One prominent wedding planner said the news that wedding numbers will likely remain at 50 for August is “extremely disturbing” for couples and could cost them thousands of euros.
Issues are currently limited to 50 people, but that number was expected to double to 100 on August 5.
Yesterday, Tanistee Leo Varadkar said the limit “may change to 100”, but he “doesn’t expect” many restrictions to be lifted in the coming weeks. He advised that the “couples act on the basis” that weddings would continue to be limited to 50 people.
“I don’t think this is surprising, but it is very upsetting for a lot of couples,” said Tara Fay, wedding coordinator and president of the Irish Wedding Association.
“I don’t think when they initially heard we were going to 100 people in August, they heard the warning that it was based on current health advice. A lot of them were going to send out their invitations in June to 100 people,” she said in an interview with RTE Radio One Sabah. Ireland this morning.
Ms Fay says the government’s “deep silence” has left workers in the wedding industry with no hope of numbers to increase, and couples desperate for more information.
“My phone was ringing from husbands, from their parents, from siblings, none of those people I know and just asked if I had any insight. They were going to invite 100 people and now they don’t know what to do.
I think it would be easier to come out and say this isn’t happening, rather than give some hope. “People who are getting married in September, October and November, they should know,” she said.
Ms Fay said no one in the industry had been consulted about public health measures related to weddings.
“No one has ever contacted anyone in the bridal industry in the past 17 months to discuss anything, regarding our limitations, or our ideas, or anything,” she said.
“The wedding industry is an incredibly crowded, viable and vibrant industry in this country that contributes huge sums to local economies and is part of tourism, and we’ve had absolutely no interaction with any department,” she added.
Ms. Fay says weddings at the moment are not what you might think of as a traditional wedding.
No live music meant no dancing started, and people having to sit at tables of six meant no big attic table or crowded dance floor all night. Weddings must also adhere to the 11:30 pm curfew.
Ms Fay says there are certain factors at weddings that make it safer than indoor dining, which are not taken into account.
“We have the best contact tracing system for weddings, because every wedding will have a table plan and we know exactly where each guest will be seated during the entire dinner, unlike a restaurant with more than 50 people in it,” she said.
“Also, a lot of the age traits of the couple and the guests will be fully vaccinated, but none of that is taken into account,” she added.
Ms Fay advised couples to lower their expectations for numbers of guests, to try to lower the numbers by splitting couples and asking one person to stay at home, and to defer paying places for 100 guests without certainty.
“If you’ve already paid for 100 guests, you’re going to have to go and have really hard conversations with places to try and get your money back. The places have to be a viable business, and they’ll have to look at their accounts and see if they can return the money to the couple as well.