Couples hoping for a winter wedding, which they had planned last year before lockdown began, have expressed their dismay at the fact that their plans are now in danger. 

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held back from any official Covid curbs before Christmas, couples due to wed in the days and weeks after December 25th have been sharing their agony at being at the mercy of more possible restrictions being introduced.

Omicron may also threaten their guest lists and negatively affect their work as suppliers. However, they say that they are now living with the fear of having guest limit reintroduced in the next few days.  

The £14 billion pound UK wedding industry, brought to its knees for much of 2020 and early 2021, faces yet another blow; couples who assumed they’d be safe a year on from the first Christmas lockdown are again faced with the prospect off calling off their nuptials.

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Winter wedding jeopardy: couples who've spent months planning to have a wedding next week are now fearing new restrictions will come in after December 25th that could see their plans cancelled

Winter wedding in jeopardy. Couples have been planning their wedding for months and now they fear that restrictions could be imposed after the 25th of December. This could lead to cancellation of plans.

FEMAIL spoke to Helen Pye as Deputy Editor of Hitched’s wedding website. She said that couples love the romantic atmosphere of Christmas and wanted to avoid Covid’s curse. 

Couples will likely be more nervous because of Christmas and New Year, which are popular times to marry.

“The best thing we can give couples is to communicate with their venue and suppliers. Keep in mind that suppliers and venues have the same information as you. Be patient. 

Pye says that everyone wants to make your day a success.  

It’s becoming so stressful, it makes me sick. 

Rachel Howell (37), and Craig James (29) from Shropshire were scheduled to wed last December. However, they put off their winter wedding in the hope that this year’s permission would be granted. The couple is worried about their newly arranged wedding next week. Many of the guests have traveled from all parts of the UK, America, and Canada to be there. 

Rachel Howell, 37, and Craig James, 29, who are both teachers from Shropshire, were due to wed in December 2020 but were forced to cancel as lockdown hit. A year on, their new wedding date - December 29th - now also looks in jeopardy

Rachel Howell (37), and Craig James (29) are teachers from Shropshire. They were scheduled to marry in December 2020, but lockdown forced them to cancel. One year later, the new date for their wedding – Dec 29th – is also in danger

Worry: The couple, pictured, have friends who travelled from America two weeks ago - at 'huge cost' - to ensure they'd have enough time to quarantine if they caught the virus en route

Worry: This couple has friends that travelled to America from the US two weeks ago at an ‘expensive’ price to make sure they had enough time to quarantine in case they contracted the virus on their journey.

“We’re at tenterhooks. After checking Omicron statistics and seeing them rise, now we wait for any announcement by the Government as to whether or not we are allowed to proceed.

“I am a very positive person, but this makes me sick; I get anxious all the time and feel like I might burst into tears. 

“I feel like I should be very excited right now, but instead I am anxious and overwhelmed by it all. Both of us are exhausted. 

‘My mother is in a residential care facility and I haven’t been to see her. We are trying to be safe, and now she has decided she will not attend the wedding. 

'Everything's booked, we're ready to go': Rachel says the couple are 'exhausted' by the uncertainty over whether their manor house wedding faces being cancelled again

 ‘Everything’s booked, we’re ready to go’: Rachel says the couple are ‘exhausted’ by the uncertainty over whether their manor house wedding faces being cancelled again

Next week, getting married? Here are some ways to reduce stress…

Helen Pye (Deputy Editor at Hitched), says communication is essential in this complex time.

We can only offer the best advice to couples: Keep in touch with suppliers and your venue.

“It is important to keep in mind that they are as knowledgeable and have the same information as you. So be patient. 

Pye says that everyone wants to make your day a success. 

“Keep your guests informed about any changes once they are confirmed. Emailing is the best way to keep everyone up-to date.


According to the couple, they took every precaution possible to ensure that their wedding in a country home went smoothly.

“We have done all we can, our guests are all triple jabbed, our venue is a country house that holds hundreds and we only have 23 of them, including us. 

They are frustrated and disappointed at the way the uncertainty affected their build up to the wedding. 

“It’s our rights to get married the way we like and it’s safe for everyone – this was supposed to bring some light to all of the darkness.” 

According to them, they had to make a decision on Wednesday when their suppliers asked for confirmation that they would press ahead with orders of food and flowers. 

“We will lose thousands of pounds in the event that our wedding is canceled.”

“We have had our two guests from America fly to us at great expense. 

They came in two weeks earlier so they were ready to go if they get the virus. 

Rachel spoke out about last year’s plans. She said: “We had intended to wed last December. But again, the Government delayed making announcements. 

‘A lot our guests felt anxious about the increase in Covid prices. We were afraid that guests would not be as numerous so we delayed. 

“We believed it would be fine by the end of next year. Although we knew that there could be another spike, we believed the Government would manage things more effectively. 

They say they appreciate the NHS’s importance, but want clarity in any way.  

The Government’s inaction is what causes most anxiety. It would be great if the Prime Minister could give us a rough estimate on wedding and funeral guests so we can all make an informed decision.

“Our guests put their lives in danger for Covid. We feel as though we are playing Russian Roulette with lateral flow testing! 

Bride-to-be Kayleigh Grant, 36, an office manager, from Westerham, Kent is set to wed fiancé James Smith, a plumber, 34, next week on December 31st, after already re-arranging their big day once before… 

After bride-to-be Kayleigh Grant, 36, and fiancé James Smith cancelled their wedding last year, they'd hoped a wedding on New Year's Eve 2021 would be a safe option - however, the couple say they're now stressed at what should be the happiest time of their lives (Pictured on the day the couple were engaged in 2019)

After bride-to-be Kayleigh Grant, 36, and fiancé James Smith cancelled their wedding last year, they’d hoped a wedding on New Year’s Eve 2021 would be a safe option – however, the couple say they’re now stressed at what should be the happiest time of their lives (Pictured on the day the couple were engaged in 2019)

Kayleigh, fiance James, should celebrate their first marriage anniversary. 

The couple who reside in Kent, however, are engaged. This is a year after the pair tried to wed but were thwarted by the 2020 Christmas lockdown. 

Kayleigh says: “We were engaged in December 2019 and we paid our deposit. We also signed contact with the wedding venue two weeks prior to our first lockdown.

We thought we were going to get married soon, but Omicron showed up three weeks ago. Now it isn’t working out for us.

“We have 72-day guests who have to consider their families. They don’t want us to be disappointed if they cancel. Weddings can cost a lot, but they have to make the best decision for themselves. 

The couple's wedding venue hasn't been helpful, says Kayleigh, which has added to their woes - she admits if their big day is cancelled, there might be some feelings of relief because their 72 guests are currently taking great care to avoid catching the virus so they can attend

Kayleigh says that the couple’s venue for their wedding has not been supportive. Kayleigh admits that if they have to cancel their big day, it might bring some relief. 72 of their guests are taking extra precautions to prevent them from contracting the virus.

According to her, many guests are afraid of getting Covid or not being able attend because they have put their lives on the line. 

“We feel as if we’re playing Russian Roulette with lateral flow testing!” 

Kayleigh states that they are anxious about the possibility of new restrictions, but have not found any comfort in the location where Kayleigh is getting married.  

‘We are trying to manage everyone’s expectations and concerns with no helpful advice from the venue. 

‘I know they don’t know much more than we do but I’ve never done this before let alone amidst a global pandemic, I would have felt better and more at ease if they were more proactive.’

The bride-to-be says she's struggling to sleep while there's uncertainty over their big day

A bride-to-be said that she has trouble falling asleep because there is so much uncertainty surrounding their big day

Kayleigh and James are now saying that they have to deal with many different scenarios, and few outcomes, as Scotland and Wales have imposed stricter rules.

Kayleigh believes that Kayleigh’s mental health is suffering from the effects. She says: ‘I’m currently not sleeping (unless I’ve had a large glass or two of wine!). 

‘We’re constantly checking the news and trying to answer our guests’ questions with “I don’t know”. 

‘We’re feeling lost and out of control. I know if the Prime Minister does do a circuit breaker straight after Christmas, it’ll give me just three days to move suppliers and find another date. I just can’t process that just yet – we’ll be absolutely gutted. 

She says, “It would, sadly be some relief probably too though, purely because.” I don’t want anyone to feel worried about coming to our wedding.’

According to research from South Africa, Omicron is 81% less likely than Delta to cause hospitalization. 

A major South African study suggests that Omicron-infected people are 80 percent less likely to need hospitalization than Delta-infected patients.

The real-world analysis, of more than 160,000 people, comes ahead of a similar UK Government report expected to show Britons are also less likely to be severely ill with the variant. 

The study by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases NICD found that Omicron-sufferers had a 70% lower chance of being admitted to ICU, or placed on a ventilator than Delta patients. 

South African physicians insist for weeks Omicron is more mild since it was raised on November 24, and accuse the UK of being panicked about Omicron.

The study was not peer-reviewed by the NICD, but the researchers said that it doesn’t prove Omicron to be intrinsically stronger than Delta.

The researchers concluded, “It’s difficult to separate the relative contribution to high levels of population immunity from intrinsic lower virus virulence to observed lower disease severity.” 

Those who have already been immune to three prior waves of the virus, and are currently vaccinated against it, may be doing the bulk of the work in keeping them out of hospitals this time.

South Africans could have been vaccinated with Covid up to 70% of the time. Only 25% are double-vaccinated and boosters are not yet widely available.  

These findings raise hopes that the UK will also be facing a milder tsunami. The UK has 75% of its population double-jabbed, and almost half of it boosted.

Boris Johnson was said to not have pushed for more Covid restrictions before Christmas, after the UK Health Security Agency had tentatively supported suggestions that Omicron infections are less severe. This raises hopes that there will be fewer hospitalizations and cases in the weeks ahead.