COUPLES due to tie the knot this summer can look forward to an increase in the number of wedding guests within weeks following changes to current Covid-19 guidelines.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that from 7 June, 25 people will be allowed to attend a wedding celebration or reception.
In outlining changes to restrictions for July and August, the Taoiseach confirmed that this number is due to double with 50 guests permitted at weddings from the 5 July.
Providing that progress continues, from 5 August, 100 guests will be permitted to attend weddings.
Michael Magner, the owner of Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire, has warmly welcomed the changes to the number of people that can attend weddings and the possibility of up to 100 guests in the month of August.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Magner said: “It’s great news. It’s a sign of - hopefully - things to come, that we are now looking at the pandemic and we’re exiting from it and we never want to go back to a stage that we’ve been through for the last 16 months.”
With approximately 188 wedding guests on average at the hotel prior to Covid-19, he described the possibility of 100 guests in August as welcome news for “thousands of couples all across the county”.
Mr Magner also said that he is hopeful that live music for indoor venues can return soon as the first dance is a “big deal for couples”.
“People want to enjoy and celebrate and they do that with conversation with other guests at the weddings and stuff like that, but music is a great conduit to helping enjoy their day."
“All those folks that have been employed in the music industry have also been so hardly hit as well.”
With live pilot events to commence from next month, the hotelier is hopeful that they will help to pave the way to return to a new normality.
"We look forward to the summer and hopefully, with the combination of the easing of restrictions and continued supports, there’s a way out of this for business, for hotels, for anybody - for any employers out there to try and maintain those jobs.”
He added that they are waiting on the final details, but excited to welcome guests back.
“We’re delighted for our couples and we look forward to seeing the continuation of the supports that government have committed to for our sector to help us get back on our feet.”