New figures show extent of cancelled weddings and financial loss due to coronavirus pandemic

Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

ITV News have received new figures from within the wedding industry showing the sheer scale of financial losses and cancellations.

From September 28, new rules mean only 15 people can attend marriage ceremonies, leaving tens of thousands of couples facing agonising choices about guestlists and whether to postpone.

We spoke to Ella Delancey and Will Jones who are getting married on Saturday, having already delayed once due to Covid restrictions.

They had to cut their invitations from 120 to 30 and now down to just 15 as the rules changed.

"We've been engaged for almost 18 months and having the rug pulled from under us was really not a good feeling...I think we have to wash our hands before and after the rings are exchanged...and we are allowed to kiss, which is great news."

Credit: PA

ITV News got new figures from HelloSafe a wedding insurance comparison site which has conducted extensive research across the industry.

It is estimating loses of almost 5.3 billion pounds this year for the sector, with over 132,000 couples postponing weddings so far in 2020.

These figures show weddings have fallen by almost a third in the UK since last year.

Many in the weddings business say couples have been left bemused by the reasoning behind new guidelines, especially since regulation for pubs and hospitality is so different.

As the number of wedding postponements rises, the Financial Ombudsman Service is bracing for an increase in disputes about insurance claims.

For now, the industry that's all about joining people together must cope with regulations designed to keep people apart.