One of London’s most famous department stores, Selfridges, has been granted a licence to host weddings this summer.
The newly acquired licence means the store on Oxford Street can officially host ceremonies for a limited time this year, as couples struggle to secure wedding venues amid unprecedented post-Covid demand.
Over the last year, coronavirus restrictions have upset approximately 150,000 couples’ wedding plans, equivalent to over 60 per cent of the number of weddings that were meant to take place in 2020.
Almost 280,000 weddings take place every year in the UK, with more than 260,000 weddings postponed due to the pandemic, figures suggest.
Three Selfridges packages are available for couples looking for a “non-traditional ceremony in a venue like no other”.
Selfridges has created a dedicated “Wedding Suite” on the fourth floor of the grade-II listed building.
The packages begin with the “Just-the-two-of-us” with a maximum of four guests, and includes beauty and grooming appointments, a “low-key” exchange of vows, a wedding breakfast hamper and a reception in the store’s in-house cinema complete with popcorn and champagne.
The “Earth Lovers” package can accommodate up to 20 guests and includes an appointment to find vintage or rented wedding outfits and a locally sourced three-course meal at Selfridge’s Brasserie of Light restaurant.
Lastly, the extravagant “All-Out Extraordinary” package allows couples to 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 and a set from a choice of in-house DJs.
Selfridges will give couples and their guests the opportunity to consult with the store on everything from wedding makeovers and styling appointments to custom-made floral arrangements and canape consultations.
Rebecca Warburton, director of events and customer experiences at Selfridges, 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.”
Additional reporting by PA