With the number of weddings in Jersey in 2020 dropping to their lowest level since 1944, the industry is still very cautious about its prospects for this year.
Figures released on Friday revealed that there were just 184 weddings in 2020 - 175 fewer than the year before.
With the Government yet to say when travel restrictions might lift - although there could be some indication at the end of this week - those whose livelihoods rely on weddings anticipate a hesitant resumption of nuptials.
Dressmaker Anna Trigg said: “I had 35 weddings that went ahead last year but had 155 booked overall. People wanted ‘2020’ to be their wedding date because it’s a memorable number but then disaster struck, as we all know.
“Of the 120 weddings that didn’t happen, many have moved to this year but some have decided to skip a year and book in 2022 instead."
Pictured: Wedding dress supplier Anna Trigg said just 35 of the 155 weddings she had booked last year went ahead.
She continued: “Some people are thinking, ‘Let’s just do it’ while others are waiting to make sure they have their ideal wedding.
“This spring is still uncertain so I’m looking forward to hearing how air routes might open. Of course, it’s fine if all your friends and family are in Jersey but a lot of people have guests who will fly in.
“When it does all open again, I’m hopeful it will be super-busy – and I will make sure that I turn our dresses around; my UK suppliers have already said that they will be able to significantly reduce their turn-around times for me.”
Mrs Trigg was closed for 23 weeks of last year, when usually taking off a couple of weeks at Christmas would be a significant decision. With so many postponements last year, she advised would-be brides and grooms to manage their expectations this year.
“I think people will have to be flexible and be prepared to have their weddings on week-days,” she said.
“People who postponed their 2020 wedding will also have to recognise that they might not be able to get all the same suppliers on the day they want, and that might raise the issue of deposits.
“I’m lucky in that brides pay me for their dresses up front, but photographers, DJs, marquee providers, cake-makers, florists and others in our industry may have taken a deposit.
“Often that is non-refundable so people will either have to be prepared to change their dates or lose their deposit with suppliers who are already booked on their planned wedding day.
“So, there could be some tricky conversations ahead but, at the end of the day, suppliers need to make a living and none of this is anyone’s fault. It will be a lucky couple who manage to have all their suppliers available for their new date.”
Caterer Simon Harper said that he felt proud that his business had “kept its head above water”, despite turnover being 70% down last year.
“In adapting to providing home meals, we essentially started a new business but my small team were fantastic, and we continue to smile and get on with it.
“I think it could be a myth that this year will be ridiculously busy for weddings; I know of people who have already moved theirs to next year, while others who did officially get married last year have now decided not to bother with a reception.
“Also, I don’t think this year will be much different to last year, especially when it comes to large functions, which take months of preparation. There may be a few large balls and dinners towards the end of the year but I can’t think there will be many.”
Pictured: Aside from weddings, there was a significant drop in the number of functions, dinners, balls and awards ceremonies last year.
The drop in weddings had less of an impact on the Church.
The Dean, the Very Rev Mike Keirle, said: “Obviously with covid 19, the number of weddings was significantly down in 2020 and therefore the fees that are made payable to the Deanery of Jersey have been lower too but the differential between the two was only about 1% of our income, so it hasn't had a huge detrimental effect upon us.
“As to the weddings and how we will cope, we are looking forward to couples contacting us in 2021 for their weddings.
“Many of these, of course, will be ceremonies that were postponed from 2020 when we were all in lockdown.
“We have plenty of capacity within our churches to cope with any influx that we may have and so we hope that couples will be in touch to arrange their special day with us.”
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