The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has done immense damage to the hospitality and events industries, but wedding suppliers and bridal stores have said they have been given 'little consideration' which has resulted in a 'complete obliteration' of their industry.

Sales manager at The White Gallery in Ramsbottom, Demi Norris, said by now, wedding suppliers would usually be coming to the end of one of their busiest seasons, reaping the benefits from couples who would normally have tied the knot over the summer.

She said her team at The White Gallery represent only a small section of the 400,000 people who work within the UK’s wedding industry, which contributes to £14.7bn per year to the UK economy, but has questioned why an industry that makes so much money has been given such little consideration.

Ms Norris said: "With hundreds of thousands of weddings cancelled this year the entire industry has been completely obliterated.

"Forgetting statistics for a moment, we need to remember that these cancellations are affecting people's hopes and dreams - a wedding is a celebration of their love and union - and that's before we even mention the financial heartache they will now face.

"The wedding industry being completely forgotten about and simply cast aside this year.

"We truly cannot see the logic behind the government treating a sector that contributes billions to the UK economy as though they do not exist.

"To add insult to injury there has been a complete failure to compensate wedding suppliers who have had nearly a full year of work snatched from them, while other companies and industries have received the same financial support even though they continue to make significant profits.

"Then to top if off we were told that our careers are simply ‘non-viable’, as we work in a creative industry - it's beyond ridiculous.”

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The White Gallery prides itself on giving brides an experience of a lifetime, and Ms Norris said her and her team are determined to keep working their magic to give brides the treatment they deserve.

She said: "While it's clear that something had to be done to control the spread of the virus, it's still not clear how long the government expect the entire wedding industry to be left hanging by a thread while they fail to address the entire sector and how or if weddings can continue in 2021.

"In March when the government put a stop to all weddings, most couples made the decision to move to a later date, giving them a glimmer of hope for the future.

"However, the inconsistent response from the government has again forced couples to deal with last minute changes, in some cases with less than 24 hours notice to cancel the day they have worked so hard for.

"We know everyone is struggling, but it definitely feels more challenging not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

"This isn’t just ‘a party’ that we are talking about, it's also the thousands of careers that will simply be lost if nothing is done.

"We will strive to stay positive and always put our brides first no matter how hard it may be."

Official guidance on weddings under Tier 3 restrictions states that just 15 guests are allowed at a ceremony, while receptions of any kind remain prohibited.

Research from HelloSafe, a wedding insurance comparison site, estimated losses of almost £5.3billion this year for the sector, with more than 132,000 couples postponing weddings so far in 2020.