Sheffield bride-to-be slams Government for delay in lifting all Covid wedding restrictions

A Sheffield bride-to-be, who has had to postpone her wedding three times said the delay in lifting all coronavirus restrictions on weddings is a “slap in the face” for couples.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 8:02 am

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing on Monday that the current 30-person cap for ceremonies and receptions will still be lifted on June 21, but venues will have to limit numbers and activities based on space.

The Government website has been updated to state that “some restrictions” will need to be enforced at weddings and commemorative events, including table service only, social distancing, face coverings and “restrictions on singing and dancing”, amid a delay to the planned final stage of lockdown easing.

Emma Ward, 30, who has had to postpone her wedding with fiance John Bennett, has called for more clarity on the rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021.

Miss Ward, a project manager from Sheffield who lives in Newcastle, said: “With the lack of clarity and lack of acknowledgment about what we’ve all been through in the last 18 months, it feels like a bit of a slap in the face.

“Seeing Boris get married recently and seeing all of this weekend’s antics with the G7 and the Euros with people celebrating in different capacities but meanwhile we’re being told we can’t celebrate in a secure capacity – they haven’t really considered us.

“If you’re doing lateral flow tests for sporting events, why not do that for weddings?”

Miss Ward, who is still planning to go ahead with her ceremony at Newton Hall in Alnwick, Northumbria, with 45 guests on July 14, welcomed the 30-person limit being lifted but added couples are still unsure on how many people they can have at evening events following the ceremony.

When asked by another bride-to-be at the Downing Street briefing why testing and vaccination status could not be used to open up weddings in the same way as it is being used for football matches, Mr Johnson said: “All I can say is I’m sorry for the disappointment that this will certainly bring to weddings, to many, many businesses, but it’s a few weeks that I think is worth it to get those jabs in.”

Emily Roome, 30, a solicitor from east London, said the social distancing restrictions could be “devastating” for her wedding at Sibton Park Estate in Suffolk, and that she and her fiancee Andrew Love are now considering postponing from July 24.

The bride-to-be said: “He (Boris Johnson) completely ignored the question about why weddings can’t open up…

“One thing that has always been really important for us is that we can celebrate how we want to celebrate.”

Founder of event management company Sauveur, Matthew Shaw, added: “While people dance in bars and pubs, pack out stadiums, and hold large gatherings across the country, weddings must still be fully seated with no entertainment, dancing, or standing receptions.

“The events industry has demonstrated time and again that these events can be operated safely.

“If the Government is prepared to allow thousands of mask-less fans into Edgbaston or Wembley, then it is unclear whether it is disrespect for or a misunderstanding of the wedding industry that means the same measures are not extended to us.”

- Reporting by PA