COVID the love killer: Seychelles' destination wedding business sits idle

Destination wedding ceremonies with the breathtaking beaches of Seychelles as a backdrop have halted with the COVID-19 pandemic.

With no airlines bringing visitors into the 115-island archipelago of the western Indian Ocean due to current restrictions, foreigners who were looking to get married in Seychelles had to postpone, cancel or change wedding bookings they had made.

According to the Civil Status Department, there are currently no marriages being registered in the country. 

"The whole situation is shocking and like everybody else, we were not expecting this. We are applying with the government for assistance as we are not getting any income at the moment as there aren't any tourists and clients," said Alda Madeleine, a full-time wedding decorator.

Madeleine, who works with hotels and wedding planners, is taking this time to tend to her garden of tropical flowers she uses in her wedding décor.

"I am making the most of this time to do what I couldn't before – arrange the items that I use as well as my tools," she told SNA.

Responsible for capturing some breath-taking and memorable moments during and after a wedding, Alvin Abel, a photographer, told SNA that "at the moment nothing is happening" business-wise.

"Most clients have cancelled their bookings, instead of postponing them. Most cancellations happened in March. There are some locals who have postponed their bookings to next year," he said.

"I hope that everything will be back to normal around the world soon, as we depend on the beautiful couples from other countries who get married here to contribute to our businesses and we, in turn, leave them with beautiful souvenirs," continued Abel.

Abel told SNA he is currently focussing on completing a project he had planned and putting together his studio.

Another local photographer, Steve Nibourette, wrote in an Instagram post that "this is such a weird time for all of us and for those who had weddings, honeymoon and events planned, a very stressful time indeed."

"I have had many calls and messages over the past few weeks from brides and grooms alike who are wondering what to do about their special days. Many are having to work with their venues and suppliers and move their dates - some to later in the year, others further back to 2021 or 2022. Please be assured that I am here to help all my couples and work with them rearranging dates and times," the post continued.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean has new regulations issued by the Public Health Commissioner on entry to, exit from and return to Seychelles. Since April 17 no person or class of persons shall enter into or exit from Seychelles except with the written authorisation of the relevant authorities.