Couples face wedding party heartbreak after rules relaxation is delayed

Change of heart on small-scale receptions is 'tremendously disappointing', kashrut authority and caterers say


The government’s change of heart on allowing wedding receptions for up to 30 people with sit-down meals has been described as “tremendously disappointing news” for both the couples and caterers by Kashrut London Beth Din (KLBD).

Restrictions were due to be relaxed on August 1. But a rise in Covid-19 cases prompted a delay until August 15 at the earliest. The news angered Manchester caterer Ed Shaerf, who had been booked for two wedding receptions next week, both now cancelled.

His view was that the government had been “poor in supporting the events industry as a whole. We are lucky that we are able to adapt and we will carry on fighting for as long as it takes.”

Mazi Cohen, who runs Cohen’s Caterers in London, has also had two wedding reception cancellations. She said the wedding couples were “very stressed and very nervous” about the situation. Some of her clients did not have wedding insurance that covered the pandemic. “A lot of people lost their money. I have lost the business.”

Another London caterer, Max Goldstein, director of Goldstein’s, said in his terms, the new delay “hasn’t changed anything because nothing was permitted till now”.

Goldstein’s staff have all been furloughed and the firm has not been taking bookings since March.

Mark Clyne of Bury-based Celia Clyne Banqueting reported that clients did not want to book until they could hold larger celebrations.

The company did have a few small weddings booked for September but these were in “limbo” given the changing guidance.

“Nobody really wants events of 30 people,” he said. “They’re waiting to have the 200.”

Many clients who had originally booked for this summer had postponed. “No one’s cancelling. We’re very fortunate that our clients want their events. It’s going to be a very busy 2021.”

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