Wedding sizes should increase to 150 by September - Irish Hotels Federation


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.11 26 Jul 2021


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Hotels say the number of guests allowed at a wedding should be tripled to 150 by September.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last week told Newstalk that couples should not expect any change to the current limit of 50 guests this summer; however, no official decision has yet been made.

The Government is currently in talks about increasing the limit with many couples hoping wedding parties of 100 guests will be allowed.

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Wedding sizes should increase to 150 by September - Irish Hotels Federation

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On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, the President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said the country should now be moving towards permitting larger weddings.

“We had hoped that in August, numbers of 100 would go ahead given the number of vaccinated guests we have and given that they are held in spacious ballrooms,” she said.

She said if vaccination continues at pace and “all the other public health markers are in place” the IHF would be calling for the limit to be increased to 150.

For now, she said it is essential that the Government gives couples clarity on what will be allowed in August.

“The thought of uninviting guests is just something that is too much to bear for couples, many of whom are on their fifth date,” she said.

“All against the backdrop of 68% of our adult population being fully vaccinated and 83% being partially vaccinated.”

Wedding limits

She said if larger weddings were permitted with only vaccinated people permitted to attend, a lot of couples would “grasp that with both hands and respect that”.

She said the public health systems and processes that are in place for weddings are well established.

“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” she said. “Weddings have been consistently hosted since June 29th last year. It is the same processes that are in place.

“Our guests are so socialised in terms of what they need to do in terms of wearing masks, not intermingling etc. Everybody wants to make this work but the big difference between this year and last year is vaccination.”

Vaccine pass

On The Pat Kenny Show last week, couples called for the indoor dining vaccine pass to be used to increase numbers at weddings.

On Lunchtime Live today, Anne Marie Quinlan, whose son is due to get married in August, said they sent out 100 invitations on the basis that it would be allowed by the wedding day arrived.

She said just one of the 100 guests will not be vaccinated in time for the big day.

“I can’t understand why we can’t have the wedding as planned in our groups of six pods, you know tables set out for six people, while restaurants around the country are all open,” she said.

“Many restaurants would take 50,60 or 70 people at a sitting and we have practically everybody vaccinated and they are hemming and hawing about whether we can do it,” she said.

“It is just so unfair. The stress on the families is ridiculous.”

"Flippant"

She said Minister Varadkar was “extremely flippant and quite ruse” in ruling out larger weddings last week.

“If that was going to be the case, they should have advised weeks ago because you don’t send your wedding invitation out a week before the wedding,” she said.

“You send your wedding invite out six, seven, eight weeks before the wedding – sometime three months before.”

“If you can show your COVID pass to your restaurant or to your hotel on arrival – or whether it be collated beforehand – why can we not sit tables in groups of six and have a wedding?”

You can listen back here:

Wedding sizes should increase to 150 by September - Irish Hotels Federation

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