The wedding sector will have no income for a year, says Cynthia De Clercq of the Federation for Professional Wedding Vendors (HL Belgium) following the National Security Council.
De Clercq’s statement follows Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès’ announcement that, as of Wednesday, only ten people will be allowed to attend a wedding reception as part of the tighter restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
"The season for weddings runs from May to October. So we have no income from this year until May of next year,” De Clercq said.
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Weddings were forbidden until July, after which celebrations with catering were allowed with a maximum of 50 people. However, 90% of the couples chose to cancel their wedding to postpone it until next year.
The few weddings still planned for August or September will now also be postponed or cancelled, according to De Clercq. "Holding a wedding with ten people is simply impossible."
The sector of wedding suppliers, which consists of event hall lessors and caterers as well as florists and wedding planners, is in crisis. "We are heading in a straight line towards bankruptcy," according to De Clercq, who did not expect the so-called social bubble to be reduced to five people.
"It is also hallucinatory that people are still talking about weddings," HL Belgium wrote on their website. "Weddings for up to 10 people are not weddings. Nobody rents a room for just 10 people. Nobody contracts a wedding planner, a videographer, a rental company or even a photographer for just 10 people."
HL Belgium expects government support for "the whole pyramid of service providers affected.”
The Brussels Times