The wedding industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with ceremonies being pushed forward, receptions being cancelled and limits on the number of guests allowed.
However, many couples are putting plans in place in the hopes that they will get to celebrate their special day this year.
Top wedding-gown designer Sharon Hoey said her luxury bridal boutique on Merrion Street has been fully booked out with appointments since reopening this week.
“We opened on Tuesday and it’s really busy. We’re pretty much fully booked out.
“We were taking a waiting list for people as far back as December.
“We just contacted everybody who’s on our waiting list so we’ve been getting hundreds and hundreds of emails back everyday,” she said.
Sharon said they are already making appointments for next year’s weddings.
“We’re making appointments at the moment right up until the end of August for the 2022 girls.
“And I know that they’re looking at much bigger numbers. They’re really hoping to have their 180 or their 200 guests and I really hope that they get it.
“I don’t know if they will but we're all in a much more positive place at the moment. If you can get 50 guests, then you’re so lucky,” she said.
Currently, up to 50 guests are allowed at wedding ceremonies.
However, only six people can attend indoors celebrations afterward or 15 outdoors.
Sharon said while she agrees with the restrictions, she believes the wedding industry was not recognised despite being a major economic sector worth an estimated €2.3 billion to the economy.
“My big gripe was that we were not recognised as an industry yet we bring so much money to the economy and we employ so many people.
“It's another area where we employ a lot of women and we’re not necessarily employing high-earning women so therefore we’re back again with the low earning women and the forgotten,” she added.
Sharon said she believes the high demand for wedding appointments is because people are no longer willing to put their lives on hold.
“When you’re getting married now, as a general rule you’re probably in your thirties.
“Life has to go on so you’ve got to make this decision to roll on.
“I think when everything opens back up after the pandemic it's going to be like the roaring twenties,” she added.
World-renowned wedding planner Tara Fay said couples are waiting for clarity on what their final numbers are going to be and what restrictions will remain in place.
“People for July, August, September to October this year are still holding on in the hope that they’ll be able to get 50 people or 100 people and then they’re either going to make peace with that or move it into next year.
“They’re also not sure when to push the date because a lot of them will have suppliers already booked.
“Most weddings will have minimum 25 to 30 suppliers feeding into a wedding so to try and move 25 or 30 other companies for all of them to be available on the same date is a big ask for people.
“Until there is better clarity for couples, suppliers and venues around weddings, I think we’re going to keep seeing challenges around weddings,” she added.