On Monday I wrote a blog post about how much it backfires when wedding planners ask other professionals to lower their prices for their clients ... it has been a hugely popular post this week, with over 800 views and growing. It's definitely worth a read if you haven't had a chance yet. But, "bad" wedding planners / coordinators are only a portion of the problem. IMO there are two other components contributing to the bad whiff in the air that says:
WEDDING PROFESSIONALS ARE EITHER NOT NECESSARY OR CHARGE TOO MUCH
This wedding industry is reliant on GOOD INFORMATION to stay strong. You provide a service. I provide a service. We need to be able to charge accordingly for that service and if you have high standards and produce a product that is of quality then you need to feel comfortable to charge what you need to charge. << scratch the word 'need' << what you SHOULD and are WORTHY of charging. There, much better ...
I'd love to be able to tell you that you can educate the consumers of the wedding industry on your own ... that brides and grooms will LISTEN to you ... that your voice is important ... and I hate to say this, but:
IT WON'T MATTER MUCH :(
Who do brides hear from first before they get to hiring their magical wedding team of pros ?????
BLOGS + MAGAZINES
I would say 90% of the time you are dealing with the 'education' that a wedding blog or wedding magazine has put in the head of your potential client. They've seen, they've read, and now they KNOW. They have all the "right" questions to ask ... and they are on the hunt for the perfect vendors to make their "realistic" dream day happen.
I keep seeing publications say things like:
- Wedding planners aren't necessary - use our app!
- Ways to get perfect photos off your cell phone!
- You shouldn't have to pay that much for incredible flowers - just go to the local market the morning of your big day!
- Don't worry about buying a wedding dress - rent one instead!
Look .... I get it ... saving money is AWESOME ... But it does strike me a little odd that wedding blogs and magazines are missing one very vital piece of the puzzle:
SOME OF THEIR INCOME IS LINKED TO THE INCOME OF WEDDING PROFESSIONALS AND THE WEDDING INDUSTRY STAYING STRONG IS LINKED TO ALL OF IT
Our industry goes through ups and downs ... some years it's strong and we're all living it up ... some years it tanks and we are getting side jobs and freaking the f*ck out ... the wedding industry rollercoaster is running nonstop and it takes a strong business owner to stay on it. But what team are we all on?
Are we on team 'wedding industry' or 'team us' ??
I have a huge problem watching a publication that accepts advertising money turn around and tell brides and grooms how to SAVE MONEY, to DIY, and how to USE THEIR WEDDING PLANNING APP ... I'm sorry, what???
I get it, they have to play to both sides ... it's a hard job, I would know ... but not once during the entire 8 YEARS that I sat as editor of Style Unveiled did I ever ONCE share a DIY idea ... or pump up the idea of saving money on a wedding ... Well, Heather, these are different times and it's a new day ... yeah, I guess it is. Funny that I still see this so often then:
BLOG EDITORS WHINING THAT NOBODY ADVERTISES ANYMORE
Hmmm .... you can't have it both ways! You can't ask business owners to advertise and take their investment and then slap those same people in the face with DIY projects to THEIR consumers ...
SO, WHAT TO DO??
I don't have an answer ... but I will say this: with all the apps, bad information on pricing, and venue "coordinators" telling brides that they don't need 'stuff' floating around out there it's going to take the hugely adaptable, marketing savvy, and biggest creative minds who don't let sh*t stop them to rise to the top to keep this thing a float.
HEATHER, THAT'S A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT ... THE WEDDING INDUSTRY IS MASSIVE AND ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE
^^ yesssssssss .... you're right! As a whole, it will keep doing its thing ... but unless you are FIGHTING every single day and wearing your good ass jeans EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. then you will get left behind in all the 'bad education' craziness that's out there. I talk to freaked out people every day who see their bookings dropping ... so while the INDUSTRY as a whole will keep duking it out to bring in the money (even if it means turning a cereal company or a tire store into an advertiser to see the green) the ones who built the industry >> small business owners << are going to have to hold onto our puke bags tight and hope that the rollercoaster continues climbing, rather than forcing us to take a huge dip. And when I say 'small business owners' I am talking about blog editors too ... so a few of them should probably decide what side they are on.
HEATHER, YOU SAID THERE WERE TWO OTHER COMPONENTS IN YOUR OPENING PARAGRAPH IN THIS POST ... ???
Yep!!! And I will get to the third one soon :)