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‘‘We have been forgotten’ - Wedding venues react to new coronavirus measures

PUBLISHED: 19:10 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 19:10 22 September 2020

The changes to coronavirus rules will impact weddings. Photo: GettyImages/iStockphoto

The changes to coronavirus rules will impact weddings. Photo: GettyImages/iStockphoto

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Wedding venues - and couples due to tie the knot - have once again found their plans up in the air.

Kiera Goymour, venue manager and wedding planner at Applewood Hall in Norwich feels the industry has been ignored. Pic: submittedKiera Goymour, venue manager and wedding planner at Applewood Hall in Norwich feels the industry has been ignored. Pic: submitted

New measures set out by prime minister Boris Johnson to limit the spread of coronavirus included a maximum of 15 people being able to attend weddings, down from 30.

It means venues may have to face more postponements and disruption.

Kiera Goymour, venue manager and wedding planner at Applewood Hall, in Banham, said she feels the industry has been ignored.

“As an industry, I feel we have been forgotten about”, she said. “Us and nightclubs are the only industries that haven’t been able to get back to work or have that support from the government.

Chaucer Barn in Gresham. Photo: Antony KellyChaucer Barn in Gresham. Photo: Antony Kelly

“Bars, pubs and restaurants have not had to restrict their numbers, but we have.

“It’s frustrating for the couples, they see people out socialising but they can’t have more than 15 people at their wedding.”

Applewood has held four socially distanced weddings this year. One couple was due to marry on November 1 and at their final meeting on September 19, when 30 people could attend, they wanted to go ahead. Now, they will be reconsidering their plans.

Miss Goymour said she does not understand why large halls cannot continue to host 30 people.

Eric Snaith from Titchwell Manor. Picture: Tichwell ManorEric Snaith from Titchwell Manor. Picture: Tichwell Manor

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“We can seat up to 200 people, so 30 people is not a problem, even more so if they are in the same household,” she said.

“We could have six people at a table in household groups. That would not be a problem.”

At Chaucer Barn in Gresham, the team is worried about how the rules might affect 2021’s wedding season.

Weddings and events manager Tessa Matthews said they have been postponing weddings to midweek dates next year.

The barn is hosting a wedding every day of the week, which Miss Matthews hopes still goes ahead.

“We are just praying we can go ahead with the summer as it is back to back”, she said. “It’s just unknown territory.

“I don’t know what will happen, it is not something we want to think about.”

Owner of Titchwell Manor Eric Snaith believes the news will bring more postponements.

“Most people will delay as it is difficult with the numbers”, he said. “It is just one of those things. But, for us, it is not a crushing blow.”

The manor, near Brancaster, hosts around 12 to 20 weddings a year, so Mr Snaith said it will not be difficult to rearrange with their couples who want to postpone.


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