More couples marry midweek as wedding fever sees venue bookings soar
- Credit: Ayshea Goldberg Photography
More couples are marrying midweek because weekends are all booked up, as the wedding industry in Suffolk sees a post-lockdown boom.
Donna Stockley, wedding and events manager at Glemham Hall, said the stately home venue at Little Glemham, near Woodbridge, was currently very busy.
"I think we knew from an early stage that this half of the year was going to be extremely busy. We have a lot of weddings that have been postponed from 2020 and the early part of 2021," she said.
"Next year is also looking extremely busy - 2022 is already nearly full. That's because a lot of the couples who would normally have got married in 2021 have delayed their plans.
"Some of the weddings we're doing which have been moved are now taking place midweek, because couples want to be sure the wedding suppliers they want to use will be available."
She added: "It's amazing to be back doing the job we love, and great to see people on the dance floor. They can have a wedding which feels like a proper ceremony again."
Bridget Hyde Parker, owner of historic wedding venue Smeetham Hall Barn, near Sudbury, said: "We have got nearly a year's worth of weddings in six months. We started going from June 21 and we are full on, really busy."
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She said, with people often booking weddings two to three years ahead, the 16th-century barn had already been very well-booked for both 2021 and 2022.
The venue is now even busier because of all the couples who had postponed their weddings during Covid lockdowns.
"A lot of weekend weddings have moved to midweek. Couples have had to postpone their wedding, and now they just want to get married.
"Next year is going to be super, super-busy too - 2022 has been affected big-time by Covid.
She added: "It's fantastic to see it so busy - it is really good to be back up and running."
Debi Lewis, manager of Christine's Florist in Bramford Road, Ipswich, said the shop is currently supplying flowers for many midweek weddings.
"We had never had weddings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before, as well as all the Saturday weddings. People are also ordering flowers for weddings over Christmas and we are getting quite a few enquiries about next year."
She added wedding flower orders were tending to be on a smaller scale than before Covid, however.
One of Suffolk's newest wedding venues, former "millionaires' hotel" Harvest House in Felixstowe, has now opened its doors and is starting to book weddings, mainly for 2022.
Claire Agnew of CMA Events Limited, the management team behind Harvest House Weddings, said there were only a couple of weddings booked so far for this year, after Covid led to delays to the project.
However, there is growing interest and bookings for next year. "I don't think couples want to leave it too late to book. They are quite happy to wait and book for 2022 or 2023," she said.
Claire, who also creates bespoke wedding and events decorations at venues across Suffolk and Essex, said: "There is a lot of interest and I'm very busy - I'm having three or four meetings with clients a week and a wedding every week."
Bridal shops are also seeing a wedding rush, with bridal store owner Rashida Agboke having told this month how she has been rushed off her feet since restrictions on ceremonies were lifted.
The owner of Lily Christina Bridal Collection in Wickham Market said: "It's been mental at the moment. We have got two years worth of brides all coming."
And she told how she had her first Sunday off in four months on August 1.