‘Very exciting after nothing at all’ - Wedding venues prepared for bumper 2021
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As the pandemic has wiped out the 2020 wedding season, it seems next year venues will be busier than ever as the 2021 season is almost entirely booked up.
Couples waiting to tie the knot have seen the coronavirus pandemic put their dreams of a fairytale do on the backburner while lockdown played havoc with wedding season.
Some forged ahead with scaled down ceremonies, but many have postponed to next year - setting up 2021 as a bumper year for venues.
Bethany Deadman, 26 from Litcham had her wedding venue cancelled after the owner of the barn where it was due to take place had to cancel.
Despite not taking place until May 2021, the owner didn’t want to leave Miss Deadman and her fiance, Adam Thurlbourn scrambling for a venue.
“I respect their decision, there are no hard feelings”, Miss Deadman said.
“But, there are mixed emotions of sadness and anger.
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“You feel like the rug has been pulled from under your feet, but life likes to throw challenges at you.”
The 26-year-old has been trying to arrange a new venue, calling up to 15 places.
With the pandemic wiping out most people’s big days, Miss Deadman has found it difficult to find a new venue, saying that most of the summer season has already been snapped up.
At the Chaucer Barn in Gresham, wedding season next year will be its busiest yet.
Weddings and events manager, Tessa Matthews, said they have been pushing people from 2020 to midweek next year, or off-season.
Peak season is normally March to September on weekends, but Chaucer Barns is now hosting a wedding every day of the week.
Despite how busy they will be, Miss Matthews is looking forward to having weddings back.
“I am just excited about weddings going ahead,” she said.
“You’ll have to ask me again after the season, but the thought of it is very exciting after having nothing at all.”
At The Keeper and The Dell in Norwich, they are almost fully booked for next year.
However, owner Lolly Streek only offers the venue on Saturdays between June and September.
Mrs Streek said the venue had been lucky as it only took on half the amount of weddings this summer.
They were planning to host a woman’s retreat, jazz evenings and some open theatre.
Mrs Streek has said these events have been “easier to put on the backburner.”
Despite the opportunity to open up more to tailor for all the couples missing out, Mrs Streek isn’t in it for the money.
“If I were younger, I would do that,” she said.
“But I’m not in the business to make money. I want to help couples out.
“If people are having their wedding cancelled at such short notice it is so much to deal with.
“As the venue, you are the jigsaw board for the jigsaw, everyone fits around you and that is a lot to take on.”
Both the venues said they still have a few dates left for next year but expect them to be filled.
For Miss Deadman, she says their wedding will go ahead, even if restrictions are in place.
“If it does come down to having a Covid wedding day, we would still go ahead”, Miss Deadman said.
“Covid might still be around in one or two years, so we will still go ahead and have our day.
“I feel better in a way as there are options out there but it’s just trying to find the right venue.
“The only downside is the cost.
“The barn was a trial so we would have paid next to nothing. Now, we are paying a few thousand pounds.”
The main concern for them now is making sure their suppliers can work the new date.
Miss Deadman said she has been talking to them through the lockdown and sees them as close friends.
Most of them are happy to change with the couple.
She is now fully prepared to do whatever it takes so they can get hitched next year.
“Now it’s all about trying to find somewhere else which doesn’t charge an arm and a leg with a similar style”, Miss Deadman said.