For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking lately about how much things have changed in the wedding industry in last 5 years or so. What has gotten better, what has stayed the same, and where it’s headed next.
I think the biggest shift is that, generally, sane vendors have infiltrated the industry. And by being in business and providing sane options, couples realize that they have choices - and those choices don’t have to be one extreme or the other.
I think back on my own wedding, and it almost felt like a teenager’s rebellious phase. It was at a moment when people were finally calling out the wedding industry, but we didn’t have other vendors to choose from. And so we rebelled. Everything had to be anti-wedding industrial complex. You couldn’t hire a florist, you had to DIY your flowers. You couldn’t go to a traditional bridal gown store. You couldn’t even have a traditional structure to your wedding - you had to mix it up somehow, make it a cocktail reception, have an alternative venue - all to give a big middle finger to the industry. Looking back on it now, it felt desperate (but, it WAS desperate - it’s awful to not have options or feel you have choices). And that rebellion was necessary. (and without it my business wouldn’t exist!).
Nowadays, it feels like couples have matured. They’ve calmed down a bit. Because cool, down-to-earth vendors exist, couples aren’t as upset at the wedding world. No big EFF YOU’s are necessary. Now, they can embrace some of the traditions that work (ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner and dancing works for a reason), and get rid of the ones they don’t. They don’t get enraged when they try to find a wedding dress that fits them or their style, when they want a planner that doesn’t tell them what they “have” to do, when they want a non-diamond engagement ring (or no ring at all). Because they take a deep breath, and low and behold, those options are visible, are available, and are attainable (thanks interwebs!). I’m constantly seeing things and thinking “goddamn it, wish I’d had that option when I got married!”
All that being said, as our friends at Catalyst Wed Co are well aware of - and as I mulled over in a post after their great (un)convention - the wedding industry still needs disrupters. We all need to keep showing those options, providing validation, and reminding people over and over and over again that they have choices. But as I see and feel the ease from the clients I work with, as I more and more notice that they’re feeling quite confident in their decisions and quite happy with their options, I’m optimistic that we’re on the right track.