By Maria Immaculate Owechi
Many couples with weddings have been forced to postpone their functions, or have smaller weddings because of the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus across the world.
This is also a response to the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s declaration of a ban on big weddings which are largely attended by friends and family.
Many couples have been affected but also the service providers who earn a living off of organising wedding ceremonies. We bring you some wedding vendors on how to speak about how this situation has affected them.
Mrs Margaret Nagaya, a decorator with Patrima Events reveals that her décor business is on a standstill as she depends on people’s gatherings.
“Currently, there’s no business and we have been forced to put all our tools down,” she says.
The events decorator says personally, she doesn’t rent any shop for display but she sympathizes with those who do rent.
“Especially the fact that we all don’t know how long the lockdown is going to be,” she explains.
Mrs Nagaya says she is thankful for having an alternative source of employment and only attends to the decor business mainly over the weekend.
She sympathises with her other fellow decorators who depend totally on this business for a living.
“This is especially because Coronavirus has broken out at a time when we were already doing few functions and thus had less money, but with hope to get more,” the events decorator explains. “You know during the lent period there are very few functions and we usually start getting serious business after Easter.”
David Kigozi, an events DJ known as D’Jam Mikolo reveals that he too has been affected. He explains that from February, they normally get a shortage in gigs, and they tend to come back in plenty during March and April.
“So, the cancellation of events found us with a lot of booked dates hence calling for refunds and compensations,” the events DJ reveals.
D’Jam Mikolo adds that this has also stopped his clients from booking for further dates as it used to be that a client could book for a December or January 2021 wedding in March 2020.
Brenda Mutamba of Destiny Bridals shares that she was forced to close down her shop because of no customers and as obedience to the president’s directive.
“I must admit that I have been affected as the clients who had booked bridal items in my shop asked for refunds,” she discloses.
“Yet I was expectant that from mid-March to April I shall get an increase in clients since the beginning months of the year are usually slow,” the bridal shop owner adds.
Mutamba says however that some bookings have simply been postponed, and for that she is grateful.
Other services providers affected include bakers, wedding venue providers, car hire agencies, tent rental companies and others
Due to the fact that the middle months of the year are not peak wedding seasons, the industry may take time to recover, but one question remains: how long before things are normal again?