Department store Selfridges has acquired a licence to host weddings this summer as couples find themselves in the midst of unprecedented demand for venues post-Covid.
The newly-acquired licence allows the London Oxford Street store to host ceremonies for a limited time this year, with three packages available for couples looking for a “non-traditional ceremony in a venue like no other”.
Almost 280,000 weddings occur every year in the UK, with more than 260,000 weddings postponed due to the pandemic, figures suggest.
Added to the weddings planned for 2021 this means as many as 475,000 weddings could be planned for this year – with weekday dates now as in demand as the typically more popular weekend.
Selfridges has created a dedicated “Wedding Suite” on the fourth floor of the grade-II listed building, where couples can choose from three packages beginning with the “Just-the-two-of-us” with a maximum of four guests of the happy couple and including beauty and grooming appointments, a “low-key” exchanging of vows, a wedding breakfast hamper and a reception in the store’s in-house cinema with popcorn and Champagne.
The “Earth Lovers” package can involve up to 20 guests and includes an appointment to find vintage or rented wedding outfits and a locally-sourced three-course meal at the store’s Brasserie of Light restaurant.
Couples who choose the “All-Out Extraordinary” package can invite up to 20 guests for a ceremony officiated by comedian and drag queen Jonny Woo and a three-course meal in a private dining room followed by a set from a choice of in-house DJs.
The happy couple and their guests will be able to make appointments with the store for everything from wedding day makeovers and styling appointments to custom-made floral arrangements and canape consultations.
Rebecca Warburton, Selfridges director of events and customer experiences, said: “For those looking for a truly unique way to get married this summer, we’re excited to launch weddings at Selfridges.
“Bringing together some of our amazing experiences, we can’t wait to create custom packages in celebration of people’s love for each other.”
Alison Cathcart, superintendent registrar at Westminster City Council, said: “We’re delighted to have another venue to add to our extensive list and to give more choice, especially during the backlog as a result of Covid.
“In Westminster we’re lucky we can offer destination weddings so it’s about offering a choice, and offering another option that’s interesting and different.”