The tradition supplier guide has changed. The simple wedding directory approach is not really working anymore. We have heard from highly acclaimed wedding industry PR professionals the following has very little impact on couples anymore:
- Straightforward static adverts in print-based magazines either on a regional or national basis. Especially for service based suppliers.
- Leaflets in wedding fayre bags
- Free magazines in wedding fayre bags
Within the Hampshire Wedding Club. We commit to work hard on your behalf to promote your work, services and industry presence.
LOVE MY DRESS
“I’m not making excuses for all suppliers, because there will undoubtedly be some, as there will be in any service industry, who could do with pulling their socks up. But it’s time to smash apart this antiquated perception wheeled out by the media again and again of how the wedding industry is going to rip you off. How if you choose to spend more on a finer quality gown produced using luxury fabrics, you’re being shafted. Brides and couples planning their nuptials today aren’t stupid. The media need to stop treating them as such.
Without fail, all of the wedding suppliers I know work exceptionally hard to craft a living out of what they do, be it photographing, filmmaking, dress designing, stationery design, cake design, shoe design, planning and styling, entertaining or owning a bridal boutique. A great many of these people have left well-paid, secure jobs to follow their creative passion and true calling to work within weddings – in many cases, taking a huge drop in pay and a massive leap of career building faith, because they simply love what they do. They work way past what would be considered a safe/healthy/acceptable level of working hours – evenings and weekends are a constant work/life challenge. But they do this willingly and lovingly because they adore their jobs and they love weddings.
Suppliers like these, that is, folk who will go out of their way and walk that extra mile to make your wedding day experience unforgettable, are worth their weight in gold. Hours and hours and hours might have been spent delicately applying the decorations to an expertly baked cake, or perfecting the pattern of a seamless dress so that it moves like magic. I could list many examples of where quality craftsmanship and expert planning and design come into play, but my point is, from initial planning and design through to execution, the amount of time, energy and toil that is invested by such talented artisans, craftspeople, designers, makers, shopkeepers and services suppliers in this industry, more than warrants the fees these individuals and businesses are charging”. Annabel Beeforth
STOP LETTING BUSINESS CLOUD YOUR VIEW ON NETWORKING.
Not every relationship will lead you to more money, but some of the less tangible benefits can have much greater value. I’ve been blessed with so many friendships and professional relationships since starting my business ten years ago. Throughout the years, some of my earliest creative friends and industry cohorts have been my sounding boards and support system.
It is because of these relationships I find myself now challenging the norm, and supporting others’ business through social media and collaborative projects.
Monthly membership has now increased to £39 a month.
We will then close membership applications from the 6th of July, and we will waitlist applications. They will not then re-open until the 6th of October. This will ensure those coming on board in phase 1, will be present on the HWC website during:
- The early part of booking season autumn 2018
- The sponsored and funded campaigns we are creating with leading social media experts. Across August, September and Early October.
It will also ensure you are:
- Booked and requested for Autumn booking season events and PR, and
- It will give you time to provide us with the valuable content to build your profile and online HWC presence
MAKE YOUR OWN NAME WITH STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
So many people think that by reaching for the influencers and rock stars of their industry, they’ll land the one relationship that catapults them into the spotlight too. This is a “user” strategy and doesn’t end well in most circumstances.
One of the most valuable tips that I have for networking and building relationships is to nurture those who walk alongside you. This doesn’t mean you can’t be intentional in your networking/relationship building.
The partnerships the HWC want’s to promote and help set up, are about partnering with people and brands whose values and goals align with the wedding industry we deserve to work in. People who value professionalism, integrity and commitment.
STOP BEING INTIMIDATED
The opposite of the “user” strategy for networking is self-isolation driven by nerves and lack of confidence. How do you approach someone with way more experience than you or a much stronger brand presence? Hopefully, the same way you would approach any other person – with a lovely hello! Well, you can at our events anyway.
Far more often than not, industry influencers work through the same nerves and lack of confidence. They are often placed on a pedestal, and often experience judgment. Recently during an overdue coffee meeting with a Hampshire venue Events Manager, she told me that she had seen me at a number of local events but had never introduced herself to me, because I seemed too busy and intimidating. Ironically I’d felt the same.
We’re so excited for you to join us!
Once you’ve signed up here, you’ll get instant access to the Edit for Suppliers (blog), the private Facebook group. You will be the first to hear about the live classes & workshops and much more.
We can’t wait to welcome you to the group!
Emma Meek – Miss Bush Bridal
“Recently a blog article by Lauren Grove on Every Last Detail provoked a little sensation, a modicum of chatter and a couple of discussions in some bridal retail Facebook groups.
The article proposes that the wedding industry is changing, that amateurs are pushing down prices making pros unable to earn a living by charging a living wage. Hypothesising that couples don’t value service as much as they should and that wedding suppliers have to do more, communicate better and charge less. It also then concludes that wedding vendors are spending less on marketing and working with publications.
My first reaction to this article was: “I have been involved in wedding dress retail for 30 years – when am I going to get my Equity Card/Union Membership/Professional accreditation?” People, there is no ‘industry.’ There is no shadowy executive organising us. There is no Ministry of Vows, no clandestine club to which we all belong.
I am a retailer selling luxury goods. Other people I collaborate with are caterers, graphic designers or hairdressers among other trades that, by fair means or foul, find themselves cast as an Employee of The Industrialised Wedding Complex; a faceless entity that sends us memos on how to jack up prices, body shame and exploit couples who want to celebrate their love and commitment in a reasonably priced way.
That is of course as much nonsense as it seems but dropping in and out of wedding world, particularly in today’s’ overstimulated post-Instagram world, it might seem that suppliers collude to create Pin-Porn designed to max your cards and misery in equal measure. I can only speak with any certainty about independent bridal retail but very far from the have-a-go amateur that might affect a photographer or cake maker, the threat to our retail businesses are corporate, political and often savage blows are inflicted by our own supply chain and media. Far from being small artisanal creatives, my new competition springs from the very deep pockets of venture capitalists.
Conversely, for me, the way to reignite passion and creativity is precisely the opposite. It is to work with newbies, youngsters and excitable types!
Where I would agree with Lauren Grove in her ‘is the wedding industry dying‘ piece, is that as a ‘wedding vendor’ I am spending less with wedding publications. I used to be all over all magazines, migrating to all the big UK blogs. It also means that far from being able to spend a King’s ransom on advertising and ‘expecting’ the money to roll in – you need to get in a field, get cold and keep it real and engaging!”
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