Wedding planners urge govt to reveal SOPs on mass gatherings post-MCO

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - Badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order (MCO), wedding associations have urged the government to come up with its stand on mass gatherings post-MCO, so that wedding planning can resume.

Wedding Professionals Association of Malaysia (WPAM) president Patrick Low said that although there were 206,253 weddings in the country in 2018, according to the Department of Statistics, it was alarming that couples are not planning for weddings currently due to the uncertainty of the duration of the MCO, and the protocols that the government will issue on mass gatherings post-MCO.

"For the wedding industry to survive and resume post-MCO, we will need to encourage and ensure that couples continue planning for their weddings post MCO.

"And couples will only likely do so when the government announces its position on mass gatherings," he said in a press statement.

Low said if mass gatherings are allowed, they would need to know the maximum number of people allowed per gathering, in particular for wedding celebrations and the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that need to be put in place, monitored and adhered to during weddings.

The statement was co-signed by Association Of Wedding Professionals (AWP) president Leticia Hsu, Penang Wedding Professionals Association (PWPA) president Low Chin Siang, Malay Wedding & Portrait Photographers Malaysia (MWPPM) president Rudy Hirwan, Malaysian Gifts & Premium Association (MGPA) president Peh Leong Seng.

According to the statement, the wedding industry is supporting the livelihood of many micro-entrepreneurs that cover the many segments of the wedding industry.

They include wedding planners, photographers, cinematographers, gown designers, custom tailors, makeup artists, florists, decorators, cake designers.

Others include stationers and printers, entertainers and masters of ceremonies.

Other than the micro-entrepreneurs, the segments that form the wedding ecosystem are hotels, restaurants, convention centres, caterers, publishing houses that print wedding magazines and online wedding portals.

Low said that once such guidelines and protocols are announced by the government, it will then allow those in the wedding industry to brief couples on the necessary steps to be taken for their wedding celebrations, collaborate with one another to ensure all the SOPs are implemented and adhered to during weddings.

The guidelines will also help revive the wedding industry by encouraging couples to start planning for their weddings with a clear direction, and making bookings with wedding vendors as well as venues.

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