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Coronavirus Weddings: ​Couples Are Finding It Impossible To Rebook Their Weddings In 2021

Coronavirus Weddings: ​Couples Are Finding It Impossible To Rebook Their Weddings In 2021

For thousands of brides and grooms-to-be, the current pandemic has bulldozed their wedding dreams with all the grace of an ex-girlfriend turning up at the altar.

And for those not content with settling for a micro-ceremony followed by a Zoom reception, rescheduling for 2021 feels like the obvious solution.

But many are finding it's not as straightforward as simply changing the date; couples wanting to re-book their nuptials for next year have caused a huge backlog in the UK (328,000 weddings to be precise), and venues are struggling to keep up with demand.

Many couples are struggling to rebook their weddings in 2020 (Credit: Unsplash)
Many couples are struggling to rebook their weddings in 2020 (Credit: Unsplash)
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With the UK still in lockdown - and social distancing measures likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future - some 64 per cent of 2020 weddings have been cancelled, postponed or dramatically resized, leaving couples heartbroken and, in many cases, out of pocket.

It's something I'm grappling with myself; with our own wedding booked for November, a huge question mark hangs over the big day. Do we wait it out and hope for the best, or cut our losses and rebook?

Along with many brides-to-be, I'm growing increasingly worried that if we leave it too late, a 2021 wedding may not even be an option.

And I'm not alone; Big Brother star turned DJ Kate Lawler recently confessed that she was "beginning to wonder if her wedding would ever happen" after being forced to postpone her June 2020 wedding for a second time and struggling to find a 2021 date.

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Venues are trying their best to keep up with demand, but many are giving new couples first dibs on Saturday dates (Credit: Unsplash)
Venues are trying their best to keep up with demand, but many are giving new couples first dibs on Saturday dates (Credit: Unsplash)

Hamish Shephard, founder of wedding planning app Bridebook.co.uk, tells me: "2021 is set to be a mega year for weddings. This is not just due to the number of couples who were set to get married this summer who postponed; we are also seeing a substantially higher number of engagements. It seems lots of people are sealing the deal in lockdown!

"Finding a 2021 date that your dream wedding venue can accommodate you on may not be a walk in the park. More weddings are expected to take place in 2021 than any other year on record, but venues are working really hard to accommodate everyone."

It's something bride-to-be Lucy, 27, has experienced first-hand. She and her fiancé Alex had booked the August bank holiday Saturday two years in advance.

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"When we decided to postpone, we knew there would be little chance of securing the same weekend in 2021," she tells Tyla. "As expected, it was booked up."

Couples have been urged to be as flexible as possible when rethinking their big day (Credit: Unsplash)
Couples have been urged to be as flexible as possible when rethinking their big day (Credit: Unsplash)

To make matters even more complicated, Lucy and Alex were told by the venue that a Saturday wedding was no longer an option.

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This was for various reasons; a large number of bookings in 2021 meant a huge chunk of Saturdays had already been snapped up, and it was not "financially viable" for the venue to move all of its 2020 weddings onto their most in-demand, peak 2021 dates.

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Despite the initial disappointment, Lucy says she has now "come to terms" with their Sunday wedding in 2021: "We understand they have a business to run."

She adds: "If anything, we just feel guilty our friends will have to take a Monday off work. I've had a lot of anxiety worrying that they won't be able to move their booked accommodation to the following year without losing deposits - or that people won't want to attend another wedding in 2021. But, like our suppliers, they've been incredibly understanding.

"I know from a number of friends who were supposed to get married this year that every venue is different.

"One friend who was due to get married in April, was told she could postpone, but only within 2020. Meanwhile, some venues are only offering postponement dates up until March 2021 - but when you've planned a summer wedding, an icy day in February isn't quite the same, is it?"

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Hamish's tips for postponed or cancelled weddings

Work out what matters most to you as a couple

"Are you keen to get married as soon as possible, even if it means you can't have all your family and friends with you, or do you really want to hold out and have the biggest blow-out wedding - in which case you should look at later dates."

Be flexible

"By considering a week day, couples will open up so many more options, so this is really worth thinking about. There are tonnes of benefits - you get the pick of the bunch of the best venues and suppliers at lower prices. And you don't need to worry about people taking holiday, as most people will have a lot saved up!

"Winter weddings are also on the increase. People are seemingly less bothered about having a wedding in the summer - and there are so many venues with incredible spaces which you can hire and make your own."

Embrace technology

"Every venue I have spoken to has had at least one booking from entirely virtual show-rounds. People are getting used to living in this way, and it is a really convenient way of looking round more places over a short space of time and finding the perfect set-up for you.

"People who are waiting until they can visit a lot of venues in person may well be disappointed - everything can be done digitally and the wedding industry is embracing that."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Weddings, Life News, Real, Sex & Relationships, Wedding

Unity Blott

Unity Blott is the Editor at Tyla and joined the team in April 2019. You can contact her on [email protected]