Uk News Selfridges is hosting weddings, as unexpected spaces transform to meet demand from couples United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - It is a shrewd and potentially lucrative move to diversify into weddings, and other unexpected venues will be keen to follow suit
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Engaged couples seeking a wedding venue might well consider a Grade II* listed building where event organisers offer on-site catering, hair and make-up appointments and custom-made floral arrangements an appealing option. But what if that venue was not a stately home or a hotel, but a bustling, city-centre retailer?Department store chain Selfridges announced this week that it had acquired a licence to host wedding ceremonies at its premises on London’s Oxford Street amid what it said was “unprecedented demand” for venues.Promising a “one-of-a-kind wedding experience for couples looking for a non-traditional ceremony in an iconic location” this summer, the high-end retailer is offering a range of packages, with prices starting from £6,500.The freshest exclusives and sharpest analysis, curated for your inboxEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.With tens of thousands of couples desperate to tie the knot – an estimated 153,000 ceremonies from 2020 were postponed to 2021 according to wedding planning site Guides for Brides – many are willing to rethink their original plans if it means being able to forge ahead and say “I do” in the coming months.Early indications suggest Selfridges is onto something: the Instagram post in which it announced its foray into weddings is its most liked post of 2021 – it has amassed more than 21,000 likes compared to the several hundred most of its updates attract – and inquiries were coming in within hours, according to a spokeswoman.Selfridges will begin hosting weddings at its premises on London’s Oxford Street this summer (Photo: Getty)The response online has been overwhelmingly positive – comments include: “Who needs Vegas when you can now get married in Selfridges?” and “[I] just need to find a husband now”.It is a shrewd and potentially lucrative move to diversify into weddings, and one that other spaces seeking new revenue streams are likely to be considering – particularly now that bookings are beginning to pick up as Covid-19 restrictions are gradually being lifted. How will the rules on weddings will change from 17 May? Currently, couples in England are allowed to hold weddings and civil partnership ceremonies with up to 15 people present. The same number of people can also attend receptions, which can take place in Covid-secure outdoor venues permitted to open, but not in private gardens. Earlier this week Boris Johnson confirmed that the next step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead, meaning that from Monday indoor ceremonies and receptions comprising up to 30 people will be allowed at Covid-secure venues in England. Outdoor receptions, including in private gardens, can also go ahead with up to 30 people. The fourth and final stage in the Government’s easing of restrictions is due to come into effect next month. From 21 June, all limits on weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be removed. In Scotland, the cap on the number of people allowed to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions was recently raised to 50, and from Monday up to 100 people will be permitted on some of Scotland’s islands.
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Helen Pye, deputy editor of wedding planning website Hitched, is not surprised Selfridges is branching out to host weddings and believes other unlikely venues will follow suit.“It’s an incredibly savvy response to the backlog of couples waiting to get married,” Pye says.During the pandemic an array of businesses and services have stepped outside what they are known for, responding to the crisis in different ways. Supermarkets and restaurants rapidly scaled up, or totally switched to, online delivery models, fashion brands including Burberry temporarily halted production on the designer garb they are known for to focus on manufacturing personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns for the NHS, and places of worship have transformed their premises into vaccination centres.Equally, the public has shown that they are flexible and willing to adapt.However, Pye warns, would-be wedding venues eager to tap into this market should beware of rushing in without seriously assessing the challenges involved as expectations will be high.Venues in remote locations should consider whether they will be able to persuade a registrar to travel to the premises, while those in more densely populated neighbourhoods will need to take into account local residents’ objections to noise in the evening. Perhaps most important is the issue of toilets: “You need, as a minimum, four toilets for every 100 people, which a lot of small places won’t have,” Pye says.While Pye believes traditional ceremonies and receptions are going nowhere, she also thinks unconventional options will remain popular post-pandemic.“You can have a celebrant perform a wedding in a huge variety of places – I think there will be more couples going outside the box,” she says. Read More Wedding rules spark anger from couples, with dancing banned despite lockdown restrictions easing “Venues are transforming their spaces. There is adaptation and flexibility going on across the industry. I think couples who want to get married this year will do what they have to do to do that.“We’re never going to move away from couples wanting traditional venues but the pandemic has shifted some people’s idea of what a wedding looks like.”
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