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27th Jul 2021

Brides-to-be to protest at Government Buildings in call to increase wedding guests to 100 people

The bridal procession is organised by the Wedding International Professionals Association.

UPDATE: Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that the number of people permitted to attend weddings will rise to 100 after 5 August.

A procession of brides is set to protest in Dublin City today to call for the cap on the number of guests permitted at weddings to be raised from 50 to 100 in August.

The large group of brides-to-be will form a procession from the Department of Health on Baggot Street on Tuesday at 12pm before travelling to Government Buildings to present their health and safety guidelines.

The brides will also be presenting a centrepiece of 40 pages of guidelines “to seek to safely raise the guest limit for wedding receptions to 100 guests” from next month.

The protest has been organised by the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA), which claims that the recommendations will enable weddings of 100 people to go ahead in a manner that is “safe for both staff and guests”.

WIPA added that the guidelines have been prepared by a panel of health and safety experts and contain over 50 far-reaching recommendations for hosting a safe wedding. The guidelines will also include recommendations for specific guidance for photographers, venues, hotels, marquees, floor plans and transport providers.

The development of the guidelines and the bridal procession follows speculation from Leo Varadkar recently that the government will not go ahead with its plans to raise the guest limit for weddings from 50 to 100 in August.

Varadkar told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show that couples should “plan for 50” when it comes to preparing for weddings in August.

“The current rule is, 50 is the maximum that you can have at a wedding. We did indicate that that might increase to 100 in August if things were going in the right direction. With the rising case numbers, they’re not, quite frankly,” he said.

“So what I’m saying to people, the best advice is to plan for 50. And bear in mind that you know everybody wants their wedding to be a memorable day, a day that they can remember in a joyful way, not an unpleasant way for the rest of their lives.”

WIPA President, Tara Fay, said on Monday: “We need to provide certainty for couples and our industry as to what is happening in August.

“We have developed our comprehensive health and safety guidelines to show that it can be done safely.

“The government previously announced that weddings from August onwards will be able to have 100 people in attendance, but they are now backtracking on this.’’

Fay added that the industry would like “clarity” from government for both couples and staff working in the wedding industry.

“We urgently want to engage with the government on this, get our industry back on its feet and provide certainty and clarity for couples who are extremely stressed and anxious,” she added.

“There are tens of thousands of people in this country whose livelihoods utterly depend on weddings – they need to know if they are going to have a job come September.’’