If you know Majorca you already know how versatile the island is, it has something for everyone and in a reasonably compact space. You want mountains? We have them. Seaviews? There you go. You’d like a finca in the countryside, no problem. Or a five star luxury hotel, we have a few we can offer you. This range of settings and venues, coupled with the wonderful weather we manage to enjoy 300 ish days of the year, and of course it’s usual connectivity with the rest of Europe, and the world, have made Majorca not only a really wonderful place to come on holiday, but also, a top choice for couples wanting to tie the knot. Over the last decade the wedding industry on the island has blossomed and bloomed into a serious contributor to the local economy. The majority of the best suppliers and wedding professionals working in the Majorcan wedding industry also live on the island year round and we spoke to some of them to see how the current CoronaVirus crisis was affecting their business.
Photo: Violeta Minnick.
Johanna Lane has been a wedding and event planner for 14 years. “I've always been a huge fan of the wedding industry. I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to get to do this job”. Majorca is a wonderful place to run a wedding planning business, “The island’s beauty astounds everybody, and with many of our weddings the bride and groom have an emotional connection with the island. It is often the case that their guests come for the wedding and fall in love with the island themselves and return”.
Joanna Lane, Photo Credit Aimee K.
Jo´s company, Lane Productions, works on about 15 large scale weddings each year along with some corporate and charity events. “We took a decision to focus on the larger scale weddings but not do so many of them because they take up a monumental amount of time and planning and I wanted to dedicate my time to making those events perfect for the clients. We have some weddings that can run over 3, 4 or even 5 days. They are mostly clustered in the summer and in a normal year they would run from April to September but obviously this year we have had to make adjustments. As a wedding planner control is a key part for us. A major part of our job is to reassure the bride, and at the moment it is hard for us because we don’t have all of the answers so we have postponed all of our weddings until mid May.” You might think that this situation could lead to some “Bridezilla” moments, however Johanna says that she feels that the general view has been “Because it is happening to everyone, it is no one’s fault, we just have to be there to support and guide our clients. My advice is to pick the two key things that are the essences of your wedding and get a backup date in place, for example choose the venue and the photographer, or the caterer, or the band, whatever or whoever are the most important aspects of your wedding and start with them. All of our suppliers on the island are being as positive and flexible as possible and I feel that we are really very lucky here in Majorca and that we will personally come out of this relatively soon.” It won’t be quite so simple for some of Jo’s clients unfortunately who fly in their guests from around the world, “We have to consider older relatives or others who are high risk, as long as we can come out of this healthy, we can deal with the rest.” Johanna herself is due to get married this June to Richie, “ My heart breaks for every 2020 bride. We are here for you, even if you are not one of our clients, if there is anything we can do to help you then please get in touch”. www.lane-productions.com
Aimee Haak has been working as a wedding photographer for the past seven years. She built her business up from a one woman band into the brand that it is now with 12 photographers working with her over an average of 70 weddings per season. “We have a documentary style approach to our work which really appeals to the couple as they can enjoy their day and trust us to do our work”.
Aimee K Photographer, Photo credit Yara Cernich.
Aimee’s approach is to build a strong connection and relationship with the couple prior to their wedding day which pays off in the kind of emotional and intimate images she and her team are able to capture. The CoronaVirus has certainly meant that Aimee has been busy in these past few weeks answering emails and reorganising contracts with her couples. “So far 17 weddings have been postponed. Today a bride who has a wedding in August contacted me to say that her venue has asked her to come up with a plan B already. But I would say we are really encouraging clients to postpone rather than to cancel. A lot of work will already have gone into finding the vendors the couple wants, and they have got this far so don’t cancel and start over. If you look at it like this, even if you have to postpone by a year it is not going to make such a difference when you are spending a lifetime together”. From a professional’s point of view Aimee says, “The wedding community here in Majorca is so amazing and positive, you don’t hear people complaining and griping, you hear solutions and you hear opportunities and that is super important to keep the energy and magic that is in weddings.I predict that Wednesday is going to be the new Saturday. ” Aimee’s advice to couples is this, “If you need to consider changing plans, then put a date on the calendar for when you are going to make the decision. It won’t just be about the situation in Majorca, as many of our clients come from overseas, and they are bringing their guests from all over the world as well so this is an international issue”. www.aimeek-photography.com
Viviana Hernandez started her business when she was searching for a dress for her own wedding, and found that the only thing available locally was the traditional puffy “meringue” wedding dress which she didn’t want. Viviana realised there was a gap in the market and opened her store “Y Comieron Perdices” (which is the Spanish equivalent of “Happily Ever After”) four years ago.
Viviana Hernandez with one of her brides.
As her business has grown so she has seen the wedding industry develop on the island, “Now you can find everything that you could want on the island, you don’t need to bring anything with you, you don’t have to bring in a planner from outside, or a photographer or caterer, there are top quality professionals working and living on the island who are very well qualified for the job and we work very well together”. Charging an average of 1800€ for a dress she works with the concept of “Affordable Luxury”, a good quality product with beautiful design. Last year Viviana helped 70 brides find their dream dress.
Y Comieron Perdices, photo credit Vic McLeod.
Viviana´s clients all have her personal mobile number and at the beginning of the quarantine they were panicking but she says that “most of them have made the best possible decision to postpone their weddings until later in the year. It is the best option, so far we have not had any cancellations. I think it means we will have a longer season this year.” For brides who are having to reorganise their day Viviana wants them to remember, first things first, “Do what we have been told, stay home, stay safe. You will get married when this is all over. All of the suppliers are being flexible to help couples to change their date, keep in touch with them. The most important date to reorganise then speak to the management of the venue for the wedding and ask for other available dates. If you are getting married at the end of April start exploring now. All the suppliers know that we will have a lot of work in less time. We won’t let anyone down. We will meet the deadlines, all we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst!” www.ycomieronperdicesnovias.net
Joanna Walton is a florist with decades of experience. Having moved to Majorca she thought she had retired from the industry but found herself missing flowers and started up her business Joanna Walton Flowers.
Joanna Walton at work, photo credit Samantha Hemsley.
She agrees that the Majorcan wedding industry isn’t just important for the direct suppliers but for so many other aspects of the island’s economy, “If you have 100 guests coming many of them will treat it as a holiday and come for a week. So that’s 100 people staying in hotels, renting cars, eating out and so on. Many brides plan their weddings a year in advance so they are letting people know that early and this has become the norm. It is hugely important.” Joanna worked on just under fifty weddings in 2019 with the maximum amount she has done in a year was closer to 80, but this was a conscious decision to maintain quality and not compromise on her own work. In 2020, because of the virus all of our May brides have postponed and they are rescheduling for August, September and next year as well, and now our June brides have started to get in touch."
Bouquets by Joanna Walton, Photo by Ana Lui Photography.
The intention is still there, they still want to get married, unlike a holiday which might just be cancelled, so this is good news”. Joanna’s advice is for brides, “If you need to reschedule, try and do it as soon as possible. Stay in touch with your venue and your suppliers. You have to try to get all of your suppliers available on the same day, from your hairdresser to your caterer. That will be the challenge. One of my lovely brides said “I don’t mind postponing for a year as long as my friends and family are healthy, and I see this as an extra year for planning and saving”. www.joannawalton.com