Brought to you by The Wedding Academy
The Wedding Trend Repor t - Sur vive & Thr ive in 2021! As part of this year's report we hosted a 24 Hour Live Summit to help Wedding Pros around the world make a come back in 2021 by using the latest marketing trends to grow their business and book more clients. Get ready to smile as this video is one like you've never seen before!
W hat's inside
The Wedding Trend Report 2021 is Here by Kylie Carlson
2021 Trends from t he Expert s
Pantone Colour of t he Year
WEDDING TECH TRENDS
THE BUSINESS OF WEDDINGS Using Inst agram in 2021 wit h Lauren Grove
TikTok Q&A wit h José Rolón
Social Media Trends wit h wit h Susan Moeller
Inspiring on Pint erest in 2021 wit h Rachel Waring
The Future of Facebook Groups wit h Margaux Fraise
Wedding PR in 2021 wit h Meghan Ely
Podcast s Aren?t Going Anywhere wit h Kimberly Rhodes & Annie Roche
Using Email to Deepen Connect ions in 2021 wit h Aleya Harris
Automat ion wit h Personalizat ion wit h Henry Chen
Video Market ing Trends wit h Kylie Carlson
Copy in t he t ime of Covid wit h Jen Feroze
Diversity Ever Aft er wit h Kunbi Odubogun
Sust ainability & Weddings wit h Gwenda Jeffs
2021 Trends in Measurement wit h Christ ie Osborne
Automat ion/Apps & Tools For 2021 wit h Kevin Dennis
Building Demand for 2021 wit h Jac Bowie
STATE OF THE WEDDING INDUSTRY Survey
The Future of Weddings, Post- COVID
Indian Drive by Wedding by Saheli Event s
Indust ry Support Groups for Covid Times
Q&A wit h Zepporah Rushwort h-Albert s of Before, During & Aft er
TALES OF RESILIENCY Tales of Resiliency From Wedding Vendors
New Wedding Types
Luxury Hybrid Event by St illwell Event s
A Covid Elopement for Carissa & Maurit s
Joanne & Taylor's Hometown Park Micro Wedding
The Int imat e Downsized Medieval Garden Party Wedding Of Elaina & Lucas
Samant ha & Stuart 's Post ponement Story
Sara & James's Out door Minimony
CONTRIBUTORS Our 2021 Cont ributors About t he Publishers
153- 156 157
We want to ignit e a spark in you, help you to t ake what you do and give it a refresh, but above and beyond all else show you just what 's possible despit e what 's going on around us. We?re here to support you and help you show t he world t hat t he wedding indust ry, just like t he phoenix, will rise from t he ashes once again. There's not hing like a global pandemic to shake up t he way we do t hings. And t hat applies to t he way we celebrat e and what we priorit ise too. In fact , I wonder if we'll look back at t his t ime as t he point at which weddings broke free. Left t he t radit ions of old behind us along wit h t he pressure of social expect at ions. So t his year we've pivot ed t he Report . We've focused on t he 'stories' t hat have come out of t his year... Tales of resiliency from couples who've gone t hrough devast at ing post ponement s or cancellat ions and t he wedding businesses t hat have pivot ed in a crisis.
The Wedding Trend Repor t 2021is here! Now in it s 7t h year I?m incredibly excit ed to bring you t he 2021 Int ernat ional Wedding Trend Report . This year we?re doing t hings a litt le different ly. It 's not all about wedding t rends. Inst ead we're looking at how 2020 has changed weddings moving forward into 2021 and how your wedding business can survive & t hrive wit h forward t hinking market ing and st rat egies.
We've looked at t he st at e of t he wedding indust ry, t he changes we've seen and what we can do to aid recovery. AND of course, we're sharing all t he usual t ips and advice from wedding expert s around t he world on t he new wedding styles we need to be aware of. But t his year t he biggest focus is on st rengt hening your wedding business. To t his end we?ve also host ed t he indust ry?s very first 24 Hour Live Business Summit wit h over 30 expert speakers globally. We covered everyt hing from How to Add Passive Income to your Wedding Business to Complet ing a Brand Audit on your Inst agram Account , and more! If you missed it you can st ill get access to all t he Replays wit h lifet ime access, not to ment ion a whole host of speaker bonuses wort h over 2K. All t hat remains is for me to wish you a happy, healt hy and successful 2021! Kylie x
2021Trends from the Exper ts
2021Top Trends with
Kylie Carlson CEO OF THE WEDDING ACADEMY
'Pint imat e' Wedding The top t rend we're seeing is t he rise of what we're t erming t he ?Pint imat e Wedding' - a personalised and int imat e micro wedding. I just love t hat t erm and I can absolut ely see # pint imat ewedding t rending The Pint imat e Wedding was born out of t he many rest rict ions t hat have been placed on couples around t he world. Some are of course choosing to post pone t heir wedding but some are not . They're opt ing for a much more relaxed affair wit h a guest list of 30 or under, rest rict ions permitt ing. These weddings t end to be a fusion of formal and informal wit h a much bigger per head budget t han you get wit h a larger guest list . What I love about t hat is t hat t he focus is more on t he guest experience t han anyt hing else. Real t hought is being put into t hat journey t he guest goes on as part of t he wedding and in some cases we?re seeing gast ronomic delight s wit h 7 course meals, beaut iful t able decor and att ent ion to many smaller det ails wit h complet e personalisat ion.
Sequel Weddings Not far behind is t he sequel wedding and t he t erm ?wed now party lat er?. And I love t his idea. Now of course, t his has naturally been a direct result of t he pandemic as well, but it cert ainly gives a couple t he best of bot h worlds, an int imat e, micro wedding ceremony followed by one hell of a party in t he future.
Ret urning To Our Root s I t hink my favourit e t rend t hough, and I know I shouldn't have a favourit e, but I do, is t he concept of 'returning to our root s'. Weddings have been ready for a big change for some t ime now. And even before Coronavirus we were st art ing to see a shift . More and more couples were st art ing to do away wit h t he big guest numbers, over t he top luxury and t he ?more is more?ment ality. They were slowly but surely st art ing to place more import ance on guest experience and t he meaning behind a wedding. They were opt ing for int imacy and privacy. Weddings are returning to t heir root s. Couples are playing out t heir love stories in a more int imat e and personal sett ing. They?re embracing t he meaning of marriage and celebrat ing wit h t hose who are import ant to t hem. Weddings are changing and adapt ing to a brand- new world and t he indust ry is simply reinvent ing it self and just like t he phoenix it will rise st rong once again
2021Wedding Trends with
M indy Weiss CELEBRITY EVENT PLANNER AND CO- FOUNDER OF MAD ABOUT WEDDINGS
1. Romance is back! And romant ic colors are on t he rise. One hue t hat is hot t his year is mauve. Try mixing hellebore wit h roses for a unique and glamorous look. 2. Virt ual planning is here t o st ay. Sure, we?ll have in- person meet ings again, but we?ve learned t hat so much can be accomplished at home and more efficient ly. If you?re not sure where t o st art , MAD About Weddings?courses will keep you on t rack and allow for at - home wedding planning. 3. The t rend of host ing int imat e event s will cont inue. Having t he people t here who are t ruly your nearest and dearest can be magical. We will all get used t o gat hering in larger groups again, but for now, we?re finding our couples are relishing t he excuse t o keep it small, and loving t he out come! 4. Alt hough not a new t rend, comfort food is here t o st ay! It makes your guest s feel at home, and what ?s bet t er t han t hat ?
Luxur y Wedding Trends with
Eddie Zaratsian OWNER OF EDDIE ZARATSIAN LIFESTYLE & DESIGN
Wit h t he Pant one color for 2021 being "A.I. Aqua" Eddie ant icipat es an emphasis being placed on creat ing an environment t hat provokes a light and airy - super fresh feeling in 2021. Think of a soft refreshing breeze or a deep breat h of fresh air. Aqua blues paired perfect ly wit h colors like oat meal, beige, sand and various flesh t ones is somet hing Eddie expect s t o see in t he upcoming year. We will also see t he use of t he Pant one color being paired wit h peachy- hued accent s. Out door, small more int imat e celebrat ions will st ill be t he essence of 2021 event s. As a result couples will splurge on t hings t hey may not have ot herwise. A more ext ravagant part ing gift for each guest (since t here aren't as many guest s at t ending), a band t hey may not have ot herwise booked. Creat ing an environment t hat st ill feels like home. Let 's be honest , wit h all t hat 's happened t his year some guest s are st ill a lit t le t imid at t ending social gat herings, even if kept small, and incorporat ing decor you find at home such as couch, a coffee t able an ot t oman immediat ely t ransforms t he room t o an even great er int imat e set t ing for your guest s, allowing t hem t o "feel at home" and maybe enjoy t hemselves a bit more t han t hey would have ot herwise.
"Mult iple micro celebrat ions - in a bid to celebrat e wit h everyone t hey hold dear, couples are embarking on mult iple smaller celebrat ions wit h different group of friends and families - from special dinner part ies to drinks, brunches, weekends away and t he promise of a big party lat er on. Couples are seizing t he opportunit ies to celebrat e in t he ways t heir different guest s groups love most , ensuring everyone enjoys t he wedding celebratory experience in t heir own unique way." Kat e Cullen, Owner, Kat e Cullen
Int imat e Celebrat ions Feat ure Cabanas Inst ead of Tent s.
M icro Wedding Trends "We have not iced a lot of our exist ing couples and new couples alike are choosing to keep t heir big day int imat e and fool proof due to t he current circumst ances and inability to see into t he future. Having a small, but of course out st anding, wedding will open up budget in different areas meaning you can provide your absolut e nearest and dearest wit h t he best quality food and drinks your budget can buy. Now t hat t here?s no need to skimp why not go all out and have t hat seven course wedding feast filled wit h caviar canapes, oyst ers for st art ers and a chocolat e cremeux to finish like you always dreamed of ?! If t here is one t hing t hat a worldwide pandemic has t aught us it ?s how special our family and friends are and a small, int imat e celebrat ion is a great way to make up for lost t ime and spoil t hem." Nat alie Wing, Founder & Direct or, Goose & Berry
"Beaut iful draped cabanas offer guest s t he int imacy and seclusion of a secret garden. There?s somet hing oh- so- glamorous about a beaut iful lawn wit h stunning t ablescapes or lounges under a cabana. From modern to romant ic, preppy to chic, we predict cabanas will be popular in 2021 as event s cont inue to be host ed out side." Next Level Home Weddings That Prove Home is Where t he Heart Is. "While COVID- 19 cont inues to t emporarily force couples to ret hink t heir wedding plans, many are rediscovering t he beauty of t heir own backyards. We believe int imat e, elegant at- home weddings will cont inue to be popular as couples look for creat ive ways to host t heir dream celebrat ion during t he pandemic. We will see t alent ed t eams of event professionals t ransform backyards into dream sett ings." Julie Rot h Novack, CEO & Co- Founder, Part ySlat e
The Expert's Top Trends Backyard Wedding t rends... "The ?Birch Backyard Wedding? t rended nicely for us during t he pandemic. Not all backyards are creat ed wit h equal opportunity to separat e t he ceremony, cockt ail hour and dinner. We had to improvise and creat e a socially dist anced, all- in- one event space using t he design to maximize t he experience. Wit h everyt hing happening in one place, t hings can become easily complicat ed. We anchored t he event wit h t he ceremony as t he focal point , and had guest s seat ed around t he dinner t able which doubled as an int imat e and different vant age point . Not only did t he ceremony t ake cent er st age, but it st ayed up all night leaving enough room for guest s to dance if t hey want ed to. We relied heavily on t he floor plan to creat e a WOW effect even wit h limit ed space. We didn't do a room flip, so once guest s were seat ed for t he ceremony t hey were able to st ay in one place for t he evening. We creat ed cent erpieces t hat allowed maximum views and ambience, and in some cases had t he opportunity to use fun and cut e element s such as t eddy bears to safely dist ance guest s." Josh Spiegel, Creat ive Direct or, Birch Event Design
Focussing on t he lit t le t hings...
On amplified ent ert ainment ...
"Coming out of 2020 our att ent ion to det ail will be even more height ened, t ranslat ing to an even great er focus on t he "litt le t hings" t hat really t ie an event toget her. For example, t he pairing of t he t able top accessories wit h t he napkin t reat ment or making room on t he budget for napkin t reat ment s for each of your guest s. "
"As an alt ernat ive to dancing, we?ve seen a number of couples opt ing to ent ert ain t heir guest s wit h special performances t hroughout t he night? from st ring serenades, to Broadway- style performances, illusionist s, and even int eract ive experiences wit h exot ic animals. If you can?t dance, dazzle t hem!"
Eddie Zarat sian, Owner of Eddie Zarat sian Lifest yle & Design
On non- t radit ional seat ing...
On det ail orient at ed weddings... "2020 has been t he year of t he micro wedding, and while devast at ing for many, especially t hose who dreamed of t he big party, it has allowed for t he det ails to become ever more import ant . These t rends are likely to cont inue as t he limit ed guest numbers mean t heir att endance can be celebrat ed in ways t hat aren't financially viable for att endances of 100+. This means welcome gift s, personalised menus, individual cakes, keepsakes and memories are all paid ext ra att ent ion. Fro t hose t hat can't att end personalised video moment s and live st reaming all add to t he guest experience and are well t hought t hrough in advance rat her t han as a react ion to sudden rest rict ions." Kat e Cullen, Owner, Kat e Cullen On 2021 wedding experiences... -
cockt ail canape style weddings- more casual and informal style less t radit ions and formalit ies like first dance, cake cutt ing experiences- wedding bingo and ot her unique ent ert ainment and experience opt ions
Vanessa Bragg, The Wedding and Event Creat ors
"Due to social dist ancing guidelines, we?ve seen more creat ive floor plans and great er use of unique rent als and lounge furniture to creat e int imat e seat ing arrangement s t hat facilit at e engagement wit hin designat ed design pods. Having two- to- four guest s seat ed t hought fully around t ables and lounge areas can give sensit ive guest s a great er sense of security, allowing t hem to ent er into t he moment or engage in more int imat e conversat ion. It ?s a beaut iful byproduct of an unforeseen pandemic." Gina Esposit o + Sheena Meekins, Owners + Principal Phot ographers, AnĂŠe At elier
Sezincote House Garden Wedding
Wit h t hanks t o t he wonderful shoot t eam:
Planner & St ylist ? By Chenai Event s Venue ? Sezincot e House Phot ographer ? Rebecca Goddard Bridal Designer ? Emma Beaumont Bespoke Videography ? Loved Up Films Floral Design ? All for Love London Makeup ? Makeupology Female Model ? Moe Makaya Male Model ? Lewis Cakes & Dessert s ? Monika Kos Cakes St at ionary & Illust rat ion ? Aimee WIllow Designs
My concept for t he insprait on edit orial was a glamorous, int imat e garden celebrat ion at Sezincot e House which is one of t he most unique and exclusive venues in t he UK ( t hey hold just 6 weddings a year) . I want ed t o echo t he t imes by making it a micro celebrat ion highlight ing how design can st ill play such an import ant role in creat ing at mosphere and ambiance. I want ed an ambit ious floral design which All for Love London definit ely facilit at ed , we built t hat arch st ruct ure t o give t he feeling t hat t he flowers were almost growing out of t he building and t umbling all t he way ont o t he t ablescape. I always knew I want ed t o have a beaut iful young black couple feat ured in t his because oft en 't imeless' and 'quint essent ially Brit ish ' t erms are oft en not associat ed wit h couples who aren't whit e in wedding media, it was import ant for me t o highlight t hat . Emma Beaumont made 2 bespoke gowns dresses for me for t his shoot based on a few ideas and images we'd bot h pinned and loved before I even came up wit h t he idea t o shoot and I want ed it t o be filled wit h an abundance of luxurious det ails such as t he t rio of cakes designed by Monika Koss t o echo t he archit ect ure of t he building and our colour palet t e.
Table Linen ? Gaia Bespoke Linen & Furnit ure Hair Accs and Earrings ? Vict oria Percival Tableware ? Maison Margaux Chair Hire ? Wedhead Furnit ure Lounge furnit ure ? The W Collect ion Glassware ? The W Collect ion Violinist / St rings ? Sorelli Ensemble Bridal Shoes ? Freya Rose Assist ant ? Samant ha Bent on Assist ant ? Lauren Pedge
On out door ceremony t rends... "Mix and mat ching of seat ing. This is going to be huge for out door ceremonies. Spacing of chairs during ceremonies is popular but doing so wit h different pieces is going to be t he next big t hing. A couch where a family of 4 can seat spaced apart from an arm chair where a single guest can sit spaced wit h two chairs where a couple can sit is going to pop up a lot more in t he coming year. " Eddie Zarat sian, Owner of Eddie Zarat sian Lifest yle & Design
On sust ainabilit y... "The pandemic has cert ainly influenced weddings in obvious ways, but couples are even more focussed on celebrat ions t hat are sust ainable and eco- conscious. Through deliberat ely choosing carbon neut ral suppliers, to incorporat ing meaningful 'pay it forward' element s to t he wedding day (like t ree plant ing ceremonies for example), t he wedding planning has never been more designed around couples' et hical st andings." Kat e Cullen, Owner, Kat e Cullen
On live st reaming & virt ual guest s: .. "While t his became quit e common in 2020, we believe t he online guest experience is here to st ay for a bit longer. It ?s t he perfect way for guest s, t hat can?t ot herwise att end, to not miss a moment from t he ceremony to t he first dance. What a beaut iful, inclusive use of t echnology." Gina Esposit o + Sheena Meekins, Owners + Principal Phot ographers, AnĂŠe At elier
2021Top Trends with
Br it Ber tino AUTHOR, CEREMONIES UNVEILED, WEDDINGS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
DIY DĂŠcor Quit e t he cont rary t o cont ribut ing t o local wedding suppliers as ment ioned above, couples may also be choosing t o DIY a few project s such as cakes, st at ionery, and flowers as couples are choosing t o save money so t hey can allocat e funds for a home, home upgrades, fut ure t ravel, and or st art ing a family.
Lit t le act s of Thank you?s Couples are st art ing to stop and reflect on t he event s over t he past year and t hey are sharing a deeper meaning by showing grat itude wit h t heir loved ones. Litt le act s of t hank you?s may include a st at ionery element placed on each guest s seat ing place wit h a personal not e to each guest s. Some may be baking special ?t hank you? cookies. Some may even say in ?leu of gift s,? share a cont ribut ion to t heir favorit e charity or volunt eer project .
Elopement s and Micro Weddings Many will feel t he need to scale back and focus on t heir closest friends and family. 2021 will be full of aut hent ic weddings, t he large,
showy wedding celebrat ions will be on t he back- burner for t he t ime being and 20 or smaller guest s will be t he t rend as couples showcase t heir love to t heir nearest and dearest . Wit h t he smaller guest count , couples are expect ed to save a few ext ra bucks and you may see an influx of support ing local creat ive wedding part ners. Wit h smaller weddings, new t echnology will be int roduced t hat will allow t hose t hat cannot att end and or t ravel to join in virtually. Int eract ive component s including t he virtual guest s will also be on t he rise for 2021 wedding t rends.
2021Pantone Color of the Year
Rocket Science Event s
Bridal Bliss | Powers St udios
Ultimate Gray & Illuminating What are some of your t op t ech predict ions for 2020? Wit h a move t hat surprised us all, Pantone pulled two seemingly- opposit e colors out of t heir hat for 2021 ? Ult imat e Gray and Illuminat ing, a bold spark of hopeful yellow t hat signifies a new beginning for t he coming year. Simply put , we may have finally found t he light at t he end of t he gray tunnel of 2020. Compared to t he t imeless elegance of 2020?s Classic Blue, t his complement ary duo will make for a breat h of fresh air in t he way of wedding colorways in 2021. A new wave of post poned weddings is quickly approaching, and wit h it , we?ll begin seeing pops of bright ness sprinkled t hroughout in floral arrangement s, wedding party att ire, t ablescapes, and much more. We love experiment ing wit h vibrant hues, and t here are count less ways to incorporat e t hese show- stopping colors into any palett e. Whet her you prefer to st ick to an array of rich yellows or luxe grays, or even combine t he two for an avant- garde (yet very on- t rend) feel, t here?s somet hing for every couple t hat want s to give t heir celebrat ion an art ist ic edge.
"Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are two colors that represent our industry?s journey in finding the light switch after a very dark period of uncertainty" Consider diving in wit h a breat ht aking collect ion of gradient shades ? from marigold flowers, goldenrod velvet t able runners, and sunshine-yellow glassware and food garnishes. Alt ernat ively, t hink of how lovely matt e, slat e gray dinnerware would look when coupled wit h charcoal st at ionery, or subt le graphit e accent s such as t apered candles. In more ways t han one, 2021 is t he year of rebirt h. Ult imat e Gray and Illuminat ing are two colors t hat represent our indust ry?s journey in finding t he light swit ch aft er a very dark period of uncert ainty, and we?re pat ient ly wait ing to see what will blossom from t he ashes wit h t hese new t rends.
Rocket Science Event s| Jeremie Barlow Phot ography
2021Cater ing Trends
"A posit ive effect of smaller weddings is t he opportunity for great er customizat ion of t hese int imat e experiences, such as personalized dinner courses, including our favorit e: individual mini cakes for each guest . The impact of each guest receiving t heir own cake, is not only delight fully unexpect ed, it ?s a great solut ion for couples looking to adhere to minimal cont act . A welcomed surprise for guest s bot h in sent iment and sweet toot h. " Gina Esposit o + Sheena Meekins, Owners + Principal Phot ographers, AnĂŠe At elier "Single serve prot ect ive domes make art of food while keeping it safe. Passed appet izers have never looked so elegant ? or perfect for social dist ancing. Guest s can enjoy gourmet cuisine wit h t his gorgeous and germ- free present at ion." "Aft er t he year we have had for 2020, it is more import ant now t han ever to buy Brit ish. Support ing small and local businesses is becoming a top of t he list priority for our couples whose big day is now going ahead in 2021. Our couples want to feel a connect ion to t heir food, do t heir bit for t he environment and community and having eit her sust ainable, foraged food or a local small business cat er your Wedding day is absolut ely t he way to do it . Think farm to fork style as menus evolve as your cat erers work wit h nature and respond to t he changing seasons. Choosing a healt hier, more sust ainable lifestyle isn?t uncommon, so why should your wedding day be a cheat day? Just because it ?s healt hy doesn?t mean it isn?t delicious, why not celebrat e wit h a super smart and super local foraged apple crumble and cust ard and homegrown sparkling wine to toast? We can guarant ee it will t ast e twice as good. Long gone are t he days of a t radit ional Saturday aft ernoon t hree course sit down wedding breakfast and welcome in a relaxed, sharing midweek wedding increase. Whet her it ?s due to budget s, sheer lack of availability or an absolut e venue must have, more and more couples are st raying away from convent ion and opt ing for a weekday celebrat ion complet ed wit h a t hree course sharing ext ravaganza. Think succulent local lamb chops wit h fresh summer herb pesto served alongside sumptuous ott elenghi style salads, plenty of warm sourdough and homemade whipped butt er, finished off wit h helpings of foraged st rawberries and clott ed cream? The menus are so mout h- wat ering you?ll forget it ?s even a Tuesday." Nat alie Wing, Founder & Direct or, Goose & Berry
Julie Rot h Novack, CEO & Co- Founder, Part ySlat e On wedding cake t rends... "I t hink t hat as couples may find t hemselves having to hold a more int imat e celebrat ion t han t hey had originally planned we will see t hem seizing on t he opportunity to really spoil t heir guest s. So perhaps t he main cake will be smaller but each guest could t ake home a beaut iful gift box box of delicious t reat s to enjoy at home. There is no doubt t hat one or two t ier wedding cakes will be t he norm for a while yet but ensure t hat t hey st ill have t he wow factor I t hink t hat we will see stunning oversized real or sugar floral arrangement s being used to turn single t ier cakes into dramat ic cent repieces." Megan Collins, Owner, Blossom & Crumb
The dresses, fine suit s, handmade shoes and t ailored shirt s, t he commit ment , t he love, and t he family celebrat ion are st ill at t he forefront of our couples minds. And st ill wit h a clear cont emporary vision of t heir design and styling, fully ut ilising t he budget to creat e a grand, luxurious and opulent experience for client s and guest s.
Crisp whit e wit h soft tones of barely t here blues remain a firm favourit e as Pantone inspires us wit h an elect ric shade of blue in Al Aqua. As we are looking forward to a summer of blue skies, out door weddings and poolside celebrat ions at bout ique exclusive use venues are rising in popularity. Our top 3 t rends going into 2021: -
A New Era for Weddings "A new era celebrat ing t he int imat e. 2020 saw our couples in t he UK init ially post pone t heir weddings wit h a view to a rescheduled dat e, but wit h exact ly t he same plans, guest numbers, and budget . As we ent er a new year, a new vision wit h a family focus, one t hat includes int imat e det ails and fabulous luxury experiences is emerging. More recent ly engaged couples embarking on t heir wedding planning journey mid pandemic have expect at ions t hat include last minut e changes, fully seat ed cockt ail part ies and recept ions. Whilst adjust ment s may have been made, and t he big dreams may have been adapt ed what hasn?t is t he excit ement and occasion.
family focused int imat e celebrat ions wit h t he emphasis on fine food and wine virtual guest experiences which include live st reaming, and luxury hampers luxury large scale flowers, floral garlands and backdrops
For t he more adventurous client we are seeing influences emerge from t he catwalk wit h a sophist icat ed, st and out from t he crowd design. Reimagined French couture and 70?s New York style, dreamy azure influences t hat are glamorous, wit h confident colour choices. We love t his? " Pamella Dunn, Owner, Pamella Dunn Event s
ClĂŠmentine Ward's Top Trends FOUNDER & WEDDING PLANNER OF AWARDWEDDINGS
2020 has been a very int erest ing and challenging t ime. Nat urally, for couples having t o post pone t heir weddings, especially at t he last minut e, is gut - wrenching; and, of course, for suppliers, wat ching all t heir hard work escaping, we fear for our businesses.
Top Trend # 2 ? Experience ? Go big or go home Couples want t o offer a full immersive and int eract ive experience t o t heir guest s. This t rend has been going on for a few years and it ?s going up. The wedding is an amazing t ime on all front s: food, music and st yling, and not just on t he day, but t he full weekend. When weddings are back, whet her t hey are small or big, couples want t o blow off t he lockdown lows wit h an unforget t able weekend away. We are all so looking forward t o being able t o part y wit h no const raint s, t he at mosphere will just be so wonderful. Couples are making a big effort on t he night before t he wedding t o reunit e t heir guest s so t hey meet and st art celebrat ing. The day aft er cont inues t o be a relaxed event t o close up t he weekend. St andards are going up and budget s t oo, especially on t he music and st yling front s.
However, t aking a st ep back, t here has been a lot happening and suppliers have really t aken t he opport unit y t o work on t heir port folio. Whilst we are all wait ing for t he world t o go back t o a more normal place, it ?s an opport unit y t o develop.
Top Trend # 3 ? St yling ? Making a st at ement
Here are t he t rends t hat I am proposing for 2021!
One of t he st yling t rends t hat is coming high on t he agenda is t he organic and sust ainable design. It ?s very nat ural, organic wit h soft and soot hing t ones. And it marries it self very well wit h various st yles (fine art , boho, rust ic chic, et c? ).
Top Trend # 1 - Pat ience Even t hough t here?s t alk of micro weddings everywhere, it doesn?t seem t o be what t he majorit y of couples want for t heir dest inat ion wedding in France. Regardless of whet her t hey st art ed t o plan before t he pandemic or since, couples want t o have a big part y wit h t heir family and friends and t hey would rat her wait t han having only a small fract ion of t heir guest s, even for t hose who have post poned from 2020 unt il 2021. However, couples are doing a micro wedding at home whilst wait ing for t he big part y t o celebrat e; t his is an easy and nat ural st ep on from t he day at t he regist rars. For t hose couples direct ly impact ed by t he pandemic, t he part y is t aking a slight ly different meaning in t he sense t hat some of t hem will have been civilly married for a while already.
2020 has been an int erest ing year as all designers, florist s, planners have had t ime t o develop t heir creat ivit y. We have seen a lot of various designs and new st yles have emerged.
It applies across t he whole st yling wit h t he flowers and t he decorat ions: nat ural looking wooden t ables, soft airy linen, candle holders, st at ionery? . Couples are looking for unique hand- made decorat ions, support ing local art ist s. We can also see anot her t rend wit h unique mixes of colours in t he flowers. The fine art st yle is looking bright er wit h vibrant t ones of red and pinks in t he flower arrangement s and t able wear. This reflect s t he st rong desire for happier t imes. We are all craving joyful emot ions and it ?s coming out in t he st yling. Color schemes are becoming very engaging wit h gorgeous deep t ones.
st at ement piece. Keep it unpret ent ious and wit hout airs, but make it front - cover! Port able equipment make t his easy and most import ant ly t eam- up wit h t he next t rend? " Amazing scenes
Technology "Everyone is shoot ing wit h unbelievable dynamic range and low- light capabilit ies, now; so if your equipment isn?t ?galaxie?class t hen you might find yourself st ruggling t o just ify your price t ag. Obviously, t he phot ographers?eye and skill in composing engaging shot s will always be valued as is t he filmic and analogue t ones t hat older cameras provide? but , couples want it all, now, and why shouldn?t t hey be able t o get it . In t he ext remes of light and dark, your images t hroughout t he day must include t he blue skies - fine art st yle is light and bright , but t hat dynamic range needs t o cover t he ext remes. Moreover, shot s need t o be ?on- point ?when it comes t o colour and whit e- balance; and, at t he end of t he day, your low light phot os needs t o be as rich as anyt hing you?ve produced during t he day." Formal Shot s are making a come back "We?ve been avoiding, t o a cert ain ext ent , t he formal posed shot s for a while. Even when doing t he phot ographer?s dream - doing t he couple shoot and having t he bride all t o yourself - we?ve been needing t o keep everyt hing as relaxed as possible. How many t imes have you cringed when t he couples have asked for t hose favourit e nat ural shot s t hey saw on your different plat forms t o be done in no t ime at all - when you know t hey look so nat ural precisely because you t ook t ime t o compose t hem. However, formal shot s are coming back because we can now shoot t hem wit h qualit y wit h t he improvement s in t echnology and couples want t hat
"St yling budget s are going up and couples are spending more on music bands, et c., so you should have plent y more ingredient s, given t he permission and t he t ime, t o creat e; whet her it ?s t he bride bat hed in flowers or a group relaxing amongst foliage, you?ll have some great set s. Wit h all t he ext ra st yling, you?ll also have oodles of ?behind- t he- scenes?phot os op?s t hroughout t he day as suppliers, friends and family set - up; and don?t forget t hose ?reveals?t hat ?ll give you t he chance t o record t hose genuine moment s of t he bride and groom moving t hrough t heir big day. Weddings are going t o be big when t hey come back and all t he amazing moment s need t o be capt ured. So, you?ll be able t o have your cake and eat it : shoot in t hat unaffect ed st yle, shoot document ary and sprinkle on a few set - pieces! " Mark Ward, Founder Phot o/ Videographer, Awardweddings
Stars Collide Lunar Elopement in M ilos
Wit h t hanks t o t he wonderful shoot t eam: Coordinat ion ? Ellwed St yling & Planning ? Lily of t he Valley Planning & Coordinat ion ? Shefari Travel Phot ography ? Adrian Wood Cinemat ography ? Nikos Dimou Sponsor ? Bridal Expo BFW At hens Flowers ? St udio 7 St at ionery ? Love Me Do Furnit ure ? Zazoo Event Rent als Hair & Makeup ? Kat erina Theocharis Groom's st yling ? It 's a Man's Class Groom's wat ch ? Breit ling Groom's jacket ? Sciamat
More and more, advent urous couples are opt ing t o profess t heir vows against a wanderlust backdrop surrounded by t heir nearest and dearest . These int imat e, dest inat ion elopement s sat isfy everyone?s t ravel it ch, from t he newlyweds t o t he honoured guest s. Greece oft en t ops t he bucket list . While t he sunset s of Sant orini and t he vibrance of Mykonos never fail t o impress, all t oo oft en t hese islands overshadow t he many ot her breat ht aking landscapes. One of our favourit es is a secluded, chalky whit e beach hidden on t he small but exclusive island of Milos. The st ark volcanic rock format ion mimics a lunar t errain and dazzles against t he deep azure and t urquoise shades of t he Aegean Sea. Driven by our love of t he art s, creat ivit y, and explorat ion, we aimed t o t ransform our moonscape dest inat ion. The t heme consist ed of incorporat ing ast ral element s wit h a bohemian chic undert one.
Groom's pant s & shirt ? Christ akis At hens Art de la t able ? Whit e Lilac Wedding cake, ? Pavlov's Lab Wedding dress & Veil ? Celia Krit hariot i Jewellery ? Mindy Lam Bridal shoes ? Bella Belle Shoe Locat ion ? Sarakiniko Beach Venue ? Milos Cove Ring Box ? Je Promis Models ? Linnea Berzen, Christ os Birbas
Editor ial Trends
Editor ial Trends WITH RHIANNON DOWNIE- HURST, FOUNDER/ EDITOR- IN- CHIEF OF BRIDE CLUB ME
I do believe t hat wedding media plat forms will become more consult at ive in nat ure, wit h a more hands- on and personable approach. I feel at www.brideclubme.com, we are ahead of t he curve already when it comes t o 1- 2- 1 int eract ion wit h our readers and our concierge service. Wedding media plat forms can no longer simply rely on ads/ sponsored post s, et c. More and more edit ors and founders are mult i- facet ed ent repreneurs, offering addit ional services such as cont ent creat ion for brands, social media management , market ing consult ancy - some have even vent ured int o e- commerce, et c. Diversifying is key for our indust ry in my humble opinion.
2021Editor ial Trends
"Wit h t he impact of COVID, submitt ing your work for feature is more import ant t han ever wit h sett ing up a st rong 2021. Wedding pros are looking to software like Mat chology to make t he submission process quick and easy and user friendly. Reels and Tik Tok are t aking over t he social media space and t he wedding indust ry is no different . We will cont inue to see bot h of t hese plat forms increase in 2021 as couples look to consume more engaging media." Ami Price, CEO, Aisle Societ y
"The Black Lives Matt er movement over t he summer put out a long overdue demand to wedding publicat ions for diversity in t he couples t hey featured, t he vendors t hey promot ed and t he people t hey hire. Editors are being more int ent ional and proact ive wit h t heir inclusivity/diversity effort s, and we'll hopefully see t his cont inue into 2021 (and beyond). " Brit t ny Drye, Edit or- in- Chief, Love Inc. Magazine "Inclusion and diversity. As it should be! We're seeing publicat ions. and vendors t hemselves underst anding t he huge issues t he wedding indust ry has around t he lack of represent at ion. We're seeing more publicat ions pay att ent ion to t his and I t hink t here will be a huge turning point in years to come where if you are not seeking t his change wit hin your organisat ion as a whole, to act ively ensure your company is inclusive, you will be left behind. A focus on responsible celebrat ions. In t he t ime of COVID, in t he t ime where weddings are downscaling, publicat ions will turn t heir features to helping couples navigat e t he st ress and doing it responsibly. From ways to elope, to ways to celebrat e safely, from COVID wedding t ips, to post ponement advice, publicat ions will find new ways of assist ing t heir couples t hrough COVID in a way t hat prot ect s bot h t he couple t hemselves and t he indust ry." Dorot hy Polka, Edit or, Polka Dot Wedding
Media trend predictions from the Editors... "Personality. Wit h t he int roduct ion of Reels and Tiktok t here is never a bett er t ime to show a litt le of your personality. 2020 saw vendors and brands st art to show a litt le behind t he scenes, and have a litt le more fun on t hese plat forms. 2021 is going to see even bigger growt h here and plenty more viral songs and informat ion present ed in a fun way." Dorot hy Polka, Edit or, Polka Dot Wedding
"Podcast s cont inue to be on t he rise, part icularly in t he wedding space, and is a plat form t hat should not be overlooked by t hose seeking media opportunit ies! It 's a wonderful way to get your brand in front of a new audience, and t he oft en informal vibes make it easy even for t he novice int erviewee. Video has admitt edly had a slow st art wit hin t he wedding media space, but wit h t he increase of mobile usage during t he pandemic and t he rise of TikTok and Inst agram Reels, I predict media will be focusing more on creat ing video cont ent in 2021. " Brit t ny Drye, Edit or- in- Chief, Love Inc. Magazine
Brides feel t he need to reach out direct ly for guidance, which we see now wit h t his pandemic. They do not want to see only t he pretty imagery. They need and want t he actual advice and all t he nitty- gritty of t he wedding planning process. While inspirat ion is import ant , actual advice is desired. Most vendors see t his t ime as a chance for a new beginning, rebranding and reinvent ing t heir values and what t heir brand st ands for. Our community has t herefore become st ronger, where many professionals turned to us direct ly for advice and support . The world around us is busy wit h problems and project s, when we are all t rying to grab t he att ent ion of our t arget audience. Likewise, our brides and vendors are busy and t hey don?t want to read long, boring fluff art icles. People want to hear actual advice and see real examples. At t his point , we all want and expect reality, what is really possible and to- t he- point . The t ime for faffing around is over! Point 2 ? What really mat t ers? Wedding media is already re- assessing what is import ant . There is more att ent ion focused to t he real love story, rat her t han t he big, luxury dĂŠcor. The size and t he ?bling? of t he event are not t he priority at t his point .
Points on the Future of Wedding M edia in 2021 BY SANYA PERCIC, ELLWED MAGAZINE As the Founder and Editor in Chief of Ellwed Magazine, the first boutique magazine for destination weddings in Greece, she focuses on community led platform for brides and professionals from all over the world. Point 1 ? Personal and t o- t he- point In my experience, wedding media will (or has already) become more personally involved wit h t he brides and vendors alike.
"Love will always win and lovers will always get married." Because of t his pandemic, many weddings had to be post poned or sized down. This means t hat t here were less weddings in 2020 t han usual. There were also less styled shoot s t hat could happen because of t he rest rict ions and t he lack of finances to invest in t hese shoot s. That is why some wedding media will be more likely to accept smaller weddings and nonexclusive cont ent . Some might also re- assess older submissions which might have been reject ed in t he past . The way I see it , at t his point , t rue love stories and family matt er more t han anyt hing else! Having t hat said, t his doesn?t mean mediocre work will be accept ed. High quality visuals, t he creat ive storyt elling and capturing of real emot ions will always be preferred, desired, and at t his point , even needed! The size of t he event is not so much of a crit eria t han t he quality of t he execut ion and t he professionals involved. Quality over quant ity is what will be t he winning recipe. Point 3 ? Branching out Some wedding media such as bloggers for inst ance, had t he chance to expand to ot her plat forms like online courses, workshops, podcast s, magazines, directories and so on, or st art sett ing up new int eract ive plat forms for t heir community. This, however, is t rue not only for t he media, but for many vendors as well, as I see it . Nonet heless, in my personal opinion, t hese new ventures might not be able to be sust ained by all, as t he wedding season st art s again. We used to be surrounded wit h meet ings and a const ant on- t he- go lifestyle. However, like many ot her vendors, now wit h t he downt ime and quarant ines all over t he world, we have t he chance to do what we always planned or want ed. As creat ive souls we cannot st ay st ill.
Wedding M edia in 2021
For inst ance, in my case, I finally found t he t ime to st art and set up our podcast , which happens to be t he first podcast about dest inat ion weddings in Greece. And t his is t rue for many creat ives who took t his downt ime to branch out wit h t heir own podcast s, seminars, or creat ive project s such as websit e renewals. As for wedding media, it is import ant to offer guidance, support and knowledge for t he growt h to our community and for t his we have to find t he best plat form where our audience can easily access it at any t ime. Point 4 ? Diversit y and support The Covid- 19 pandemic is not t he only disast er of 2020! As you probably know, t here were fires, hurricanes, prot est s and new social cause movement s happening all over t he world. This all also affect s t he wedding media! For example, our community from all over t he world has st epped up toget her to help when t he small Greek islands and villages were dest royed by t he hurricane! And t his is where t he wedding media can play a big role in communicat ion, bringing people toget her and raising awareness as we saw also t hroughout t his pandemic. Not to ment ion, all wedding media is becoming more aware to include diversity and support to all kinds of brides and grooms. And I believe t his will only be st ronger in t he future. Of course, every blog or magazine has t heir own niche to follow. Therefore, we need to consider t hat , when working wit hin t he paramet ers of t hat specific niche, some t hings might not be fit for all blogs. In conclusion, aft er all we had to deal wit h t his year, we surely learned one t hing. Love will always win and lovers will always get married. Maybe not t he way we are used to, but as wit h everyt hing, weddings and event s will also adjust to t he new normal. We cannot really know what t he future will bring, but wedding professionals, who can adapt and communicat e t he message of love and growt h, will survive t his and t hrive.
2021Tech Trends Automat ion "An unfortunat e reality of 2020 is t hat many event companies are operat ing wit h smaller st affs and a bit more t ime. While we are ext remely opt imist ic t hat t hey will bring back t heir t eams as event s return in 2021, many event professionals have been having to find ways to do more wit h less during t hese t ricky t imes. The good news is t hat event business owners are more clearly seeing t he opportunit ies for improvement in t heir day- to- day businesses as t hey are t aking on a slew of roles from sales t hrough event operat ions. This is pushing t hem to adopt new software, clearer processes, and opt for higher efficiency as t hey're short- st affed, which will mean t hat t hey will be set up to handle even more event s when t hey bring back t heir st aff in 2021. I've had tons of owners t ell me t hat t he one silver lining t hey are t rying to t ake advant age of is t ime to clean up t heir operat ions. So many businesses have historically been too busy to press "pause" on a whack- a- mole sales process or t hat classic last minut e event prep scramble. Savvy event professionals have been dedicat ing effort s to t he t rying quest ion of "how to do more wit h less" and when t hey t hrow added manpower on top of all t hat as event s return, t hose companies will be t he ones set to soar. " Online Booking & Lead Capture "Wit h in- person business meet ings paused, people are moving to making sales online. In an indust ry t hat operat es on "hugs not handshakes" t his may seem like a tough pill to swallow at first . However, aft er being pushed into t his reality, many are finding t his is a great way to att ract more leads, vet qualified prospect s, and save t heir valuable t ime.
Plus, Generat ion Z is gett ing married! We all have to accept t hat a generat ion who does everyt hing digit ally are t he client s we need to ent ice. That said, online sales doesn't mean a lack of personal service. There are plenty of software plat forms t hat simply kickst art t he conversat ion, wit hout removing t he personal touch. Aft er all, everyone in 2021 is going to want a hug! " Syst ems t hat replace cont ractors (e.g. QuickBooks to replace your account ant ) "In t he t heme of learning to do more wit h less t his year, event professionals are seeing how t hey can use t ech to replace a cost ly cont ractor. Somet imes t his means using a software inst ead of a human, such as using QuickBooks Online to do your account ing rat her t han hiring a bookkeeper. Ot her t imes you're using t he t echnology to find t he right human, such as finding a top- not ch blogger on Upwork.com to help wit h your SEO. The average event company has less t han 8 employees, so we've always been an indust ry t hat knows how to do a lot wit h a litt le, but t echnology t hat helps us double down on t hat st rengt h is t he key to scaling our revenue wit hout breaking t he bank on a huge st aff. " Karen Gordon, VP of Growt h, Goodshuffle Pro
"2021 will cont inue t o see micro weddings wit h a virt ual ext ension. The virt ual ext ension will allow t hose who can't at t end in person t o st ill be a part of t he special day. Augment ed realit y will come int o weddings (brides will love it !) and virt ual ways t o select venues and plan t he det ails (floorplans and seat ing chart s) wit hout meet ing in person will cont inue t o rise in popularit y." Sandy Hammer, Co- Founder & CMO, Allseat ed
Tech Trends with
Nora Sheils CO- FOUNDER OF ROCK PAPER COIN
3D diagrams- - a real- t ime collaborat ion bet ween all planning part ies t o view, edit and share. (Merri/ All Seat ed) Video mapping- - creat ing an immersive experience by complet ely t ransforming a space from floor t o ceiling wit h light ing project ion alone. Experience your t able in t he middle of a vineyard, dance in t he halls of Versailles, or be surrounded by your nearest and dearest , lit erally, but virt ually. Elevat ed virt ual weddings- - creat ing a full experience for guest s wit h t oast s, breakout rooms, group dances, et c. (Wedfuly) Virt ual guest books- - capt uring videos so guest s can share heart felt well wishes, and compiling t o creat e a capt ivat ing video t hat can be shared. (Tribut e, Wit hJoy) Indust ry- specific soft ware st reamlining client collaborat ions, digit al t ransact ions, and pushing wedding professionals t o a fully digit al approach. Improving efficiencies will reign supreme in 2021!
Tech trend predictions from Trevor Wessman-Lavelle, President of Aisle Planner
"The t eam at Aisle Planner is excit ed to see t he subject of Customer Experience rise to t he surface of conversat ion in t he wedding indust ry. Inspired by t he consumer experiences we're all having wit h E- Commerce, Social Media, and Digit al Media brands, t ech companies are building more cohesive and holist ic business solut ions for t heir B2B customers who must now realize t hat t echnology is no longer solely about efficiency. An equal amount of att ent ion must be paid to client expect at ions in t he digit al space, from t he first point of cont act to t he day t hey say "I do!"
M oder n Organic Pastels
Wit h credit t o t he amazing t eam:
Event Design, Planning & St yling ? Harmony Creat ive St udio Venue ? HNYPT Phot ography ? Mary Cost a Flowers + Inst allat ions ? Shindig Chic Wedding Dress + Jumpsuit ? Floravere Paper Goods ? Mint ed Weddings Cake + Dessert s ? Frost It ! Cakery Rent als ? La Pinat a Part y Rent als Napkins ? La Tavola Linens Cust om Ceramics ? Ren Vois
As an event designer, I?m t ypically more drawn t o neut rals ? but I really want ed t o creat e somet hing wit h my lovely ladies Angelena from Shindig Chic and Mary from Mary Cost a Phot ography ? bot h big lovers of colors. I t hink we found just t he right not e. St art ing wit h a vision of updat ing ?past els?and making t hem feel more modern and organic, I want ed t o also bring in some colors t hat weren?t t radit ionally past els ? but t ot ally go! Layering t his color against t he perfect whit ewash brick of Los Angeles venue HNYPT was always first and foremost in my mind, along wit h ut ilizing t he great height in t he space. I had a vision of a ceremony st ripped bare focusing on long silk st rips of color and Shindig Chic made it happen t o incredibly! Paring t he color wit h clear ghost chairs elevat es t he feeling t o somet hing fashion- forward and chic inst ead of feeling juvenile. This same feeling was also brought int o t he fabulous seat ing chart t hey creat ed.
Hair ? Trina Duart e Make- up ? Bee Pret t y Makeup Models: Naliza Gomez Danielle Rouillard
Business of Weddings
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS FOR WEDDING PROS
Using Instagram in 2021
L auren Grove OF LAUREN GROVE INTERACTIVE Lauren Grove is a former wedding planner turned wedding blogger who is now a marketing consultant for wedding pros. Using insights and data from her audience of brides and grooms, as well as her 11 years of experience in the wedding industry, she approaches marketing from the perspective of what engaged couples are truly responding to. Lauren's agency, Lauren Grove Interactive, specializes in providing marketing services involving Instagram, from full scale Instagram management to one-time consultations. Using Inst agram in t he wedding world is NOT t he same as ot her indust ries. You can?t show up in t he same way t hat , say, a fashion influencer or a home decor blogger does. As a wedding pro, you show up on Inst agram wit h your WORK. Lucky for us, weddings are beaut iful and we t end t o have a lot of cont ent . But it ?s also import ant t o not e t hat all t he t hings t hat you see people t alking about all t he t ime- int eract ion, comment s, follower count s, likes, reach- are t hings t hat aren?t as prevalent for us in t he wedding world. Why? Because t he people you?re t rying t o reach- engaged couples- are not using Inst agram t he same way t hey use Inst agram for ot her t hings. Therefore, so much of what is popular for Inst agram t ends t o apply different ly when it comes t o using t he plat form for your wedding business. Because of t his, I like t o first look at how Engaged Couples are using Inst agram, and t hen apply any ?t rends? t o t hose insight s.
What is popular is not always right .
"87% of couples surveyed reported that they do not comment on wedding related content." Engaged couples are primarily t urning t o Inst agram t o find wedding inspirat ion. In fact , in a recent survey I conduct ed among engaged couples, 60% responded t hat Inspirat ion is what t hey t end t o search for most on Inst agram. This is import ant t o not e when considering what kind of cont ent you are sharing on Inst agram, providing t hat your goal is t o get in front of couples who are planning a wedding. It ?s definit ely safe t o say t hat Inst agram is used as a search engine- it just t ends t o be a bit more visual. So as you?re planning your cont ent for Inst agram, always ask yourself, ?What would my pot ent ial bride or groom be searching for?? Couples are t urning t o Inst agram as a met hod of viewing vendors? port folios. While t hey are using Inst agram as a search engine for Inspirat ion, couples have what I like t o refer t o as a ?secondary search phase?. In t his phase of searching, t hey t urn t o Inst agram t o search for wedding vendors, t ypically using search t erms like ?LOCATIONweddingphot ographer?. When t hey happen upon an image t hey like, t hey t hen look at t he profile of a vendor as if it is a port folio. Inst agram profiles are t he ?gat eway? and ?first look? t hat a couple has prior t o going t o your websit e, which is why it ?s import ant t o make sure t hat you?re showcasing your business adequat ely. Couples are self- professed silent lurkers when it comes t o wedding cont ent . 87% of couples surveyed report ed t hat t hey do not comment on wedding relat ed cont ent . What do t hey act ually do? They?re primarily screenshot t ing or saving post s t o a Collect ion on Inst agram. Because t he act ions t hat t hey t ake are ?silent ?, measuring t he success of cont ent via t he t ypical vanit y met rics of Likes and Comment s is not t he best opt ion for wedding cont ent . Inst ead, t urn t o t he Insight s of your Inst agram account t o gain insight int o cont ent t hat has garnered ?Saves? and ?Shares?.
Popular hasht ags are not what couples t urn t o- in fact , t hey t ypically have no idea t hat t hese hasht ags exist . Inst ead, t hey are searching for specific and relevant hasht ags. Relat ing back t o t he concept t hat t hey?re searching for Inspirat ion, t his would be t hings like, ?# pinkbouquet , # pinkwedding,? et c. And t he same applies t o when t hey are searching for vendorssearching using hasht ags such as ?# LOCATIONvenue and # LOCATIONweddingplanner? is what makes t he most sense t o t hem. I recent ly received direct informat ion from Inst agram t hat it ?s best t o use around 8- 9 hasht ags in a post . Wit h all of t his considered, st icking t o a hasht ag st rat egy of ?specific and relevant ? is always going t o be your best bet .
So, how can you incorporat e Reels int o your current Inst agram st rat egy? Put t oget her ?highlight reels? (no pun int ended) of shoot s or recent weddings. It ?s import ant t o not e t hat Reels can current ly only be comprised of video clips, but you can easily incorporat e st ill images by using a video edit ing app t o creat e a video, and t hen upload t hat t o Reels. Also, a good deal of Reels' cont ent is educat ional in nat ure, so t his is a great opport unit y t o educat e pot ent ial and current client s. Regardless of what ends up happening wit h weddings in 2021, couples will st ill be t urning t o Inst agram. Make sure t hat you?re st aying consist ent wit h t he plat form and always keeping how couples use Inst agram at t he forefront of your mind. Words by Lauren Grove The newest Inst agram t rend- Reels. Now, if you?re paying at t ent ion t o anyt hing about Inst agram, you?ll not ice t hat t he new Reels feat ure, similar t o TikTok, has been receiving quit e a bit of at t ent ion lat ely. Recent ly (at t he t ime of writ ing t his art icle), Inst agram released a new design for t he app, put t ing Reels at t he forefront of t he app direct ly in t he main navigat ion bar. It ?s no secret t hat Inst agram has a preference of Reels- in fact , t he commonly held belief is t hat ut ilizing Reels will help your account ?s overall reach. I recent ly surveyed couples t o ask whet her t hey are wat ching Reels, and it was nearly a 50/ 50 split bet ween yes and no. However, when asked if t hey would wat ch wedding- relat ed Reels, 64% responded wit h ?Yes?. I would assume t hat wit h Inst agram?s focus on Reels, t hose numbers will cert ainly be going up. But wit h somet hing like t his t hat is new and t rending, it ?s import ant t o remember t hat how your pot ent ial cust omers consume wedding cont ent t ends t o be different . Now, if you?ve scrolled t hrough any Reels lat ely, you?ve probably not iced a lot of point ing, dancing, and elaborat e edit ing. I know t he resounding comment regarding Reels has been t hat a) as a wedding pro, you?re not used t o showing your face as much, and b) you really don?t want t o dance and point .
TikTok Q&A with
José Rolón OF JOSÉ ROLÓN EVENTS A nuptial maestro for almost a decade,?José?specializes in bringing comfort to a process that?s famously filled with tough decisions and mounting stress. After his time at the Foundry, a luxury wedding venue in NYC,?José?went out on his own with the goal of leveraging his storytelling and relationship building abilities to create emotional and visual experiences for his clients. Why do you t hink TikTok is t he next big social media channel in t he wedding indust ry? Even wit h having 800+ million act ive users, and being t he most downloaded app on iTunes, TikTok is st ill somet hing t hat wedding professionals have been slow t o embrace. Some may be int imidat ed by t he learning curve but ult imat ely, t he benefit s far out weigh t he challenges. TikTok boast s higher engagement rat es t han Inst agram and is most frequent ly used by Generat ion Z and Millennials, t he demographics t hat most wedding pros globally will be t arget ing. How will wedding pros be engaged on TikTok in 2021? Wedding pros will finally underst and it ?s less about t hem and more about communit y and underst and t he power of collaborat ions t hrough duet s and challenges wit h ot hers in our indust ry willing t o play on TikTok. What TikTok st rat egies will wedding pros be embracing in 2021? The beaut y of TikTok is t hat it ?s not curat ed, and it allows wedding pros t o use it as a creat ive out let . You can give a t our of your venue, int roduce new product s as t hey come in, or share planning t ips wit h your audience. For example, @gowneyedgirl is brilliant showcasing her dresses wit h what we call t hese snap t ransit ions. She spins in one of her dresses and morphs int o her next dress t o show off. It ?s brilliant . They?ll be more of t his moving forward!
What will be t he hot t est apps and accessories for wedding pros using TikTok in 2021? Capt ions are becoming really hot right now. It ?s about t ime as t he hearing impaired communit y has been want ing t his change for a long t ime. MixCapt ions is a perfect app for t his. InShot is brilliant for edit ing in a way t hat ?s user- friendly t han what you can do wit hin TikTok. Last ly, for all How- t o?s wit h t he lat est t rends and challenges, Zoomergang is t he way t o keep you hip and relevant for you and your business. How do you t hink t he int roduct ion of Inst agram Reels will impact TikTok? Alt hough Reels has a massive audience built in, it ?s st ill a different audience t han TikTok. There will be an impact , but t he communit y building and collaborat ions are very much on TikTok. If you compare t he t wo, I see Reels as one jump roping solo while everyone st ill wat ches, leaving you wondering if anyone?s impressed, while TikTok is a gat hering of creat ive minds playing double- dut ch over a fierce soundt rack while everyone cheers each ot her on!
One Thing Every Wedding Planner Should Add To Their 2021 Portfolio BY SUSAN MOELLER, MARKETING AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER, TAILWIND Susan has worked in the tech space for 6 years. She helps marketers build audiences with relevant partnerships, fabulous content, and social media. She loves to solve problems. If Susan doesn't know the answer, she probably knows someone who does. My friend?s wedding was less t han one week away. Because of Covid- 19 rest rict ions in our st at e, she had scrapped plans for a big celebrat ion, opt ing inst ead for a small backyard wedding. She wasn?t worried about masks, socially- dist anced cat ering, or get t ing her deposit back from t he original venue. What really st ressed her out was managing t he wedding images, and video on social media. She had opt ed t o st ream t he service t o a privat e Facebook group, wit h many friends and family planning t o t une in. BUT, she want ed t o be t he first t o share pics and announce her marriage on social media. We agonized over t he best way t o communicat e t hat t o t he Facebook group. During 2021 rules governing t he size of weddings will cont inue t o push couples t oward smaller guest list s. Because of t his, social media and t echnology will play a bigger role in each celebrat ion as t he bride and groom leverage t ech t o share t heir special day wit h a broader audience.
Savvy wedding planners can ease t heir cust omers?st ress by handling social media plans and implement at ion as part of t heir services. The basic offer could be a simple announcement and pict ure scheduled t o go out on t he couple?s favorit e net works immediat ely aft er t he ceremony. (This alone would have eased my friend?s mind and helped her t o enjoy her special day more. ) Larger packages could include full- scale social media ?campaigns? delivering t imely wedding messages and helping t o build excit ement and a sense of communit y among far- flung guest s. Planners could also offer privat e Facebook group creat ion and management .
Social M edia Trends with
Tailwind Wedding planners should be ready t o help couples choose t he best virt ual venue for t heir ceremony - - Facebook Group, Google Hangout , Zoom? They will need t o be knowledgeable about t he pro?s and con?s of each t ech plat form, and be ready and willing t o help far- flung guest s log on and enjoy t he day. Before Covid, social media was an add- on t o t he wedding fest ivit ies - - easily managed by t he couple, who were sharing t he act ual experience in person wit h t heir friends and family. Social post s played a supplement al role only. Post Covid, t echnology and social media are t he event for many of t he couple?s loved ones. Their only experience of t he ceremony will be delivered via t echnology, making social media a primary part of t he wedding day. As wit h all t hat is cent ral t o a wedding, social media and t ech services belong in wedding planners?port folios t his year. Words Susan Moeller
Inspir ing on Pinterest in 2021 BY RACHEL WARING Rachel is a Creative Content Coach specialising in Pinterest training. Harnessing the power of Pinterest totally transformed Rachel's wedding styling business, Rachel Emma Studio, and that inspired a life-long love affair with the platform. She now runs both group and 1-1 Pinterest training for creatives. 2020 has been a huge year for Pint erest . Wit h so many spending t heir days at home, people have flocked t o t he plat form t o look for ways t o plan for t he fut ure and get a bit of posit ivit y back. There are over 416 million mont hly act ive users on Pint erest , making it t he second biggest search engine aft er google, and a brilliant place t o be showing up for your business. Here?s what we can expect from Pint erest in 2021: 1. Pint erest is a plat form for posit ivit y. Social media and t he int ernet in general can be overwhelming, and oft en feeds negat ivit y, and one of t he reasons Pint erest has grown so much t his past year is because it 's a posit ive escape. Recent figures released by Pint erest show t hat searches on t he plat form for ?posit ivit y? have increased by 65% t his year, reaching t heir highest levels in t he plat form?s hist ory. Cont ent t hat upholds t his st andard of posit ivit y is much more likely t o fly on Pint erest , so it ?s somet hing t o consider when creat ing for your brand. 2. A phrase t hat Pint erest uses in t heir out reach is ?Creat e t o Inspire?, meaning fresh ideas t hat are act ionable and inspiring will always win. Pint erest are always looking t o curat e and promot e inspiring cont ent , and one of t he new surfaces t o look out for is t he Today Tab (current ly available in t he UK, US and Canada). The Today Tab is a set of curat ed cont ent picked by t he Pint erest t eam, and is updat ed daily. It focuses on t rending t opics, seasonal moment s and high qualit y pins t hat t hey feel will be relevant t o t heir audience.
To t ake advant age of t he Today Tab, keep an eye on t he Pint erest Trends t ool (available in t he analyt ics sect ion), t o see what t opics relevant t o your business are t rending. 3. According t o dat a released by Pint erest , 85% of pinners have bought somet hing based on cont ent t hey?ve seen from brands, and 25% of t ime spent on Pint erest is act ive shopping, which is higher t han any ot her social media plat form. Specifically designed Shopping Pins are encouraging t hese user habit s furt her, and wit h more brands opt ing int o t his feat ure, it ?s likely t o furt her shape buying habit s on t he plat form in 2021. 4. Pint erest is a place where people search for inspirat ion on life?s meaningful moment s, which of course makes it a no brainer for wedding businesses. According t o Pint erest ?s 2021 moment s planner, searches for weddings are happening all year, wit h t op search t erms being Wedding Dresses, Favours, Cakes and Flowers. For more specific wedding t rends, be sure t o look out for t he Pint erest 100 which picks out 100 t op t rending searches each year. The best way t o make t he most of Pint erest for your wedding business is t o remember t hat it ?s a plat form for inspiring cont ent . Keep an eye on what ?s t rending, t hink about how t hat could be relevant t o what you?re offering, and creat e some fresh cont ent around t hat t opic and you?ll be on t o a winner. Words by Rachel Waring
The Future of Facebook Groups with
M argaux Fraise OWNER OF HARMONY CREATIVE STUDIO Margaux Fraise is a Los Angeles-based wedding planner, wedding industry educator and host of the upcoming 'Wedding Summit Series', an online event for wedding pros. A Stage IV breast cancer survivor, she has a unique perspective on what is truly valuable in love, life and weddings ? and brings that viewpoint to help her clients and students hone in on what matters to them. Facebook: Love it or hat e it , it ?s not going anywhere anyt ime soon. The social media juggernaut cont inues t o grow by leaps and bounds, and fast est growing sect ion is of course, Facebook Groups. Fueled by t he need for connect ion during t he pandemic, Facebook report ed over 10 million groups used by over 1.8 billion people, wit h more t han half of act ive users belonging t o 5+ groups. Wit h st at s like t hese, Facebook Groups are a plat form wedding professionals definit ely do not want t o miss out on. Here are t he t hings t o look out for wit h Facebook Groups in 2021: Emphasis on live video. Facebook algorit hm likes anyt hing t hat increases engagement , and not hing increases engagement like live video. Wit h an increase of 27% in live video for Q2 of 2020 over 2019 - if you want t o engage your audience and make connect ions, live video is t he place t o do it . Easier monet izat ion of groups. Brand part nerships, sponsored post s and paid groups, you?ll see an increased t rend of monet izat ion for groups, and we could all use t hat . Groups have recent ly been added t o t he Brand Collabs Manager, meaning it ?s much easier for brands t o find groups t o collaborat e wit h. Facebook also recent ly allowed sponsored post s inside groups, and has allowed some groups t ypes t o have a pay wall.
"According to Facebook themselves, their algorithm favors group content..." Cont ent crackdowns. The divisive US elect ion and rise of fake news, we?re already seeing a larger crackdown of t he type of banned or undesirable cont ent . While most of t his does not involve weddings, one very pressing example does: misinformat ion about COVID- 19. Such misinformat ion has been rampant in wedding groups as couples navigat e t he ever- changing rest rict ions and seek peer help on how to move forward wit h t heir plans. It ?s more crucial t han ever for group admins to remain on top of cont roversial topics so t hey are not flagged or worse: cause t he group to be shut down. Thankfully, a new group management tool called ?Admin Assist ?has been launched to allow admins to set automat ed processes for post moderat ion. This will help considerably by automat ically finding spam or rule- breaking post s by keyword search, link inclusion and ot hers. New group types. Facebook has already t eased one new group type t hat will focus on art and creat ivity by only allowing photo cont ent and post s, and we should expect more varying group types to follow. By being t he first to engage t hese new group types, you could lead t he pack here in t he wedding space. Remember: according to Facebook t hemselves, t heir algorit hm favors group cont ent as t hey have made a big push for groups over t he past few years. This means t hat if you?re not engaging wit h groups, your cont ent is less likely to be seen. So now is t he t ime to get into t hose groups, or st art your own! Words by Margaux Fraise
Bohemian Baja ? M icro Wedding
Huge t hanks t o t his t alent t eam of wedding suppliers:
Design, St yling, Coordinat ion and Arbour ? Desert Rose Wedding and Event St yling Phot ographer ? The Seit t er Wood House Florals ? I Do Flowers Cairns Dress Designer ? Luna Willow Bridal Dress Bout ique ? Chanel Jaymes Bridal Hair and Make up ? Tropical Beaut y Calligraphy ? The Seit t er Wood House Cake ? Loveleighs Cakery Furnit ure ? The Bungalow Life Cairns Model - Rielli Port egys Male Model - Michael Edelburg
The inspirat ion for our Bohemian Baja inspired Micro Wedding, was very much creat ed by t he concept t hat amongst t he chaos and unknown in t oday?s world we feel liberat ed and ready t o st art new. Nat ural, Wild and free was t he brief for our phot oshoot . What bet t er way t o express t his t han in a modern, barefoot Bohemian fashion, overlooking an unt amed ocean surrounded by swaying pampas and t owering palms. Even our brides gown screamed free wit h a sheer lace bodice and visible boning. The clear beaded det ails are somet hing we are hoping t o see more of in 2021! We t ook t he chance t o work in some of our favourit e current and upcoming t rends for 2020/ 2021 and Incorporat e all shades of neut ral and plent y of nat ural t ext ures, wit h warm ceramics, vint age woods, gold Met allics and t he eart hy t ones of dried preserves and flowing macrame all compliment ing each ot her.
Macrame Pendant s - Hanging Around Macrame Moroccan Ot t omans - Efolkey Rugs
Business of Weddings
MARKETING TRENDS FOR SAVVY WEDDING BUSINESS OWNERS
Wedding PR in 2021with
M eghan Ely OFD Consulting owner, Meghan Ely, combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of public relations to empower her clients to take their businesses to new heights. A long-time industry speaker and writer, she is a WeddingPro educator with The Knot + WeddingWire, as well as a regular contributor to a variety of industry publications. The st at e of t he wedding indust ry will look remarkably different in 2021 in many aspect s, but it will part icularly t ransform wedding media? and t he publicit y process? as we know it . Here are four key t rends t o know about how wedding PR will change in 2021, along wit h some t ips for get t ing ahead of t he curve. Crisis communicat ions and reput at ion management will be key. In years past , wedding PR has been driven by aest het ic, wit h real weddings and st yled shoot s t aking priorit y. Due t o t he pandemic, however, wedding brands will have t o int egrat e crisis communicat ions int o t heir st andard operat ing procedures. Bet ween nonrefundable deposit s t o mask mandat es, t here?s a chance every wedding pro may see t heir brand t arnished ? even if undeserved. Draft ing email responses t o keep in your back pocket and keeping your cont act list updat ed are t wo small- but - effect ive st rat egies t o prepare your business for what ever may come. Diversit y will dominat e. As an aside, 2020 has also opened up many people?s eyes t o t he import ance of social just ice. While t he indust ry has shift ed t owards inclusivit y in recent years, diversit y will really t ake t he front seat in 2021. Many t op media out let s have publicly st at ed t heir commit ment t o diverse weddings and we?ve seen a st eady increase in request s from minorit y expert s.
Wedding PR Trends
Expect t o see t he media celebrat ing couples from all walks of life, including people who ident ify as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, int erfait h, mult icult ural, or disabled. This will init iat e broader conversat ions about diversit y, t okenism, and how t o balance inclusivit y wit h aut hent icit y. More couples will self- submit t heir weddings. A lot has changed in t he wedding indust ry t his year. Nat ionwide shut downs have caused a subst ant ial edit orial gap, which will need t o be filled when event s st art picking back up. Yet , some companies have gone out of business or have had t o furlough t heir t eams, leaving t hem wit h lit t le t ime t o consider PR effort s. As a result , we expect more couples t o submit t heir own weddings t o blogs and publicat ions. Wedding pros should prepare t o updat e cont ract s wit h phot o usage t erms and educat e client s on proper submission et iquet t e. There will be increased visibilit y for product s. There has been seeing an upt ick in media request s seeking affiliat e product s for roundups, which marks a not able shift from recent years when expert insight and Pint erest - wort hy pict ures reigned supreme. Since affiliat e links serve as a revenue st ream for media out let s, t hey?re inclined t o share ? and t his provides an excellent opport unit y t o let your product s shine. In part icular, wedding pros should priorit ize being feat ured from VigLinks- approved websit es, which includes most major ret ailers like Amazon, Et sy, Macy?s, Nordst rom, and more. A simple Google search can t ell you whet her a sit e is VigLinks- approved, and t hese sit es are oft en preferred by major media out let s. While t he out ward appearance of wedding media may change, t he need for publicit y will only increase as wedding businesses navigat e recovery in a post - pandemic indust ry. St aying on t op of your PR game will help you reach new audiences and effect ively bring your brand back t o t he forefront of your market . Words by Meghan Ely
Podcasts Aren?t Going Anywhere Maybe It ?s Time You Jumped On Board BY KIMBERLY RHODES & ANNIE ROCHE, CO- HOSTS OF THIS WEEK IN WEDDINGS Started in 2016 by wedding planner Kimberly Rhodes and invitation designer Annie Roche, This Week in Weddings is a podcast for wedding industry entrepreneurs. As one of the first podcasts focused on the business of weddings, This Week In Weddings covers topics ranging from sales to working with difficult clients, and everything in between with the goal of helping wedding businesses improve their bottom lines and not feel so alone during the process. According t o st at s from Podcast Insight s, t here are more t han 1.5 million podcast s in t he world and t he number grows daily. And wit h 2020 creat ing some unexpect ed downt ime for wedding indust ry businesses, many have t urned from just t hinking about st art ing a podcast t o act ually doing it . While podcast ing will cont inue t o be an influent ial and growing medium, t here are a few reasons more pros will be get t ing behind t he mic in 2021: To put t heir message out int o t he world on t heir own t erms. Have somet hing t o say? No longer do you have t o submit t o a conference and just wait and hope t hat it get s picked up. Wit h t he uncert aint y of conferences ext ending int o 2021, ent repreneurs will be looking for ways put t heir cont ent out publicly ? when t hey want t o and how t hey want t o ? wit hout having t o wait t o get accept ed, hoping t he conference act ually t akes place, or t rying t o fit int o someone else?s mold. Podcast ing is t he ult imat e chance t o ?do you? as t hey say. And if you believe t hat a lit t le f?bomb never hurt anyone (like we do!), podcast ing will cont inue t o be t he ult imat e avenue of self- expression. To increase t heir level of aut horit y. If you t hink being a guest on someone else?s podcast gives you st reet cred, imagine having episode aft er episode of your own cont ent at your fingert ips. Just like ?published aut hor? has a cert ain ring t o it , so does ?podcast host .? More pros will be updat ing t hat LinkedIn profile and rewrit ing t hat bio aft er giving t hemselves an aut horit y upgrade in 2021.
To provide an addit ional channel t o market t hemselves and t heir businesses. While no one likes t o be overt ly sold t o on a podcast (leave t hat t o Blue Apron and Shari?s Berries), when you?re consist ent ly ment ioning your name, your company name, and t alking about your area of expert ise, it will nat urally lead t o more exposure for you and your brand. Plus, published episodes give you limit less opt ions for addit ional market ing opport unit ies. You can easily t urn cont ent from a podcast recording int o graphics for Inst agram, videos for YouTube, and t he t ranscript can even be a blog post . Pros will be looking t o record once, and use t he cont ent mult iple places. To creat e personal connect ions wit h t heir audience. The saying goes t hat people buy from t hose t hey know, like, and t rust , and t here?s no bet t er way t o put your personalit y on display and get list eners t o get t o know you t han t hrough t his medium. Wit h podcast s growing in popularit y, 2021 will cert ainly show an upt ick in t he number of wedding indust ry podcast s. But have no fear, t here is room for more successful podcast s, part icularly if you niche down, creat ing cont ent specifically for your ideal list ener. Words by Kimberly Rhodes & Annie Roche
Using Email to
Deepen Connections in 2021 WITH ALEYA HARRIS OF FLOURISH MARKETING Aleya Harris, CPCEis an award-winning marketer and former chef and catering company owner. She is the Owner of Flourish Marketing, an agency that provides marketing education, strategy, and tools to help wedding, catering, and event professionals get and keep a consistent stream of clients. In 2020, despit e t he circumst ances, we found a way t o do what we do best : bring people t oget her. We learned how t o plan virt ual anniversaries, drive- by baby showers, and micro- weddings t o cont inue t o help our client s celebrat e t he biggest moment s of t heir lives.
Not only did t he fest ivit ies t ake on a different shape, but t he way t hat we market ed our businesses suddenly had t o change as well. Gone were t he days of in- person net working at associat ion event s. Planners had t o explore t he wild world of digit al market ing t o maint ain a st eady flow of leads and prepare for 2021 - t he comeback year. One of t he most effect ive online market ing t ools is email market ing. Email market ing is a syst em t hat savvy business owners use t o nudge pot ent ial cust omers int o a deeper relat ionship wit h t hem and t owards t he sale. While a not e popping up in your inbox may not seem like a powerful revenue- driver, don?t underest imat e t he power of email. Not only is it one of t he least expensive ways t o get t he word out about your business, but it also averages a 4200% ret urn on invest ment (ROI). That means, for every $1 you spend, you could pot ent ially make $42. That number is up from 3800% last year, which means email market ing will be a st rong bow t o have in your market ing quiver in 2021.
"As you create your marketing plans for 2021, be sure to include how you will differentiate yourself in your dream clients? inboxes with authenticity and value."
Unfort unat ely, t he email market ing secret is out , and many wedding, cat ering, and event professionals have st art ed sending emails like t hey are going out of st yle. If you have already been using email market ing for a while and have seen your open rat es decline, you can t hank increased email t raffic in your pot ent ial client ?s inboxes. The name of t he email game in 2021 is not just sending random emails but using cont ent st rat egy and relat ionship- building t o break t hrough t he noise. It is t ime t o leverage your innat e skills as a convener and channel t hem t hrough your messaging. Get Hyper Personal Inboxes are bust ing at t he seams, and your dream client performs t riage every t ime t hey get a new email. You need t o st and out as not just anot her drab subject line t hat is t he precursor t o generic cont ent . While you may be writ ing emails as one person t o many, your recipient s should feel like you are writ ing just t o t hem. That means you need t o t ailor your message t o t he various audience segment s on your list .
Offer Real Value An email t hat remains unread will st ill help you st ay t op- of- mind wit h your leads and referral sources, but it is not as useful as one t hat is opened and clicked. People should look forward t o receiving emails from you. To do t hat , you need t o be known for providing t angible, act ionable solut ions t o t heir problems. Ot herwise, your emails will be delet ed, or your ideal cust omer will hit ?unsubscribe.? In 2021, client s will realize vendors are clamoring for t heir at t ent ion and won?t have pat ience for fluff. If you have a segment of client s who just got engaged, send t hem advice about how t o t alk wit h t heir part ners about budget ing or t he t op t hree t hings your client s wish t hey had done right aft er t hey said, ?yes!? St rat egically plan what you will say around 3- 7 t hemes and rot at e t hrough t hose t hemes in your weekly emails. Measure. Adjust . Repeat . 2020 held many lessons for us, including t he need t o st ay flexible. The best way t o maximize your email market ing effort s is t o use your open rat es, click rat es, and unsubscribes t o let you know what is working and what isn?t . Then, you adjust t o increase t he effect iveness of t urning st rangers int o sales. When you monit or and t rack met rics in your ESP, you will be able t o answer quest ions like, ?How oft en should I send emails?? ?How long should my emails be?? and ?When is t he best t ime t o send emails?? There is no gold st andard, and many of t hose responses are based on your part icular audience.
For example, if you have a segment of previous wedding client s and anot her of previous baby shower client s, don?t send t hem t he same email when looking for referrals. They are st art ing at different point s on t he journey wit h you. While it will t ake more effort on your part , t ailor your weekly emails and nurt ure sequences using your email service provider (ESP)?s segment at ion and t agging feat ures.
As you creat e your market ing plans for 2021, be sure t o include how you will different iat e yourself in your dream client s?inboxes wit h aut hent icit y and value. Those digit al connect ions could lead t o real- world dollars.
Also, emails t hat ment ion t he receiver?s first name in t he subject line or t he first few lines of t he body are more effect ive. Use your ESP?s name personalizat ion feat ures t o make each message seem like it is coming from a helpful friend.
Words by Aleya Harris
If you need help get t ing st art ed wit h email, click here t o download t he free Email List Building Roadmap Implement at ion Guide.
Automation with Personalization WHAT'S CHAT MARKETING AND HOW DOES IT HELP MY BUSINESS?
BY HENRY CHEN Henry has been a wedding photographer since 2007, having captured 450+ weddings. In the past year, he started a chat marketing agency that helps wedding creatives use automation with personalization to earn more while saving time. Henry is also a YouTuber, backpacker/ hiker, and most importantly, a husband and father. The two most import ant t hings you need from a pot ent ial client are t heir att ent ion and for t hem to t ake some act ion towards becoming a customer. In a day and age where dist ract ions are everywhere and pat ience is t hin, our t arget audience's att ent ion span is gett ing short er. Plus, more and more prefer to chat via mobile and t ext- messaging apps vs. desktop, email, and phone. Thus, it 's crit ical t hat you have an effect ive market ing and communicat ion syst em in place t hat get s your business in front of t he right audience. You also need to make it easy and quick for t hem to get in touch wit h your business, find t he informat ion t hey're looking for, and move t hem along in t he buyer's journey to become a customer. Int roducing chat market ing, i.e. mobile- first market ing and communicat ion wit h automat ion. Go "omnichannel" by ut ilizing t he lat est t echnology in mobile communicat ion (Messenger, What sApp, Inst agram DM, SMS). It 's not enough to just have an effect ive, mobile- responsive websit e along wit h a social media presence. "If I build it , t hey will come." doesn't work anymore.
In fact , it 's not mobile- responsive but mobile- first . As t he CEO and co- founder of ManyChat (t he leading chat market ing software company), Mike Yan said, "Mobile is t he default . How are you going to t alk to your customers on mobile?" According to st at ist a.com and shared by ManyChat at it s annual Conversat ions 2020 chat market ing conference, mobile t raffic has surpassed desktop t raffic. Not only t hat , but t his year (2020), t here are more mobile messaging app users t han social network users (2.70 billion vs. 2.66 billion). And t hat t rend is only going to cont inue into 2023+. Being t hat virtually every wedding creat ive is doing social media market ing, it 's also a necessity to do mobile messaging market ing, i.e. chat market ing. What 's fascinat ing but so t rue is t hat t he way people connect wit h businesses is similar to t he way t hey connect wit h each ot her. It 's not business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) but rat her people to people (P2P). Ask ourselves, "Is my t arget audience using Facebook Messenger, SMS/t ext messaging, Inst agram DM, What sApp, and/or email (to chat wit h t heir family and friends)? Do I current ly have a st rat egy in place to reach out to and chat wit h t hem on t hese channels?" Whet her your t arget audience is a wedding couple, venue, wedding pro or creat ive, people want to connect wit h ot her people on mobile messaging apps. The challenge is to st rike a balance between providing a personalized, 1- to- 1 level of communicat ion experience wit h each individual t hat comes across your business wit hout having to expend all of your limit ed resources. Wit h chat market ing, you'll be able to st reamline your market ing, sales, and operat ions/customer support wit hout sacrificing t he "personal touch" t hat is unique to your brand and business. Words by Henry Chen
Video M arketing Trends
Whet her you?ve got a big announcement coming up, you?re host ing a webinar, or even when you?ve post ed a new blog, jump in front of your camera and make a quick video t o post on social media about your news. Let your followers ?meet ?t he host s for your webinar, give a fun preview of somet hing coming around t he bend, or t ell t hem why it ?s import ant t hey read your new blog. Your videos can be t he perfect lit t le glimpse your audience needs t o get excit ed about what you have coming up next . But more t han anyt hing else it allows you t o really be in t he moment . We all live in a world of realit y TV and being absolut ely hooked on what we t hink of as ?real cont ent ?. We want t o know what ?s going on in people?s lives and in business we want t o know t he people behind t he brand. So what are t he big t rends I'm seeing for video in 2021? BY KYLIE CARLSON
No 1 - Less Product ion
Kylie Carlson is the founder and CEO of the Wedding Academy where she has helped launch 5,000+ wedding planning careers over the last 12 years. She?s also the host of the Wedding CEO Podcast, a marketing podcast for the wedding industry, and founder of the Wedding CEO brand.
Video for your business doesn?t have t o be perfect ? not by a long st ret ch. One of t he posit ive t hings t o come out of Covid19 is t hat none of us expect perfect ly curat ed anyt hing anymore.
Let ?s be real? t he writ t en word can only say so much. No mat t er how many winky faces or ?lols?you add, your personalit y and general t one might not make it from screen t o screen. There?s always t he chance of your words get t ing minced and misint erpret ed. That 's where video comes in. The one t hing t hat makes video a t ruly out st anding t ool for your business is how it creat es a bridge bet ween you and your readers. Wit h video, t here?s a new element of human t ouch t hat didn?t exist before. Seeing your face, hearing your voice, and wat ching you be you boost s your t rust abilit y. Your readers can inst ant ly get a sense of who you are and are able t o decide quickly if t hey want t o buy int o what you?re selling. LinkedIn recent ly announced t hey are now support ing video in t heir feed, Inst agram St ories has surpassed Snapchat for mont hly act ive users, and Facebook video is quickly becoming a real compet it or t o t he likes of YouTube and Vimeo.
How many news readers have you seen t his year present ing from home wit h kids, pet s, significant ot hers et c. accident ally being part of t heir live feed. It ?s accept able now t o just be you on camera. In fact , it 's what people want . People buy people and your couples want t o know t he person behind t he brand. Video is a chance t o show your personalit y and let people see a lit t le bit of who you are, what you love and t hings t hat are import ant t o you. No 2 - Videos Wit h Capt ions If you have a Facebook page and aren?t adding capt ions t o your videos, you?re missing out . People are wat ching videos on silent so t hey can consume t he cont ent in bed wit hout waking t heir t oher half (guilt y). People are wat ching videos on silent when t hey?re bored. People are wat ching videos on silent while zooming wit h t heir camera off (also guilt y). Sub- t it les and on- screen inst ruct ions are vit al t o make sure your video cont ent fully reaches your audience. This can impact t he way you record video for market ing and how you edit for playback.
The good news is t hat opt imising for a 'soundless playback' can act ually help make video cont ent accessible t o more people. Amara is a t ool for creat ing subt it les and closed capt ions for video. It includes a free and paid version. No 3 - More Live ?St ories? According t o Livest ream, 80% of audiences said t hey would rat her wat ch live video from a brand t han read a blog post and 82% preferred live video t o social media post s. In- t he- moment video creat es an aut hent ic connect ion wit h your audience t hat t hey like. They can really 'connect ' wit h you. As part of my Facebook Group, Wedding CEO Club, I do a live 'Cockt ails wit h Kylie' every Weds where we t ackle a different market ing t opic wit h a cockt ail in hand. I love it , my audience loves it and I get t o connect and educat e at t he same t ime. Plus if t he video includes evergreen it can be replayed lat er and used over and over again as relevant cont ent for your audience. Remember, reuse and repurpose your cont ent t o st op yourself being on t he cont ent hamst er wheel. No 4 - Videos wit h Hot spot s We're all about int eract ivit y and love anyt hing t hat let 's us 'do somet hing'. This is t he beaut y of hot spot s. Hot spot s include an area where viewers can click or t ap and int eract wit h a video in more det ail. I use Vimeo as a host ing plat form and t hey have a great 'Int eract ion' sect ion where you can add CTA's t o your video, end screen wit h clickable links and more. If you want an edit ing plat form where you can do t his at source t hen I recommend Camt asia from Techsmit h, which is what I use for my videos. They have a fab hot spot sect ion as well. Hot spot s work because t hey are int eract ive element s t hat keep people int eract ing wit h cont ent longer. They're part icularly popular in social media videos. No 5 - Longer format videos I know we all have a short at t ent ion span and get easily dist ract ed but t here is a definit e move back t owards t he longer video format rat her t han t hese short 15- 60 second videos.
The t rick t o longer- format video is t hat it has t o be good. (Have you ever got sucked int o t hose recipe demos on Facebook? They might last 2 minut es but I have t o wat ch because I want t o see t he finished food.) Plus, longer videos can act ually result in higher engagement rat es. A st udy by Twent yt hree.net found t hat videos longer t han 15 minut es account for 50 percent of all video engagement , but only 8 percent of cont ent . Think about t hat for a minut e. You can produce fewer, longer videos and get great er result s. Bit of a no- brainer really. Provide valuable cont ent and people will wat ch. If t he t hough of creat ing video has you running for t he hills t hen t ake a look at my Video Visibilit y Course for Wedding Pros. It will help you t o BREAK THROUGH THE FEAR of sounding weird, feeling uncomfort able, and not knowing where t o st art or what t o say on video. Words by Kylie Carlson
Copy in the time of Covid with
Jen Feroze OF JACKDAW EDITORIAL, Jen Feroze runs Jackdaw Editorial, a copywriting service for the wedding industry based in the UK. She's a big believer in the power of language, and works with wedding-business owners worldwide to help them find their voices and tell their stories. 2020 changed t he wedding indust ry, t he world, and your couples? priorit ies and needs. Moving forward into 2021, connect ion and a profound sense of t he human behind t he slick business ext erior is crucial. Here are four ways in which you can refocus your wording to best connect wit h exist ing couples and new client s alike. Not Just ?Business As Usual? The last year has been challenging and unusual on a variety of levels, and t he pandemic has touched everyone in one way or anot her. Be sensit ive to t his in t he way you?re communicat ing and don?t gloss over t he event s of t he last twelve mont hs. Showing a bit of vulnerability is definit ely a st rengt h. Your couples are uncert ain, t hey have quest ions, and t hey have suffered over t he last year, but so have you. Tackle t he pandemic head on and address t he way in which your world has changed in blog post s and in adjust ment s to your web copy. Coronavirus gives you a point of shared experience wit h every pot ent ial client ? don?t ?be scared of t alking about it . Relat ionship Building Is Vit al Approach your websit e wording as a human first , and a professional second. Now more t han ever, earning your couples?t rust is essent ial, and if t hey?re feeling raw and unsure about t heir wedding day decisions, t hey will need to be even more reassured t hat t he person t hey?ve chosen is right for t hem, not just t he service t hat t hat person can provide.
"You can paint pictures with language, you can help your couples to feel at once reassured and inspired..." You are what set s your business apart from everyone else, so make sure t hat you and your values are shining t hrough on your websit e. Make sure your ?About ?page is actually about you, not just about how brilliant you are at your job, and give your couples as many opportunit ies as possible to connect wit h you as a human being, as well as a t alent ed wedding professional. Take Cont rol Remember t hat t he words you use have an impact , and t hat you?re in cont rol of how your readers will feel as t hey navigat e your websit e. Acknowledge t he challenges of t he last year, but don?t dwell on t he negat ive. Even if you have litt le or no new visual cont ent to share t hanks to t he pandemic, don?t underest imat e your ability to inspire t hrough your wording alone. You can paint pictures wit h language, you can help your couples to feel at once reassured and inspired t hrough t he stories you t ell as well as t he images you share ? embrace t hat power as a storyt eller. Be Bespoke Email t emplat es are wonderful t hings, and absolut ely have t heir role to play in your business. You should be prepared to send individual replies rat her t han boilerplat e responses t hough ? however charming and well craft ed t hey may be. Showing your client s t hat you?re list ening to t hem will serve you really well. In a world where so much has changed and cont inues to change, t ake comfort in t he fact t hat t here is st ill a lot in your cont rol, and t he pot ent ial for meaningful connect ion t hat your copy offers is no small part of t hat . Words by Jen Feroze
Alter native Vintage M icro Wedding
Credit t o t he wonderful t eam behind t his shoot :
Phot ographer ? Dani Louise Phot ography Planning, St yling and Props ? Willow and Rust Weddings Floral designers ? Inspired Florist ry Dress ? Ryley and Flynn Hair and Make- up ? Mazz Loxt on Hair accessories ? Ophelia Ren Bridal Signage ? Handmade Sign Company St at ionary ? Tiggit y Boo Bar ? Tchin Tchin Celebrant ? St and Out Ceremonies
When I was offered t his amazing locat ion t o plan and st yle a shoot I just had t o go for a Micro Wedding, it was t he perfect spot t o show what can be done in a short amount of t ime wit h 13 guest s plus t he Bride and Groom. I want ed t o show t hat a Micro Wedding is a great opport unit y t o be unique and personal and really focus on t he areas and t hings t hat mat t er t o you as a couple. For t he dĂŠcor I want ed t o go for a vint age feel wit h ant ique and reclaimed props but wit h a slight ly unique and alt ernat ive feel, bringing in some drama wit h t ouches of t he deep red and black, while st ill keeping a soft and feminine feel wit h layered t able linens and soft pink roses. ? Samantha, Willow and Rust Weddings
Cake ? Red Robin Cakery Paint ing on leat her jacket ? Creat ions By Miss Molly Poem ? Rhymes To Remember
Business of Weddings
WEDDING BUSINESS ESSENTIALS FOR 2021
Diversity Ever After: 3 Things to Expect from the Industry in 2021 WITH KUNBI ODUBOGUN OF PERFETE Kunbi Odubogun is a Business Attorney and Publisher with over 10 years in the legal and creative industries. As founder of leading events publication Perfete, Kunbi is personally versed in the needs of creatives and online entrepreneurs. She is also the founder of Legally Set a template shop offering legally sound contract templates for entrepreneurs and creative business owners. Aft er one of t he largest movement s to eradicat e racial injust ice in 2020, t he wedding indust ry is hopefully shift ing towards a more equit able and just landscape. Historically, our indust ry has been dominat ed by monotonous cont ent wit h a single represent at ion? whit e, t hin, het erosexual couples. This depict ion of marriage is a long- st anding narrat ive deeply root ed in syst emic racism and unconscious bias. For t he wedding indust ry in part icular, t rends of change began to emerge following 2020?s prot est s. Act ion plans and new policies quickly embraced a new landscape for represent at ion. For a lot of people like myself, diversity has not just been a demand but a pract ice. In June of 2020, my t eam at PerfĂŞt e put toget her a Diversity act ion plan wit h hopes t hat ot her companies would embrace similar philosophies and begin to adapt change in t heir operat ions. We are hopeful t hat Diversity will no longer be an elephant in t he room but a t rue represent at ion of an inclusive indust ry.
So, as t he indust ry embarks on t his new equit able and inclusive chapt er? what should we expect? I?ve out lined t hree t hings to expect in t he future, as we cont inue to grow and change for t he bett er. Expect honest communicat ion By now, we know t hat t he demand for just ice is long- last ing. Not only should wedding businesses ant icipat e open dialogue about represent at ion in photography, social media, and web cont ent , but t hey should init iat e it , too. Cont inual assessment s of diverse represent at ion in digit al asset s is essent ial, and engaging feedback from employees and customers is indispensable. Trends show t hat companies who ask for feedback from t heir employees, readers, vendors, and direct customers are more likely to be bett er represent ed by mult iple et hnicit ies, races, religions, and sexual orient at ions. Assume t he need for ongoing educat ion For whit e folks doing t he work, it ?s a posit ive st ep forward to learn st at ist ics and dat a on syst emic racism, while also list ening to t he lived experiences of BIPOC. But , it is import ant to always assume t here?s more to learn.
Att itudes of empat hy are helpful, but t he reality is t hat no whit e person can experience t he same discriminat ion and injust ice as t he BIPOC community. Trends in t he wedding indust ry are t icking upward on hiring diversity educators. Diversity awareness consult ant s and t rainings in unconscious bias are becoming int egral in Human Resources depart ment s and on- boarding processes. Envision collaborat ion Making t he wedding indust ry a more inclusive space means collaborat ing wit h diverse vendors and professionals. For 2021, t he norm in t he wedding indust ry will be to challenge collaborat ion effort s unt il diversity is secure for each individual project . We are what we see and it 's t ime to make sure what we see is diverse. From panel part icipat ion to conference att endance and editorial cont ent , diverse represent at ion should be a part of every process. 2021 is t he year t o implement t rue change As we grow in 2021, t he epitome of change is making conscious and mindful decisions. It ?s making diversity and equity a part of our t apest ry. The wedding indust ry is a cornerstone of American life, and at t hat foundat ion should be a diverse represent at ion of all Americans? inclusive of every gender, sexual orient at ion, race, et hnicity, and religion. Words by Kunbi Odubogun
And when it comes to gett ing stories like t hat out t here in t he public domain, it was one of t hose cases where t he news and social media can really be a source for good. You couldn't help but stop and t ake not ice, so it ?s only natural t hat our consciences would get pricked in what we do in our everyday lives. It makes sense t hat t his t hen t ranslat es over to t he wedding day. Yes, it 's only one day out of a couple's lives toget her, but t he pot ent ial for doing so wit h minimal impact is huge. I t hink it obviously really helps t hat ideas for living sust ainably in our day- to- day lives are lit erally just a click away; eco lifestyle websit es are everywhere; inspirat ion on Pint erest , Inst agram - it 's all t here.
Sustainability & Weddings BY GWENDA JEFFS, EDITOR OF GREEN UNION Sust ainabilit y cont inues t o be more of a priorit y for engaged couples planning t heir wedding. Why is t hat ? For years t he environment al dat a has - to a lot of us, at least - seemed irrefut able. But it 's been an abst ract concept for many as well. Recent ly, wit h all t he lockdowns around t he world, t he evidence of t he t angible benefit s to air and wat er quality is everywhere. You have images of mount ain ranges in India made visible for t he first t ime in years due to t he drop in air pollut ion levels. You had t he canals in Venice running clear and t he return of wildlife t here. It just makes t he impact t hat we have on t he world t hat much clearer.
And in t he wedding indust ry, t here's a growing number of companies and professionals who are willing and able to provide product s and services in a much more sust ainable way. Really t he two key t hings here are accessibility and affordability, and so increases in bot h of t hose t hings go hand- in- hand in helping people to embrace t hese ideas. How will sust ainabilit y play a role in 2021 weddings, as compared t o previous years? In an indust ry where 2020 weddings have been complet ely decimat ed, we just hope t here are some in 2021! A lot of us are experiencing a second round of cancellat ions for 2021; we do hope t hat a proport ion of t hem will go ahead, and I do have some client s myself (I'm also a floral designer) who are det ermined to move ahead wit h t heir plans. Obviously, t hey're st ill going to be on a scaled- back basis. Here in t he UK, we're current ly only allowed 15 att endees at weddings, including t he bride and groom, and t he most we've been allowed t his year was 30. Of t hose t hat have gone ahead - and t hat are going to go ahead - I guess I have to concede t hat it 's a bit of a happy accident of COVID t hat int imat e weddings are by t heir very nature more sust ainable. The fewer t he guest s, t he lower carbon foot print of t ravel, t he less wast e - t he list goes on.
Job losses and uncert aint ies also furt her curbing excesses - which have a knock- on effect to sust ainability. And now t hat couples are gett ing t hat much more conscious in t heir day- to- day lives - bot h by accident and design - t he dominant feature of weddings in 2021 will by default be sust ainability! What advances have been made t hat allow vendors and couples alike t o incorporat e sust ainable wedding pract ices int o t heir big day? I touched on awareness and accessibility earlier, and toget her t hey are a very powerful force for good. The majority of couples I know who have embraced sust ainability on t heir wedding day have done so because t hey already do so in t heir everyday lives to some degree. Whet her t hat 's because t hey're vegan, or live zero- wast e lifestyles, or avoid single- use plast ic, et c, et c, t hen t hey want to do on t heir wedding days. It all filt ers t hrough from ot her aspect s of life. Similarly, wedding vendors have adapt ed t heir product s and services based on t heir own lifestyle choices. Also, social media has a big part to play, be it Pint erest or Inst agram, making t hose eco aspect s of everyday life visible. And I t hink wedding indust ry professionals are all too aware t hat we operat e in t he realms of luxury and excess. We also collat e a mult itude of different indust ries toget her, including t hose t hat are amongst t he most pollut ing in t he world - like fashion and t ravel. Now sust ainability has become ?t rendy?, if you will; but it 's definit ely one bandwagon t hat I am more t han happy for people to jump on! It 's not many of t hose bandwagons t hat are really beneficial. Trends most oft en come and go; but as t he developed world begins to re- educat e it self, sust ainability looks like it ?s sett ling in as an undercurrent . When I took over Green Union nearly 2 years ago, it was st ill apparent t hat conscious weddings were almost always considered alt ernat ive and a litt le bit kooky, but fortunat ely t hat ?s not t rue anymore.
What sust ainabilit y best pract ices are you seeing from weddings t hat will carry over int o 2021? Of course, t he int imat e weddings, micro- weddings, and elopement s of 2020 are set to carry over. No longer considered an alt ernat ive opt ion, most best pract ices are no easier to include and are most ly very subt le. Now, what ever your style, what ever your venue - t here are just so many ways t hat couples are able to bring sust ainability into t heir wedding days, like plant- based cat ering, going plast ic- free, incorporat ing pre- loved, upcycled or recycled element s, hiring not buying, using local vendors and produce, and carbon- offsett ing, to name just a few! Most oft en, t he biggest expense on t he wedding day is t he venue. And by choosing a venue t hat already has sust ainability policies in place, you're already making t he best choice you possibly can. From t he luxury end of t he market , down to t he most modest venues, we?re seeing t he adopt ion of sust ainable business pract ices. Addit ionally, couples are specifically choosing t heir ot her wedding vendors for t heir eco- credent ials (so whet her t hey are newly adopt ed or pre- exist ing, it ?s absolut ely wort hwhile businesses shout ing about t hem). 2021 will hopefully be t he year t hat sust ainability goes mainst ream, for weddings t hat have t he environment and et hics in mind to become t he natural choice and not an alt ernat ive. Words by Gwenda Jeffs
2021Trends in M easurement with
Chr istie Osbor ne OWNER & FOUNDER OF MOUNTAINSIDE MEDIA Christie Osborne, proud data nerd, is the owner and founder of Mountainside Media, a consulting firm devoted to using market research, data, and analytics to support event professionals as they develop scalable marketing strategies to grow their business. Christie is dedicated to guiding the industry in a direction that ditches tired, old sales pitches and turns its focus on what really matters: turning data into dollars. More st ringent privacy laws. Wit h Europe?s GDPR and California?s CPRA leading t he way, expect new and more st ringent privacy laws to make it more difficult to get precision insight s on audiences for t arget ing and to ret arget or gat her addit ional dat a using 3rd party cookies. This may make digit al advert ising on plat forms like Facebook. Inst agram harder and more expensive as t arget ing for down- funnel ads t hat focus on booking get s less precise. So what should savvy market ers do? Focus more on funnel market ing, first seeking to drive int erest and engagement , t hen warming t hem up before asking for t he sale. To t his end, plan to get comfort able wit h lead capture t hrough short email market ing campaigns, or (bett er yet ) chat bot campaigns. The more you can build and capture your own audience, rat her t han relying on int erest t arget ing and ret arget ing wit h 3rd party cookies, t he easier it will be to comply wit h privacy laws while st ill market ing cheaply and effect ively.
"a keener focus on actionable metrics and marketing efforts that clearly help to drive sales." Easier- to- use analyt ics plat forms and dashboards. Analyt ics plat forms will become easier to use and encourage more businesses to make dat a- driven decisions. Google has been inching toward democrat izing analyt ics access for several years now, wit h t he roll- out of Google Tag Manager and Dat a Studio. Yet , even wit h t heir best effort s, most small businesses st ill find t hese tools difficult to set up and manage. The result has been t hat such tools are largely ignored by all but t he geekiest market ers. Wit h t he new rollout of Google Analyt ics G4 updat e, Google is t rying to remedy t hat wit h more intuit ive int egrat ion wit h GTM and easier funnel set up. While t he earlier version is st ill confusing to some, it ?s expect ed t hat Google will it erat e fast in order to secure widespread adopt ion. If you?re int erest ed in making t he swit ch in 2021, set up a separat e property wit h a separat e t racking code to inst all on your websit e in addit ion to your universal analyt ics. This way you can play wit h G4 wit hout losing dat a or insight s on a plat form you?re familiar wit h. A keener focus on act ionable dat a t hat drive sales. As businesses st ruggle to recover from t he economic fallout of t he pandemic, small business owners will demand more from t heir market ing. This means a keener focus on act ionable met rics and market ing effort s t hat clearly help to drive sales. This is good news all around as businesses mit igat e market ing wast e and market ers and market ing consult ant s are forced to move beyond easy, vanity met rics like engagement and reach and move toward act ionable met rics like cost- per- result , cost- per- lead, return on ad spend, and return on invest ment . Words by Christie Osborne
Automation/Apps & Tools For 2021
Not abilit y
WITH KEVIN DENNIS OF WEDDINGIQ
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current international president for WIPA. It ?s t empt ing t o breat he a sigh of relief now t hat 2020 has come t o a close, as it was arguably t he longest year t hat was full of surprises ? t he sort of surprises t hat most of us would gladly never want t o experience again. That said, our work here is far from over, and 2021 isn?t t he reset but t on for all of our problems. But it is a chance for a clean slat e, and it ?s an opport unit y for fresh ideas t o bring new life back int o t he wedding indust ry. It all st art s wit h t aking a st ep back and cont inuing t o audit your business t o find spot s where you can rebuild your foundat ion even st ronger. A wonderful way t o do so is t hrough t he use of apps, programs, and ot her t echnology t hat you, your client s, and your t eam will benefit from in t he long- t erm. Airt able
If t he Not es app on your phone simply isn?t cut t ing it anymore, Not abilit y is your new go- t o. Not only is it great t o keep yourself and your t eam on t he same page (lit erally), but t his is t he perfect app for wedding pros t hat want t o incorporat e handwrit ing, drawing, and phot os int o t heir planning process wit h client s.
Measuring your met rics and social media engagement can be pret t y daunt ing if you don?t consider yourself savvy, but SocialBakers is t he way t o go for easy viewing of all your social media analyt ics in one place. It ?s crucial t o use t his t o reach your ideal client ! LeadFeeder If you?re wondering who?s st opping by your websit e but leaving wit hout filling out an inquiry form or sending a prospect ive email, LeadFeeder will let you know. This is great for t he wedding pros t hat are oft en wondering what t heir pot ent ial client ele is looking for t hat you may not have. Leads can be priorit ized based on what t heir act ivit y is on your websit e, and LeadFeeder will also grab t heir cont act informat ion if available. Skuuudle Pricing is going t o be huge t his year, and businesses have even more at st ake in regards t o t he balance of charging compet it ively wit hin t he market and offering reasonable rat es for client s. This is where Skuuudle comes in, giving you t he power t o monit or your compet it ors?pricing. Goodhire
We can?t st ress t his enough ? Airt able is a gold mine for t he t ype A business owner. Essent ially Excel on st eroids, t his organizat ion t ool is incredibly collaborat ive wit h spreadsheet s t hat work t oget her. We love using t his in- house t o collaborat e and build our social media and market ing st rat egy.
St affing is finally st abilizing for t he most part as we?re finding our foot ing in 2021, and if you?re like us, you?ll likely be hiring new people as business ramps up once more. Goodhire simplifies and st reamlines t he background check process, so you can ensure t hat your t eam is t rust wort hy and reliable.
Canva & Pikt ochart
Time management plays a huge role in a business?s success, so FocusList is really a no- brainer if t his is somet hing you st ruggle wit h. This allows you t o keep t rack of your day and t ime spent on t asks, ut ilizing t he Pomodoro met hod which breaks down your workday in bit e- sized chunks.
Canva has been such a game- changer for wedding pros everywhere, offering a high- qualit y graphic design program wit hout requiring any high- qualit y graphic design experience. Pikt ochart is equally user- friendly and recommended for t hose looking for more of a focus on market ing collat eral and decks.
Giphy Giphy is a fun piece of t ech, simply put . You have t he abilit y t o build your own cust om GIFs (or search exist ing ones) t o use on social media, your websit e, and in communicat ion wit h client s as we ent er t he new era of quick t ext conversat ions in ways we hadn?t before. PunkPost Virt ual int eract ion has really been t he glue holding everyone t oget her t hroughout COVID, but PunkPost can give you a break from t he screen t o send some snail mail. Each card is handmade by an art ist , using your words, so you can have t he personalized edge wit h none of t he art ist ic st ress. Unfort unat ely, we?ve wit nessed t he worst of t he worst in t he past year, including colleagues and renowned businesses in t he indust ry closing t heir doors for good. But if t here?s one t hing we?ve collect ively learned, it ?s t o keep moving forward and set your sight s on a st rong 2021! Words by Kevin Dennis
W hy a Strong Wedding Brand is Essential in 2021with
M ar tha Tobyn CO- FOUNDER OF STUDIO LUNARIA & FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF ANEMONE Martha Tobyn is the Founder and Lead Wedding Planner of Anemone specialising in creative modern wedding planning & styling for stylish couples getting married in London and across the UK. She is also the Co-Founder of branding and website design agency Studio Lunaria. Alongside her graphic designer husband Ally, they create beautiful brand identities and custom Squarespace websites for small businesses owners with vision. In t his world where living wit h a pandemic is t he new normal having a st rong brand has never been so import ant . Great branding has always helped t he best businesses st and out and achieve success in a compet it ive market but now t hat so many of our int eract ions wit h prospect ive client s happen online it is more essent ial t han ever. First impressions count . And I'm not t he only one who makes decisions on who to work wit h based on a businesses websit e, social media and online brand ident ity. This was t he reality pre- covid and it 's been reinforced by t he many more pandemic hours we're spending online. When it 's harder (or impossible) to meet in person, make a connect ion at a wedding fair or impress prospect ive client s who've att end a wedding you've worked on how do you grab a couple's att ent ion? You draw t hem in wit h a really clear, inspiring and engaging wedding brand.
Consider your branding as more t han just a logo, font s and colours. It is a visual represent at ion of your business and t he wonderful weddings you do. That message needs to be showcased everywhere. You don't want to be smashing it on social media wit h a beaut iful brand ident ity and excit ing messaging, only to send your leads to an unengaging websit e t hat 's not been updat ed for ages. Your websit e, social media, market ing asset s, press, advert ising, sales docs, client port als et c. Basically everywhere someone can find your business online or offline, needs to look consist ent ly great and offer t he same client experience. Is 2021 t he year to rebrand? As your business grows, evolves, or as so many did in 2020 pivot s, it 's so import ant to ensure your branding remains relevant . And right now is t he perfect t ime for a litt le brand sense check. What your branding needs t o do for you Your branding needs to att ract your ideal client s, est ablish a connect ion and ent ice t hem to find out more about your business and t he wonderful t hings you do. Your brand needs to 'speak' to t hem and t heir wedding dreams. A pretty logo and a basic websit e are not enough. Couples expect much more from t heir wedding suppliers and quit e right ly so! If t hey're going to hand over a large chunk of t heir precious wedding fund t hey need to t rust t hat you are t he best person or company for t he job. And t hey need to get an init ial sense of t hat as soon as t hey discover you on social media, come across you in an ad or directory, or land on your websit e. It 's been report ed t hat t he average t ime a new user spends on a websit e is 15 seconds. So you have 15 seconds to convince a prospect ive client to st ay and find out more about what you do. It 's barely long enough to click between pages or read much of your copy. But it is long enough to t ake in a snapshot . Your logo, colour choices, font s, image select ions, graphics, headings, videos et c need to say clearly who you are, what you do and show t hem t hat you're amazing at it ! Why consist ency is everyt hing Consist ency is key to maint aining a st rong and t rust ed wedding brand. I know t here are never enough hours in t he day to do everyt hing but t his isn't somet hing we can be flaky about . Can you use t he t ime you're not working on weddings to get your brand looking fabulous across all channels?
When you look at your brand does it feel like you? Does it port ray your style, your personality, t he kind of people you like to work wit h, and t he kind of weddings you do? Do you st ill connect wit h it in t he same way you did when your branding was shiny and new? Perhaps most import ant ly, does it reflect where you want your business to go and what you want to be known for moving forward? And in t hese Covid t imes is it digit ally friendly? If you answered no to any of t hese quest ions t hen maybe it 's t ime for a litt le refresh or a full rebrand. Even small changes can have a big impact . In 2020 I added a digit al service to my current wedding business offering which in turn led to a websit e refresh, which also required me to ext end my brand palett e. Now I can't imagine my brand wit hout t he new palett e and refreshed digit al look. Remember, great branding is st rat egic and int ent ional. So approach any rebrand or refresh wit h clear goals, know your business inside out , and always keep your ideal couple in mind. Happy branding! Words by Martha Tobyn
Building Demand for 2021 WITH JAC BOWIE OF DARLING DON'T PANIC I help others in a consultant or digital management capacity - including roles with Grant Broadcasters, NewsCorp, General Assembly and Thymebase while pursuing my own business interests - Including Darling Don't Panic - a wedding planning, styling & on the day business in Australia which combines my love of events with my passion for digital marketing & ecommerce. As someone who evenly sit s in t he digit al & wedding space, I've enjoyed t rying new t echniques to acquire, nurture and convert leads in my wedding business over t he past 4 years - and I must say, even in t his short t ime, t he winning combinat ion keeps changing.
Then of course came 2020 - where everyt hing t hat worked before stopped working. No- one had t he confidence to commit to wedding dat es, so t he middle of our year went quiet . Our normal influx of new bookings from August was non- exist ent but October brought a wave of new confidence and 7 new bookings. Phew! So wit h some sense of normality returning and confidence being somewhat restored for 2021 and beyond, I?m sharing some advice on how we?re st ill working hard on generat ing and handling leads for our business in preparat ion for what we hope is a st ronger 2021. I believe it 's always t he right idea to complet e a full- funnel journey for our client s. The plat forms, relat ionships and media out let s we use for leads might change, but I feel st rongly t hat it 's key we're gett ing exposure at every st age of t he customer journey. Breaking down what t his might look for you in 2021:
"I believe it's always the right idea to complete a full-funnel journey for our clients. " BRAND AWARENESS I like to t hink of t his st ep as ?building demand?. There are plenty of couples out t here who are about to be engaged or are engaged but have never heard of your brand and it ?s crit ical to invest t ime and energy and if need be budget into t his part of t he funnel. The bigger t he amount of viewers / recipient s in your Brand Awareness pool - t he more leads will come out t he bottom of t he process. Recommended sources to increase your Brand Awareness (or demand!) are: -
Brand Awareness or Reach campaigns in social media ads like Facebook, Inst agram, Pint erest Display ads on Google or ot her online and media networks Print advert ising in publicat ions t hat are inlign wit h your perfect client Radio advert ising placed on st at ions & shows t hat t arget your perfect client .
CONSIDERATION So now t hey?re engaged (as in - put a ring on it !). You need to place your ad in front of t hese engaged couples, and also, t hose who are act ively looking for wedding planners - which is even bett er! These campaigns can eit her encourage people to visit t he sit e / make cont act to learn more - or you can offer t hem somet hing free of value (t hat ?s not too committ al) like a Free Guide. -
Traffic, Engagement , Lead Generat ion, Video Views or Messages campaign on Facebook or Inst agram - you can t arget engaged couples by relat ionship st atus
Display ads on wedding relat ed networks or sit es. Target ed Display ads t hat are delivered to couples act ively researching weddings (possible on Google and some media networks)
CONVERSION A conversion isn?t necessarily a booking - it could be a free guide download, a free quot e request or a consult at ion booked. What ever a confirmed lead or booking looks like to you, here?s what we recommend for t his phase of t he funnel Google Search Ad Conversion ad on Facebook. Now what happens if we capture a lead in Brand Awareness or Considerat ion but t hey don?t progress? There?s a range of tools t hat you can use to nurture your leads and turn t hem into qualified bookers. Here?s our processing met hod: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Lead downloads Info Pack (can build quot e inside) Receives follow up t ext & email Addit ional followup emails Final email 60 days before event , seeing if we can secure On The Day.
It ?s a good idea to keep t hese emails brief, conversat ional and st eer clear of just present ing t he fact s - be personal, ask open ended quest ions to encourage t he conversat ion. Words by Jac Bowie
Rock n' Roll Romance
Huge t hanks t o t he fant ast ic t eam who creat ed t his shoot :
Planner + Design ? Ash Best Event s Assist ant Planner ? Jessica Levi Phot ographer ? Colet t e Marie Phot ography Venue/Cake ? Celest e Florist ? Florist & Hound Rent als (Table & Chairs) ? Ellie & Rose Linens ? F&S Linens Rent als (Tablet op It ems) ? Tablescapes Rent als (Bubbly Wall + Neon Sign) + Design ? Bubbly Event s Bridal At t ire ? Belle Bridal At elier
This inspirat ional shoot celebrat ed t he not ion of being unapologet ically yourself, encouraging you t o t hrow away what you t hink a wedding should look or feel like for what showcases your unique love and personalit ies. "Weddings are required t o look complet ely different t hese days, allowing couples and t heir vendors t he freedom t o t hink past what t hey have seen before, and t o inst ead curat e a wedding day experience t hat showcases each couple's genuine personalit ies, passions, st yle and love for one anot her in well t hought out , meaningful ways." - Ashley Best of Ash Best Event s This couple decided t o represent t heir unique st yle and fierce love wit h a rock n' roll chic meet s rooft op jungle vibe. Think dark and juicy colors, t ext ure and shine, dripping candle wax, t owering plant s and t iger-ess det ails. Their vendors cust omized a gorgeous, int imat e and, dare we say, t imeless soiree while allowing t he couple's edge and confidence t o shine t hrough. Here's t o cont inued originalit y in 2021!
Suit & At t ire ? Wedding GPS St at ionery + St yling ? Maison Blanche Let t ering Beaut y ? Rare Bird Beaut ies Cust om St raws ? Krazy St raws
State of the Wedding Industr y
The Ways In Which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Wedding Industry BY KYLIE CARLSON, CEO OF THE WEDDING ACADEMY AND WEDDING BUSINESS & MARKETING COACH AT WEDDING CEO CLUB We all know t he Covid pandemic has had a massive affect on t he lives of nearly everyone we know in some way or anot her. But what has t hat impact been on t he wedding indust ry and t he pros wit hin it ? As part of t he 2021 Wedding Trend Report we creat ed a survey about t he impact of Covid- 19 on t he indust ry. The st at ist ics are int erest ing. We?ve heard about successes, business closures, and people pivot ing t heir offerings. But t here has also been posit ives. As an indust ry we?ve rallied t oget her t o support each ot her t hrough t his crisis. New friendships have been formed, new resources have been creat ed and new skills have been discovered. The more you know about t rends and challenges facing your indust ry t he bet t er you'll underst and how t o best serve not only your client s but your wedding business. Words Kylie Carlson
Micro Weddings "I'm seeing a desire for more int imat e event s. Small weddings will likely be t he t rend for a while." "Smaller more int imat e event s will be t he norm regardless of mandat es." "More micro weddings, couples will realise t hey don't need a big wedding and can have an int imat e wedding inst ead" "Smaller and more meaningful or large and simple once t hings are back to "normal" and people are able to gat her wit h everyone t hey haven't seen in so long." "I t hink we will see smaller weddings for t he next year at least ."
The Future of Weddings, Post-COVID As part of our wedding indust ry survey we want ed to hear from you (wedding suppliers across t he world) on how you t hink t he COVID pandemic will change weddings going forward. Here are some of our top call out s for t he future of weddings.
"In t he short t erm, we?ll cont inue to see smaller guest count s and less direct cont act between st aff and guest s. Long t erm, I don't t hink t he way weddings look will change much." "Init ially i t hink t hey will be smaller but when a vaccine is rolled out , i t hink t hey will bounce back. 2021 / 22 will be a big year for t he wedding indust ry i'm sure."
Intentional weddings "A renewed focus on t he reason for t he wedding, t he marriage, not all t he "ext ra" stuff t hat goes along wit h it . It helped couples really decide what matt ers." "Making couples really t hink about what is most import ant to t hem." "I t hink couples have put more focus on giving t heir guest s experiences of value vs just grandst anding." "More focus on couples." "They will mean more, t he guest list has been shrunk to t he most import ant people in couples lives, not everyone t hey have ever met . Quality experiences are more import ant ."
"When we can celebrat e safely again, people are going to go gangbust ers for partying in person. People are really missing t he in- person gat herings. If anyt hing, weddings will be more meaningful wit h highly det ailed touches t hat show t he uniqueness of t he couple and t he love t hey have for t heir friends and family." "I t hink it 's made it easier for couples to cut numbers wit hout being judged or gett ing backlash from family and friends. I t hink it 's also helped people remember what weddings are really about - celebrat ing love. In t he immediat e future, I t hink we may see people t ry and cont inue wit h larger weddings, almost to make up for t he part ies we couldn't have in t he meant ime. But I t hink a lot of people will consider smaller weddings over t he next few years - t hey're easier to change if somet hing happens, you can have a smaller budget and make it go furt her, and I t hink t his pandemic has really brought families and friends closer, and I t hink people will celebrat e t hat in new, smaller groups." "Two possible changes may occur. The int imat e wedding will become more of t he norm for t hose who focus on t hose who are import ant to t hem whilst ot hers may go for bigger and bett er celebrat ions just because t hey really can party!"
Wedding Planning "More focus on planning and planners (now t hat t hey know t he value), and more int imat e weddings. Also I t hink we'll see a surge in dest inat ion weddings as people will want to t ravel." "Short t erm, i t hink t hey will be smaller; longer t erm, i t hink t hey will go back to t he way t hey were; t hat or more ppl will do a civil ceremony and only host a recept ion." "I t hink t hat people will be planning less in advance for t he next few years." "A new t rend in virtual wedding planning." "I t hink t hey will be bigger, people have realised t he value of t ime wit h loved ones and t his will show t hrough major event s such as weddings." "Couples will be more select ive wit h t heir guest list ." "Couples will want more individuality and choice."
Health & Safety "Ongoing safety measures." "I t hink t here will also be more expect at ions and account ability when it comes to healt h and wellness of t he guest s." "More healt h measures to keep st aff / workers healt hy." "It ?s really hard to say. If we get t he vaccine, weddings will resume to normal slowly. So much has happened t hat we as a sector need to heal from what has happened and get into t he flow again. I do feel t hat couples will now be more caut ious. "I t hink couples are more aware of cont ractual obligat ions and deposit s, I would like to t hink more couples would consider booking more reput able suppliers wit h long t rack records and secure financials and consider using t he services of a wedding planner who can help remove t he st ress when it has come to unpicking/cancelling/rescheduling cont ract s and plans et c." "People may well not have t he money to do big weddings which means ent ert ainment opt ions will be cut from bands to solo art ist s. Alt hough during t he recession and banking crisis we were busier t han ever so hoping t his might be t he case. People just want to have a party aft er t his is all over." "I am a luxury eco wedding cake maker, and I have definit ely seen more couples looking for sust ainable wedding opt ions. I have a very minimalist , clean, nature inspired style and couples are coming to me for t his more and more. They don't want big heavy fondant wedding cakes covered in sugar flowers, t hey want somet hing t hat has less wast e at t he end of t he day, uses less plast ic and ot her single use mat erials, has been made wit h int ent ionally, responsibly sourced ingredient s, and decorat ed in a really natural way. I blog a lot about sust ainability and planning an eco- friendly wedding. I also know t his is somet hing t hat is oft en ment ioned in t he wedding indust ry report , and I'm really glad t hat t his is st art ing to come t hrough from my couples too." (Love from Lila, wedding cake designer)
Creative Covid Weddings
INDIAN DRIVE BY WEDDING BY SAHELI EVENTS What is t he st ory behind t he creat ion of Saheli Event s? I'd always loved working wit h event s, whet her t hat was just planning a friend's part y or arranging a small gat hering for our family. I was just t hat organised person t hat could bring people t oget her and celebrat ing my own birt hday was quit e lit erally t he highlight of my year. There was always a t heme, dress code, det ails regardless of whet her it was a milest one or not . I loved at t ending weddings and dreamt of going int o event s from in my t eens, but was always t old t hat it was not a real job and it could be somet hing I did on t he side of my main career. I'd accept ed t hat , got a degree in Market ing and Advert ising and began focusing my mind on get t ing a job in Advert ising once I graduat ed but I t hink t he universe just had ot her plans for me. Meridian Grand (a venue in Nort h London) was opening up in t he Summer of 2015 and I had just finished Universit y, needed a job and because of my love for event s I t ook t he job offer. I was working as a sales and event s coordinat or and realised very quickly on t hat t his indust ry felt like home. Aft er working t here for just under 2 years, I left t o focus more on planning t he event s but on paper, I did not have t he experience for many wedding planning companies and decided t o t ake mat t ers int o my own hands. At 23 years old, in March 2017, I launched Saheli Event s - a luxury wedding planning company specialising in Asian weddings and I am so glad I t ook t hat leap of fait h, believed in myself and was able t o creat e a company t hat is now widely recognised in t he UK's Asian Wedding Indust ry. 3 and a half years on, we have a t eam of 9 coordinat ors, have won awards and been feat ured in many publicat ions and news channels and it 's all t hanks t o t he wonderful couples we have been able t o work wit h and t he suppliers t hat have support ed us t hroughout . You specialize in large- scale Asian weddings and celebrat ions. In what ways has your business model shift ed since t he beginning of COVID wit h t he implement at ion of event size rest rict ions? How are t hese client s being affect ed? Alt hough COVID has sadly affect ed t he ent ire event s indust ry, I believe t he Asian wedding indust ry has been especially hit harder due
t o t he larger celebrat ions we are used t o, making it much harder for couples t o cont inue wit h t heir celebrat ions as t hey imagined. Cult urally, many Asian families do not always condone couples living t oget her before marriage meaning many couples have opt ed for an int imat e Civil wit h no int ent ion of doing t he large, colourful affair in t he fut ure. There is only so long t hey can keep t heir life on hold, and if t here is one t hing we have learnt from t he ent ire pandemic, it is t hat we really do not know what is round t he corner. The large numbers are oft en made up of ext ended family, family friends and communit y members t o receive t heir blessings and also ret urn t he favour of event s or weddings of t heirs your family may have at t ended, so alt hough t he forced reduced guest list has been a way many couples can make t heir event more personal, it has been harder for t hose who have large immediat e families t hat t hey cannot include in t heir special day. For us, we have brought out brand new packages focusing on int imat e numbers so we can offer our planning services in a cost effect ive way. There have been many ways we have been advising couples on adding t he virt ual element s t o t heir event so involve all t heir loved ones t oo. But overall we have spending a lot of t ime
helping couples post pone t heir wedding seamlessly and ult imat ely are just t rying t o be a friend t o t hem t o support t hem whenever and however we can. It 's an awful t ime for us all and we are really looking forward t o being able t o get back t o event s and experience t hat buzz again! The drive- in wedding you worked on was such a creat ive concept ! How are you st aying inspired and finding modern solut ions such as t his one while planning during a pandemic? The Drive In wedding was honest ly t he highlight of our year. It has been received so well and we're so happy t hat t he publicit y of t he event has inspired many couples and given t hem hope. This idea came t o us in a very random cat ch up all wit h t he client . They suggest ed it in passing t o just hear our views and we absolut ely loved it ! We worked closely wit h t hem t o make it work logist ically and alt hough it was pouring on t he day, we're happy t o say it went fabulously and t he couple had t he most memorable wedding. We're definit ely t rying t o find inspirat ion from all t he different t hings we are current ly allowed t o do wit hin our social bubbles as we already know t hose adhere t o t he guidelines and brainst orming how we can incorporat e t hese ideas in t he form of a wedding or event . Wit h t he rules changing so oft en, it has made t hings a lit t le harder but we are t rying t o st ay focused and t hink out side t he box t o allow more covid- safe celebrat ions wit h t he number of guest s are client s would love t o have. What else would you like business owners and ot hers in t he indust ry t o know about Saheli Event s? Saheli Event s is a young, fun and friendly t eam. The word 'Saheli' act ually means Friend in Hindi and I t hink t hat has been what 's helped us st and out in t he Indust ry. As a young girl I'd always dreamt of what my wedding would one day look like and I imagined if I were t o have a wedding planner, I'd want her t o be a 'wedding best ie'. We want t he client s t o build t his informal relat ionship wit h us as it builds t rust , breaks down barriers and allows t hem t o really open up about what t hey want . We're a t eam young at heart and full of energy and somet hing we really pride ourselves in is making sure t hat t he event genuinely feels personal t o t he couple. We all get carried away wit h Inst agram and Pint erest when planning, oft en get swept away wit h ideas given t o us by vendors and lose t rack of what really is import ant . Our aim is t o remind our couples on t hat t ruly mat t ers for t heir event and ensure t hey enjoy it t o t he max. We work wit h virt ually all vendors and are always excit ed meet ing new people in t he Indust ry t o collaborat e wit h. We had launched a YouTube Talk Show called 'Sit Back wit h Saheli' t o showcase t he faces behind some of t he most incredible people we've met in t he Indust ry. We're hoping t o make more seasons of t he show and cont inue t o build a st rong net work of suppliers. Interview by Meghan Ely Photography credits: Maani Photography & Klickstar Photography
Industr y Suppor t Groups FOR COVID TIMES
78% of you found Facebook Groups helpful at this time. 11% turned to Industry Bodies & Alliances for support and a further 11% rated being part of Membership Groups. Some of you even started your own local support groups! As part of our St at e of t he Indust ry Survey we asked you about t he resources you found most helpful in 2020. Here are your favourit e indust ry support groups or resources t hat you would like ot hers t o be aware of: UK & Europe -
UKAWP What About Weddings Join The Conversat ion wit h Planning Redefined Facebook Group Guides For Brides 4C Wedding Community Unconvent ional Wedding - Supplier Group Wedding Indust ry Support & Discussion Facebook Group NAWP
Associat ion of Brit ish Wedding Businesses Engage Wedding Suppliers Network Unveiled Network
Wedding Network WIPA Wedding MBA Facebook Groups Live Event s Coalit ion The Sout hern Wedding Collect ive Facebook Group Live Event s Indust ry of Oregon Renee Dalo Deepdive Mast ermind The Refine Community Facebook Group
Rock Paper Coin Proof to Product Texas Live Event s Coalit ion NACE Sam and Katy Jacobson Ideact ion Consult ing TruLife Studios Group Chamber of Commerce / Local Board of Trade
Aust ralia -
Aust ralian Wedding COVID- 19 Coronavirus Support Weddings Victoria - Indust ry Group
My "Behind Closed Doors" Package is t he signat ure Wedding Night package and alt hough it has t he st andard St yling, Grazing Plat t er, Drinks and Flowers it is by no means basic. Each package is bespoke t o t he couple aft er consult at ion wit h eit her one or bot h depending on who hires me. Plush rugs and cushions will cover t he ugly st andard flooring in t he majorit y of hot el rooms, and my favourit e quest ion about candles "How many is t oo many?"
Q&A WITH ZEPPORAH RUSHWORTH-ALBERTS OF BEFORE, DURING & AFTER What was t he inspirat ion behind creat ing Before, During & Aft er? I have always loved t o make people feel special. During t he planning and designing of my second wedding, I realised t hat it was more about making t he experience great for everyone not just myself and my husband, and wit h it being t he second t ime around I knew t he t hings t hat needed t o be done t hat ot her people oft en forget . But sadly when I was going back over my wedding phot os I found some of t hese t hings st ill weren't done even t hough I had a coordinat or on t he day so it was t hen t hat I realised t hat brides needed a bride t o help t hem wit h t he personal t hings t hat get overlooked by a planner. So t he journey began wit h Before, During & Aft er and on t he day personal coordinat ion. Before, During & Aft er has found a unique niche wit hin t he indust ry. Can you t ell us more about your offerings for client s? While I was working on my business of on t he day personal coordinat ion, somet hing st ill played on my mind about my wedding day and it wasn't t he fact t hat my dress wasn't st raight ened as I walked down t he aisle or t hat I forgot my gart er or some import ant phot os, it was t he fact t hat when we ret urned t o our hot el room it was all over.
Photography credits: Marque Photography
Behind Closed Doors
The room was bare, not hing not even a bot t le of champagne or box of chocolat es, it was a real let down considering when we got engaged t he hot el went all out wit h t he swan t owels, champagne and st rawberries and even a card congrat ulat ing us. I remembered how I felt and t hought , now t hat is how you should feel on your wedding night also. My niche was born!
What else would you like ot hers t o know about Before, During & Aft er and your journey in t he wedding indust ry? My journey so far, wow it has been rocky and unsure. I doubt ed myself many t imes. I made friendships t hat I t hought would help me but inst ead hurt me. Covid hit and closed or cancelled everyt hing. But I believed in myself and I believed in my dream and why I am here and what I love doing. So I made some bet t er friends, we reopened aft er Covid and honest ly, I do it all again I would because I don't regret one second.
Your port folio includes a variet y of occasions and event s t hat your client ele can choose from. What is your t hought process as a business owner on diversifying your services and offerings? Look it is good t o have a niche or a signat ure product or it em but not everyone want s t hat , so t hat is why I have branched out int o ot her occasions and event s and t o be honest I really want t o include t he men more in t he hole experience of t he day which is why I am really keen t o expand int o t he Grooms prep. But even when it comes t o st yling t he rooms I always t ry t o weave what t he guys like in as well even if it is just t heir favourit e drink rat her t han just having t he Champagne and t hat 's it . What advice would you have for ot hers in t he indust ry in regards t o est ablishing genuine connect ions wit h couples and creat ing a cust om experience? I honest ly believe t hat connect ion is really import ant because t he ones t hat I have really connect ed wit h have referred me or booked me for family members. They cont inually support my social media as well. I know what I do is close and int imat e for t hem so I t hink t he connect ion is a bit more and I t hink t hey especially realise t hat when t hey see t hat I have t idied up t he room aft er t heir grooms have t rashed it even before I get st art ed on what I do so I t hink t here is an added appreciat ion.
Huge t hanks t o t he t alent ed t eam behind t his shoot : Brides ? Pat ricia & Wiphasiri Wedding Planner ? Wonders & Weddings Coordinat or ? Nainoi Floral Designer ? Wildflora St udio Ceremony Set ? Dreamist a St udio Phot ographer ? Blanche Gallery Candid Film ? Khungee Phot ographer Wedding Dresses ? Vows by Wasawat Bridal Shoes ? BO & OB Shoes Makeup Art ist ? Pare Maneechan Makeup Art ist ? Wit h Love & Makeup
From Disney?s animat ed film in 1998 t o childhood?s role models t hat Asian women and LGBTQ+ communit y wholeheart edly admire. Mulan became t he inspiring figure of t his st yled shoot . Our color palet t e includes red, blush, gold, and jade, which reflect happiness, love, prosperit y, and harmony. In summary, Resilient Reflect ion is our shared journey and aspirat ions t o adapt wit h t he world amid Covid- 19, redefine values in weddings, and fight t oget her as cit izen for our fundament al right s.
Hair St ylist ? Joe Suphakit Rent als ? St udio Tandem Calligraphy ? Typer Favor Candles ? Billy Billies Locat ion ? Red Hall St udio
Tales of Resiliency
Tales of Resiliency Stories from Couples & Vendors If t here is one t hing we've learned t his year, it 's t hat t he human spirit persist s, even in t he most challenging of t imes. Despit e being in crisis in 2020, we also bore wit ness to innovat ion and hope. So wit h t hat , we would like to present Tales of Resiliency, encouraging t ales from couples as well as vendors, t hat navigat ed, pivot ed and ult imat ely, succeeded. We hope t hey inspire you, as much as t hey have us. Words by Meghan Ely
With Ashley, Owner of The Simply Elegant Group + The Abundance Group At SEG we have roughly 200- 300 weddings a year, and in 2020 so far we have execut ed roughly 20. So 90% of our business has shift ed. I have salaried t eam members and I was committ ed to never have t hem furloughed or put on unemployment . Our indust ry is shaky enough and our t eam has worked hard to earn salaried posit ions and I want ed t hose to remain in t act no matt er what . HOW DID YOU PIVOT? For us 2020 was all about firming up our int ernal st rat egy. Our t eam has never felt more connect ed and engaged to help our amazing couples t hrough anyt hing t hat 's t hrown at us! We took 2020 to re- evaluat e EVERYTHING. Brand, websit e, market ing st rat egy, syst ems, sales process, on/off boarding, et c. So we choose to see 2020 as an opportunity of TIME we t ruly have not had in t he past . Now we are locked in and ready for 2021, and I t ruly t hink we will more t han double our business from 2019. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I t ruly believe in my heart t hat 2021 will be t he best year we have ever seen! And I can't wait for our NEW brand and websit e to be revealed in just a few short weeks!
Pivoting Plans with Br it Ber tino
Ceremonies Unveiled, covers over 80+ cultures wit h dynamic photos from some of t he worlds best wedding photographers. I may not be able to go on a book tour or host an in person speaking engagement at t his t ime, however, wit h t he virtual world, it didn't stop me from promot ing and sharing my experiences wit h my indust ry friends. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD
Aft er March 10, 2020, 100% of my remaining business for t his year has eit her gone virtual or t hey have post poned to 2021, and of recent ly, to 2022. Becoming proficient wit h virtual plat forms, or in person COVID event rest rict ions has enabled me to become a t rue wedding expert in providing secondary opt ions for my couples. However, I feel t hat t he t rue t ale of resiliency comes in t he form of generat ing new st reams of income during t he t imes of a pandemic. 2020 t ruly become t he year of "side hust les," for t hose doers and dreamers in t he wedding indust ry. For t hose t hat were effect ed t remendously by t he pandemic, some have chosen to rise up and st art or finish a side hust le t hat t hey always dreamt about . I happen to be one of t hem. I complet ed my 4 year project of document ing weddings from around t he world and published my first book called Ceremonies Unveiled, weddings from around t he world. HOW DID YOU PIVOT? Though my passion will always be producing live weddings and event s, creat ing ot her st reams of income is somet hing t hat I feel is always import ant to do in order to keep you t hriving during one's off season or even when tough t imes hit , such as t he unforeseen pandemic.
For 2021 I plan on cont inuing to educat e my client s on t he lat est opt ions for COVID- 19 compliant event s. Safety first ! And if t hat means post poning event s even furt her, t han t hat is somet hing we all will need to adjust too. In t he mean t ime, we as passionat e wedding professionals st ill need to make a living so you may see many of our indust ry friends st art ing a new business, launching new product s, discovering new st rat egies in t he new era, and making some career changes. I say let 's not forget to reach out , support and congratulat e t hose t hat made t he decision to creat e t heir side hust le or make some career changes. The pandemic came quick and it hit us all hard and it 's import ant t hat we support each ot her. My approach to 2021 is to remember t his is all t emporary, I will cont inue to move forward to t he best of my abilit ies and support t hose around me.
Helping Couples M ar r y with
Bethel Nathan As an officiant in San Diego / Sout hern California who specifically celebrat es couples who want a personal and non- t radit ional ceremony, I have always done elopement s and micro- weddings, as t hey oft en fit what my couples cared most about . But 2020 made t hat part of my business grow exponent ially - bot h as couples were legally or logist ically limit ed in what t hey could do for size, and also as some couples realized what mat t ered (and who mat t ered) most for t his import ant moment in t heir lives. Yes, many of my couples complet ely post poned int o 2021 (and some int o 2022), and I look forward t o celebrat ing t hem at a lat er dat e. But many ot hers, especially in Fall 2020, chose t o eit her scale back and make t heir wedding a much more int imat e affair and kick off t heir marriage now rat her t han wait , or chose t o have t wo celebrat ions - an elopement or minimony now, and a larger celebrat ion lat er. This also meant t hat I had t he opport unit y t o help many of my couples figure out what would fit t hem best , especially t hose not working wit h a wedding planner (who is a nat ural fit for t hose discussions), and were excit ed t o learn about what ot her couples were doing as an inspirat ion and illust rat ion of opt ions t hey didn't yet know were possible. I also t ook t he opport unit y t o help couples be legally married in a much simpler way t han I ever have, adding a new (and t emporary) offering int o my business over t he spring and summer, just t o help couples get t he legal and financial securit y t hat marriage brings (and avoid marriage licenses expiring in some cases, t oo). This allowed me t o not only help many more couples, but also t o help some fellow wedding pro colleagues (like planners and venues), who asked me t o t ake care of t heir couples in need of short - t erm assist ance.
"I also won't hesitate to create new temporary offerings, as specific needs arise" Helping couples to underst and t hat a smaller and "dialed- back" celebrat ion can st ill include many of t he element s t hey originally t hought about for t heir wedding has been great , as t his can st ill result in business for many of my wedding pro colleagues across cat egories, even if a smaller package t han originally hoped for (or a redesigned package inst ead). CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I will be sure to t ake t he lessons from t his year into future discussions wit h bot h inquiring couples and my already- booked couples, not hesit at ing to offer help in figuring out what t heir celebrat ion could look and feel like and not just t he ceremony, as I always have and will cont inue to do. I have always enjoyed gett ing to put my couples into t he hands of great wedding pros of all cat egories, when asked for recommendat ions. But init iat ing t hese conversat ions inst ead, rat her t han wait ing to be asked, has result ed in more opportunity to refer great colleagues of all sort s. I also won't hesit at e to creat e new t emporary offerings, as specific needs arise, wit hout worrying t hat I will be held to t hose longer- t erm. Taking care of couples - as long as it st ill fit s me and what I want to do, and my skill set too - will always be t he right answer, even if it 's not meant to be a longer- t erm change in my business.
With Br ittany Branson
March t hrough June was a scary t ime for my business. The vast majorit y (bet ween 75%- 80%) of my 2020 weddings and couples eit her post poned or canceled ent irely. I was very lucky t o successfully post pone t he majorit y of t hem, but quit e a few began t o post pone t o t he same handful of Spring Sat urdays (part icularly early June), making it impossible t o serve every couple. As a live wedding paint er, I'm a beloved day- of service, but not oft en t he first t o be informed of any logist ical changes. It became very obvious t hat my business was at t he mercy of couples making sudden decisions wit hout my input / checking my availabilit y. Before t hinking t oo far ahead int o t he challenges t hat 2021 will bring, in order t o "survive," I had t o re- posit ion my service as one t hat 2020 couples cont inuing wit h t heir plans t o marry could not resist . I had t o re- book as many lost dat es as possible, and I'm t hrilled (and blessed) t o say I did just t hat . To do so, I st rat egically did t hree t hings: First , I alt ered my messaging t o convey t he fact t hat live wedding paint ing is a safe, socially- dist ant friendly form of ent ert ainment . As many 2020 couples planned t o downsize t heir current wedding days, or plan an ent irely new micro- wedding, I want ed t o be at t he forefront of crit ically t hinking about how guest s could be engaged wit hout dancing. And so, t his became a core of my 2020 messaging. Second, I began t o use language t hat encouraged parent s of couples/ wedding part ies t o gift a live wedding paint ing experience t o t he couple. Many of my 2020 new business bookings came from family and close friends who were looking t o gift t heir couples somet hing ext ra special t o help make up for all of t he Covid relat ed st ress t hey had endured as t hey were forced t o alt er original plans. Third, I offered limit ed virt ual live paint ing experiences during t he mont hs of May and June t o help serve couples who were immediat ely impact ed by st ay- at - home orders/ were forced t o live st ream t heir ceremonies.
HOW DID YOU PIVOT? Though I'm only offering virtual live paint ing experiences by request (as I am now successfully live paint ing in- person event s again), t hat pivot helped me gain some lovely press. Ot herwise, my success hasn't come from pivot ing offers, but pivot ing messaging and posit ioning. I had always had t he perfect service, but Covid forced me to market it in a different way. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I definit ely alt ered my cont ract s to bett er prot ect me in t he event of a post ponement . It was pretty t errifying being so at t he mercy of ot hers decisions wit hout effect ive prot ect ions. Ot herwise, I'm going to cont inue wit h what has current ly been working for me, as well as re- brand to bett er posit ion myself as a "legacy" service provider.
New Business Ventures with
Deep Bajwa OF OPULENCE EVENTS LONDON
As a wedding planner specialising in big, high end event s COVID meant all of my weddings moved t o next year and wit h it all of my income. I had st art ed working on a coaching business on t he side and when lockdown hit I decided t o launch a sales course for t he wedding indust ry. It was a great success wit h 45 women joining me t o st ep up t heir sales and make t he most of t heir t ime in lockdown by learning and developing t heir skills t o come back fight ing (and it was needed!). I could have hidden away and gone st raight int o devast at ion mode, but I inst ead decided t here was not hing else t o do but find anot her way t o bring money in. In August I launched my membership (The Elevat e Membership) and had an incredible 119 amazing women join me! In a global pandemic, by pivot ing, I have made ÂŁ100,000 AND helped t hose who joined my course t o also make money and how t o bring income in what ever t he sit uat ion around you. I was feat ured in The Sunday Times, BBC News, The Met ro and many more publicat ions t alking about my journey and t he st at e of our indust ry. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD We will always love weddings and work act ively t o secure t he business, however I have LOVED t his pivot and what I'm able t o do for my fellow suppliers wit h my knowledge. I'm launching my course again, have launched a membership and am always on hand for my fellow suppliers who I have so much love and t ime for.
Pivoting Her Wedding Ser vices with
Emily Andrew OF EMILY ANDREW EVENTS As a wedding planner I spent most of lockdown rescheduling my client 's weddings and fielding t heir worries. I was so pleased t hat I was able t o shoulder t heir st resses and help make what was a t erribly st ressful and upset t ing t ime, slight ly less st ressful! I know t hat it would have been so easy t o just t emporarily close my business once all t he post ponement s were done but I decided it was import ant t o offer a cont inuing service t o any exist ing client s and also assist any new client s. As a result I st ayed visible, I received some amazing t est imonials from exist ing client s, I offered a new Inspirat ion session service which helped new client s plus I had new client s make bookings wit h me for 2021 and 2022. If I hadn't have cont inued t o market ing myself I wouldn't have been able t o help as many couples as I did. I also managed t o work wit h several suppliers locally t o creat e some brand new st yled shoot s, giving us all some new social media fodder t o use in fresh market ing campaigns. The final element of t his for me is t hat I have had a huge amount of success wit h anot her brand new product helping plan proposals for grooms and brides- t o- be. This has been really fun and has also signalled t o me t hat Love will always win, couples st ill want t o get married, even if t hey can't have t heir ideal wedding day now! I have loved get t ing creat ive and offering somet hing new. HOW DID YOU PIVOT? My first pivot was t o int roduce smaller, bit esized wedding planning sessions t o eit her t rouble shoot or offer a kick- st art t o newly engaged couples. Following t his I also pivot ed t o offer Proposal Planning which as I said above has been incredibly fun and given me renewed hope for t he fut ure of weddings.
Fast forward a few mont hs lat er and I creat ed an online course, a facebook community and have been speaking at virtual summit s all summer and fall! This litt le idea is a big part of how we've managed to st ay afloat t his year and it s somet hing I will cont inue to grow alongside my wedding planning business. HOW DID YOU PIVOT? Gabby Pinkerton Co. Is my # 1 pivot t his year. I offer an e- course on how to use Pint erest for business for wedding Pros as well as Pint erest Mont hly Management services for t hose who prefer to leave it to t he pros. It 's been a fun project for me to work on, make money off of and expand my network to t he educat ion space - somet hing I knew not hing about . CHANGES MOVING FORWARD
Gabr ielle Pinker ton
I plan to really push t he Pint erest business since it can be more passive. I learned t hat I love t eaching and speaking and would love to dive into t hat more.
OF CAUSE WE CAN EVENTS
I'll st ill plan weddings but it made me realize t hat I am only t aking on a few Full Service Planning client s moving forward.
We primarily do dest inat ion adventurous weddings and when COVID hit , March 14t h was our very last wedding for t he foreseeable future. One night in April, aft er going to bed feeling anxious about my future in business, I woke up wit h an idea. Many t imes over t he last few years I had been asked about how I use Pint erest for business and how I actually book client s from it . I decided to put toget her a small virtual package where I would record a 15 min video of me analyzing someone's Pint erest profile for a small fee. It took off pretty quickly and I knew t hen t here was a huge demand for t his sort of cont ent and knowledge.
I want to grow my wedding t eam at Cause We Can Event s so t hat I can t ake a st ep back from t he wedding planning a bit more and focus on growing my ot her st reams of income.
With Gelena Doehmel, Destination Weddings & Officiant Armageddon. As t he pandemic come, I got immediat ely 7 weddings cancelled in Mexico and 3 in Germany bet ween April 2020 and March 2021. Due t o specific cont ract regulat ions, I had t o ret urn 80 % and somet ime 100% of t he payment s. Wit h micro weddings, elopement s and int imat e weddings t rend I feel myself very comfort able as t his size what I am doing for years. As a dest inat ion wedding planner and officiant in t ime of lockdown I manage t o marry wit h legal ceremonies 5 couples, people from different count ries and nat ionalit ies but wit h one goal t o be t oget her if t he second wave comes, what is happening now. Wit h my help I know t hat at least 10 persons are happy, can overcome t he government al rest rict ions and st ay as a family. DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? I had t ime t o work on my business, and I am doing it now wit h a new websit e and ret ouch of all SM, Pint erest , YouTube and so on. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I will concent rat e more over market ing and learn new t hings : organizing, writ ing, overcoming t he fear t o st ay before t he camera. I would like t o give my knowledge and receive from ot hers.
Tales of Resiliency
WITH JOANN OF ELEGANT OCCASIONS BY JOANN GREGOLI In March, as Covid was ravaging t he upcoming event s, we had to quickly pivot and find a way to make a difference and help t hose in need. We have st rong affiliat ions wit h non profit organizat ions, so we decided to st art our own non profit www.sewingangels.org and provide PPE for t he local hospit als, clinics and shelt ers. This mission quickly changed our business model to focus on philant hropy and t hose who were desperat e for assist ance. It put life into perspect ive, despit e our own personal hardships. This pivot became more successful t han I could have dreamed up. We were recognized nat ionally by Good Morning America, CBS News, ABC News and Fox News. We received nat ionwide recognit ion for our effort s. WITH GRETCHEN CULVER OF ROCKET SCIENCE EVENTS
CHANGES MOVING FORWARD
DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID?
I plan to approach 2021 wit h a. more humble att itude of grat itude. I am grat eful for t he simple t hings in life. I am grat eful t hat t his pandemic allowed me to spend more t ime wit h my children (living wit h me) and to self reflect on what is really import ant in life. It is import ant to find joy in everyt hing you do in life. Make a difference in someones life and you will find t hat joy.
COVID impact ed my business by basically shutt ing it down for two years. I went from working full t ime to being effect ively unemployed in t he span of a week. My 2020 event s t hat didn't cancel all moved to 2021 and are likely to move to 2022. Like so many in our indust ry I've worked wit h my couples to make heart- wrenching decision about t heir weddings. My free t ime afforded me t he opportunity to st art a sist er company, Minne Weddings, focused on micro weddings. I want ed to address t he needs of couples during t he pandemic who st ill want to get married even if t hat means a change of plans. Since August we have been able to help dozens of couples t ie t he knot safely. We have sold out mult iple Minne Wedding dat es and are current ly planning well in to 2021. The biggest win is t hat we have t apped into a market t hat wasn't being served. Many of our Minne Wedding couples aren't choosing a Minne Wedding as t heir "plan b" pandemic alt ernat ive. They are choosing a small wedding because t hat is what t hey want and t hat is very excit ing. Even post- pandemic t he small wedding is here to st ay! CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I plan to approach 2021 wit h an abundance of caut ion. I'm also being very conservat ive wit h financial project ions. Finally, I am focusing energy on Minne Weddings and ot her pot ent ial revenue st reams to ensure all my eggs aren't in one basket .
JACQUELENE OEBANDA OF THE WEDDING PROJECT DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? In t he Philippines, when t he count ry det ect ed increase in COVID cases last March. The government immediat ely implement ed tot al lockdown and orders every single business to close, except t hose who are deemed as essent ial businesses. Unfortunat ely, t he event s
JAN OELKE OF RELICS RENTALS DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? COVID caused all of our event s to eit her be post poned or canceled which all of a sudden freed up some work t ime for us to work harder on our market ing, plan some pivot s t hat included collaborat ions wit h ot her vendors, work on our rebranding and a new websit e and ot her previously- backburnered project s! As a result of t hese effort s, we've cont inued to see an increase in incoming inquiries and bookings!
business, including t he wedding indust ry is t he first to go, as t he government immediat ely prohibit ed any social gat hering for a mont h. Then up to t his point , aft er more t han 7 mont hs. The event indust ry st ill st ruggles to go back to it s usual way. At t his point , social gat herings are st ill limit ed and we are only allowed to do int imat e weddings and churches only allow immediat e family members to ent er churches during weddings. However, despit e t his challenges, we are slowing st anding up again. Last few weeks ago, we already had our first wedding in Grand Hyatt one of t he biggest hot els in t he met ropolis, it was a sucess, alt hough t he covid 19 safety protocols were really st rict I feel t hat we can now navigat e safely t his pandemic and can st art doing event s again. This November 2 more weddings were already scheduled, 3 more t his December and in 2020, t here are more t han 25 weddings already scheduled under our company.
We pulled off an amazing pop- up wedding event and an editorial styled shootout and began our rent al subscript ion service!
Great t hings st art from small beginnings and I guess we are now t aking baby st eps at a t ime and we know t hat we will survive. The wedding indust ry in our count ry has become st ronger and more resilient more t han ever.
CHANGES MOVING FORWARD
Despit e t he pandemic, we are st ill receiving loads of inquiries and had amazingly booked more t han 20 weddings during t his pandemic all of it are scheduled next year and t he year aft er.
We're approaching 2021 refreshed and energized wit h our new and improved int ernal processes, our new branding and websit e, cont inuing our new exclusive signature event offerings; and we're especially excit ed for all of our many former- 2020 client s who are allowing us to be a part of t heir long- await ed 2021 celebrat ions!
Joanne Ross Wells OF JRW BRIDAL
I decided to cont act Jo, knowing she lived in Pert h on t he ot her end of t he count ry, to see if she would be int erest ed in making a dress for me. Jo was so ent husiast ic and helpful, t he fact t hat t here was 4000ish kms between us, didn't present an issue. Over a matt er of weeks, we worked toget her over What sApp (t ext & video) to go t hrough t he design and fitt ing process. It was so easy and I felt at ease knowing I was being looked aft er by t he lovely Jo. My wedding dat e is in October t his year, despit e t he uncert ainty of COVID 19 and t he challenges it has present ed wit h weddings and st at e borders, Jo has reassured me t hat she will support me what ever way she can, an absolut e relief for a bride planning in t his climat e.
During Covid, business went very quiet and I began consult ing wit h brides via Zoom meet ings, about t heir ideas and inspirat ions. This way, I could eit her guide t hem to buy online, or design a gown t hat would not only excit e t hem but enhance all of t heir best att ribut es! I realised t hat as a nurturer and a creat ive, I was able to help brides no matt er where t hey are in t he world! It is my mission to help brides look fabulous and feel t heir best on one of t he most import ant days of t heir lives! This is my passion and what drives me to serve bett er!!! Each t ime I am able to make a bride "feel like a million dollars" it is a BIG BUSINESS win for me! This is what my bride Robyn said to me via t ext t he ot her day, when I asked her what her favourit e part of t he "Dress Design Journey" was... "I honest ly have to say every part . It has honest ly been t he most incredible experience of my life. You have been so great to work wit h and always made me feel so comfort able even when I would have bride freak out moment s. The biggest part is wat ching t he design come to life when I t ried my dress on yest erday it was everyt hing I had ever dreamed off I felt like a million dollars. I honest ly do not have t he words to t hank you enough for everyt hing you have done!" Custom bride Louise: ?Aft er gett ing engaged, t he first t hing I did was to st art looking at wedding dresses. Aft er about 3 mont hs of looking around Brisbane and t he Gold Coast , I wasn't finding what I want ed and was feeling a bit uninspired wit h t he choices and t he price t ags.
I would highly recommend Joanne for her professional yet personable approach to designing your wedding dress, no matt er your post code!? Louise has moved her wedding dat e to March 2021, so t hat family in ot her st at es can att end. What she missed out is t hat her fiance part icipat ed in t he early st age of doing t he measurement s under my wat chful eye, during a video call! She said lat er in a t ext t hat it was really excit ing for t hem bot h and t hat he absolut ely loved being involved in t he dress process, making it more excit ing to see her on t he day!
CHANGES MOVING FORWARD To help brides worldwide to eit her choose t he right style online or design t hem a gown t hat is ideal for t hem in every way! I am educat ing myself more on how to get my message out t here and market my business bett er!
Joyce M nguni OF DREAM WEDDINGS RIVIERA MAYA We only had 5 weddings in t he first 3 mont hs of 2020! Then past 15 of March we had to post pone or cancel t he rest of our 2020 weddings. It obviously hit us by surprise, but as a business person I had to ask myself immediat ely what else can I do to generat e income ? When you have a t eam to pay mont h and a family to feed you got to make a plan. So I immediat ely offered a different service called brida coach. Brides didn?t know what to do especially t hose who didn?t have a wedding planner on t heir side as t he had to communicat e wit h vendors to move t heir dat es and venues. For a small fee I assist ed t hose brides and helped wit h coordinat ing and helping guest s t hem move dat es. Today bridal coach offers Wedding advice and t ips and t ricks while planning on your own. I offer full det ailed ebook plus t hey get to be in my bride fb group to keep asking quest ions t here too. So it ?s been such an eye opening to realize not all brides can afford full service of a wedding planner and t hey too need help. This is how t he bridal coach happened . Also at t he same t ime offer a service to wedding professionals! This used to be a side hust le and now has been somet hing t hat I love so much, especially when wedding pros get support and mentored! 2020 has t aught me, t hat t he is so much out t here especially if you needed to pivot your business. All you have to do is st art and believe in t he product / services you would want to sell CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I plan on Taking less weddings! As I st ill love support ing brides who can?t afford A full planner services of a wedding planner. Also at t he same t ime cont inue helping wedding professionals!as a support coach and mentoring t hem especially t hose who want to focus on dest inat ion wedding!
Adding Intimate Celebrations with
Kr isten Gosselin KG EVENTS & DESIGN
As a Full Service planning and design firm for weddings and social event s, a widespread ban on gat herings immediat ely put a screeching halt on what would have been our busiest and most profit able season. We quickly became crisis managers and our workload was dedicat ed t o post poning and rescheduling every project . As t he realit y of t he pandemic cont inued t o worsen, and t he lengt h of t ime we would be operat ing under a "new normal" became more clear, I knew t hat relying on large, luxurious event s would not be a source of revenue in t he mont hs t o come, and was det ermined t o keep my full t ime st aff employed. I t herefore launched a new branch t o t he business - KG Event s & Design Int imat e Celebrat ions, Concierge & Local Excursions. Locat ed on Mart ha's Vineyard, we were so incredibly lucky t o have so much out door space at our fingert ips t o get creat ive wit h t he business. Wit h an ent ire summer ahead of us, we heavily market ed our new offerings of int imat e celebrat ions and local excursions t o be met wit h a shocking demand. Families inst ant ly began reaching out for beach part ies and small event s t o celebrat e moment s t hat , in a normal world, would have ot herwise been ordinary. Also, t hanks t o our amazing t eam of event managers, our client s, and our amazing vendors, we were st ill able t o safely execut e t hree weddings t his year. It was cert ainly a challenge t o plan t he weddings t hree t imes over, what wit h const ant ly changing guidelines, new wedding dat es, smaller guest count s and different venues, but it was also so refreshing t o do what we do best ! Our resiliency has cert ainly shown t hrough t he way we have complet ely shift ed t he format of our business and offered new services t hat allowed us carry t he business forward.
DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? COPY Our most popular service of t he season was beach part ies! We received inquiries for so many different t ypes of celebrat ions - birt hdays, anniversaries, bacheloret t e part ies, proposals, and more. Wit h an invent ory of so much event it ems going unused, we were const ant ly popping up beach set ups for so many client s t hroughout t he summer. To expand on t hat , t here was also a heavy demand for ot her small dinner part ies at client 's homes as well. It was so fun t o st ill be able t o channel our design creat ivit y, even t hough t he event s were much smaller t han we are used t o! We also gained some new VIP client s t hat we will cont inue t o work wit h in t he seasons t o come! CHANGES MOVING FORWARD 2021 is shaping up t o be double booked since we had t o shift so many weddings t o t he new calendar year. We are nervously excit ed for t he busy season ahead, because we know t hat it will be incredibly t axing, but aft er enduring t he challenge of t his year, while also st aying relevant and "in event shape", we could not be more ready! Like I ment ioned earlier, producing weddings and event s are what we do best , and we can not wait t o get back t o doing so.
Tales of Resiliency JANEL BAILEY- KEEN OF VIVID EXPRESSIONS LLC COVID was a shock for us. We focus on design and decor which includes floral design. When our region locked down we were only 2 days away from our first wedding of t he season. Flowers had arrived and designs were nearly complet ed for many of t he floral element s. Normally, when possible, we love t o repurpose and drop off flowers t o local hospit als and shelt ers but due t o t he rest rict ions we couldn't do t hat eit her. As you can imagine, t he fresh product was a loss but it was even more st ressful for many floral dist ribut ors who had t o close t heir fresh product warehouses for weeks. It was heart breaking t o see videos from colleagues wit h palet t es and palet t es of beaut iful flowers t hat would have t o be t hrown int o dumpst ers. I t ook many boxes of reference mat erials, props, t ools, and ot her it ems from my offer and st udio in ant icipat ion of finding opport unit ies t o use t his t ime t o nurt ure our client s and communit y as we employed and leveraged t he t echnology we're used in t he past for working wit h out - of- t own client s. Over t he past few mont hs I've worked t o nurt ure our relat ions wit h our audience and client s. We've gone online an done free t ut orial floral demonst rat ions, host ed virt ual Vision board workshops, virt ual wedding planning & design t ips for brides workshops, et c. I've of course t aken a few development al courses t o st rengt hen my owns st rat egies and have even develop a few ot her workshops for creat ive pros. I've also st art ed promot ing richly designed small "Micro Luxe Weddings". These brides have been forced t o shrink t he size of t heir weddings (t ypically bet ween 20 t o less t han 50 at t endant s) but because t hey are so small we are able t o make t hem even more det ailed... like a st yled shoot look for your wedding day. And t hese brides have been amazed!
Once you t ake a moment t o shift from crit ical t hinking int o creat ive t hinking t hen opport unit ies for innovat ion st art t o come int o focus. In 2021 I'll be excit ed t o help bot h brides and colleagues forecast , prepare, plan and execut e weddings in 2021. This includes developing professional t raining for design t o incorporat e t hings like st rat egically using color t o elevat e mood, plant s and greenery t o help bring a feeling of t he out doors inside, using out door spaces in a cohesive and beaut iful way t o showcase couples, and ot her design insight , decor, props and furnishing t o help creat e social dist ancing, pods of guest s, vinget t es, and individual spaces t hat st ill alow for guest s t o have a personalized, warm, beaut iful, memorable and safe shared experience. LEAH WEINBERG OF COLOR POP EVENTS I made a conscious choice not t o pivot . I decided t o find ways t o supplement my income rat her t han pivot my business or creat e a new service offering. As a wedding planner, COVID cleared my calendar for 2020. I had one "normal" wedding on February 29t h, just before everyt hing shut down. I had t wo micro weddings in Sept ember, and I current ly don't have anot her wedding on my books unt il May 2021, and even t hen I'm not sure if t hat one will happen. Wit h t he t ime t hat 2020 has given me, I have t aken t his opport unit y t o refresh my business - - I'm working wit h a business coach, I'm refining my int ernal syst ems and processes, I'm working wit h a market ing expert t o clarify my brand messaging and ident ify my unique value, and I have a websit e refresh in t he works. On a personal level, I have t aken t his t ime t o focus on my own healt h and wellness, t o reduce st ress, t o draw boundaries, and t o rebound from burnout . I have also t aken 2020 t o commit t o ant i- racism work and t o support Black humanit y and liberat ion. The t ime I've had in 2020 has allowed me t o complet e my first book, The Psychology of Weddings, which I hope t o have out just in t ime for t he new year! Knowing t hat 2021 is going t o be incredibly busy if we can get back t o some semblance of "normal" when it comes t o event s, I am going t o focus on t aking care of myself and nurt uring myself during t hose busy t imes. I don't want t o burnout again and t ake a st ep backwards in t erms of all of t he progress I made in 2020.
With Pam White, Events by Pamela Joy My pivot was becoming an officiant / celebrant ! I love it ! Being part of a couples day, in t hat role, has allowed me t he opport unit y t o st ill be part of t heir special day, and I get t o know t hem bet t er. DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? Most of my couples post poned t o 2021, a few cancelled complet ely and had a small ceremony t his year. I st ill check in mont hly wit h my couples, not only t o chat weddings, but t o check in. I did pick up a few micro- weddings in t he fall. I kept learning! I part icipat ed in several online opport unit ies t o bet t er my business, business skills and social media presence. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD Open t o t he possibilit y of lot s of post poning and/ or cancellat ions. Especially in t he early part of wedding season in New England. Alt hough, hoping t o be able t o guide my client s int o downsizing t heir wedding, if need be, while making sure it ?s as special and memorable as t heir original plans.
Immersive Online Events with
L or na Reeves MYOHMY WEDDINGS When planning my year ahead 2020 looked set t o be epic: - t aking on t eam members, a diary full of weddings and event s, t he business was a lit t le over 18 mont hs old we had ÂŁ80k wort h of bookings for 2020. Fast forward t o 8t h March 2020, I was sit t ing in a chalet in France ? our first skiing holiday in many ent repreneur years. I wat ched t he t icker t ape on t he new reels and t hought , ?I?m not sure what we are going t o do here, COVID- 19 might well put an end t o our business.? Sat in t hat chalet , rocked t o my core I knew I needed t o act , fast . We t ravelled home, at my lapt op cont inually. In 72 hours I designed a syst em t o deliver all our client s?event s online, using what ever plat forms t hey and t heir delegat es could. I worked my socks off in t hat first week t o shift our ent ire met hodology t o online event s. Virt ual seminars, workshops and conferences. Some of my client s t ook some convincing, some were relieved t hey could st ill serve t heir client , albeit in a new way.
In t he first 2 weeks of business, we ret ained 80% of our business client s, and booking and t ook on 20 new client s. The t eam I was looking t o build increased 4- fold! The t eam now deliver online event s globally. We st ill st ay t rue t o our et hos of # noboringevent s. Now we ensure t he event s are immersive in t he virt ual spaces. We managed t o reschedule all our weddings client s, t o 21 and 22, support ing t hem t o secure new dat es, reasonable new cont ract t erms and minimise t he loss of money where possible. Weddings are such an emot ional decision and process it was import ant t o us t hat t his was prot ect ed where possible and keeping funds in t he wedding indust ry t o keep fellow wedding professionals afloat during t his t ime. DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? Our big win was definit ely speed. How did we adapt ? It was necessit y, it was not a choice as t o whet her we would survive, more a choice of how well and how fast . The t hreat of zero income cert ainly focuses t he mind! Things moved fast and t hey are st ill advancing at a rat e of knot s. We now offer services on HopIn, Click Meet ings, GoToMeet ings, Google Meet Up, Zoom Webinar & meet ings, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx and we are picking up new plat forms by t he week. Wit hout t his speed and 'all in' approach, which now support s MyOhMy Weddings as it moves t o 2021, we wouldn't be here now and we wouldn't be able t o support all our wonderful LGBTQ+ couples in t heir weddings going forward.
Romantic M aximalist
Huge t hanks goes out t o t he amazing shoot t eam:
Concept , st yling and Planning ? Love Takes Over Event s Phot ographer ? Vict oria Baker Weddings St at ionery ? Velvet May Designs Florist ? Hyde Park Flower Club by Dot t ies Cake ? Two Forms Cake St udio Venue ? Ripley Cast le Model ? Amreen Tai Dress ? That 's Sew Maisie Banner ? Killer Queen
Inspired by Wedgewood Jasperware, William Morris and Kim K?s 2013 Met Ball dress! I want ed t his shoot t o be romance on a maximalist s t erms. Tradit ional wit h a t wist , full of beaut iful flowers and an eclect ic t able design all set inside t he grounds of a venue t hat doesn?t get more romant ic. A cast le!
Virt ual Weddings
The t aboo around elopement s has long gone wit h COVID and t he ?new normal?of 2020. Tradit ionally t he quick and easy way to get married, elopement s have resurged in popularity t hanks to social dist ancing and gat hering rest rict ions. Wit h only t he minimum number of count ry- required wit nesses needed, t his is an att ract ive opt ion for couples who are over t he headache of planning. Elopement s can be for up to 25 guest s and frequent ly t ake place at a local court house or in a dramat ic scenic sett ing. They have minimal det ails out side of personal florals and oft en have no recept ion, wit h couples opt ing for a small dinner or drinks wit h guest s inst ead.
Wit h quarant ine in effect for many, virtual weddings have become an easy answer for couples st ill want ing to t ie t he knot . Live st reaming capabilit ies allow couples to have any guest s around t he world or do t heir ent ire wedding virtually. All t hat is needed is t he proper t ech and equipment . In many st at es and count ries, couples have t he ability to be officially married by live st reaming an officiant for t he ceremony. For guest s who can?t t ravel, st reaming your wedding t hrough Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Hangout , or ot her st reaming plat forms allows all loved ones to be a part of a couple?s wedding. Wit h gat hering hesit ancy likely to last t hrough 2021 and st reaming t ech at an all- t ime high, virtual weddings are a t rend t hat won?t go away anyt ime soon.
Micro Weddings Micro weddings have become t he hot phrase for 2020, wit h couples deciding to have t heir full wedding experience, but at a smaller scale to accommodat e rest rict ions. At up to 50 guest s, micro weddings have a limit ed guest count , but similar budget s to t radit ional weddings. This let s couples and t heir vendor t eams focus on t he det ails and creat ing a great guest experience for t heir closest friends and family. This quality over quant ity mindset has become a popular opt ion for couples faced wit h COVID limit at ions.
Minimony The new t rend in weddings, t he minimony, was int roduced by The Knot as an answer to t he ?post pone don?t cancel?movement t hat came from COVID wedding cancellat ions. Couples opt for an up to 10- person mini wedding now, t hen set a ?sequel wedding?wit h t heir original wedding plans on a post poned dat e. The minimony can include some of t he couples?planned wedding vendors, like t he photographer or planner, but in a smaller or limit ed capacity (as in a mini cake version of your original). The focus is on t he ceremony, wit h a small gat hering as t he recept ion. Couples oft en opt for a more casual dress, saving t heir gowns and suit s for t heir sequel wedding.
Research from (our brains and)... On The Knot On Brides.com - virtual weddings On Brides.com - micro weddings
Tales of Resiliency
NORA SHEILS + ELIZABETH SHEILS OF ROCK PAPER COIN There?s no denying t hat COVID has cert ainly impact ed every business, especially in t he wedding and event s indust ry. We were no except ion. In fact , we faced t he impact of t he pandemic from many direct ions. On one hand, we are a new t ech st artup t hat launched amidst t he early st ages of COVID- 19 in t he U.S. While it has cert ainly been challenging, we committ ed ourselves to weat hering t he storm and moving forward no matt er what . Thankfully, our hard work has cert ainly paid off ? despit e a slow economy and an indust ry t hat is virtually on hiatus, we?ve had a successful run wit h growing our product and Rock Paper Coin now serves 1,500 users (and count ing!). In an effort to give back and help vendors navigat e t he early st at es of COVID, we decided to waive all subscript ion fees back in April. On t he ot her hand, we also operat e Nora?s wedding planning company, Bridal Bliss, which has faced it s fair share of challenges as event s everywhere have been condensed, post poned, and cancelled. One part icular event t hat present ed unique obst acles was one set for Sept ember 2020. Like everyone, when COVID first hit , we were t hinking about what to do wit h spring and possibly summer event s ? we all t hought it would be a non- issue in Sept ember! Of course, t hat ?s not how it played out and, in July, t he couple decided to post pone t heir big recept ion to 2021. We used Rock Paper Coin to seamlessly sign cont ract addendums and make payment s for t heir newly- planned recept ion, which is scheduled to t ake place in May. However, t hey st ill want ed to get married on t heir original dat e in Sept ember and, using Rock Paper Coin, we planned a cat hedral wedding wit h an int imat e 20- person dinner at t he bride?s parent s?home. It was beaut iful ? met iculously landscaped, ideal layout , and ext remely personal. We creat ed new diagrams, performed count less sit e tours, and booked new vendors for t heir micro- wedding. Of course, t his was in Oregon where a pandemic simply wasn?t enough t rouble. In t he week leading up to t he wedding, t he Oregon wildfires grew larger t han t he st at e had ever seen. Heavy smoke came in from all direct ions, reaching hazardous levels for several days. The new wedding plans were no longer viable and so, once again, we had to re- plan t his wedding for t he t hird t ime.
We decided to move t he wedding to a nearby privat e club, which required addit ional vendors and a complet e shift in plans. Not to ment ion, t he original photographer was stuck in Sout hern Oregon because of t he fires. Wit h t he help of our software, Rock Paper Coin, we booked all new vendors, including a new photographer t he day before t he wedding. When t he big day finally came, it went off wit hout a hit ch and we att ribut e t hat success to our resiliency and our commit ment to serving our client s by any means. We were able to bring our two businesses? a wedding planning firm and a software service for booking and paying vendors? toget her to recover from two turbulent circumst ances to fulfill our client s?dream wedding. Since t he pandemic st art ed pushing back event s in March, many wedding pros found t hemselves wit h more downt ime on t heir hands. Many have divert ed t heir focus to working on t heir businesses and bett ering t heir operat ions for a st rong return when t he t ime comes. As a result , we saw a massive increase in new vendor sign- ups during t his period, as Rock Paper Coin is designed to help planners and vendors to just t hat : improve t heir business?efficiency and refine t heir current processes. We have also been committ ed to ext ending our network and building new part nerships, which has excit ably led to a new part nership wit h The Bridal Society and a speaking engagement at Wedding MBA.
JACQUI COCHRAN OF MARRIAGE MEANDER Marriage Meander is a market ing agency for service providers wit hin t he wedding indust ry. Two of our key market ing act ivit ies include t he following: * We produce and print an annual Marriage Meander wedding magazine, which is typically dist ribut ed at bridal fairs t hroughout t he year
* We offer Marriage Meander Journeys to bridal couples t aking t hem on a luxury- bus tour to view venues and meet service providers to help t hem find t he perfect part ners for t heir wedding day
Ult imat ely, however, our biggest win is how we cont inue to provide valuable resources for new businesses in t he indust ry. We are committ ed to being educat ion- focused, as we believe a successful future for t he wedding indust ry lies in cult ivat ing t he knowledge base and promot ing t he import ance of cont inued learning for new and experienced wedding professionals alike. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD We expect 2021 to be a year of rebuilding for creat ive professionals across t he indust ry. Indust ry pros will be seeking ways to t rim expenses, find more efficiency, and refine t heir businesses to be leaner and more agile as a whole. Thus, in 2021, we will cont inue to serve t he wedding community by reducing processing rat es to save companies money, providing t hem wit h t he ability to edit invoices, simplifying t racking changes, and int egrat ing wit h Google Docs to provide one source of t rut h for collaborat ion wit h planners, vendors, and couples. As we, as an indust ry, cont inue to push forward and define what a post- pandemic landscape means to us, it will be essent ial for t he community to come toget her and support one anot her. We developed our business model on t he not ion of uplift ing and emboldening t he indust ry even prior to t he pandemic and our mission will only grow st ronger in 2021 and beyond.
Wit h C- 19, bridal fairs came to a grinding halt t hus creat ing a major stumbling block in t erms of t he dist ribut ion plan for our magazine. And to compound t he situat ion advert isers were hesit ant to spend money on print advert ising wit h no clear underst anding of when t hey would be able to st art t rading again. We t herefore decided to produce a purely digit al book t his year and focus all our effort s on e- market ing avenues. In an effort to emulat e our valuable Journey planning days when sit e visit s to venues were not yet possible, we host ed our first WedPlan 360 Webinar using Zoom to connect brides and grooms to be wit h our list ed venues and ot her service providers. We did virtual tours of t he wedding venues and had live present at ions, Q&A and compet it ions. It was well received by bot h att endees and our service providers report ed t hat some had benefit ed from bookings or follow- up meet ings as a result . PS Did I ment ion t hat I purchased t his business from t he previous owner during lockdown!? A lot of folks t hought I was crazy to leave t he safety net of my salaried market ing manager posit ion wit h a guarant eed pay check at t he end of every mont h to dive into t he wedding indust ry during it s darkest year in my lifet ime. But when I chose to make t he leap, I had t his feeling in my gut (t he result of much prayer and int rospect ion) t hat in spit e of all t he ext erior signs saying ot herwise, t his was t he right t ime for me to get stuck in.
I am t hrilled to announce t hat we have t he same number of service providers represent ed in our book and across all our social and digit al channels as previous years - no small achievement in a year like 2020! And what I discovered t hrough chatt ing to advert isers, was t hat 2020 has st ripped us of our masks and brought us all to a place of humility and aut hent icity. It has been a deeply enriching experience gett ing to know my client s during a tough and t est ing season and being able to support t hem whilst we wait for t he ground to feel a litt le more solid underfoot . I firmly believe t hat all t hose who are st ill st anding when t he wedding indust ry springs back to life, will reap t he benefit s of some amazing opportunit ies. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD Based on t he success of t his year's e- book and t he lower product ion cost s att ached to us not needing to print t he book, we may opt to do a digit al- only publicat ion next year. We will also be exploring virtual planning workshops furt her because even when Journeys (luxury bus venue tours) are able to t ake place again, t he online (virtual) planning session appeals more to some of our brides and grooms, who perhaps wouldn't (or can't ) join us on a Journey.
SAM LLOYD OF THE WEDDING OWL I have worked in t he wedding indust ry for t he past 15 years. Under normal circumst ances, I help to spread t he love by delivering weddings. As a wedding business consult ant , I also work wit h venues and suppliers to make each and every occasion, an incredible celebrat ion. Having been told we are now working in a superspreader indust ry and t hat rest rict ions and lockdowns make it impossible for us to host weddings, large or small, we have all had to come to t erms wit h t he ever- changing situat ion. The COVID- 19 pandemic has undoubt edly changed my business. Yes, I?ve lost some client s and t herefore, unsurprisingly, my overall income is down. But I have also managed to pick up some new client s, who are using t he t ime to focus on rebranding, or who have launched brand new websit es who and need copy and venue selling images. I?ve also helped my longst anding client s to adapt t heir businesses by playing on t heir st rengt hs or by ?sweat ing t heir asset s?. Some are now offering st aycat ions, t ake- aways and are selling on Et sy et c.
CHANGES MOVING FORWARD
"For small independent wedding business like myself, 2020 has been about coming to terms with the new landscape, adapting and changing mindsets." Overall, my client s, bot h old and new, have been using t he t ime to reflect , assess, evaluat e and realign t heir businesses and to communicat e t heir changes lovingly. So, I am so grat eful t hat I have managed to ret ain my wedding consult ancy company. During t he lockdown, t alking to wedding business owners, what can?t be overlooked is t hat we in t he indust ry are creat ive beings. Working in a creat ive indust ry, we need an out let for our creat ivity. DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? The change in my work patt ern has enabled more t ime for styled shoot s, t hat have had to adjust and evolve, depending on t he level of rest rict ions. At t hese shoot s, I've had t he pleasure of working specifically wit h four key suppliers, and we have launched ?E- Lope?- modern micro weddings, for couples who are ret hinking t heir wedding plans. E- Lope In October 2020, we launched a brand- new modern elopement business. We hope t hat E- Lope will appeal to couples who are looking for a way to say we do wit hout bringing large groups of people toget her, but which also enables us to be creat ive and cont inue to feed our social media account s.
For small independent wedding business like myself, 2020 has been about coming to t erms wit h t he new landscape, adapt ing and changing mindset s. I love working in t he wedding indust ry and hope t hat by creat ing a new business t arget ed at couples want ing a small, highly personal and precious wedding, t eam E- Lope can share a litt le bit of COVID- 19- free love in 2021.
WANNIDA OF WONDERS & WEDDINGS I launched my business while we st ill have lockdowns and couples are post poning or cancelling t heir weddings. No one is sure how t o design a wedding t imeline anymore because t he t radit onal ceremony involves a lot of t ouching and oft en invit e elder family members, which are in t he high- risk groups. The humanist wedding services I offer come wit h modified ceremony and newly creat ed wedding t imeline. So couples can celebrat e in a short er ceremony t hat is st ill meaningful and memorable for t hem. I also add Covid- 19 assessment as a part of my service. Redesign wedding checklist for my client s. So t hey always have a new st ep t o look forward t o even if t he sit uat ion is not set t led yet . They know we can plan what we can and feel posit ive about t he weddings. The first couple who booked me didn?t have t heir wedding dat e! But because of t he modified ceremony t hat I designed and t he repriorit ized checklist , t hey are enjoying t he planning process wit h what ?s independent from t he wedding dat es, such as discovering t heir wedding st yles and designing t heir humanist ceremony. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD I will st art 2021 and every offer wit h underst anding t he different needs of my client s. Things may be changing again and couples will be facing new challenges and worries. I want t o t ruly underst and t hem t o be able t o offer t he services t hat suit t heir needs t he best .
The Impact on Destination Weddings with
Serena OF TUSCAN TOURS AND WEDDINGS
DID YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS 'WINS' DESPITE COVID? My business is focused on dest inat ion weddings in Tuscany and working mainly wit h foreign client s COVID has had a huge impact in my work. I was able t o post pone all my event s but one t o 2021 and have had no weddings t his year, but I am working wit h my couples t o keep t hem relaxed and use my ext ra t ime t o educat e myself. CHANGES MOVING FORWARD Definit ely in a different way, not t aking for grant ed t hat 2021 will be like t he past . And ready t o make possible changes t o t he planning t o ensure my couples have t he wedding of t heir dreams, even if smaller or on a different dat e. I'd like t o work more wit h beaut iful small weddings
Renee Sabo OF URBAN SOIRĂ&#x2030;E AND THE CONFETTI HOUR
Wit hin a mat t er of 6- 8 weeks, all of our 2020 weddings post poned, moving over 60% of our project ed revenue t o next year, and t he workload t hat came along wit h it t ripled. We had t o quickly become expert s in crisis management bot h for our client 's celebrat ions but also our business. Wit h our plat es full, we did not have t he abilit y t o shift int o selling small micro weddings - inst ead we had t o brainst orm how we were going t o survive as a business despit e t he revenue loss t his year. It is import ant t o me t hat I didn't pivot so much t hat it would be hard t o come back serving t he market we current ly are in - - so we downsized as many expenses as possible and t ook advant age of t he EIDL loans t hat SBA was offering, and wait ed for our ideal couple's t o find us. We are so glad t hat we did because we are now booking Full- service client s who feel hopeful and energized t o begin planning for lat e Fall 2021 and 2022 and it has allowed us t o st ill service our post poned wedding client s t hat are st ill facing t he unknowns of t he pandemic. HOW DID YOU PIVOT? Rat her t han pivot ing wit h my wedding services, I used t his t ime t o invest in t he educat ion + media side of t he business as a podcast host and t hought leader. It has been an honor t o be able t o furt her support our communit y during t his difficult year and beyond and in t urn, it has creat ed or st rengt hened revenue st reams in my business t hat I ot herwise didn't have t he t ime t o focus on.
CHANGES MOVING FORWARD We are st aying realist ic t hat t his pandemic will not end on December 31, 2020. We have t o keep rolling wit h t he punches and creat ing Plan C's for our client 's t o best work wit h t he rest rict ions on gat hering sizes. For us, it is about keeping our client 's engaged in t he planning and present ing new opt ions t hat can help t hem revision t heir special day. We believe it all st art s wit h how we approach t he sit uat ion - we have t o remain t he posit ive guiding light in t he sit uat ion. We are ready t o deal wit h t he cont inued chaos of 2021, but approaching it head on wit h level headed business minds and a high level of cust omer service, as always.
The couple embraced t he idea, canceled t heir October dat e, and went full fledge wit h t his concept . The goal was to show t hat wit h t he highest safety measures adhered and a focus on elevat ed virtual guest experiences, event s in t he age of COVID can st ill be luxury. To ensure virtual guest s st ill had a luxury experience, St illwell Event s, along t he t eam of wedding professionals, first chose a blank space venue wit h a high- resolut ion and cont inuous 360- degree image project ion wrapped around t he ent ire room. They ut ilized a high- quality professional live st reaming company and also ran virtual guest rehearsals to confirm everyone had proper equipment and connect ion, working out any glit ches beforehand. Mult iple cameras were used to project all of t he virtual guest s toget her and also a single large project ion to highlight guest s during virtual toast s. The week of t he wedding each virtual guest received a beaut ifully wrapped gift box filled wit h individual bott les of champagne, a delicious mini wedding cake, and a coordinat ing wedding program so guest s were able to toast along wit h t he couple and enjoy cake as well. For increased safety, t he t eam checked t emperatures of each guest as t hey ent ered t he building, along wit h providing hand sanit izing st at ions and designer face masks to each guest . Bot h t he ceremony and dinner seat ing arrangement s were spaced to adhere to social dist ancing guidelines. To keep t he number of
Creative Covid Weddings ? Luxur y Hybr id Event BY STILLWELL EVENTS Due to t he shut- down of New York City and t he rest of t he count ry, Madeline and David?s original wedding dat e of March 21st , 2020 at t he Light house at Chelsea Piers was cancelled. They, like many ot her couples, were forced to post pone t heir wedding, first choosing an alt ernat e dat e in t he fall. When it was becoming clear t here was not going to be any kind of a vaccine for at least a year, Madeline and David were present ed t his hybrid live and virtual wedding alt ernat ive by St illwell Event s.
wait st aff to a minimum, t he cat erer designed a special dinner concept wit h a pre- set 3 course dinner, all wit hin a single 12?x 12? bento box styled cont ainer. Everyt hing was prepared using only t he highest of quality fresh ingredient s, wit h t he ent ire menu designed to be served room t emperature. The dance floor featured custom peony decals posit ioned 6 feet apart to give t he guest s clear guidelines of where to safely dance during t he event . As Jeff St illwell of St illwell Event s shares, ?I feel t hat , looking ahead, most weddings and event s will be a combinat ion of ?part live?and ?part virtual?celebrat ion. Even t he most t radit ional couples recognize t hat some type of a virtual component makes sense today. Aft er all, it may be some t ime before many older guest s or people wit h healt h problems are going to feel comfort able being in large gat herings again. For very different reasons, a virtual wedding could be t he perfect answer to a couple who never want ed a big and expensive wedding, and t his new way of having weddings allowed for t heir family and friends to be a part of t heir special day and xkeep peace wit h t heir family members!? Vendors: Planner ? St illwell Event s | Photographer ? Andre Maier | Venue ? Lavan 541 | Florals and DĂŠcor ? Adam Leffel Product ions | Virtual Element ? Tot al Ent ert ainment | Cat erer ? Thomas Pret i | Hair and Make- up ? Ashimoto | Jazz Duo ? Acut e Inflect ions | St at ionery ? Ceci New York | Custom Linens ? Nuage Designs | Videographer ? Joseph Edwards Films | Rent als ? Somet hing Different Party Rent al | Dance Floor ?? Shout Solut ions | Officiant ? The Vow Whisperer |Cake ? Lulu Bakery | Balloon Garland ? Balloon Design Studio
WHAT WAS SPECIAL
A Covid Elopement for Car issa & M aur its "We spent a week in August 2020 in t he most peaceful and serene area near Whit e Salmon, Klickit at County, Washington. The week was all about a warm and genuine embrace of love and life toget her. Along wit h our parent s (who were willing to t ravel wit h us to Washington), we t raveled t he vast count ryside of Washington and Oregon toget her t ast ing an abundance of local wines at vineyards overlooking Mt . Hood and Mt . Adams and visit ing fragrant lavender fields. Even t hough COVID was spreading and happening all around us, it was a breat h of fresh air to enjoy a moment wit hout t hinking about t he world around us and to t ake in t he breat ht aking scenery wit h family. Everywhere we visit ed, employees t reat ed us wit h t he ut most respect , care, and made all of our experiences except ional. We eloped in t he foot hills of Mt . Adams in what was a cozy and gorgeous scene. The day was unique, genuine and t hose involved creat ed an emulat ed space where family and love were t he int ent ions and core of t he day. Even t hough some family members were unable to att end and our plans changed daily, somet imes hourly, up to t he moment we said ?I Do?, everyt hing was absolut ely perfect . Our t eam of vendors and family adapt ed to t he situat ion and made it feel as if COVID wasn't present in t he world. Our day felt so much more personal and special because we were only focused on each ot her and our family wit h no ext ernal dist ract ions, not even COVID. It was st ress- free and int imat e. It was bett er t han we could have imagined or planned t hanks to t he help of all of our vendors. We originally planned to celebrat e wit h all of our family and friends in August 2020, but post poned our large celebrat ion unt il June 2021. We are cont inuing to adapt to t he current situat ion in hopes we can have our large celebrat ion in 2021."
"Our wedding was perfect , laid back, genuine, and just what each of us needed aft er handling COVID for a number of mont hs wit h no end or solut ion in sight . We originally planned for a small, int imat e ceremony in Klickit at County, Washington and a larger celebrat ion a few days lat er in Dubuque County, Iowa. Wit h many of our larger celebrat ion guest s in t he significant at risk cat egory, we decided for t he safety of all of our guest s, t hat post poning our larger celebrat ion was in t he best int erest of everyone. While we hoped to celebrat e wit h all of our Through Ceara's Eyes Photography
family and friends a few days aft er saying 'I Do' in August 2020, having only a small celebrat ion during COVID was perfect and just what we all needed. There was no hust le and bust le to get home to t hrow a big party, inst ead we took a few days to relax and spend t ime as just husband and wife." WEDDING PROS "Every wedding professional we worked wit h helped us overcome t he challenges and ease t he st ress of planning and moving ahead wit h our wedding during COVID. Our beauty professional and her assist ant reassured me t hroughout t he process t hat t hey would be properly prepared wit h PPE and what we could do to feel t he most comfort able while gett ing ready. Our officiant was as concerned for her healt h as she was for each of us and our guest s. She kept her dist ance and asked us to do t he same which made us all feel very comfort able. We met wit h our officiant numerous t imes over Zoom which is somet hing we most likely would not have done if it wasn't for COVID. Every wedding professional worked wit h us to help make us feel comfort able and if t hey were not able to accommodat e our request s, t hey helped to make sure we were in good hands wit h anot her vendor."
Joanne & Taylor's Hometown Park Micro Wedding "We got engaged March 3, 2018, and chose our October 3, 2020 dat e only a few mont hs aft er. We had pretty much finished planning by Dec 2019 and were super ready to roll into 2020 and t hrow t he best party ever. And t hen....Corona happened. We knew pretty quickly t hat we would not be able to have t he original wedding t hat we had planned - 160 people at t he Woodstock Inn Brewery in NH - so we decided to post pone t he party, but st ill get married on our original dat e.
party, but my fat her- in- law found us an even bett er spot wit h an awesome t ree looking over t he pond. Our recept ion was at my in- laws' house and t hey went ALL OUT. We got t akeout from our favorit e local It alian place (shoutout to Fiorella's!) and my mom made t he cupcakes. We all changed into comfy clot hes aft er and sat around t he fire at t he end of t he night . It wasn't at all what we had originally planned, but it was st ill t he best ! Plus, t he Farley family dogs and cat could all come! As much as I wished when I woke up t hat we were waking up in NH, it WAS nice to be able to get ready toget her in our own apart ment , drive over toget her, and just be toget her ALL DAY. (I didn't get hair and makeup done). I loved being able to get our favorit e meals - t hroughout our dat ing life toget her we spent many birt hdays, anniversaries, and ot her occasions at Fiorella's, so it was great to have t heir food at our wedding!
We st ill got married for a few reasons: 1. Love, duh 2. We met at t he movie t heat re where we worked so movies are a big part of our life toget her! October 3 is Mean Girls Day, and it was import ant to us to keep t hat dat e as a celebrat ion of how we met . 3. Now we can be on each ot her's healt h insurance! Hasht ag romance. So despit e a global pandemic and no actual ceremony venue and no rain plan, we got married on a beaut iful day in a public park where we could not reserve any space. And it was wonderful." WHAT WAS SPECIAL "Our wedding was originally going to t ake place at t he Woodstock Inn and Brewery in N Woodstock, NH. We had all of our vendors, and we had gone to t he t ast ing in 2019 so we knew exact ly what would be on t he menu. The Inn came wit h a day- of coordinator and ALL of t he import ant recept ion t hings like chairs, t ables, flatware, food, and drink. All we had to do was arrive! But ...t hat wasn't in t he cards for us t his year. Inst ead we got married in a park in our hometown wit h 11 ot her guest s in att endance. My brot her and his wife and kids att ended via facet ime, and many, MANY ot her people wat ched our ceremony on Zoom. The spot we had originally picked out at t he park was being used for a 5-yr- old's birt hday Photography: George Martell
Tales of Resiliency WEDDING PROS I had a melt down about not knowing how to find an officiant , so my husband st epped in. He found t he BEST officiant (Mike Backer) who had a binder full of ceremony part s, so you just pick what you want and he put s it toget her for you in t he ceremony. And of course, our photographer, George Mart ell, is fabulous. He is a friend of mine so t hat made it more fun, too!"
The day, I t hink, was more relaxed t han our first plan would have been, so t hat was nice. Assuming we do get to have t he big party next year, I t hink I'll be more relaxed t hen, too, because we're already married! Who cares if t hings go wrong? We already had a wedding in a pandemic, aft er all. I got my dress in April 2019 and never was able to get it alt ered, so I didn't even get to wear my original beaut iful wedding dress! Inst ead, I wore a whit e and floral maxi dress t hat I had impulse bought off of Poshmark last summer. I hadn't worn it yet so I figured it would be t he perfect corona dress! And it really popped in pictures. We did not have a DJ, so I played t he ceremony music on my phone (which made for one or two awkward pictures and pauses). It probably would have been bett er to have someone else do t hat part , but hey, we were improvising! The song we played at t he end of t he ceremony was Cat ch Your Dream from Parks and Rec, and we wouldn't have played t his had we not binged t he whole series t he previous mont h.... because if not for corona, we would have been busy doing ot her t hings, like being in public. We also bought silicone rings and I'm so glad we did. We saved money, and I realized t hat I love my engagement ring too much to add somet hing else next to it . I don't t hink t his would have happened wit hout corona! Plus, hand sanit izer is bad for diamonds so silicone is definit ely t he way to go right now.
The Intimate Downsized
M edieval Garden Par ty Wedding Of Elaina & Lucas Our medieval garden part y wedding downsized from 150 t o 40. My family is from Ireland and t he Philippines, and my fiance's work is out of Spain. Due t o Covid, we were unable t o have many loved ones t ravel, including my 80 year old grandparent s. My mot her- in- law craft ed my beaut iful bouquet , and I arranged t o have a copy of it sent t o my grandmot her in Ireland t he morning of t he wedding. I also carried her wedding prayer book wit h me, and it was so special t o feel t hat she was so near despit e t he physical dist ance. Aft er cut t ing down our guest list , we went t o work forming a comprehensive Covid plan including inst ruct ions and signage of when t o wear masks, creat ing "plague prot ect ion" signs next t o hand sanit izers, and working wit h our cat erers t o adjust our buffet plans. Our day was nevert heless perfect despit e t he many changes we had t o make, and it will be a st ory passed down t o our children one day.
Rachel Yearick Photography
WHAT WAS SPECIAL
Due t o Covid, many of our family members could not at t end. My ent ire ext ended family lives abroad, and so t hey wat ched our ceremony from a Facebook Live feed. Our videographer had t o drop out t he week of t he wedding because his roommat e cont ract ed Covid. Wit hout Covid rest rict ions, we would have been able t o have more loved ones present , and we would have been able t o dance t he night away. We also had a fun mead t ast ing experience wit h individual t rays of mead and honey samples. There was anot her silver lining! Due t o t he small number of guest s, we were able t o hire a silhouet t e art ist during our cockt ail hour. This was so special t o have, and it made t he day even more unique t o us!
Our phot ographer was an angel. We'd grown a friendship over t he past t wo years bet ween t he engagement phot os, engagement part y, graduat ion, and now wedding day. She was a t rue rockst ar who helped us keep t he day moving! Our dear family friend was our day of coordinat or, and she handled every hurdle t hrown her way. We also loved t he choice t o offer our medieval- inspired meal as individual port ions rat her t han a buffet . We opt ed for heavy appet izers, and we felt a plat ed dinner was t oo formal for our t heme, so we had our cat erers prepare preport ioned dishes for everyone t o grab t heir own. We craft ed a "wedding guide" for each of our vendors wit h det ailed inst ruct ions of our Covid plan, and t hey helped us keep our day safe and fun!
Samantha & Stuar t's Postponement Stor y This t ime next year I will be a Mrs and I will be dancing t he night away wit h my husband under t he st ars and t he twinkling fairy light s surrounded by our family and friends. As I sit writ ing t his it should have been 65 days today unt il our wedding, but inst ead, due to Covid- 19 it ?s now 365. When all of t his first st art ed it didn?t even cross our minds t hat it would affect our wedding at t he end of July, 6 mont hs seemed such a long t ime, "...it ?s bound to all be over by t hen!" Then lockdown happened and we t hought maybe it will be a bit more of a rush to get t hings done when everyt hing opens again, but it ?ll be fine. Then slowly as t he days and weeks passed and t he cases and deat h rat es soared, it began to sink in t hat t his was going to be wit h us for t he long haul and maybe we should st art and t hink about a plan B. The first call to t he venue was more hypot het ical really, and to see where t hey were at wit h t hings. This was when we realised it might not be as simple as we t hought . ?At t he moment we are not post poning anyt hing past t he end of May. We are looking at it on a mont h to mont h basis, we t hink it will all be fine by July. We will be in touch closer to t he t ime.? My husband to be is Aust ralian, t hat is where we met and lived toget her for 2 years before we came over to t he UK. His family and a lot of his friends all live in Aust ralia, as well as many of my friends. We also have friends scatt ered all over various ot her part s of t he world, in fact over half of our guest list are cat ching a plane to our wedding, including t he best man and one of t he bridesmaids! We left it a couple more weeks and t hen we heard t he quarant ine rest rict ions t hat were being put in place in Aust ralia. ?That ?s it , it can?t go ahead!? Even if people could get on a flight t hey would have to go into a 2 week quarant ine on arrival home, 2 more weeks off work unpaid aft er at least 2 weeks away, t his was not going to happen. So we cont act ed t he venue again and explained our situat ion, we were told t he same t hing, t hey were not post poning anyt hing in July at t his point .
?But we know it can?t go ahead as half of our family and wedding party won?t be able to make it .?At t his point we were told we needed to be flexible and it was suggest ed t hat we Skype in t he missing guest s? !! Where do I even st art ! Our venue is in t he middle of nowhere wit h very limit ed int ernet signal so even if we were happy to have half of our loved ones wat ching from t he ot her side of t he world, it was never going to work. Plus, how would t hey like to get married wit h half of t heir loved ones missing! Anyway, fast forward a couple more weeks to t he due dat e of t he final payment , which we barely had chance to wit hhold before we got an email st at ing it was due and asking if we had had any ?luck? claiming on our wedding insurance. Of course not ! All t he wedding insurance companies are doing as much as t hey can to avoid having to pay out , and ours has st at ed t hat t hey will not pay out due to cancellat ion because of t ravel rest rict ions. So, no, we haven?t had any ?luck? wit h our insurance! We replied wit h a very nice email, st at ing t he fact s and t hat we deserve t he wedding we have dreamt of wit h all of our loved ones t here and we don?t want to cancel but just move t he dat e, is t here any way t hey could look at it again and reconsider a post ponement? Sent ! An hour passed before t he reply came and we were bot h quit e shocked when it said t hat t hey had spoken wit h t he owners and t hey had agreed to a post ponement !!!
Whilst post poning our day was a hard decision to make and really quit e sad at t he t ime, we know t hat if we had gone ahead it would not have been t he day we want ed. Who want s a socially dist anced wedding anyway!! Limit ed guest s, no hugging, no kissing, no dancing (unless 2 met res apart !) and when we haven?t seen some of our family and friends for 4 years, since we left Aust ralia, we are going to want to hug and kiss t he s* * t out of t hem, even if it means wait ing anot her 9 mont hs! There are ot her posit ives I have found, which is kind of what you have to do in a situat ion like t his. For example we have longer to plan so more DIY?s and more cut e styling ideas. We have longer to save up, so we can now have some of t he t hings we had cut from t he budget and we can have an amazing Honeymoon! * Dance around t he kit chen* It was t he best feeling, like a weight had been lift ed, I don?t t hink eit her of us realised just how much it had been playing on our minds and causing us anxiety. Plus we couldn?t believe t hey had just given in, we had been gearing up for much more of a fight , but we were happy t hey had and booked t he new dat e in st raight away! Maybe t hey were just t rying t heir luck? So what next? We had to hope t hat all of t he ot her suppliers we had booked could do t he new dat e and as luck would have it t hey could! I t hink because we had gone st raight for a dat e next year inst ead of t rying to squeeze it in lat er t his year, and because we had been pro- act ive and got in in plenty of t ime, t hey were all available. I also t hink at t his point in t ime t hey were glad it was a post ponement rat her t han a cancellat ion. We had our new dat e and all of our vendors booked, we now had to t ell our guest s! We had opt ed for a wedding websit e wit h digit al invit es and RSVP?s, due to so many guest s being overseas and because we want to be as sust ainable as possible. So actually it was quit e easy to let everyone know, we just changed all of t he det ails on t he websit e and sent out new digit al invit at ions wit h a litt le message att ached. We now have a new RSVP dat e for lat er in t he year, but we are finding t hat some people we were really sad could not att end before have now replied yes which is a lovely posit ive to come out of it all.
There is more t ime to lose some weight and tone up for t he big day! And we have longer to just be engaged and enjoy t his t ime looking forward to t he day. If we had kept our original dat e it would all be over in 65 days, whereas now we have anot her 365 days to prepare, get excit ed and look forward to our day!
Credit t o t he fant ast ic t eam of suppliers who pulled of t his gorgeous shoot :
Concept , planning and st yling ? The It alian Dream Phot ography ? Phot ography by Paloma
Ir idescently Dr unk in L ove
Videography ? Luke Bat chelor Product ions Venue ? The Sun Carshalt on Backdrop and balloons ? Evaly Event s Crown ? Rit z and Sass HMUA ? SJB Hair and Makeup Jacket ? Sammy Leas Ret ro St at ionery ? Love Paper Co Newspaper ? Phot opress Uk Cake ? Sparkles and Swirls
Iridescent ly drunk in love was born from t he idea of having fun, melt ing t oget her sparkles and flamingos for a magical result . The concept - from an idea of Jessica Fasciano (The It alian Dream) - got it s root s during t he lockdown and t he uncert aint y mood Covid19 has brought , especially on couples who found t hemselves in t he sit uat ion of post pone or cancel t heir wedding. From t his point of view, t his shoot focuses on t he idea of ?Carpe Diem?, living plent ifully t he moment in every shade in our case past el ones! - and put t ing bright smiles in t he very first place. Inspired by t he Coachella fest ival, t he out fit s are whimsical, t rendy and t ot ally out of t he rules, while palms, flamingoes and disco balls are t he main charact ers of t he scene, in a kind of t ranscendent realit y where all t he problems can be solved wit h a t oast !
Biscuit s ? The Biscuit Tin Lollipops ? Pop t he Love Jewelry ? The Vamoose Neon signage ? Bay Wedding Props Flowers ? The Bloominat i Florist Napkins ? The Embroidered Napkin Company Gart er ? Not t ingham Lace Gart er Co Crockery ? Febbie Day Models : @t he_fishxo and @nicolo.fasciano
Sara & James's
Outdoor M inimony "Our original wedding dat e was 27t h July 2020. We spent 2.5 years planning our perfect day. Alt hough we t ried t o hold on for as long as possible, by t he st art of June 2020 wit h no sign of t hings changing we moved our dat e t o 28t h Sept 2020. We were det ermined t hat we would get married t his year in what ever form t hat would t ake. " WHAT WAS SPECIAL "Our wedding was much smaller, we were due t o have a t ot al of 120 guest s for our original wedding. Our rearranged wedding t ook place t he day t he government reduced guest numbers t o 15. We had already cut t he list t o meet t he previous 30 guest s and had t o cut it in half again. We chose t o only have a ceremony and did not have a recept ion due t o t he rest rict ions t hat were put in place regarding not being able t o get up from t he t ables and not being able t o mingle wit h t he guest s. We loved t hat t he ceremony became more int imat e wit h fewer guest s. We also st reamed our wedding in a privat e Facebook event which meant t hat guest s t hat wouldn't have been able t o at t end t he original wedding due t o healt h / locat ion were able t o wat ch our ceremony." WEDDING PROS "Our phot ographers Garet h and Bri at GnBri Phot ography were great . They were really helpful in t erms of helping us move our dat e and also wit h helping t o organise how we could st age our group shot s in a
Covid safe way. Their communicat ion in t he mont hs bet ween our original dat e and t he reschedule dat e was reassuring and t hey did a few emails t o check t hat we were doing ok wit h t he st ress. Our cake maker Sam at Sweet Peas Cake Bout ique was also fant ast ic in let t ing us change our wedding cake int o individually wrapped macarons for t he guest s t o t ake away wit h t hem. "
Our Contr ibutors
A Huge Thank You To Our 2021Contr ibutors... Aleya Harris
Flourish Market ing
This Week in Weddings
The Simply Elegant Group + The Abundance Group
Bet hel Nat han
Brit Bert ino
Brit t any Branson
Brit t ny Drye
Ceremonies by Bet hel
BRIT BERTINO, EVENT EXCELLENCE
By Britt any Branson
Love Inc. Magazine
bybrit t anybranson.com
t hesimplyelegant group.com
Photo by Dennis Kwan
brit bert ino.com
Christ ie Osborne
ClĂŠment ine Ward
Dorot hy Polka
Mount ainside Media
Polka Dot Wedding
Opulence Event s London
Eddie Zarat sian
Elizabet h Sheils
Gabrielle Pinkert on
Eddie Zarat sian Lifestyle and Design
Rock Paper Coin
Emily Andrew Event s
Cause We Can Event s
Gina Esposit o
Gret chen Culver
Gelena Doehmel Dest inat ion Weddings & Officiant
AnĂŠe At elier
Rocket Science Event s
rocket science.event s
A Huge Thank You To Our 2021Contr ibutors... Henry Chen
Wedding Chat Market ing weddingchat market ing.com
The Wedding Project
Janel Bailey- Keen
Relics Rent als
Vivid Expressions LLC
Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli
Joanne Ross Wells
José Rolón Event s
Birch Event Design
Dream Weddings Riviera Maya
Julie Rot h Novack
Kat e Cullen
Kat e Cullen
part yslat e.com
Fant asy Sound Event Services & WeddingIQ
Krist en Gosselin
This Week in Weddings
KG Event s & Design
Wedding Academy & Wedding CEO
Photo by Dennis Kwan
A Huge Thank You To Our 2021Contr ibutors... Lauren Grove
Lauren Grove Int eract ive
Color Pop Event s
Harmony Creat ive Studio
harmonycreat ivest udio.com
Mart ha Tobyn
Blossom & Crumb
OFD Consult ing
Studio Lunaria & Anemone st udiolunaria.com
Nat alie Wing
Pam Whit e
MAD About Weddings
Goose & Berry
Rock Paper Coin
Event s by Pamela Joy
Pamella Dunn Event s
Rachel Emma Waring.
Photo by Dennis Kwan
Bride Club Me brideclubme.com
Saheli Event s
The Wedding Owl
A Huge Thank You To Our 2021Contr ibutors... Serena
Tuscan Tours and Weddings
AnĂŠe At elier
Zepporah Rushwort h-Albert s
THE WEDDING AND EVENT CREATORS
Wonders & Weddings
weddingandevent creat ors .com.au
Whit ehouse Event Crockery
t uscant oursandweddings.com
Photo by Dennis Kwan
Trevor WessmanLavelle Aisle Planner aisleplanner.com
At t he Wedding Academy our passion is weddings but our focus is educat ion. We help you to have t he career you?ve been dreaming about t hrough our online cert ificat ion courses and t he support from our int ernat ional mentor t eam. Aft er 12 years t raining wedding planners, and over 4,000 new careers launched, we?ve t aken wedding educat ion to a new level and re- imagined it making it fun, informat ive, flexible and above all ?real?. This is what makes us t he global leaders in t he field of wedding indust ry t raining.