Wedding venues booked up for two years as couples rush to tie the knot after Covid lockdown announcement

WEDDING venues have been booked up for the next two years just days after Boris Johnson announced restrictions would be lifted on June 21.

Desperate couples began fixing up dates as soon as the Prime Minister revealed the news in his lockdown roadmap on Monday.

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Venues are full up until 2023 while others are cashing in on the boom by reportedly hiking packages by 15 per cent.

Wedding planner Rebecca Brennan Brown, who runs her business from Soho, London, said: "The second Boris Johnson stopped talking, my phone started ringing non-stop.

"I think I walked away from my desk at about 8 o'clock that night and didn't stop working on my phone until I went to bed."

Under current rules, wedding ceremonies are only allowed to take place in exceptional circumstances – such as a bride or groom being terminally ill.

Many venues in London are completely booked out until 2023 and those that aren't yet have hiked up their wedding packages by about 15 per cent.

And receptions are banned altogether under the national shutdown.

Rebecca told the BBC: "Many venues in London are completely booked out until 2023 and those that aren't yet have hiked up their wedding packages by about 15 per cent."

She added: "The last year has been pretty ropey to say the least. It's just been a constant up and down. I've struggled, living in London as it's expensive.

"I think I'm still processing what was said because I wasn't expecting there to be no restrictions in June – that feels very quick for me personally.

"My diary now is completely packed for the rest of this week with consultations."

It is hoped an unlimited number of guests will be allowed to attend weddings from June 21 as all restrictions are scrapped – but the PM has stressed this will be reviewed nearer the time.

And Rebecca fears that even once restrictions are lifted, not everyone will be able to book their Big Day.

"With London in particular there are people living here from all over the world," she said.

"Due to the international travel rules, those people with family abroad still might not be able to get them over here in time for the wedding. "

Under the PM's roadmap, up to 15 attendees – including brides and grooms – will be allowed from April 12.

This number will rise to 30 from May 17 – despite 1,000-person indoor events allowed to take place from the same date.

On Monday Boris announced: "We will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events.

"We will reopen everything up to and including nightclubs and enable large events such as theatre performances above the limits of step three – potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection."

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