The owners of a wedding venue in Derbyshire are asking the government for financial assistance but want to reassure couples that they do not intend to close the venue.
Family-run Shottle Hall near Belper has moved to reassure the bride and groom that the historic venue is in no danger of going broke, despite the government’s inadequate support for the wedding industry.
After announcing that unlimited weddings will not be allowed until June at the earliest, the company has written to Sarah Dines, MP for Derbyshire Dales, to propose that the government reimburse the couples who are forced to cancel their weddings.
However, anyone who has booked a wedding at Shottle Hall can be sure that the company is in no danger of collapse.
Shottle Hall Wedding Director Sarah Farkas said: “It has been falsely reported that Shottle Hall has had financial problems – it has not and we want to reassure each and every one of our brides that no wedding is in danger.
“There have been more than 50 venues managed nationwide in the past 12 months and Shottle Hall is determined not to join this growing list. But the government must take action now.
“While pubs and restaurants can hopefully reopen in May, it makes no sense that safe weddings are not able to do the same. Shottle Hall is significantly larger than most restaurants and households can sit together.
“While we fully understand the need for restrictions to protect the nation, it feels – once again – like the wedding industry is being ignored.”
The Prime Minister has announced that from April 12, the number of guests at wedding receptions will increase from six to 15, and from May 17 up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings and receptions.
The government will not decide until June 21st whether all restrictions on weddings can be lifted.
Almost all Shottle Hall weddings in 2020 have been postponed to dates in 2021 at no additional cost to the couples, although many are now postponing a date for the second or third time because they fear they won’t be able to party with loved ones.
Wedding venues were required to reimburse those couples who chose to cancel, regardless of whether they had wedding insurance or a different date was offered.
Many wedding venues have also missed government support packages as they were hosting much smaller weddings until the last national lockdown – which resulted in them trading at a loss.
Sarah, whose own 2020 wedding took place with a significantly streamlined guest list, added, “We are absolutely devastated for our couples who have been planning their weddings for years and are still unclear whether they can celebrate with their family and friends.
“When I got married, I couldn’t even invite my own two bridesmaids, so I understand how severe these restrictions are.
“We really need the government to support us financially now. If we are not fully occupied and the bride and groom cannot invite all of their guests, we will lose out and not be able to continue like this indefinitely. “
– An earlier version of this story appeared on Derbyshire Live / Derby Telegraph, indicating that Shottle Hall would be on the verge of financial collapse if she did not receive financial aid. We would like to point out that this is not the case and we apologize for any problems