Couple see silver lining as bank holiday change threatens wedding

12 Jun 2019

The government's decision to change the May 2020 bank holiday to commemorate VE Day has left hundreds of couples concerned about their wedding plans

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Image gallery

Following their engagement during the May bank holiday in 2018, Larissa Hirst and Ian Palmer quickly set to work to ensure they secured the wedding venue of their dreams. 

The couple who live in London chose The Italian Villa in Poole, Dorset as Larissa is from the area. They decided to get married at the same time of year as their engagement, but with peak season dates at this popular venue increasingly sought after the couple booked their wedding 23 months in advance. 

With the date set for Sunday 3rd May 2020, Larissa and Ian were among many left reeling by the news that the government was to change the bank holiday from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. 

Larissa says: "It is a shame that after all our careful pre-planning we've lost a bank holiday slot that we planned so far in advance, and I feel the government probably should have given further notice. Considering France and the Netherlands have an additional holiday for VE Day, I think the UK should follow suit with its own special day."

"When we initially heard the news we looked into moving the day," continues Larissa. "However the venue is too popular to have any free slots available. We’ve also already booked our photographer, florist, transport, DJ and toastmaster, so it would involve a lot of phone calls and re-planning. The biggest issue we found is for parents, children and specifically teachers travelling to attend. We have many friends and family travelling from Essex, Lincolnshire and Liverpool – who we thought of when booking that bank holiday date in advance."

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Larissa and Ian will tie the knot on Sunday 3rd May 2020 at The Italian Villa (Image: Kay Clark Photography)

Despite the initial concern, Larissa and Ian's worries have been allayed. "We realise that VE Day is very important to commemorate so we have just adjusted our plans a little to accommodate the change. We've reached out to our guests who are travelling further afield and they are going to speak with their employers to let them know well in advance. We are also going to send out invitations as soon as possible."

Larissa and Ian have also discussed their concerns with their venue team, who the couple say have been nothing but supportive. "The staff at The Italian Villa have been amazing. Without even a prompt from us, they looked into our pricing and revised the package straight away, so we didn't have to pay the bank holiday supplement. We are now making a little surprise monetary saving because of how flexible the venue has been."

Hotel accommodation has also worked out cheaper for Larissa and Ian's guests as they won't have to pay the bank holiday premium price. 

"We are looking on the bright side of this," Larissa concludes. "I think when things like this happen to what is the biggest day of your life, it’s key to just communicate with your venue, suppliers and your guests, and just remember nothing can spoil your big day. It’s about who you’re getting married to, and we feel very lucky to see so many of our guests making the effort and finding ways to get around the bank holiday change. It’s actually made us feel very loved."

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