GLASGOW couples have pleaded for clarity after being forced to reschedule their dream wedding day multiple times.

Tuesday's roadmap announcement failed to go into detail on how ceremonies will look later this year.

Currently, only five people are allowed to attend – the couple, two witnesses and the officiant – meaning many couples have put off their special day until restrictions allow additional guests.

In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised normality could return to weddings, and the likes of nightclubs, as early as June, prompting a flurry in bookings and even crashing popular planning app Bridebook.

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However, the more cautious approach taken by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – who stated she hoped the city could return to Level Three restrictions from April 26, potentially allowing just 20 people including the couple and officiant to be in attendance – has been branded “disappointing” by those hoping to walk down the aisle in 2021.

Glasgow Times:

Teachers Justin Beck and Paul Hardie, 34, have made the heartbreaking decision to postpone their “real South Side” wedding from July 1, 2021, to the same date in 2022.

The pair, who met at Castlemilk’s Castleton Primary, spent almost two years planning their dream day with the aim of using all local suppliers near their home in Cathcart before celebrating with around 70 friends and family at the Number 10 Hotel.

The 36-year-old said: “It took us a long time to plan it and then we were looking at our guestlist and tried to cut it all the way down from 70 to 20 and 20 was just really cutthroat.

“There were a lot of people who couldn’t come that we would genuinely have wanted there.

“I tested positive for coronavirus in January and it was then, when I was quarantining in the spare room, Paul and I were talking through the door and we first mentioned the ‘P’ word: postponement.”

The couple tried to avoid putting off their day for as long as possible, eagerly awaiting updates from the Scottish Government like thousands of other couples in their position.

“Covid-19 has been a tremendous stress and strain both personally and professionally,” Justin said.

“We held off postponing as long as possible, holding out hope that things would be in a better situation.

“When I contracted Covid-19, it really brought home just how much time and effort we put into planning our special day and we genuinely didn’t want restrictions to ‘minimise’ or ‘detract’ from all the effort we put in.”

The couple are not alone.

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Thousands of people planning their big day since March 2020 have been forced to reschedule or drastically alter their ceremonies.

Glasgow Times:

Michele Butler and fiancé Andy Colclough have also moved their wedding to next year. It’ll be the pair’s fourth date since missing out on their original plan of May 23, 2020, in the Corinthian Club.

The 53-year-old, who lives in North Lanarkshire, couldn’t face having their celebration without their children.

After the abrupt change to the planned easing of restrictions over the festive period, Michele wanted to avoid another late schedule change and made the decision to move her date to 2022 in the hope restrictions will be lifted.

She said: “I genuinely thought by September last year we would be fine, but then we had to rebook until April this year.

“After Christmas, I was getting really unsettled about it so we decided to move it to April next year.

“We’re an older couple – I have two grown-up kids and so does Andy as well as his grandkids – we just couldn’t do it without them there, so a 20-person limit doesn’t work for us.”

The Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance has written to Ms Sturgeon with an urgent plea to provide further clarity over the future of weddings across Scotland.

Co-founders Duncan McConchie and Caroline Inchyra said 95% of the industry has been closed since restrictions began, with 23,500 couples postponing their date in the hopes of a coronavirus-free wedding.

A survey conducted by the organisation discovered it took most couples an average of three months to plan their day, meaning it was “vital” to have guidance on how many guests could attend in March, April and May.

It called for immediate the parity of weddings with other life events, allowing up to 20 people and an indication of attendance numbers likely from April 26 onward.

The letter said: “We understand that the next few months are fraught with unknowns, getting schools back and opening up other essential services.

“However, we are not an industry which can respond as immediately as other parts of hospitality.

“If someone can’t go out for dinner today, they’ll probably go out in a month – this isn’t the case for weddings.

“We need hope, proactive working groups around testing and a public campaign to support the work which will be done.”

Glasgow Times:

The group has called for an “urgent” meeting with the First Minister and her team to discuss the situation.

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The letter added: “In the absence of being able to offer hope to our industry through government acceptance of the asks that we have outlined ... could you please tell us what we can say to our businesses, suppliers and couples?”

Robroyston couple Callum Pettigrew and Danika Cooper echoed the organisation’s thoughts after a “frustrating” experience delaying their wedding.

The duo were supposed to tie the knot at the Lynnhurst Hotel in October last year, but made the decision to postpone to June in the hope the virus would be under control.

Initially, the couple hoped to postpone for a second time to later in the year.

However, a lack of available dates means they will now marry in July next year – the same week as Callum turns 30.

He said: “Coronavirus has caused us to wait almost three years to get married.

“We have lost some money on deposits, which is understandable as these businesses have been seriously affected by Covid-19, too.

“We thought about reduced numbers for our wedding but felt that this was still a huge, unnecessary thing to do given that the virus was spreading so easily. We feel it just wouldn’t be as special not being able to invite all our loved ones to spend the day with us.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Couples can marry at the moment but we recognise the current limits on numbers are hard on both couples and the wedding industry.

“However, the restrictions are needed at the moment on public health grounds.”