“Weddings in August and September should go ahead,” said Veronica Zammit Tabona, Managing Director at Villa Arrigo Boutique Events on the latest episode of The Boardroom. “It’s summer, the weddings will mainly be outdoors, and then we revisit the situation in September.”
Ms Zammit Tabona said as Malta has been registering low numbers of coronavirus cases recently, with no new cases recorded for two consecutive days, it is clear that Malta is on the right track, and the country should go back to its new normal. “We have to take the next step and we shouldn’t scare couples who are already uncertain. This is a once in a lifetime event,” she asserted.
“If couples want to have their wedding, let them have it. We cannot be afraid, we have to take that next step, but there is a long way to go,” she said, adding that given the choice, she would go ahead. For the Autumn/Winter season, however, she’s been advising clients to wait.
June usually being the peak of the summer wedding season, industry suppliers are now hoping to see business pick up in September, but Ms Zammit Tabona says there is no guarantee, especially in light of a so-called second wave, which will compound the situation further.
Speaking of her company’s predicament over the past three months, Ms Zammit Tabona says, “one minute you’ve got a good sum of weddings booked for March, April, May and June, the next it all suddenly stopped. Many people postponed their weddings – couples who planned their big day still want it. But does postponing help solve our current problems? It helps, but the impact of so many lost weddings in 2020 is still there. We still need to pay staff and utility bills, with zero income.”
Ms Zammit Tabona adds that she worked hand in hand with her clients throughout this time, but many questions remain unanswered for the months ahead. As restrictions are gradually lifting, should large weddings, which the Maltese love, still take place, she asks?
“The small, overseas weddings that have booked their wedding in Malta have decided to get married at home. Personally, I would be scared to be sick if I’m away from home, so this comes down to the individual and their choices.”
Looking ahead, she asserts, is also very challenging. “What does a way forward mean? Is the September season going to happen? We’ve received Government grants that helped us tremendously over the past months, and we've managed to keep all our staff, but what is going to happen beyond September? There are many others like us.”
The Managing Director continues that financial assistance from Government should carry on beyond September, given the specific nature of their business, where the services offered are carried out over many months.
“We also fear keeping business going for everybody involved in this sector. It isn’t just the church and the venue – there are many suppliers involved and this sector gives a lot to the economy. I believe we should urge couples who planned their wedding for August to move ahead. All suppliers need to work together and support each other, and thereby support the couple getting married, which is what counts for us.”