Among many industries decimated by Covid-19 was weddings. The ongoing pandemic has pushed the wedding industry to the brink, with many vendors hanging on by a thread.
The lockdown and other restrictions have also been devastating for soon-to-be newlyweds, with some having to postpone their special day multiple times.
VIBEZ! caught up with the crème de la crème of creative directors in the country and owner of Wendy creations, Windeline Kausiona, to chat about all things wedding, and how wedding planners can keep their heads above water during these uncertain times.
The uncertainty is crippling for venues, celebrants, entertainers, caterers, florists, and anyone involved in the many moving parts of a wedding.
Despite the disruption the pandemic has caused, Kausiona advised wedding planners to embrace the transformation, become innovative, and adapt to the evolution of the industry.
“The wedding industry in Namibia has evolved over the years, and I have seen the growth; however, Covid-19 has crippled the emerging industry, and it’s up to us to adapt to changes and find innovative ways on how we can create revenues and keep business going,” she said.
The wedding industry has traditionally thrived on the opulence of events, but to ensure business as usual during this challenging phase, Kausiona advises the adaption to virtual weddings, an idea to which many wedding vendors in the country are still warming up.
“It is wonderful that many vendors are beginning to embrace digital transformation and offer personalised services to couples. I personally offer my services online, especially to international clients because the alliance of safety measures, tradition and technology will continue to be the new normal in the wedding industry,” said the self-proclaimed fairy godmother of Namibian weddings.
While many couples postponed their wedding multiple times and some completely cancelled their weddings during the previous lockdown, Sylv Kisting and her husband Oswald Masheko opted for a last-minute micro wedding.
The couple tied the knot earlier this month when the public gatherings were adjusted to 100 persons per event.
“We planned to have a wedding with 200 guests, but with all the restrictions, we decided to cut the number to 60 and also resorted to live streaming for those who were unfortunately unable to attend,” they said.
Shiimi Iilonga, a wedding celebrant, is also of the sentiment that if people become open-minded about changes in the industry, weddings will pick back up sooner than expected.
“I believe the wedding industry will recover soon, as long as vendors remain professional and find new innovative ways to run their businesses. Couples are ready to celebrate, whether it’s an intimate affair or a large one. However, we are strongly focused on safety,” he stated.
From the commotion of the pandemic to the road to recovery that lies ahead, Kausiona is hopeful the Namibian wedding industry will transform in new and unprecedented ways, pushing event professionals to adapt their businesses to meet market expectations.
She said: “The mere fact that the international space has recognised me and has taken me on in the inner circle of international wedding planners means we have what it takes. The only thing is that we have to embrace collaborations; the more people get involved, the more we complete a puzzle”.
According to her, in spite of having the capability to grow at international level, Namibian creatives and planners do not know how to collaborate to give the utmost aesthetic experience for the clients.