With the number of Coronavirus cases continuing to fall across the UK, the prospect of the country exiting lockdown entirely this summer is increasing, which will have a major impact on many people’s social lives.
As well as the regular impact of things opening up again, with pubs, parks, sports stadiums, theatres, concerts and visits to each others’ homes becoming an unfettered norm once again, the opportunity to enjoy major set-piece events again also creates some exciting possibilities.
Weddings are sure to be at the top of that list. During the sternest period of lockdown at the start of this year, almost nobody could get married unless one partner was terminally ill and there would be almost no guests. But with each stage of unlocking that has changed.
More and more people can come to weddings with each phase of easing, which means that if your daughter is lined up to be a flower girl, now may be a very good time to start looking for the perfect dress for the occasion.
At present, weddings and receptions can be attended by up to 15 people, but from May 17th this is set to rise to 30. Better still, if all goes well, as early as June 21st we may reach the holy grail of all social distancing ending, which could mean the traditional big wedding can be a part of life again.
This has implications for couples and guests alike. While some will have rushed to finally tie the knot as soon as it became possible, biting the bullet on difficult guest list decisions along the way, others may be holding out for the chance for a bigger wedding.
All this means the flower girls, like the groomsmen, bridesmaids, pageboys and all the rest could be far more numerous than might have been the case. Not only will this offer a thrilling opportunity for children to be part of the big day, but they will be able to show off some superb outfits.
That would be a great thing on any occasion, but in the context of all the social restrictions of the last year, a big wedding will be a chance for a lot of people who have not had any chance to see each other for a long time to finally be reunited. This is always true to extent as some guests arrive from far-flung places, but now it will apply to people living much nearer.
For young children in particular, the difference will be significant. It is not just that they have themselves been deprived of the social gatherings and activities they were used to - including schools being off until March; it’s also the fact that friends and family who have not seen them for a long time will have missed seeing them growing up and developing.
In such circumstances, it will be a time of delight for youngsters to be seen all grown and dressed up at the same time, adding an extra layer of joy to a happy occasion.