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Finally, after lobbying hard, through the newly formed Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance (SWIA) founder Duncan McConchie (also the MD of Laggan Life who run wedding venues in Dumfries and Galloway GG’s Yard and a Founding Member of ABWB) has said “We must thank the Scottish Government for being the first UK government to create a wedding sector specific funding package and for recognising the wedding industry as a vital sector in the Scottish economy. You can get married inside or outside at a public venue such as a hotel, register office or a place of worship. To find out the current restrictions in Scotland take a look at the Scottish Tourism Alliance HERE, Why I started a new wedding business in lockdown – an interview with Founder of The Weddinghood Joanna Southwell, How to stop irritating your audience and get more wedding bookings. The Gretna Green area usually hosts about 12% of Scotland's weddings The operator of a major Scottish marriage venue has welcomed an easing of restrictions on guests. What are your legal rights? The future of weddings: What will they look like after COVID restrictions are lifted? “The CMA is currently investigating this sector and must be ready to take firm action against venues found to be breaching consumer law so customers have some prospect of getting their money back.”. said this would be in breach of the CMA’s guidance that states rebooking should not be offered instead of refunds. "We are considering every case, at length, individually to understand what we can do to help but must also be consistent and fair.”. The announcement was made this week by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In tier three, small wedding ceremonies were allowed however receptions were banned. Wedding receptions and celebrations are one of the few exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, but they must not exceed 15. In Scotland, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions can take place with 50 people attending in level zero areas, and 20 in levels one, … WEDDING venues are potentially breaking the law by exploiting 'unfair' terms and conditions to avoid refunding couples for cancellations due to the coronavirus crisis, a new study says. For the latest updates, courses, and industry insights from the Wedding Industry Journal. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community. The organisation has taken action after identifying that 20 out of 25 couples they have been in contact with said their wedding venue refused to offer a refund or made the process of obtaining their money back difficult. “Imagine hearing that repeatedly on speaker whilst trying to home-school my two young kids,” he said. believes these complaints are just the tip of the iceberg and there could be an industry-wide issue when it comes to refunds and cancellations. From grand stately homes to rustic barns, here's our selection of some of the top wedding venues in Scotland. 20 said they had not been offered like-for-like dates or offered a refund if the price for the postponed date was cheaper. In this guidance, the term “wedding receptions” includes receptions organised following the registration of a civil partnership. With support to reach the other side, the sector will bounce back like no other – from cake makers to bands, florists to photographers, our venues and more.”. They were of pocket by about £15,000 and had facing obstacles from various companies involved in the holiday. COVID Safe Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions – England What are the current rules and regulations? Wakes and receptions permitted, subject to 50 person limit Face coverings must be worn except for the bride and groom (or partners) and the person leading the ceremony during a wedding ceremony or civil partnership. The cancellation charges protect the venues, and there is wedding insurance to protect the couple. All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues … With the effects of Covid-19 and the restrictions to weddings and receptions most have had their businesses put on hold, some since March. The ban will apply to the six boroughs of … says insurers had stopped selling new policies by mid-March following a surge in demand. One bride-to-be booked her wedding at Bijou’s Botleys Mansion venue. This funding, whilst not as significant as the SWIA had hoped, will go a long way towards mitigating the impact that coronavirus has had on the wedding industry in Scotland. The consumer organisation said that by law, new terms and conditions must be fair and can be unenforceable if they give too much power to the business providing the service. Coronavirus wedding cancellations and what you should do if your big day can't go ahead Couples due to get married in spring have been left … This follows discussions with business groups and sees a range of sectors getting money, from taxi drivers and arts venues to travel agents and hospitality. The Bijou Group said: “We have been doing everything we can to navigate these very challenging times with as little disruption as possible to our couples and their big days, which we have been working on planning with them for up to two years, incurring significant costs along the way. “We did not cancel any weddings voluntarily – it was imposed on us - and this is exactly the situation for which wedding insurance exists.” It said Thursday-Sunday postponement dates were one of many options offered to couples. In Scotland, wedding ceremonies and receptions can go ahead with 20 to … 1. received most complaints about the Bijou Weddings group, a family-run wedding venue chain. This guidance covers wedding receptions and funeral wakes in Scotland. Which? analysed the new and pre-existing terms and conditions from a number of wedding venues, including Bijou, and found some that could be seen as unfair and unenforceable as they significantly reduce customers’ rights. Early learning and childcare (ELC)(formal childcare) Open – with standard protective measures in place Informal childcare Ms Gold and Mr Miles had planned to get married earlier this year, but the plans were thrown into chaos by the pandemic. However, those with existing policies have found themselves caught between venues that refuse to pay out and insurers with unclear policies or "exclusion clauses" which mean they do not have to pay out either. In Scotland, the amount of attendees is capped to 20 people for weddings, as well as receptions. Venues should familiarise themselves with their legal obligations in terms of the statutory guidance published by the Scottish Government which is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance… Weddings in this country support 14,000 small and medium-sized businesses and have an economic impact of £1.4 billion a year. This statement sets out the CMA’s views on how the law operates in relation to contracts for wedding services which have been or will be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some 17 said their venue has charged a fee to rebook or cancel their wedding and 15 couples said their venue has introduced new terms and conditions. Which? "Which? How Many People Can Attend a Wedding During Covid? In England, wedding ceremonies of up to 15 people are allowed, and sit-down receptions can take place in Tiers 1 and 2. Get involved with the news in your community, This website and associated newspapers adhere to the Independent Press Standards Organisation's Editors' Code of Practice. consumer rights expert said: “We believe there may be a serious, industry-wide issue with wedding venues ducking their legal responsibilities on refunds and cancellations by using potentially unfair terms and conditions. Or maybe you picture a more relaxed wedding, dancing barefoot in a yurt in a Scottish glen. The Scottish Government has announced a new £185m package of targeted coronavirus support. Which? WEDDING venues are potentially breaking the law by exploiting 'unfair' terms and conditions to avoid refunding couples for cancellations due to the coronavirus crisis, a new study says. You can make a complaint by using the ‘report this post’ link . Coronavirus has affected us all, including the hundreds of happy couples who were planning their 2020 dream wedding in Scotland. Feeling overwhelmed? It will also give renewed hope and confidence to the many thousands of couples whose wedding plans have been affected by the pandemic restrictions as they planned their celebrations in Scotland, a leading wedding destination of the world.”, “As has been widely publicised, the wedding sector has been one of the hardest hit by pandemic restrictions, with no sector specific funding until now, and with the majority of the industry having been all but shut since March. Coronavirus in Scotland, Law and order. If you have a complaint about the editorial content which relates to inaccuracy or intrusion, then please contact the editor here. We have eventually managed to get in the refund queue, but it should not have taken so much time and stress.”. The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for people with wedding plans – more than 73,000 ceremonies have been postponed or cancelled since lockdown begun on 23 March. Whether your wedding was originally scheduled for spring and you've since had to reschedule, or your date is a few months from now but you're just not sure what to do, we've tapped planners, vendors, and other experts to help couples move forward. Which? If you are planning your wedding in Scotland, we have some of the best wedding venues in the UK. Ms Gold said: “We have had various emails from the airlines pressuring us to take credit notes rather than refunds. Wedding receptions will be completely banned in any area that enters a 'Tier 3' lockdown, the government revealed tonight. "The huge majority are very appreciative and understanding but there is unfortunately a very small minority (around eight or nine) who are not entirely satisfied and have taken to press, social media, review sites, solicitors and so on in an attempt to get what they want. In England, only 15 people can attend a "Covid-secure venue", in Scotland wedding ceremonies of up to 20 people can be held and in Wales, receptions of up to … Getting married during coronavirus (COVID-19) Where you can get married. These are the ways weddings will change » FAQs surrounding planning and COVID-19: What many co… By Jamie McKenzie Friday, 5th June 2020, 12:30 pm Read up on all the Covid-19 wedding rules here. Covid-19 funding secured for the Scottish wedding industry and announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes starting in Janurary 2021 Several times, he was cut off after waiting for more than an hour on hold. Which? It is important that we continue to promote these adverts as our local businesses need as much support as possible during these challenging times. has also heard from Bijou customers who said the venue suggested they claim with their insurer to avoid refunding customers for cancelled weddings. On one occasion, Mr McCraig was also forced to listen to a hold recording about “which is most popular outfit that turn the other sex on.”. READ MORE:Three-fold increase in Scots seeking advice on refund rights. Although a great step forward for the Scottish Wedding Industry we now need to see these grants or financial support schemes available across the whole UK Wedding Sector and to finally see those #excludedUK receive some much needed financial support and acknowledgement. the consumer organisation has reported 12 UK wedding venues and organisers to the Competition and Markets Authority raising concerns about couples failing to get refunds. has seen the new terms that appeared on the site after some couples were able to take a screenshot of the contract before it was removed. For couples trying to tie the knot, 2020 has presented a unique set of problems ranging from a total ban on ceremonies and receptions at times to small-scale guest lists of 15 people. Daily COVID-19 cases in Ohio have shot up from around 1,300 a day in early October to around 8,000 in recent days. Data returned from the Piano 'meterActive/meterExpired' callback event. Venues selling food or … Scot Christopher McCraig, 28, said last month he spent an estimated 10 hours trying to reach someone at one insurance company on the phone. Most insurers have refused to pay out for cancellations, so Claudia risked being left out of pocket and with no idea if or when she would be able to get her money back. The CMA also outlined its expectations for businesses, in most cases, to refund customers if they cancel or cannot receive a service due to Government public health measures, including any non-refundable deposits or advance payments. Currently, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England and Wales are allowed with up to 30 people, including officials, staff and the couple. Their case was highlighted by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) following concerns over getting refunds for cancelled flights, holidays and events during the health crisis. It added: “Without cancellation charges like these, the industry would not be able to offer to consumers what it does at the prices that it does. “While many wedding venues may have been financially impacted by the coronavirus crisis, couples who are likely to be devastated at having to cancel their big day should not be forced to bear the cost. Adam French, Which? We do not pre-moderate or monitor readers’ comments appearing on our websites, but we do post-moderate in response to complaints we receive or otherwise when a potential problem comes to our attention. ... Coronavirus (COVID-19): wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations ... people responsible for venues that host marriage ceremonies; In England, wedding receptions for up to 30 guests can now take place – but only in a location that allows for Covid-19 guidelines to be met and should not take place in people’s homes or gardens. In Scotland, the amount of … It expects businesses to waive any admin fees for processing refunds too. Northern Ireland is yet to introduce the measures. Among those playing hardball were the venue and flight operators for the honeymoon, stag do and hen nights. In addition, suppliers are seeing their 2021 weddings roll ever further forward. COVID's impact on weddings originally scheduled for 2020 is major, there's no doubt about it. This comes after the government had initially introduced a three-tier system, which saw small weddings and sit-down receptions permitted (for up to 15 people) in tiers one and two. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Alasdair Houston - … Some of the couples that had booked with Bijou said the venue told them just before the government announced a ban on weddings that not only had their weddings been cancelled, but that they were liable to pay a cancellation fee of 80 per cent of the total cost of their weddings. Couples across the country are having to push back their wedding dates — often having to postpone more than once due to the rolling resurgence of … Which? The UK wedding market is estimated to be worth around £10bn ($12.5bn) annually and many couples hope to recoup money spent on ceremonies through insurance. However, many insurers in the market are refusing to payout on claims. Hair and Make-up Artist Kate Fletcher discusses the latest government guidelines and the effects on the industry. Aimi Gold and Ali Miles from Glasgow are among those who struggled to get their money back after their plans for a wedding in Scotland were thrown into chaos. The Scottish Government has published guidelines for weddings in Scotland, providing couples with advice on how to safely get married during the coronavirus pandemic. Those ads you do see are predominantly from local businesses promoting local services. Cases brought to CAS include a Glasgow couple who are waiting for around £15,000 in refunds after their wedding was cancelled. Of frustrated couples who contacted Which? We get it, and we got you. As it stands, wedding ceremonies and receptions are allowed to take place as long as Health and Safety measures such as social distancing are present to ensure the safety of the wedding party and the guests. the new contract uploaded to the site was a blank template and appeared due to an IT error. We may then apply our discretion under the user terms to amend or delete comments. Covid funding secured for the Scottish wedding industry, Christmas + Covid19 + Lockdown = a rise in Domestic Violence, “Why I started a wedding business during Lockdown” by Joanna Southwell, The Effects of Covid-19 on Hair and Make Up Artists. It is worth noting however that the major difference between weddings and other hospitality sectors is that these weddings have not been lost – they have just been delayed. Bijou told Which? As a subscriber, you are shown 80% less display advertising when reading our articles. With ABWB and many other UK Associations (NAWP and WVSG) and organisations being heavily involved in discussions with the UK MP’s and the soon-to-be-formed UK Wedding Taskforce we must stay hopeful. And in terms of physically making the wedding safe, think about health concerns every step of the way. When he did finally reach someone, Mr McCraig said his claim was denied. Which? Readers’ comments: You are personally liable for the content of any comments you upload to this website, so please act responsibly. If you are dissatisfied with the response provided you can contact IPSO here. Not sure where to begin? When the venue cancelled and asked for an 80% cancellation fee, it suggested she claimed the money back from her insurer and used the money to rebook. Wedding venues 'breaking the law' by refusing coronavirus refunds. In Scotland and Wales, children under 12 are exempt from the rule of six and do not count towards the overall number in any gathering. Post moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Wedding and civil partnership receptions cannot take place. "Most wedding insurance plans haven't traditionally covered something like the coronavirus, but obviously, you can always look into wedding insurance and work with your provider to create a plan around something like this." Covid … Guidance to assist couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in Scotland, as well as celebrants. Boris Johnson said small wedding receptions must be postponed and the reopening of bowling alleys and casinos must be paused, with the prevalence of coronavirus "likely to … Many couples due to tie the knot have been forced to cancel or postpone due to the coronavirus ... in the same way as when visiting hospitality venues. In May, a number of Bijou customers reported new contract terms had appeared on the website, stating that couples could postpone if their original date was not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with no reference to a refund. Scottish Government guidance to assist couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in Scotland, as well as celebrants. The consumer organisation analysed the contracts of eight venues that had potentially unfair terms and conditions and heard from a further four couples whose venues were potentially breaching the regulator's guidance on refunds and cancellations, which was issued last month after the CMA announced it was investigating this sector. Opening in January, Scottish Wedding Business owners will be able to apply for grants totalling £15 million. You can also get married outside in a private place such as a garden … Will they look like after covid restrictions are lifted surge in demand the registration a... They claim with their insurer to avoid refunding customers for cancelled weddings ) Where you can get married or! An economic impact of £1.4 billion a year discretion under the user terms amend! Guidance, the term “ wedding receptions ” includes receptions organised following the registration of a civil.. 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