The “Amazon® Effect” and the Wedding Industry | By Mandy Brown
We live in a world with so many options available to us at our finger tips. Thinking back to 10 years ago, the idea that you could go to a single website and buy everything from your daily groceries to a dress for your hot date Saturday night seemed far fetched. And now, we can get all of this with free two day shipping.
So what does this mean for the Wedding Industry? Even with systems being developed to make planning and communication easier, our industry heavily relies upon a person to person connection. Very talented, creative people that make your day beautiful and smooth. With advances in technology, our ability to get what we want with a certain immediacy and from a single source has become the norm. It’s known as “The Amazon® Effect” and it is having an effect on the wedding industry. Because of this, there are a few things that while they may not be popular to say, need to be addressed…
Booking Vendors in a Timely Manner
In the past year, and across each vendor category, there has been a large increase of last minute inquiries from couples. Depending on the category, vendors are typically booked anywhere from 5 to 18 months in advance, yet the number of inquiries coming in for weddings happening in 2 months or less this year was staggering. And mind you, these are not quickie weddings. These are coming from couples who have been engaged and have their date for 9 months or more.
While no one seems to have a concrete answer as to why, it is the opinion of this planner that part of the issue stems from us becoming used to having everything available to us with a push of a button, and not feeling the need to plan ahead. Because our industry is reliant on people and what can physically be done in the timeframe allotted, it is really important to book your vendors well in advance and why it is the first thing we talk about on our customized Planning To-Do list for each of our couples. We are aware there are circumstances that don’t allow for a lengthy planning process (illness, deployment, etc.) and we don’t shy away from that (we’ve planned weddings in 4 weeks!). But if you have the luxury of time on your side, why wait? Think about it, wouldn’t you feel better getting all the vendors you really want months in advance and then get to take a break from wedding planning? Bonus, you may end up saving money by doing this as you’ll get to control your budget easier vs. having to go with who is available and their price point.
Vendors Offering Multiple Services
We are also starting to see more and more vendors offering additional services; some that make sense as a pair, and others that are a bit of a stretch. The thought behind it is to try and make it easier for you the couple by reducing the number vendors you have to communicate with. If the pairing makes sense and is done well with a large enough team, it has the potential to be in the couples benefit. Each vendor category demands a specific skill set, not to mention time for execution on the wedding day. So, the big question to ask yourself and them is how they are able pull it off. For example, a DJ that offers basic up lighting services makes sense. But, a DJ that also offers wedding planning or photography, not so much. How is this person able to setup DJ equipment at the same time you are needing someone to keep the wedding party on track with getting ready? Do they have a large team with experienced, dedicated staff to each skill? Will this result in any extra fees for you as they now need more time to setup at the venue? There is a lot to think about outside of initial price point when looking at services like this.
As we offer design assistance with our Partial Planning with Design and Full Planning Packages, we have been asked if we will ever expand into offering florals or rentals. Our answer to this has been and will continue to be no. Ever heard of the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”? Well, as a team of two, that is what it would be like if we decided to take on more services that just wedding planning. When it comes to design assistance, we see ourselves as the interior designers for your wedding. Each couple is unique and because of that, we don’t stick to one particular design style, rather we work alongside you to bring your vision together. And getting to work with different creative vendors helps us do this. They motivate, inspire and push us to continue to learn and grow. They can be a sounding board to see if what we have designed is not only doable, but add to it to make it even better. So while some are choosing to add on services to go with the trend of “one stop shop”, we are deliberately choosing to stay away from it. We know what we are really good at and don’t have a desire to change that.
Being a wedding planner requires you to put everything you have into it. It means constantly thinking on your feet, manage multiple vendors, and always be available for the couple, wedding party and family at a moment’s notice. We pour ourselves into this, and trust us when we say our bodies aren’t always happy with us (aka Wedding Hangover). Our goal is to ensure that we are the master of ceremonies, conducting and perfectly executing the multiple facets that go into not only planning, but pulling off a beautiful wedding day. Trying to take on too many hats “as a benefit to our couples” just isn’t our style as we see it as something that could pull us away when you need us most. You are our priority that day, first and foremost.
If you need help planning your Seattle Wedding, contact New Creations Weddings today to setup your complimentary consultation