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Postponements if not cancellations, minimized guest lists, changed venues and vendors have brought devastation to the couples that saw their dream day fade away. As the entire wedding industry is continually debilitated by this worldwide pandemic, the ones in the ‘front lines” to offer reassurance and help clients cope with these circumstances are also the most affected — wedding planners, wedding stylists, photo/videographers and all of those that provide service to the wedding and live events industry.
During an online interview in Palawan Daily’s new online show Story Café, certified wedding planner Amond Laceste of Celebracion Weddings and Events and events/wedding stylist Rio Saura shared their experiences and what to expect in the new normal.
“Sa Palawan sobrang ramdam, basically because we are a destination province, in short, maraming dumarayo para magpakasal, nung nagsimula yung pandemic andami rin talagang couple ang nag postpone, worst scenario nag cancel na hindi na dito magpakasal kundi doon sa kung saan sila nakabase na lugar, so andaming nawalan ng trabaho, andami ring naapektuhan,” Laceste said.
In a figures from Phil. Statistics Authority, Laceste said that Palawan recorded 6,178 weddings held in 2019, with an estimated minimum of P50,000 spending by each couple. In total, this reached P308,900.00 that is also the estimated income loss for almost 500 wedding suppliers in the province.
“Ako in my case parang 80% ng wedding namin this year na-move na for 2021, siguro yung mga month na to low season na kasi rainy season na, but yung mga susunod na buwan like August, September yan talaga yung marami na wedding lalo na pag pasok ng ber months, sa akin halos wala na, na postpone na lahat ng wedding” Saura said.
Suppliers transitioned into different businesses while some of them enjoy quality time with their families since doing live events makes them very busy people in the past. In Saura’s case, he opened a fruit and vegetable store during quarantine period.
Freelance photo/videographer JC Acosta of Red Letters Production said that the coronavirus pandemic served as time to catch up with pending work. “Yung mga wedding videographers tinapos yung mga backlog nila on the first month, second month yun nagka-problema na sila, yung iba naghanap ng work online, logo design, video/photo editing, mostly home based kaya pabor dahil di makalabas.”
With the new normal slowly coming in, Laceste points out that they will focus on local clients since flights are not regularly scheduled. Expect small events with less guests in accordance with guidelines implemented by different government agencies.
“Nakikita ko sa ngayon at least for the next 2 years as long as wala pang vaccine or cure sa virus, more on intimate weddings, ‘yun lang ‘yun challenge dun if people or couples prefer to have intimate wedding posibleng mawalan ng role ang mga coordinators, kasi hindi na nila need [ng] tao [na] tutulong kung sila-sila lang naman,” Laceste added.
For the styling part, Saura said that this is the best time to maximize local resources. During the quarantine, he used flowers, plants and decorations all from Palawan.
“Ngayon ko lang na realize na marami palang resources dito sa atin sa Palawan, yung mga meron sa Manila makikita mo dito, nakakatuwa dahil kailangan mo talaga maging resourceful.” Saura explained.
For those in the photo and video business, they offer promos and discounts for clients to get bookings for next year. But Acosta said the effect will be on the manpower side since they no longer need to hire assistants, but their cameras and equipment are still the same that’s why their price value will be maintained.
“Local weddings ay dahan-dahan nang bumabalik, sa Palawan ay modified quarantine, kaya babalik na yan, pero ‘di lang ganun kalaki,” Acosta added.