Not anytime soon for grand weddings

Hsu expects to see restrictions in the wedding industry next year with mergers, acquisitions and dissolutions

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by BERNAMA

WEDDING industry players will have to endure a little longer before they can kick off business again as lockdown restraints for them have not been lifted.

Until then, most of them have no choice but to diversify into other spheres just to survive.

Association of Wedding Professionals Malaysia president Leticia Hsu told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently that people in the industry have diversified to all kinds of businesses to make ends meet as a temporary solution.

“We are still hopeful that we can go back to what we love most.

“From the recent announcement by the authorities, weddings and events are likely to only commence again in November or December, which means that the industry would be on hiatus for two years come end of 2021.”

She shared that a lot of players would not be able to survive any longer and in 2022, she expects to see restrictions in the wedding industry with mergers, acquisitions and dissolutions.

The wedding industry was among the worst-hit by Covid-19 restrictions and with most players having shifted their focus to secondary careers or looking for other sources of income, Penang Wedding Professionals Association president Low Chin Siang said this is probably the most critical time in the sector.

“Depending on weddings as a sole business is a pain at a time like this.

“For me, I own a video production company doing both weddings and commercials with the latter obviously in higher demand than weddings now,” he said to TMR.

Low believes that in the future, small and intimate weddings will be a more popular option for couples, but he does not rule out the comeback of big weddings once the Movement Control Order (MCO) ends.

“The wedding demand will definitely be back once the MCO is lifted or when the situation gets better. This intimate wedding trend might be helpful to wedding vendors who are focusing on ‘customisation’ like wedding gifts and stationeries.

“I believe there will be a growth in demand for them. For vendors who are famous in big and grand weddings like wedding decors and florists as well as wedding venue owners, they might be somewhat affected,” said Low.

Hsu said bigger weddings of more than 500 guests will not reoccur for quite some time and echoed the same sentiment that the situation will be a big blow for venue owners’ bottom line.

However, clients who are inclined to have memorable weddings will spend their savings on personalisation, elaborate decoration and bigger spending for each guest in order to make their intimate weddings more luxurious and stand out, she said.

On a more positive note, Hsu said in the few months that the country allowed weddings and events, the industry saw a comeback in a progressive but steady climb.

“Although Malaysians are getting used to virtual platforms and e-versions of everything, we still crave the physical experience, especially for a lifetime event like weddings.

“Weddings and events will make a comeback, we just need to make it happen in a safe and conducive environment for all Malaysians,” she added.