The wedding industry in Jamaica is still struggling to get back to work after 14 months. The government restrictions such as curfew and wedding numbers have decimated off resort destination weddings businesses. Local wedding vendors are upset and outraged that they are still not included in the current protocols for destination weddings and there doesn’t seem to be any foreseeable plan to include them.
Resorts are excluded from the Prime Ministers Disaster Management announcements but off resort properties are still not clear on what if anything can be done to facilitate their weddings, some of which have been booked over 2 years ago. Brides were asked to postpone their 2020 wedding to 2021 and are still not able to proceed with the current restrictions. In the middle of a pandemic, a wedding, particularly, luxury wedding is not seen a priority or essential, however, thousands of Jamaicans are out of work uneccessarily. Covid certified resorts are allowed to do weddings and not restricted by the number of wedding guests(which is currently at 15) nor are they affected by the curfew(currently 8pm on weekdays, 6pm on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays). Some resorts are doing weddings of 200 guests and the off- resort venues are asking for half of that. They have reached out to the government with multiple proposals but have yet to get any assistance in being included. A lot of venues are already licensed, Covid Certified and following the same protocols as the hotels were asked to put in place. “It’s as if the government has completely forgot that we are an intricate part of tourism on island says Jennifer Borgh, Owner of Borghinvilla Wedding Venue. Ms Borgh has been a top selling Travel Agent for the Jamaica Tourist Board for many years and has chosen to sell Jamaica exclusively.
A petition has been started to show the government how many people are affected by curfews and wedding restrictions.
“We are not asking the government to open any segment that they haven’t already approved. They have approved destination wedding in the resorts so this should apply to all licensed/Covid Certified wedding locations” Says Borgh. All tourists must enter Jamaica with a negative Covid test and many are also vaccinated. Wedding vendors are also willing to get Covid tested prior to the wedding date to lower the risk even further. “Destination Wedding Vendors are the Veins of the Heartbeat of Jamaica” The entire industry is pleading with the government to sit down with them and find out how the industry works and come up with a way to include them so they can get back to work.
View the Petition Here
Photo by Merrick Cousley Photography