On Friday the world will be watching as Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, take their marriage vows in a wedding ceremony that is estimated to cost British taxpayers Sh2.9 billion.
Miles away in Kenya, those in the wedding industry can learn from the trends benchmarked by this royal event to grow their businesses especially in the coming high seasons of August and December when most weddings take place.
“This is a unique wedding centred on the royal family, which means exhibit of high style. It will be every girl’s dream to at least get one or two ideas from the event that they will add to their own wedding,” said Hope Mwinzi, Raspberry Weddings Magazine director.
Reports show today couples are willing to spend up to 3 million or more for a wedding ceremony and tour highly priced destinations for honeymoon at additional cost.
The high spending has blossomed the business of weddings through outfits like wedding planning companies, wedding publishing houses and those offering a complete package ranging from planning and fashion design to catering and decor.
Raspberry Weddings Magazines has been in the market since 2008.
The company has stretched its horizons outside Nairobi to include East Africa’s cities like Kampala, Arusha and Dare salaam.
“The growth has been tremendous. Our magazine is produced quarterly and we sell averagely 3,500 copies every quarter,” said Ms Mwinzi.
Fashion designers also hope to reap knowledge today.
According to Carole Kinoti, the director and chief designer at La Casa designers, local fashion designers have not been getting a fair deal of business from brides as compared to retailers of imported gowns and suits.
“Ten years ago almost 90 percent of the couples preferred getting their wedding clothes from shops selling ready made gowns. This has been changing as the local population interacts more with fashion designers and we are now talking of about 30 percent of couples thinking of hiring a fashion designer,” said Ms Kinoti.
With the unveiling of the design of Ms Middleton’s gown, fashion designers are upbeat that brides’ confidence in them will spring back as the race to implement ideas from the event heightens.
It is not only the wedding industry that stands to benefit from the big event, players in the electronic business will too.
At the Junction Shopping Mall on Nairobi’s Ngong Road, shoppers will be treated to a public screening of the event, courtesy of a joint partnership between Raspberry Weddings magazine, Multi Choice Kenya and Samsung Electronics.