Weddings could resume from May 19

Negotiations with the government give hope for a gradual resumption of activity for the sector, according to the Union of Solidarity Professionals in Events (UPSE).

“It gives us balm in the heart”, rejoices Mélissa Humbert-Ferrand President of the Union of Solidarity Professionals in Events (UPSE). While the prospects for the holding of weddings in the coming months still seemed to have stalled after Emmanuel Macron’s announcements, negotiations between the government and professionals in the sector give hope for a resumption of activity from May 19.

“According to ongoing discussions with the government, places open to the public for weddings could reopen from May 19.», Explains to Figaro Mélissa Humbert-Ferrand. This announcement should be officially confirmed by the Prime Minister within the week, she said. The places concerned by this reopening are mainly L-type public buildings, such as meeting, conference and show rooms, screening rooms or even multipurpose rooms of more than 1,200 square meters.

However, like the gradual deconfinement, the resumption of marriages will not happen without some restrictive measures that will be lifted over the weeks depending on the health situation. First, a gauge will be imposed on the number of guests. It will be set at 35% of the capacity of the reception venue both indoors and outdoors, before increasing on June 9 to 50% indoors and 65% outdoors. June 9 will also mark the possibility for the bride and groom and their guests to dine indoors, which is currently prohibited. Finally, all restrictions will be lifted on June 30. Another victory won by the professionals of the sector: the marquees will be considered as outdoor places whereas they were assimilated to indoor spaces thus preventing dining there.

Uncertainties remain

Discussions are continuing with the government as two points still need to be confirmed. On the one hand, that of the curfew which will pass at 9 p.m. on May 19 and at 11 p.m. on June 19. But will it apply for the bride and groom and their party guests? “A priori, from what the Ministry of the Economy told us, as the curfew applies to travel, it should not therefore concern those present at a wedding as long as they remain in place. They shouldn’t have to go to bed at 9 p.m. But the question remains unanswered for those who will want to leave the reception and go home ”, indicates Mélissa Humbert-Ferrand. The federation also does not know if the opening of reception rooms will be allowed only for weddings or if it will be extended to other events, especially professional events.

This calendar unveiled by the Federation last weekend is a real relief for the newlyweds, some of whom are on their third postponement since the start of the health crisis. Many had also agreed to reduce the guest list hoping that this concession would allow them to celebrate their union in the spring. “On average in France, weddings bring together 110 guests but we have observed since the start of the crisis that this number has most often fallen to between 50 and 80 people”, according to UPSE.

“It was going to finish us off”

Even more than couples, it is a whole sector that sees these prospects as a huge relief. Especially since the month of May marks the start of the season until September. In June, 40,000 marriages are thus expected. Recently, many couples had decided to cancel their reception after several cancellations, losing hope of their ceremony being held in the months to come. Likewise, new reservations were rare. These cancellations have multiplied just after the announcements of the President of the Republic which did not suggest a possible resumption of marriages in the immediate future.

“We were very worried because all these cancellations involve down payments to be reimbursed to our customers and despite access to the solidarity fund, this is not sufficient to reimburse them all”, explains Mélissa Humbert-Ferrand. Especially since “the sector has many young companies which invested to get started and took out loans before the crisis. However, the latter must start to be reimbursed and that would end us if we did not have any income ”, she adds. And to conclude: “It’s a breath of fresh air and we tell ourselves that ultimately life will resume, marriages are saved and our businesses too!“.

The bride and groom will nevertheless have to be patient because the list of pending ceremonies is long. For some, it is towards 2023 that it is now necessary to look to hope to be able to celebrate their union, the reservations already multiplying for 2022. Enough to leave time to organize the most beautiful of weddings.


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