Wedding planners and make-up artists

April 16, 2018

Fiji’s location in the South Pacific, makes it one of the best holiday places in the region. The 47 per cent tax rebate offered by the government for film productions has also drawn a large number of movie productions to be shot in Fiji. Fiji’s tropical setting also makes for one of the world’s iconic wedding destinations. 

Tourists visit Fiji for different purposes. Some are here to enjoy the sun, visit friends and family and be part of a film production while others travel to the country to tie the knot. 

With a significant number of tourists pouring into the country each year, more Fijians have started tourism-related businesses. 

More recently, an increasing number of locals opt to hold their wedding ceremonies in lavish destinations around the country, including resorts. Guests and families from overseas also attend these events while exploring the hospitality of the tourism industry. 

Organising the perfect event, normally involves a lot of money. Gone are the days where hair and make-up were done at home. Times have changed and brides have become more sophisticated choosing professionals to organize the event as well as hair and make-up. 

The lead up to the big day is always busy for those involved but the motive is to always strive for perfection. For a woman getting ready for her wedding or for the cast of a movie production shot in Fiji, finding the right people to do hair and make-up can be a challenge. 

While tourism stakeholders work hard to promote Fiji in its bid to keep up with international tourism market, there are a few tourism-related businesses who do shoddy jobs, portraying a bad image of this industry. 

The Consumer Council of Fiji recently received several complaints about a local make-up artist who did unsatisfactory work for clients and had even verbally abused several brides and their families. He had also taken advances from brides making promises that he would pay them back but failed to do so. 

The Council first received a complaint against this make-up artist in November 2017. He had arrived half an hour late, ordered the bridesmaid to clean the room, demanded champagne and cigarettes, the bride’s make up was done poorly and he had asked the bride for her make-up kit. 

Following this the Council received five other complaints from the artist’s clients in Australia and New Zealand who wished to sever ties.  

Through the Council’s investigation, it was noted that several other clients had booked services in advance from the make-up artist but had sought a refund having read and heard of negative feedback from former clients, who had to go through verbal abuse and shoddy work. 

After the Councils intervention the respondent apologized and provided refund to all complainants. 

As a largest foreign exchange earner in the country, tourism has a profound impact on the economy. As such the Council believes there is a need to examine the hair and beauty industry which remains unregulated. Small tourism-related businesses such as wedding planners, hair and makeup artists, wedding photography, Jewellery makers and florists need to be registered with the tourism body to ensure quality services are rendered to tourists and local who use these services. 

Quality services ensures the reputation of the country is maintained and remain up to par with international standards. 

Tourists and locals who are using these services expect value for their money. Therefore, hair and make-up artists and related services in the wedding business should always be professional. 

Makeup artists must learn to accept direction from their immediate clients and others, including photographers. Maintaining focus on the job when under pressure is crucial for the successful completion of a job and to build a good reputation. 

Consumers, at the same time, should take responsibility.  They should search online for reviews on current make-up artists before hiring them. This also applies to wedding planners and photographers.

With weddings slowly become a niche sector in the tourism industry there may be those who see this as a way to create quick money without having the relevant experience, people skills and the desire to serve ethically. Such behavior from the hair and beauty industry is definitely not assisting the Ministry of Tourism in their promotion of Fiji as a wedding destination.