I met with a couple of mine last night, to chat and hang out but also sort out some logistics stuff. I asked them how the planning was going and what they thought of the wedding industry as a whole.
“It sucks. It’s so broken”, they said.
Now, I’m instantly gong to have to make concessions for literally all my wedding industry friends, so you’ll keep reading, and also because you’d probably not be a friend of mine (industry or otherwise) if you didn’t share some of my values. However, anyone that disagrees with me that runs a business (not just in weddings) could do well to listen to where the conversation went.
Here are some words and phrases that were thrown around:
Reluctant to new ideas
Lack of passion
Stuff stuff stuff to buy buy buy
Lack of understanding others
Lack of diversity
Lack of vision
And perhaps the most dangerous:
Seemingly Monomaniacal in the pursuit of all these things!
How has this industry survived?
Because they perpetuate the idea of an imaginary rulebook, and their customers simply don’t know any better.
This is our issue to fix.
The good news is that it’s getting a little easier to break the rules. Couples are coming to us with their “crazy” ideas and we are saying yes. “Crazy” in inverted commas because they’re not that crazy - they just don’t fit inside the narrow scope of what a wedding looks like to many in the industry. I’m talking about things like this:
Longer personalised ceremonies
No chairs or arbours
Getting ready together
Walking down the aisle together
Walking down the aisle separately
Not having an aisle
No White dresses
No dresses at all
No portrait sessions for hours
No group shots
No sit down alternate drop
Inviting your pets
Not inviting kids
Inviting all the fucking kids
Not inviting everyone who expects an invite
And here’s another thing... literally doing nothing apart from hitting up the registry and going out for private dinner to celebrate. Or Netflix and takeaway. Or inviting a celebrant friend over for takeaway and just doing it there. Not even hiring a photographer.
It’s up to you.
Because here’s the thing - people find it hard seeking permission to do stuff. And when the industry as a whole presents them with the option of “scale the Great Wall of tradition” or “no wedding”, it’s not surprising that they battle onwards through stagnation, lack of vision and the seemingly endless stuff to buy.
It’s not surprising that words that become associated with weddings are stress, busy, needlessly expensive and overwhelming.
It’s not surprising that on the day, some people say things like “it was over so quickly, we barely saw everyone and we were so tired”
It’s not surprising that some in the industry are trying to change.
I don’t believe anyone in this game is out to give people a hard time, or make it harder than it needs to be. However, we need to see the forest through the trees.
Why do people get married?
It’s actually not really our concern why, but they want to, and they have values that we as vendors should reflect.
Give people the permission to make something amazing for themselves, and everything else will fall in to place.
Hopefully, imperfectly, just so.