With wedding season fast approaching, new research* from hospitality job board, Caterer.com reveals that laid-back wedding receptions are on the up, with 1.8 million people opting for a pub wedding. Londoners are most likely to choose to go casual, with 72% of guests saying they are attending more laid-back wedding receptions in 2022.
After two incredibly difficult years for the hospitality industry, the rise in laid-back weddings in pubs and restaurants are great news for a sector preparing for a busy year. The survey shows that 3.3m people are currently planning their wedding, and two fifths (40%) of people say they have been invited to more weddings in 2022 than ever before. For many, the wait is finally over too, with two thirds (64%) of wedding guests attending ceremonies this year that had been delayed due to the pandemic.
The research suggests couples will spend £18k on average on hospitality elements of their wedding, including venue and catering. People getting married in London are looking to splurge the most on the big day, with the average couple spending over £28k.
In preparation for the promised busy season, hospitality businesses are looking to recruit, with Caterer.com data showing a 432% increase in wedding related jobs in Q1 this year, in comparison to Q1 2021.
Hospitality staff have a huge impact on guests’ overall experience at a wedding, with over half (56%) of respondents saying the best ceremonies they have attended have had excellent service. Additionally, over a third (38%) of people have said that the food is their favourite aspect of a wedding.
With over two thirds (68%) of people attending ceremonies in the UK, , the research reveals the top wedding hotspots for 2022:
1. London (19%)
2. North West (16%)
3. West Midlands (12%)
4. South East (11%)
5. Yorkshire & Humberside (10%)
Grace Wilson and Thom Pickering from South London, have recently booked their wedding in their local pub in Dulwich. Grace comments: “The pandemic has really made us re-evaluate what we want from our wedding. We want it to be as relaxed as possible; asking friends and family to travel to a country club just doesn’t feel right. Our local pub is the obvious choice for our reception. We love the food, we love the people and they always offer great service. We’ve also not been locked into costly and complicated contracts which is a plus.”
Kathy Dyball, Director at Caterer.com commented: “From choosing the perfect venue to finding the right caterers, hospitality plays a vital role in bringing people together on such special occasions. Pubs are becoming a popular venue for ceremonies and receptions, with couples choosing their trusted local to host family and friends on their big day.
“Our research demonstrates just how valuable hospitality is to newlyweds and it’s great to see they contribute to the success of someone’s big day. It’s vital for hospitality businesses to attract and retain the right talent offering excellent service and helping to contribute to making a memorable day for couples and their loved ones. With more and more people looking to get married in the UK this year, it would be fantastic to see the sector experience a much-needed boost.”
Tessa Stewart, weddings events manager at The Bell pub in Ticehurst, East Sussex said: “We are seeing a lot of demand for more relaxed weddings, but people are certainly not compromising on style. We have more than 80 weddings booked so far for this year and after lockdowns, people definitely want an absolute focus on family and friends.”
For more information on wedding vacancies within the hospitality industry visit www.caterer.com.