay, it will cost my business financially. The weddings I have booked in for this summer may change to 2022 or even 2023, as some couples already have.
“If they decide to keep their 2021 date they may opt for a shorter package, which comes at a lower price. I know for certain two of my couples would cancel their day entirely, after already rearranging their wedding four times.
“I’m very aware of the impact a delay, or a lack of clarity when the announcement does come, would have on my business and have been weeks speaking to my couples and putting plan B’s in place.
“In all honesty, I’m fed up of being not being able to confidently plan ahead because the wedding industry has constantly been overlooked.”
Charlotte said she usually does 20 weddings a year. In 2020 she did two.
The UK Weddings Taskforce calculates the sector will lose £325m-a-week if Government does not relax the rules on June 21. Firms have already spent money on orders and hired staff, it adds.