Hiba & Lloyd tied the knot nearly a month ago. Hiba is a very special bride for me. And her wedding shows just how COVID has majorly affected weddings in the UK. Her sweet & kind mother booked me almost a year ago when I did their family friend's daughter Nida's wedding hair & makeup. Hiba's mum was so excited to plan her only daughter's wedding, and she wanted it to be a grand and memorable affair. She had been dreaming of this day ever since Hiba was born. Her mum and I got on really well. We would sometimes talk to discuss wedding related ideas. Hiba worked abroad, so she had delegated everything to her mum. Date got set, and a big fat desi wedding was going to take place in the Spring of 2020. And then BANG. We got hit by Covid-19. And all the planning and organisation went down the drain.
The family eventually came out of the initial shock and started to work around the idea of a smaller intimate wedding. Weddings in the UK were allowed from July 4, 2020 — with a maximum of 30 people attending. But as Hiba could only be in London on specific dates due to her job abroad — setting a new date was even more challenging. And then the government policies kept changing, and the family didn't know what to do. After several heartbreaking changes and giving up on so many ideas of their dream wedding celebrations and a dramatically short guest of 30 — this covid complaint wedding eventually did go ahead. And you can see in the video how beautifully it all came together — albeit on a smaller scale.
Couples and families now have the painful decision to cut 15 of their nearest and dearest on the already micro-wedding guest list of 30. How do you decide which friends and family cannot come to your wedding?
But with the government's recent wedding guests guideline of a maximum of 15 people — I begin to wonder if Hiba was extremely lucky to be in a position to be able to tie the knot after all. Whereas slashing the numbers to 15 might not be a deal-breaker for English weddings, the south Asian weddings are going to take another big hit. Couples and families now have the painful decision to cut 15 of their nearest and dearest on the already micro-wedding guest list of 30. How do you decide which friends and family cannot come to your wedding? The move has caused chaos for thousands of couples – but it's also dealt a devastating blow to the wedding industry as a whole — including venues, hotels, wedding planners, photographers, makeup artists, cake makers, car drivers, DJs and dress shop owners.
Couples are upset, especially as they've started to plan a wedding with 30 people but now they have to change it again. Some are thinking of cancelling altogether but then many are wondering isn't it wise to go through the nuptials now while they still legally can as the threat of another potential lockdown is always looming over the heads... What should be the happiest day of your life but is now into a messy nightmare!
I write this article to reassure all the brides-to-be that we are all in this together. As a bridal makeup artist in the wedding industry for over 12 years, I fully understand your pain and the shattering of your dreams. But I want you to know that this has hit us just as hard. Our livelihoods are on the line. Where some have lost their dream wedding celebrations, others have seen their bread & butter cut to a fraction of what it used to be.
We all need to all work together to find a reasonable solution for the Asian weddings as let's accept that we are in this for the long haul. Covid is not going away entirely anytime soon. We need to raise the voice for Asian weddings in the UK and urge the government to go back to the rule of 30 people...
We all need to all work together to find a reasonable solution for Asian weddings as let's accept it that we are in this for the long haul. Covid is not going away anytime soon. We need to raise the voice for Asian weddings in the UK and urge the government to go back to the rule of 30 people as it is absolutely possible to conduct weddings in a socially distanced safe manner. You can go to a pub and have 30 people in a small room. In bigger pubs with two or three rooms, you could have 60 to 90 people in the same building — but at a wedding, you can have 15 at most!!! Offices, Schools, Colleges and Universities are all open — where several hundred and even thousands of people are working together in close proximity every day, so it does not make sense to single out weddings!
In our neighbouring European countries, covid rules regarding weddings are way more lenient. In France for example, couples getting married can invite up to 10 guests at the Mairie, up to 60 in a church and up to 200 in a private venue. It's high time that policymakers in the UK started looking at restrictions by the size of a room rather than numbers. They need to look at the long term impact on the wedding industry as in all honesty; I don't think the wedding industry can survive another summer like this.
Cutting the wedding guests numbers to 15 is not acceptable. If you agree with me, then please share this post and make as much noise as possible.