The Tayside and Fife wedding industry is facing “catastrophe” as closed venues work to reschedule cancelled ceremonies.
Weddings were one of the social gatherings explicitly mentioned when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown restrictions last Monday evening.
Prior to the announcement, venues, florists, musicians and caterers were already reeling from couples postponing and cancelling ceremonies.
Gaynor Russell, company director at Fife wedding venue Balbirnie House, said her events team had rescheduled 32 weddings to dates later in the year.
Informing brides was a difficult process, she added.
“It was horrible. We had brides crying and shouting. Some remained calm. It was a mixed picture, but since then they have been happy with the deal we have made.”
The venue, near Glenrothes, began cancelling its weddings from Saturday, March 21, after the Prime Minster had advised people not to go to pub and restaurants.
She said the venue was now operating with a skeleton staff, with the events team working from home.
Gaynor said: “Our bank have been fantastic and we’ve managed to get out March’s payroll. But who knows what the picture will be for April?
“We are looking to look after our staff.”
Newport-on-Tay florist Amy Annand said the virus“could not have come at a worse time for the industry as it was gearing up for spring and summer ceremonies.
She said: “I have had couples cancel in April, May even some in June or July are looking to move things back.
“Couples are very upset. Some of them are in floods on tears. They are still coming to terms with what has happened.”
She said she had just returned from a cancelled wedding, where she had offered to take back some of the flowers and sell them on.
“Everyone in the industry is very scared. Florists, pipers, caterers, venues. We are all looking at no income. It could be catastrophic.
“We have gone from having a full diary of jobs to this, but we don’t want people to take risks either and do something that isn’t safe,” she added.
Piper Mark Lumgair, from Laurencekirk, said two of his clients had postponed their weddings until next year.
He said: “It’s inevitable. They have got to do what is best is for themselves and their families and some of them might have elderly guests.”
He said he also ran a small farm so could deal with the loss of income from gigs as a piper.
“There will be other pipers that rely on their business as their only source of income,” he added.
Claire Lornie, events manager at Forbes of Kingennie, said the venue had two postponements to date.
She said: “In all honesty, we are having to take it a week at a time. We are looking at moving ceremonies back to later this year as a lot of the dates for next year are booked up already.
“Everybody has been excellent and very understanding of the situation,” she added.
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