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Wedding rules risk rows between couples and venues

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Engaged couples across the West Midlands are facing difficult discussions with their wedding venues following the relaxation of coronavirus rules.

Commercial litigation lawyer Jessica McSorley, from law firm mfg Solicitors, has warned that while many people will welcome the change in the restrictions – allowing weddings with up to 30 guests to take place – many couples will still consider it far short of the dream day they were planning.

However, Ms McSorley said couples may find it difficult to insist their venue give them a refund as their wedding is legally allowed to go ahead, albeit on a restricted basis.

She said: “The problem for couples who planned for a larger wedding when they originally made their booking is that technically speaking, the venue is still somewhat able to deliver what they agreed.

“There is a possibility a court may accept that if, for example, 200 guests had been planned for but now there can only be 30 this would represent a fundamental change to what was agreed. However, there is no precedent set for this yet.

“The best thing couples who are not happy to proceed with a booked date can do is to talk calmly to their wedding venue and suppliers and try to agree an alternative date. They need to work together and recognise the current climate they are in. Some may be willing to delay things a few weeks given that, as things stand, restrictions are due to end in late June. There are some good examples of venues being flexible.”

Currently, weddings and civil partnerships are limited to 30 people, excluding staff. Dancing is not permitted other than the bride and groom’s first dance, while people from separate households or bubbles have to follow social distancing. Indoors, guests have to wear masks except when eating and drinking.

For couples looking for further advice, they can email Jessica through