I’ve been musing a lot recently. Thinking about this industry, the financial side of weddings, the way it all works and what motivates people in the wedding industry. For many of us it’s the thank you card from a happy customer; the email saying how wedding guests commented on our work. It’s also the sheer love of our jobs that keeps us going.
For me, it’s also the very personal and involved relationship I can develop with a bride and groom. Discussing wedding stationery, chatting at length about your colours, styles and ideas for your wedding day can be thrilling. Sharing that excitement at such a happy time in people’s lives is pretty unbeatable. It’s certainly worlds apart from sitting in a busy open plan office working my little head off only for no one ever to say thank you.
I’ve been cynical about wedding awards in the past. It’s the industry’s mutual back-slapping I don’t like. That’s just a personal thing, and it’s not what I’m here for today. It was partly my criticism of existing awards that led to me being asked to join the judging panel for the 2012 Wedding Industry Awards – an independent awards event focused on reviews by brides and grooms; not by mates and fellow wedding suppliers!
The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards has honest intentions. The whole thing is based on integrity and genuine recognition of good service, dedication to customers and real reviews from real people.
Restoring my faith in people!
The first round of judging is underway. I’ve been privileged to read some of the votes and reviews – from “nothing was ever too much trouble” to the most simple things like suppliers listening and showing an interest in the wedding. Most of the reviews were really long too – voters really thought about what they wrote.
It’s lovely to know that brides and grooms take the time to review a supplier who does a wonderful job for them. The reviews I read were genuine, grateful – and reflected the suppliers who’d gone the extra mile for their clients. Who’d ever think that sending a card on the wedding day would make such a real impact on brides and grooms?
Making an impression on brides and grooms
As wedding suppliers we really do make an impression on people. And I don’t just mean the photographers who are there on the wedding day, or the caterers, chauffeurs and toastmasters who become part of the wedding itself. I’m talking about the wedding stationers, the florists and wedding planners – no matter what your role in the wedding industry, you can find yourself making real friends with the people you meet through your job. It’s a big thing: to relieve stress, make things easier for brides and grooms, inspire and enthuse the whole wedding process.
More than a financial investment
Brides and grooms invest in their wedding day. They invest financially: £20k and beyond, if we believe the stats*. For some suppliers that’s all they see: the couple, the money, the next wedding. The best wedding suppliers are those who appreciate the emotional investment from brides and grooms.
It’s the little things that count
Because it’s the little things. You’ll stand out from the crowd as a wedding supplier by being there, by sending a little card, by following up after the wedding, by caring. From the reviews I’ve been reading this is what sets the best aside. The little things will make all the difference: to your brides and grooms, to the enjoyment you get from your business, to word of mouth and your reputation.
And to bring me back nicely to the subject of wedding awards, this is why the 2012 Wedding Industry Awards means so much more – not just as a representation of the industry but as something really inclusive where brides and grooms are the ones who’ve had a say in who gets an award.
I found it all very heart warming being involved with the judging process. Brides and grooms really invest so much in their wedding suppliers. I’m glad the industry is finally giving something back.
*I don’t believe those stats, by the way.