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After COVID, wedding industry suffers inflation shock

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Wedding and christening organisers are squeezed following the COVID lockdowns, which had bitten a large chunk out of their turnovers and are now hit by inflation pushing costs skyward.

According to the Cyprus Event Organisers Association, COVID-19 measures forced 50% of couples to wed to postpone their wedding plans in 2020 and 2021.

The association’s Yiota Kapari told news site Stockwatch that just 20% of weddings planned for 2020 had gone ahead, with the remaining 80% delayed until 2022.

Last year was kinder to couples, as it allowed 75% of weddings to be carried out, and 25% rescheduled their big day for a date.

However, Kapari said, the cost of events has risen by 30% due to inflation, with some couples having second thoughts over their initial plans.

“In many cases, we take on most of the increase to help couples go ahead with their wishes,” said Kapari.

She added that weddings and christenings are planned months, or even years ahead, with the majority of events this year scheduled during two years of the pandemic.

“However, this means that the prices we gave to couples in 2018, for a wedding originally planned for 2020, can’t come close to what an event costs today.”

The highest cost for a wedding is the food which can start from €12 per person, creeping up to €100 or even €150 depending on the preferences of each client.

At the same time, churches charge anything from €80 to €700.

Kapari expressed concern over COVID-19 clusters formed at weddings, which could dissuade people from attending.

“Reintroducing a negative COVID test requirement for guests would be a good measure, as it would prevent spreading at such events.”

She said that on average, there are 4,000 weddings taking place each year, with the season traditionally starting immediately after Easter, with a short break in August and continuing until November.

This year, the Cyprus Church has allowed weddings to be conducted until December 12 to accommodate as many couples as possible.