The development of coronavirus is ongoing. It’s believed to have originated in China but has since been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, while the UK lockdown is ongoing. This has understandably had the world on high alert, and it is having a serious effect on weddings.
Previously, the Church of England announced that wedding ceremonies should have no more than five people in attendance: the bride, the groom, the priest and two witnesses, in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus. They recommended that couples should video stream the service to extended friends and family, but understand that while some would be happy to marry with a smaller ceremony as soon as possible, others may prefer to postpone their big day. Now, the ongoing UK lockdown means that most couples are opting to postpone their wedding days, since the only other option would be a virtual wedding online.
As for finding a bridal gown, many retailers in the UK import their dresses from China, where the outbreak is said to have started and where many factories remain closed. As a result, British stores have been struggling to source gowns since the pandemic picked up pace, while lockdown in the UK means that they too have been ordered to close.
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Before the UK lockdown was implemented, Labour MP Chris Bryant said that shops in the UK were already finding it difficult to keep their businesses going, since spring is peak wedding dress shopping season.
“Having married many women in my time when I was a vicar, I am aware that this is very time sensitive,” he said. “And there is a real danger to many of these businesses that they are going to suffer enormous financial loss, let alone to the families.”
James Waddington, of bridal dress manufacturer Romantica of Devon, told PA news agency that they were already putting alternative systems in place and were shipping half-finished dresses to the UK for them to be completed at local factories, and the British Bridal Suppliers Association (BBSA) was advising brands to reconsider their standard delivery times as a pre-emption to suspended deliveries and to avoid customer disappointment.
Large suppliers such as David's Bridal were also working to provide customers with alternative styles, and to contact them with regular updates should their orders have been affected. Kaleigh Gallagher, founder of wedding planning concierge service Flutter Social told Fox Business that they were suggesting that clients order dresses and suits earlier than planned.
Granted, this has had devastating effects on couples that have been forced to postpone their big days, but the number of coronavirus cases and deaths per day in the UK is steadily decreasing, proving that our efforts in lockdown are certainly having a positive effect.
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