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‘The industry has lost a year’ - No joy for venues as weddings return

PUBLISHED: 13:40 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:00 03 July 2020

Sarah Oliver from the The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sarah Oliver from the The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Wedding bells will not be chiming according to one Suffolk venue despite changes to the Government’s coronavirus policy.

The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall would usually be at the peak of wedding season, however due to the corona virus pandemic business is down and the wedding industry is struggling  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall would usually be at the peak of wedding season, however due to the corona virus pandemic business is down and the wedding industry is struggling Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

From July 4, couples in England will be able to get married once more but the continuing threat of the coronavirus means that weddings will look very different, if they go ahead at all.

“We still can’t do over 30 people for a wedding,” said Sarah Oliver from Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, which hosts weddings in its event space the Hangar.

“The average wedding is 70-80 people. We can’t have music played or readings, it’s a service only just for the vows.

“We still have to maintain social distancing guidelines.”

The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall should be busy with weddings Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall should be busy with weddings Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

So many restrictions and the ongoing uncertainty over the virus have had a damaging impact on an industry that prides itself on detailed organisation. Many couples feel they have been left with no other option than to reschedule.

Mrs Oliver said: “The problem we have is that the weddings we have had have pretty much all been moved to next year, 95% have moved already. I have only got a few left.”

She said the venue had one booking left for September, but suspected that this would be moved soon, and a handful for the rest of the year.

“Couples don’t want to sacrifice the wedding they wanted,” said Mrs Oliver.

Most of the weddings due to be held at the hall have been moved to next year  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDMost of the weddings due to be held at the hall have been moved to next year Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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Before the coronavirus, the wedding industry as a whole was looking at a bumper year bolstered by the fact that many had wanted to get married in 2020 because of the date itself.

“We had never had more bookings than this year,” said Mrs Oliver.

“The industry was expecting it to be the biggest ever.

Sarah Oliver from the The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall discusses the struggles of the wedding industry  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDSarah Oliver from the The Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall discusses the struggles of the wedding industry Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“Everyone wanted to get married in 2020. They wanted to have that date,

“It’s been heartbreaking.”

As well as the impact on venues themselves the repercussions of the lack of wedding bookings have been felt in other parts of the industry from florists to DJs.

“Who is going to have a DJ for 30 people?,” said Mrs Oliver.

“That is the reason people have moved.”

While next year looks to be a lot brighter for the industry as a whole, the uncertainty of the virus remains.

“It’s had a massive impact on everyone’s lives,” said Mrs Oliver.

“The wedding industry has lost a whole year.”


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