A slight departure from the norm here on Rock My Wedding today. We've continued to share both wedding-related COVID resources and general wedding inspiration throughout the last 4 months. However, we've also been keeping our ear to the ground in terms of industry knowledge and Governmental change surrounding weddings at this time. Finding clarity has been tough. From our chats with you as planning couples, we know how difficult the uncertainty has been. This, coupled with the need to provide guidance and stability to small businesses across the wedding industry evolved into the formation of the Association of British Wedding Businesses.
The Association of British Wedding Businesses is a task force created to engage with the Government on how the wedding industry can form a safe and well-timed exit strategy so that wedding businesses can once again thrive and couples can once again marry. Th ABWB Taskforce members are Artemis Venue Services, Braxted Park, Brookfield Barn, Iscoyd Park, Lemore Manor, South Farm and Wasing Park.
Finding an entry point to open up discussions with the Government has been full of challenges for these fine folks. But they leveraged every avenue they could (and worked literally round the clock) to make it happen. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, under Secretary of State Alok Sharma has now taken ownership and has been charged with supporting the industry on the exit strategy.
These are the tasks that the Association of British Wedding Businesses has undertaken:
- A number of in-depth reports and surveys on the financial impact and challenges facing the industry - with huge thanks to the businesses who supported those. These involved detailed insights into over 200 businesses and the need to turn around results and present full reports within 24 hours.
- A draft framework for wedding-specific guidelines.
- Comparison of the UK's wedding situation with those in Europe.
- Calling upon insight from across the industry and most critically from couples to support the process and ensure the Government truly understands the position.
What Happens Next?
Guidelines that the ABWB will draft and the Government will approve to allow the sector to re-open legally and safely. The ABWB taskforce has been engaged on this for a number of weeks and this is pushing ahead at full steam. This has to carefully balance the risks involved in running weddings and has input from senior Professors in Public Health England.
There was no early insight into the recent Government announcement and the wedding industry and the Civil Servants were reacting to the announcement at the same time. This is what all sectors are experiencing. A visible roadmap to recovery is urgently required to allow businesses to construct a path out of this and to allow couples to make constructive choices that will allow them to once again engage with planning and looking forward to their wedding day.
At Rock My Wedding, we are working closely with the ABWB to keep you informed of any changes that are due to take place. We will keep this post constantly updated with all the new information we receive, as soon as we receive it. There will be no lag time. We're growing increasingly confident that there will be more clarity in the near future. And I think we speak for the wedding industry as a whole and all of our incredibly resilient and strong couples when we say thank you - to the Association of British Wedding Businesses who are working tirelessly to bring us all that clarity.