By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: For almost two years, no wedding parties were allowed in public places due to the pandemic, so people in Kuwait got used to holding small family parties instead. Now, after the government announced a return to normal life again, large gatherings are allowed to be held indoors. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced over 150 public halls are ready to host events. But many wedding agencies that survived the pandemic haven’t received any bookings yet for wedding parties.

Waleed from Wedding & Co explained that their losses during the pandemic were heavy, and that their agency only survived thanks to activities such as catering and others. “Before the pandemic, our agency was organizing weddings with around 4,000 attendees. Such weddings cost between KD 10,000 and KD 25,000. I don’t expect such large weddings will return. Until now our agency hasn’t received any bookings for weddings, and I think it will take some time. We currently work on parties at farmhouses and jakhours for around 40 people or so,” he told Kuwait Times.

Ahmad from Al Bait Al Nabawi agency said they survived as most of their staff worked in places such as restaurants and other companies during the time when the agency was not operating. “Still, the business of organizing weddings is not yet active. Also, now it’s not the season for weddings as people are busy with the national celebrations. We have many bookings for organizing private events in the desert, including in Salmi and Abdaly. But I’m optimistic and believe people will soon start planning weddings, as mostly people like to compete with one another and organize better or bigger weddings than their relatives or neighbors,” Ahmad said.

Abu Omar from Dhiyafat Al Sa’ada agency noted that wedding bookings are not as they were before the pandemic. “We have only one booking for now, but I hope that soon the business will improve, though maybe not as before. I think people have got used to holding private weddings limited to family members and relatives,” he pointed out.

Abu Mohammed from the Al Noubi Dhiyafa also complained of not having any bookings for weddings presently. “I feel that people have forgotten big weddings and have got used to small weddings held at home. Regarding the cost of organizing a wedding, it’s still the same as it was before the pandemic. We haven’t noticed any increase,” he said.

Abdulrahman from Top Event agency said prices of most materials have increased, especially foodstuff. “Till now I don’t have any bookings. I think after Eid Al-Fitr, some bookings will be made. Only 40 days remain till the holy month of Ramadan, and nobody gets married in Ramadan,” he noted. “People are complaining they don’t have money. Some clients tell us if they are unable to organize a wedding for KD 2,000, they will just cancel it. So, we at the agency must make some adjustments to manage - I save in one wedding to compensate for another,” stressed Abdulrahman.