Recently I was invited to contribute to an article about destination weddings for one of the largest local English newspapers in Spain, the Sur in English.
I was delighted to be approached and started quickly pulling together content for the brilliant travel writer, Andrew Forbes. Being an expert in destination weddings it is always easy for me to promote and talk about this subject.
IDEAS FOR THE ARTICLE
Andrew sent me a list of questions and interestingly we looked at destination weddings post Covid and the effect of the pandemic has had on the chain of suppliers, not just on the direct wedding sector but the associated businesses.
Andrew also spoke with a couple of venues to talk about their perspectives on the new normal when weddings return including Anthony at the Hacienda San Rafael. Anthony runs one of my favourite wedding venues of all time and echoed my sentiments on returning to the new normal of just simply joy and gratitude when we will be able to gather again safely.
THE WEDDING INDUSTRY AND THE PANDEMIC EFFECT
The wedding industry in the South of Spain is worth 3.5 billion euros, supporting a significant proportion of the tourism generated in Andalucia and providing many jobs for locals. Yet many in this industry failed to meet the criteria to gain financial aid from the Spanish Government and have been terribly let down.
Many work during the 'active months' but cannot afford to pay into an expensive system during the low season, as Covid hit in March just as many autonomos were about to register for the season they failed to qualify for any financial aid whatsoever.
Others who have dutifully paid into the system all year, for many years, were initially helped with the first three months emergency aid but were quickly dropped out of the system if they even owed a euro.
Despite still being faced with no work as we head into a second summer season unable to host weddings or events during this ongoing pandemic there still seems to be little support for so many self employed business owners.
It has been shocking to see the figures of how many actually qualified for any help, only 1168 temporary self employed freelancers were able to access any benefits out of thousands who had lost their work and only 659 temporary self employed in Spain fulfilled the ongoing support. There are millions of self employed seasonal and non seasonal freelance workers who failed to receive any support.
SUPPORTING THE WEDDING INDUSTRY IN SPAIN
If you would love to find out more and sign a petition then you can join the PAT on Facebook, Plataforma de Autonomos Temporales. There has also been a Union de Bodas in Malaga set up and you can find out more about this organisation here. Union Bodas Malaga.
MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ARTICLE
The article was also an opportunity for me to talk to and include some of my members in the Business of Weddings Membership Club. I contacted a few whom I knew I would be a great contribution to the article giving an all round perspective of post Covid weddings, they support me and it was a brilliant opportunity for me to reciprocate.
Sheila Roberts, a wedding photographer, contributed with her insights on elopements in Gibraltar, these have become increasingly popular during the pandemic allowing long distance couples to travel without travel bans and visa issues. Sheila has been busy photographing many couples in Gibraltar and after many years working as a wedding photography says she finally found her niche and is totally loving the whole vibe of working on the Rock.
Images Sheila Roberts Photography
Tara from Unique Weddings in Spain recently collaborated with others to create a gorgeous blossom tree styled shoot, it was beautiful and I wanted to share this in the article as it encompasses everything about Andalucia and the devotion of the wedding industry to their skills and trades.
Dyana from Optimum Weddings specialises in large cultural weddings so I wanted Dyana to tell us her forecast for larger events and how this would affect her style of weddings moving forwards. An interesting insight was that she sees celebrations being broken down and each event inviting different guests so there is more inclusion.
With couples becoming more eco conscious it was great to invite Esztella from Hojas de Amour to share some of her green wedding tips with us.
I would like to thank Andrew Forbes for thinking of me when creating this article and also to the Sur in English for the publicity during what is a difficult time for the entire destination wedding industry.
As 2022 fills with postponements and new couples eagerly waiting to book their weddings it looks to be a bumper year so we remain optimistic and excited!
If you would love to know more about the Business of Weddings Membership you can read all about it here.
A small but perfectly formed team of wedding business owners, either just starting or been in the industry for a long time all with one main goal, to continue to learn and improve their business skills making sure they are standing out in a busy industry, being seen and getting booked. I facilitate and encourage this on my platform with masterclasses, tutorials, downloadable workbooks, templates and monthly coaching sessions
The ONE TO ONE service includes taking a look at your business, understanding your goals and creating strategies to turn you from ordinary to extraordinary.
If you missed the link to the Sur in English article you can read it here.