The wedding industry in Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca looks set to take a €3.5 billion hit this year as the Covid-19 pandemic shatters all economic expectations for 2020.
EXPERTS estimate around 170,000 weddings are held on Spain’s sunny shores each year, costing around €20,500 each, equating to €3.5 billion.
With all the ceremonies suspended during the high season (April, May and June), the sector’s hopes are pinned on the return of summer, although sources admit that many weddings will have to be postponed until 2021.
This means they face a zero income year.
To try to ensure a more successful and ultimately more romantic 2020, British wedding planners on the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol are offering incentives with a few surprises.
Costa Blanca’s Lyndyloo in Spain Wedding Planner posted: “To all our 2020 couples that have yet to move dates we are trying to offer you some great incentives.
“If you are thinking about moving your 2020 wedding then we are offering you some great freebies or discounts to rebook your new date so it falls between November 2020 – end of March 2021.
“All weddings moved that were originally due to take place during July and August 2020 and are moved to any date from November 2020 to end of March 2021 will get FREE a two- night stay in Benidorm for two people and a USB stick of all the Lyndyloo images from your wedding day worth €50.”
“All NEW bookings for the same winter months November 2020 to end of March 2021 will also be eligible for some special offers and discounts.”
On the Costa del Sol, Debbie Skyme of Celebrant Spain is helping couples mark their “almost wedding day” via an online toast with family and friends to the future and their new wedding day.
She said: “Vow renewal couples who were due to fly from far flung destinations to reaffirm their vows in Spain are also joining me online for a special dedication ceremony whilst travel restrictions are in place.”
Spanish wedding planner, Patricia Navarro of Arteboda, said that until the end of March, the industry was more optimistic that postponed weddings could be rescheduled for August.
But she told Informacion, “It is with sadness and honesty, that 99 per cent of the 25 weddings I had planned between May and October will not be held until next year.”
She has had to take out a loan from the Official Credit Institute (ICO) in order to stay afloat meaning “zero income for me.”
The impact of the pandemic on the wedding industry will also be felt by farms and restaurants, food and beverage companies, the catering, photography, music and lighting industry as well as florists, jewellery makers, the textile industry – the majority of which are small businesses and self employed workers.