Digitalising the wedding industry

wedding

Is how we’re organizing the most important day of our lives changing? Once, the soon-to-be-married couple spent the run up to their wedding going to suit fittings, dress shops and tasting sessions. But with new technology and social media apps, it seems that the wedding industry is moving online.

So, what does this mean for wedding planners and suppliers? To separate fact from fiction, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique tension set engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings, looks at whether the industry needs to plunge into the digital world to survive — and what it means for us if it does.

Wedding stats

Of course, we all love online shopping and that doesn’t end just because there’s a wedding to plan. Over the past year, about 87% of UK customers have bought at least one product online – with sales increasing 21% in 2016. Reportedly, this figure is set to increase another 30% by the end of 2017, which signals a huge shift to online weeding shopping that we, and the industry, have never seen before.

How has the Internet changed our wedding preparation?

We can pretty much live our lives online now and few businesses survive without at least some digital presence. So, should the wedding industry just accept it as standard that they should do the same?

According to The Huffington Post, 60% of brides surveyed are planning their weddings through handheld devices. What are they looking at? Well, it seems to be mainly dresses followed by retailers. Research shows that today, 61% of brides use their devices to find the perfect gown (up from 27% in 2011) and 57% of brides use them for finding wedding vendors (up from 22% in 2011).

Social media and wedding planning

We can already see a huge number of wedding stores and services online, but what about social media? Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook offer brides (and sometimes grooms) so much inspiration for their big day, showing them other weddings and letting them mix and match ideas and concepts to suit them. It’s clear that modern couples are using new technology when wedding planning. In fact, 42% of people use social media to plan their wedding – with 41% of brides following photographers, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists.

Social media is a near-faultless source of inspiration and it can benefit both customers and businesses. Apps provide a platform for wedding planners, venues, florists and other wedding suppliers to showcase what they have to offer. Instagram and Pinterest, which is used by 64% of brides, have now become a couple’s digital alternative to a wedding fair. So, if you’re a supplier who hasn’t invested time into creating a social media profile, you could be missing out on free exposure!

As we already know, social media is greedy and likes to take part in almost all aspects of our social life — including our weddings. Social media’s involvement doesn’t stop at the planning stage. When asked, 27% of today’s couples said they would create a hashtag for their special day and share it with guests to use when uploading snaps.

Will the wedding industry survive offline?

So, where does the wedding industry see its future? While it’s often easier to shop online, there’s probably always going to be a place for wedding preparations offline. Shopping for a wedding is such a physical process, it’s almost impossible to imagine not living in a world where brides try on 20 dresses. Whilst the grooms stand awkwardly to be measured, and the two make the most of wine and cake tasting sessions.

Surviving completely online would be hard. Wedding fairs have been around for centuries and are still a great way  to engage face-to-face. While modern couples use social media for visual inspiration, the wedding fair is the place they talk over their options and make their final decisions.

Couples will, of course, use digital platforms to plan, prep and prepare. But, the wedding industry should hold back from eliminating traditional methods of wedding planning. It’s time for suppliers and other professionals to embrace the digital world to extend their business and gain more exposure?

Have we cast doubt on the survival of the offline wedding industry with the ever-increasing dominance of the Internet? Probably. But it’s coped extremely well so far and this looks certain to continue!

Sources

https://www.confetti.co.uk/news/wedding-report-2015

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-douglas/part-1-the-past-present-f_b_9294420.html

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46 Comments

  1. Healthy & Psyched
    October 9, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Great observations. I totally agree shopping online has made it easier, but I can’t imagine not going wedding dress shopping for real and trying on the dresses!

  2. Harriet @ Toby&Roo
    October 9, 2017 / 7:36 am

    I think I preferred face to face when I was organising my wedding but then for the smaller things I was happy with online – a mix perhaps!

  3. Eileen Mendoza Loya
    October 9, 2017 / 12:39 am

    I guess when it comes to weddings, I would prefer a mix of both online and face to face transactions. It would be convenient to compare the different rates for venues and for invitations and flower arrangements. However, the final decision would still depend upon how these things look in person.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:44 am

      That is so true, I feel the same and would love to maintain the traditional part of doing it offline and having things like invites and comparing rates for venues online

  4. Sarah Ann
    October 8, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    I do a lot of online shopping day to day but I do think if I get married, II’d want to do everything face to face, I love the thought of attending wedding fairs, visiting venues – I think it is all part of the experience.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:46 am

      Wedding fairs are my favourite but when my time comes I want a mixture of online and offline

  5. WEMAKE7
    October 8, 2017 / 12:13 am

    Seems like online is the way to go on many things but I really think when it comes to weddings, face to face and the old fashion way are the way to go.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:48 am

      I couldn’t agree more, whilst online is the future there are so many things one must see in person

  6. Shannon Graham
    October 7, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    It is hard to compete with an online world. So many people love convenience.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:49 am

      We definitely do love convenience but it shouldn’t completely overtake tradition

  7. Baby Isabella
    October 7, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Some people still love wedding fairs and seeing venues first hand so I suspect these visits won’t dwindle. Totally agree with researching and planing online though!

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:50 am

      Yep, wedding fairs are here to stay. It’s fun attending them and also seeing venues face to face is better. You can use online to narrow down the numbers and compare rates but its better to visit in person

  8. October 7, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    I do think a lot of people (at least the one’s that I know) still want to plan their weddings the old fashioned way… For now… But the digital side of things will only grow!

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:51 am

      Same with my friends but most have been mixing it up

  9. francesca
    October 7, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I love both aspects of online and offline wedding prep!! There are some things that you just need to do offline especially for a day as special as your wedding. Going to venues, wedding dress shopping, cake tasting etc just so many and it would be a shame if the whole industry went online!

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:52 am

      I think it would be a great shame indeed, I would want to try wedding dresses on, see the venues, cake tasting and more in person but things like invites and types of gifts can be requested online

  10. October 7, 2017 / 4:42 am

    I couldn’t imagine a huge portion of the industry going digital online. It’s such an in-person experience. It’s more intimate that way!

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:55 am

      Agreed, I think it will come to a balance of what’s more convenient to do online and the in-person experience to do offline

  11. Lian Wright
    October 7, 2017 / 2:26 am

    I agree. I don’t think the bulk of this industry will go online. There are so many parts of a wedding that should be seen in person before making any plans or putting money down.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:55 am

      Totally in agreement with you there

  12. Marysa
    October 7, 2017 / 1:01 am

    While a lot of stuff is convenient online, I imagine people will always go through the wedding dress shopping process and tradition in a regular store. I think the industry will adapt.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:55 am

      Agreed, I truly believe the industry will adapt and find a medium

  13. October 7, 2017 / 12:51 am

    Technology is great but it forces business owners to change the way they do things. Pinterest is like a virtual wedding planner.

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:56 am

      That’s true, I am scared of the pinterest world especially if you don’t get it how you think it should be

  14. Bex Smith
    October 6, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    I’ve definitely noticed weddings becoming more digitalised. I agree that there will always be room for wedding stuff online though too

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:58 am

      Oh absolutely, weddings I think will have a place both online and offline, some things will only work offline and some things much easier online

  15. October 6, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    When I got married, hunting for gowns online wasn’t really an option back then. Today, my daughter uses her iphone to shop for wedding gowns and everything all things wedding related. Times have changed.

    • October 9, 2017 / 7:00 am

      Times have changed indeed, I would use online to search for stores that had my kind of wedding dress and then visit them in person

  16. October 6, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    I definitely think the internet can help with wedding planner, it gives you so much more of a range to look at whilst planning but it will never take over the real world because you can’t try a wedding dress online and sometimes the internet could almost give you too much choice

  17. October 6, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    The internet has made a lot of things easier. I love being able to send invites online.

  18. chubskulit
    October 6, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    Planning a big event these days is a lot easier using the Internet. The options are unlimited with stuff you can find online.

  19. October 6, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    My niece got married a few years ago, and she did all of her planning online. She created a group wedding board for everything. They visited a couple of places, but they were all found online. You can search online like never before, meaning that little vineyard that she got married at, no one knew existed! It was beautiful. She would have never found it, had it not been for social media searching.

  20. October 6, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    I think quite often things becoming more online based makes it a lot easier for everyone, however that said I do hope things don’t completely become online based.

  21. October 6, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    I think online we might find inspiration but offline is the way we’ll continue to book things as for such a big day the couple want to know what they’ll be getting

  22. Christy Maurer
    October 6, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    The internet definitely has changed the wedding industry! I think it is a lot easier to plan now because you can compare so much.

  23. Jeanette
    October 6, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    I wish this was around back when I get married. He would’ve helped us a whole lot more. Preparation is not easy to do and if the Internet was more convenient back then I would have used it a lot more

  24. October 6, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I think that most of the wedding preparations are done online these days because it’s much more comfortable and easy to arrange everything from in front of your computer. However, as you said, choosing a dress or a venue will remain offline. I can’t imagine ordering a wedding dress online.

  25. October 6, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Planning online is so helpful! I do this when I plan on vacations. I never bothered with my wedding because it was a quick courthouse wedding. I’ve never been a wedding gal at all.

  26. valmg
    October 6, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    Doing certain things online can be very convenient. I can see where certain things related to wedding planning could be done online, but others like seeing a venue, trying on dresses and tasting will always need to be done in person.

  27. Alli Smith
    October 6, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    When my daughter had a destination wedding, we did much of the planning online. Wedding invites were also purchased online. It saved a lot of time and money.

  28. Candy Kage
    October 6, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Most of our wedding invitations come from email now instead of the mail. Saves time running around checking prices and trying to find what you need for the wedding.

  29. Melanie
    October 6, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    The thing is the internet gives extremely fab bargains where face to face they seem to charge super premiums x

  30. Tomi_C
    October 6, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I recently helped a couple plan their wedding in a WEEK, yes 7 days! It was a breeze thanks to deals and steals on the internet. Evites, venue and decor all found online.

  31. Rebecca
    October 5, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    I think if I was planning a wedding, then going out and trying on lots of dresses and tasting cakes would be part of the whole experience, although it would be great to get inspiration online too.

  32. Jinzo_2400
    October 5, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    Sounds like doing a wedding digitally is the way to go….of course that will eliminate a lot of content on the Judge Judy show….no more bridezillas vs. wedding planner fights…

  33. October 5, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this. I met a Turkish wedding dress designer a few months back and he said in his country people are moving further and further away from tradition. I found it interesting to compare notes with him on the UK industry. My fella is a wedding photographer and next to his shop there’s a wedding dress fitters too. They’ve both seen huge changes to the industry in recent years with people being influenced heavily by what they see online.

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