A couple have said they face losing up to £30,000 from their dream wedding abroad following the Government’s decision to move next year’s May bank holiday to a Friday.
Anthony Messore, 40, and Jess Howells, 29, will be forced to cover the costs of around 70 missing guests for their “fairy tale wedding” at an Italian seaside village, with family and friends now unable to make the trip.
The couple are due to tie the knot at a venue set on a private beach in Baia Domizia, around one hour from Naples, the birthplace of Mr Messore’s father who died five years ago.
The wedding, which has been booked for two years, is set for Sunday May 3 next year, with the idea that the original Bank Holiday Monday would prevent guests having to miss work and school before returning home.
But their plans have been thrown into turmoil after next year’s May Day bank holiday was moved back by four days to Friday May 8 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Mr Messore, who owns his own electronics business, said: “There’s a lot of teachers in our family, including my brother’s wife, two of my cousins, and everyone had used the bank holiday to work out they could come. Now they can’t because they won’t be able to get the time off.
“My brother’s wife has already said she doesn’t think she will be coming. That means my brother may not come.
“It’s going to break Jess’s heart, because her sister, who is a nurse, isn’t going to be able to come.
“We’ve got a big family, and a lot of the kids are still in school, so they won’t be able to make it, and if the kids can’t make it then the parents can’t come too.
“A lot of people have said they can’t make it. I’ve now got a lot of rooms in the hotel that are going to be empty because I’ve paid up front for them.
“There is probably 60 to 70 guests unable to come, possibly more, and also the amount could run into £20,000 to £30,000.
“It’s spoiling our wedding, and of course I can’t cancel it because I won’t be able to get my money back.”
Mr Messore stressed his frustration lies with the Government and not those involved in the VE Day anniversary, saying: “Don’t get me wrong, we would not be here if it wasn’t for the guys who gave their lives for us. But how it could be changed with just 11 months to go is beyond me.
“You’d think the Government would know beforehand when the VE celebrations would be, they’ve had 75 of them.”
The couple, from Cwmbran, South Wales, have been together for seven years, and had originally invited 180 guests to their wedding, which has already cost around £70,000.
Ms Howells, a nursery teacher and mother to son Jayden, 10, said: “As a girl I’ve dreamt of this special day all my life, and my fairy tale wedding was planned.
“Now by a Government decision with the change of date, everything could be so different and completely spoil our dream day.
“If a simple alternative could be put in place, like an extra bank holiday added, then this wouldn’t be such an issue for us and our family.
“So much will have to be changed, big amounts of money lost, the memories we will make won’t be as perfect as it could be, with special family being made absent because of this, and it’s completely out of our hands.”
The decision to change the day of the traditional May bank holiday has only been done once before, when it was moved in 1995 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of VE Day.