Department store Selfridges is to start hosting weddings this summer as demand for venues soars following the coronavirus crisis.

The newly-acquired licence allows the London Oxford Street store to host ceremonies in a new “Wedding Suite” on its fourth floor.

Three packages will be available for couples looking for a "non-traditional ceremony in a venue like no other".

The "Just-the-two-of-us" package will allow for a maximum of four guests with a "low-key" exchanging of vows.

There will be beauty and grooming appointments for the couple, a wedding breakfast hamper and a reception in the store's in-house cinema with popcorn and champagne.

There will be three packages for couples to choose from
There will be three packages for couples to choose from

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The "Earth Lovers" package hosts up to 20 guests and includes an appointment to find vintage or rented wedding outfits and a locally-sourced three-course meal at the store's Brasserie of Light restaurant.

Finally, couples who choose the "All-Out Extraordinary" package can 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 followed by a set from a choice of in-house DJs.

Selfridges’ licence to host weddings will last for a limited time this year.

It comes after the coronavirus crisis put thousands of weddings in jeopardy after rules were brought in to limit the number of guests that could attend.

As of April 12, the number of people attendees allowed is 15 - but this will double to 30 people on May 17.

Weddings could then restart with little or no restrictions from June 21, depending on if the roadmap out of lockdown stays on schedule.

Almost 280,000 weddings occur every year in the UK, with more than 260,000 weddings postponed due to the pandemic, figures suggest.

Added to the weddings planned for 2021 this means as many as 475,000 weddings could take place this year.

Rebecca Warburton, Selfridges director of events and customer experiences, 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."