With non-essential shops opening this week, many people being back at work and talks of bars and restaurants opening in a matter of weeks, things are getting back to a ‘new normal’. So why do I feel a little bit like the band on the Titanic that played on whilst everyone else scrambled around them?
This is not a political post. I do not envy a single member of parliament or their wider government departments during this time and I am not passing comment on their decisions or policies, more a comment on how it is affecting our industry, our business and me personally.
There has been much talk in the press and parliament about “the hospitality sector” but on further investigation this seems only be covering pubs, restaurants and, to a lesser extent, hotels. What about events? What about weddings?
Currently, you cannot get legally married in a church, registry office or other licensed venue. You also cannot gather with friends and family inside a building and gatherings outside are limited to 6 people. So, in short, still no weddings or events and, from what I have seen, there has been no hints or suggestions as to when this might change. For those wishing to hold events and weddings it is frustrating, even heart-breaking, but for those of us in the industry it is potentially incredibly damaging to our businesses and our livelihoods.
We keep our ears to the ground in terms of industry news and there is a great network of people and companies that we are talking to for practical and emotional support – whilst it is part of our job to appear calm and serene at all times, sometimes we need to have a bit of a rant as well.
We are proud to announce that this week we became a founding member of the Association of British Wedding Businesses whose Chairman, Hamish Shephard, is the founder and CEO of Bridebook. He has been lobbying and speaking to the government on behalf of the industry so hopefully we will have some news soon.
To our clients, we feel your pain and frustration. We want to be able to give you answers as much as you want to receive them.
To our suppliers, thank you for your flexibility and understanding. We know that this is hitting you hard as well.
To everyone else, whilst you are queuing up for clothes in Primark (presumably because the ones you bought there 12 weeks ago have now fallen apart), please do not be under the illusion that this pandemic is over. The virus itself is still out there and the effects of the crisis will be felt by many of us for a long time to come.
So, once more from the top?