Last year, as part of their annual National Wedding Survey, Hitched.com reported the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £31,974, with the majority of the budget going towards the venue, the honeymoon, food, the engagement ring and drinks. The average age of couples surveyed were 32 and 34 for the bride and groom respectively.
As I am close to this age group, and have attended numerous matrimonial celebrations of acquaintances, family members and friends in my late 20s, I wanted to find out how the global response to Covid-19 has impacted the Black British women who were planning to say ‘I do’ this year, as well as African and Caribbean vendors in the hospitality space.
Beatrice*, who is 34 and of Jamaican descent, works in the NHS and planned to marry her 36 year old Italian fiancé in West London, but a week before the government announced the lockdown, they chose to postpone the church ceremony and reception celebration they had meticulously planned over 16 months. Beatrice mentioned not knowing if her fiancé’s family would be able to fly by the time of the wedding.
“[We didn’t know] if guests’ health would be in real jeopardy, and if we would be penalised financially for postponing – we were constantly on a roller coaster of emotions.
“We had to consider safety – would everyone have to wear masks? That sounds like a very distracting theme! Would the groom have to blow a kiss to the bride from a distance? Sounds romantic, huh?!”