In March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ban on all weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies except from funerals. Happy couples across the countries have had dream days shattered, with cancellations and postponements wreaking financial havoc on individuals, venues and suppliers.
The Government has now set out its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, which contains many key updates to how life in lockdown will progress.
With regards to weddings and the like, the document reads: “The Government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.
“Over the coming weeks, the Government will engage on the nature and timing of the measures in this step, in order to consider the widest possible array of views on how best to balance the health, economic and social effects.”
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told BBC Radio 4 this week he was working out how to implement potential changes for ceremonies as the UK enters the next stage of the coronavirus crisis.
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Asked by a caller about weddings, Mr Buckland said: “You’ll be glad to know that we are giving anxious consideration to the issue of marriages.
“We want to help people like you, but there are also some people who are really… they want to get married because things are happening in their life that means they might not be together for a long time, and therefore I’m giving a lot of anxious consideration to the effect of the potential changes here as to what we can do with regard to marriage ceremonies. So watch this space, we’re working on it.”
So while there is no official advice, if you are concerned about an upcoming wedding, your first port of call is to speak to the venue and any suppliers you have agreements with to try and negotiate an agreeable way forward – for example, a new date.
What if my venue or supplier cancels?
If your venue or supplier cancels, you will be entitled to get the money back for what has been cancelled.
However, you will still need to check for any exclusions in your contract with them.
If you have wedding insurance speak to your provider and check the terms and conditions of your policy to determine exactly what you can get back.
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What if I cancel the wedding?
Speak to your venue and suppliers, and try to agree on a postponement to a later date if the wedding is still going ahead.
If this isn’t possible and you have to cancel, you could be on the hook for any fees already paid – especially if you’ve only given a short amount of notice.
By law, deposits can’t be non-refundable, so if a company keeps your money, you should ask for a breakdown of why it can’t be refunded.
If your claim is ignored by suppliers or venues, you could contact your bank asking for a chargeback.
If you paid by credit card and spent more than £100 but less than £30,000, you are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This act makes your credit card company jointly liable for any breach of contract, such as an event cancellation, and you can claim your money back directly from it.
If you paid by debit card, you can ask your card provider to reverse a transaction on your debit card in a process called chargeback.
Unlike Section 75, chargeback isn’t a right or law and offers no guarantees, but it is a way your bank may be able to help you.
Chargeback is also particularly useful where the cost of the tickets was under £100 and Section 75 doesn’t apply.
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