‘The industry is on its knees’: Wedding planners call for more clarity and support from Government
08th Mar 2021
Wedding planners are calling for more support amid COVID-19 restrictions: "It's hugely disappointing and disrespectful to us and our couples not to be recognised by the government."
The Irish wedding industry, which contributes over €2 billion to Ireland’s economy every year, is urging the government to provide clearer plans to help suppliers survive.
In their petition, posted to Change.org, the Irish Wedding Industry points out that despite its massive annual contribution to Ireland’s economy it is “not recognised as a valuable industry.”
Since March 2020 and the outbreak of COVID-19 weddings have been restricted in the number of people who can be in attendance. The industry has now come together, spearheaded by wedding professionals Tara Fay and Lindsay Moynagh, to launch this petition, have all come forward under one united grouping “of many different suppliers of goods and services located all over” Ireland.
“Our industry contributes over €2 billion to the Irish economy every year, yet we are unrecognised as an industry by the Government,” explains Lindsay.
In a survey of their clients, they found that 75% of respondents have had their weddings postponed or cancelled and that 51% were turning to social media to get details, so that in itself is an indication of the lack of information coming from the government.
“Weddings are often seen as frivolous occasions and as such are not considered a business,” says Tara. “The survey we have carried out, has added more credibility to weddings as a business and important contributor to the economy.”
With almost no weddings at all for the last 12 months and the likelihood of a bumper 2021 season dwindling rapidly because of lack of guidance for government, the situation is growing dire for many wedding vendors. Quite a few have already been forced to walk away from their businesses entirely.
“There are thousands of couples financially committed to events throughout Ireland at this time and we haven’t been able to get any clarity for them so in an effort to finally get the Governments attention, we are hoping that couples will sign the petition and add their voice to the campaign,” says Lindsay.
With the petition, they are looking for a cohesive place for industry professionals to turn to for clarity of restrictions.
The group hope to reach 21,000 signatures by the end of the month, which would correspond with the average number of weddings that take place in Ireland in a normal year. “Currently, couples are being ignored and they feel that their weddings are insignificant. In lots of cases, they are paying significantly for postponing their weddings, for a third and fourth time,” says Tara. “Wedding professionals are in many cases providing their services free of charge to ensure their couples can postpone all their services to a new date.”
They are simply looking for what is at this stage, basic information in regards to weddings taking place, they want answers about the following:
- When will weddings over 6 people be permitted to take place?
- What will the maximum numbers for weddings be for the rest of 2021?
- When will a plan be put in place for weddings to have music and dancing and hair and makeup?
- Recognition for the wedding industry and its value to the economy
“Unless the industry is recognised, many of our very experienced suppliers will not last through the next few months.”
You can show your support by signing their petition HERE