Trivial

Wedding Content // The Wedding Industry: Online vs Offline*

It’s getting to the point now that so many people rarely do anything unless it’s “Instagram worthy” from life announcements, to decorating and even what their kids wear. We’re all becoming more and more reliant on the digital world and how we’re perceived in it.

In the past, organising a wedding has always been something you do in person. From viewing the venue, to trying on the gown and tasting that cake, it wasn’t something you could do over the Internet. However, is that about to change?

Over the last year about 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one thing online, and a large proportion buy everything online from clothes to their weekly grocery shop. With everyone living such busy lives and working extra hours, shopping with a few clicks is easier (and cheaper) than going into town. And now the question remains, what does this mean for the wedding industry? Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique solitaire engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings have discussed whether it’s time for the industry to take the leap into the digital world in order to survive this new era of the Internet.

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Is The Future Digital?
With more and more people wanting to do their shopping online and with the increasing fear of using the phone (I’m one of these people, it’s crippling), does the wedding industry need to get in on this to remain successful?

In a way the wedding industry has already taken those first tentative steps into the digital world with such apps as Pinterest and Instagram giving couples an infinite resource of inspiration for their big day. A whopping 42% now use social media to help plan their wedding. Not just looking for inspiration but for ensuring they get the best on the web, now seeing 41% of brides following photographers on social media, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists. Not only are the wedding couple benefiting here, but these social media apps have provided a platform for suppliers to showcase what they have on to offer.

According to The Huffington Post, around 6 out of 10 brides are planning their weddings through their mobile device: they research gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011) as well as searching for reviews of any companies they might have involved in their big day.

And it’s not just the planning side that goes hand in hand with social media. 27% of couples said they would create a hashtag for their special day. And why not? It is the 21st Century after all.

Surviving Offline
Thankfully for the wedding industry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Although it helps to be active on social media and showcase what you have to offer to modern wedding planners, there is always going to be a place offline for them.

There is always so much with a wedding you need to do and see in person. You can’t tell how good a cake is just by looking at it and you can’t tell me that all modern couples want to guess what their wedding breakfast will taste like. And come on, part of being a bride is going into a store and trying on all the dresses. Not everyone is going to want to miss out on that.

And lets not forget the age old practice of attending a wedding fair. While couples might plan a wedding online using inspiration from others, a wedding fair is where suppliers will be able to meet potential customers face to face. A wedding is very much a party for all the senses and as much as digital planning is fun, couples still want to physically see what is on offer before committing. Lets not forget the old traditionalists who want the full wedding planning experience and won’t be doing anything online. There is still a market for them.

For the time being wedding suppliers need to combine the best of both worlds. Using social media and the Internet to gain exposure but still reel them in with some physical face to face meetings. You better bring your game face as the wedding industry is a tough one!

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