The UK Weddings Taskforce sought clarity on the guidelines and has now discovered that ceremonies and receptions will, in fact, only be permitted in places of worship, public buildings and outdoor settings that are already able to open, as confirmed by senior Government sources.
The large majority of the UK’s licensed wedding venues fall under 'indoor hospitality' – where 71 per cent of weddings typically take place – are not included in this category, meaning thousands of engaged couples who had hoped to wed before May 17 will have to adjust their plans accordingly.
But one rule does remain the same, with only 15 guests allowed to attend a wedding wherever it takes place.
Spokesperson Sarah Haywood said: “The roadmap indicated weddings and receptions could resume on 12th April. We have now discovered, not by being offered the information but by analysing the small print and repeatedly seeking clarity, that this is not the case.
"The £14.7bn wedding sector can reasonably expect Government’s own messaging to be clear and unambiguous. It is neither, and after a year of uncertainty for businesses, their employees and over half a million people whose weddings have been on hold, this is yet another major blow.
"It will cost the industry - already on its knees - millions of pounds, lead to the loss of more jobs and leave an estimated 7,000 couples without a wedding. The reality facing the sector is that a couple could technically get married in a zoo, but not in a Covid-safe, purpose-built wedding venue.”
It is estimated that 7,000 couples will be affected, many of whom have already postponed their wedding multiple times before.
The rules will change from May 17 when, as part of Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap for easing restrictions, indoor hospitality venues will be authorised to reopen, including almost all of the UK's most popular wedding venues.
However, Boris Johnson has made clear that this step can only begin if the number of coronavirus cases continues to fall.