No matter where you were at the beginning of 2020 – a new company just starting out or an old hand with years of experience – there’s no doubt that your plans for the year have been seriously derailed by the global outbreak of COVID-19. In fact, the wedding industry has been amongst the worst-hit of all, as brides and grooms-to-be choose to postpone or even cancel their plans rather than face their big day without their friends and family by their sides.
So, with the future of the virus still uncertain, what does that mean for those working in the wedding industry? According to experts, that really depends on what you do – and how much you can adapt to a changing environment.
For those who own venues that almost exclusively host wedding ceremonies, the outlook may look bleak for a while. With restrictions likely to tighten again before they relax, many spaces will have to keep their doors closed. And for those venues which have managed to claw back some income over the summer by hosting small gatherings, the winter months – as well new, stricter limits on socialising – will put a stop to these as well.
However, things look a little brighter for service providers such as caterers, planners, and wedding car hire providers. As flexible businesses, many of these have been able to turn their hand to more COVID-friendly activities during these uncertain times, adapting to cater for different events. And although often smaller, most weddings that have taken place this summer have still required the traditional services – lessening the impact of the pandemic across the board.
As we move forwards into an ominous winter, however, there is fear across the industry as to what the future will hold. And for the moment, much hinges on how the virus is managed over the coming months. In countries such as New Zealand and Canada, cases have been kept low, and celebrations such as weddings have been making a cautious comeback. If our government can do the same, then, might we see the industry begin to recover?
Certainly, it seems as if there is now a backlog of couples desperate to be married in the UK – and once restrictions finally lift we can be guaranteed a wedding industry boom like never before. But how many businesses will survive to see it? That remains to be seen.