'Major headache' for wedding planners despite lifting of guest number limit
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Weddings will no longer have set limits on guest numbers from next week - but Suffolk ceremony planners have said continued Covid restrictions present a "major headache".
Although the 30-person cap on weddings will no longer be enforced from Monday, rules on social distancing, masks and drinks ordering will still be in place - and guests will still not be allowed to dance or sing.
The decision has been welcomed by some members of the wedding industry, but others feel the easing of measures do not go far enough.
Donna Stockley, wedding and events manager at Glemham Hall near Little Glemham, said she was relieved to see ceremonies would be exempt from most of the continued restrictions.
She said: "I think it's a small win. There's still people who think we should be able to hold larger weddings.
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"But it's amazing and we're really grateful that weddings have been acknowledged. I feel they have been ignored over the last year. This is a welcome relief.
"Couples have been quite resilient - a lot of them had already made peace with the limited capacity.
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"This is the best we could have hoped for."
Ian Evans, owner of Copdock Hall, questioned why rules were still in place for weddings as he said he was "confident" they could be held safely without restrictions.
He added: "The reality is people still have to social distance, wear masks and can't go to the bar. Would you want to go to a wedding like that?
"It's a major headache - it's a very busy time for us and our suppliers.
"The bottom line is it comes down to the couples. If they don't want their guests to wear masks and social distance, they won't have it."
Jenny Loyd, who organises weddings through her Grundisburgh-based firm Inspired Event Management, said a set limit on guest numbers would be preferable if rules such as social distancing could be scrapped.
She said: "There is a limit based on what venues can accommodate. It would have been better to keep the numbers down and not have to worry about social distancing.
"Overall, I would say it's not a step forward. We were hoping to have no restrictions, so it's incredibly frustrating."