There is no shortage of entrepreneurship among young Egyptians. Prime examples of this are Ayatt Meligy and Salma Adel, who have been running a business since 2010 titled Wedding Factory. The company promises to organise weddings that cater to every budget. Both owners are students at the American University in Cairo; Meligy is an art major while Adel studies political science. Together they started the service that takes care of everything a bride could need before, on and after her big day.
“It started with a friend’s engagement, [which] needed a soft budget. I have a store in Khan El Khalili and I’m a designer, so I know how to get equipment and design cheaper than retail prices. Things like candles and flowers cost much less when bought in bulk. [Then] we started doing conferences, engagements and anniversaries,” said Meligy.
Parties are a big business in Cairo, with weddings running from a few to thousands of pounds. “Today people need EGP 20,000 or 30,000 to get a planner for their wedding, but we work with any budget and clients can come to us and say ‘this is our budget’ and we handle the entire operation from A-Z,” she said.
For Meligy and Adel, that means everything that precedes the wedding: “Honeymoon, tickets, hair appointments, fittings and makeup artists. These things can take up to an entire month.”
Meligy said their young age is an advantage when dealing with their clients, who are also in their 20s: “They know we will be on the same track and will understand what they want.”
The Wedding Factory is focused on getting their name out there, and Meligy said that their commission, a main source of income, is sometimes waved when dealing with those who have a very low budget: “There are some people I don’t take commission because they come to me with a minimal budget and it’s more important to deliver good work.”
Meligy said being in Egypt is an advantage for the Wedding Factory and some international companies have sought her out. “I was at the Paris wedding fair and because everything is much cheaper here than in Europe, and I now get materials for some of those companies because it saves them money.”
As proof that the Wedding Factory caters to all tastes and budgets, Meligy gave some examples of events they have organised. “I had a bride who had the bridesmaids all wear costumes of cartoon characters and another had an oriental wedding in Marasi which incorporated a Tanoura with her wedding dress,” she said.
In both cases, Meligy designed the dresses as well: “I’m an interior and fashion designer before a wedding planner,” she said.
The Wedding Factory promises to deliver a dream wedding, work within any budget and to take care of everything before and after the big day. Be sure to check out their deals if you are on a budget but still want a memorable day.