My Cuba

Ailed de Guevara: The Wedding Planner

As new business opportunities open in Cuba, we meet one of the country’s new type of entrepreneurs.

Ailed de Guevara is a wedding and event planner. Enterprising and hard-working, de Guevara organises many big Havana events, through Aire de Fiesta, the company she founded five years ago and now heads. 

It's true that sometimes looking for resources is complicated due to the embargo situation in Cuba, but with creativity it can be done, replacing one material with another and many things can be made locally.

by Ailed de Guevara, wedding planner

She is one of the faces of a new force in Cuba – the pioneers exploring the business pathways many are likely to follow in the years to come.

The government started encouraging private businesses in 2008.

For de Guevara, it all happened by chance, she fell into event planning after designing her brother’s wedding.

“Everything happened at the right time I suppose,” she says. “We started when the country started opening certain business opportunities. They granted self-employed licences and the wedding and decoration industry was included.”

Many of her clients are Cubans living abroad who find her through her Facebook page. She works with a dedicated, creative team, but also relies on her family, particularly if they’re travelling, to bring in the things she needs.

We follow de Guevara’s preparations for a big wedding in Havana’s Hotel Nacional. In a country where finding things is never easy, de Guevara and her team will rely on Cuban resourcefulness and imagination to pull off this large event.

See more from Al Jazeera English’s My Cuba series here