4 areas where the wedding industry still needs to change

@planwithlaur One of those ✨pinch me✨ moments! #weddingindustryeducation #marthasvineyardweddings #weddingindustrylife #weddingvendor ♬ original sound – Laur | Wedding Content Creator

You know those pinch me moments you’re lucky to get once in a while? In May I had a really exciting opportunity.

The moment came when speaking at Martha’s Party, an intimate gathering of luxury wedding vendors in New England. As the name suggests, the conference happens on Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod. It was such a welcome escape from NYC! And I definitely did NOT hate having an oceanfront suite at the Winnetu.

The conference organizers asked me to speak to the group of wedding planners & vendors about wedding content creation. I won’t lie, it’s validating to be recognized as the key person behind the growth of wedding content creation in the last year. But it’s even more fun to share about social media strategy with the very people I partner with to make your wedding happen! Wedding vendors are entrepreneurial, creative, problem-solving, and above all–FUN!

I want to share some thoughts from my talk and from conversations I had at the conference.

I started my talk by going WAY back in time, almost 200 years. That’s because wedding photography really became a thing in the 1840s. It was then (and is now) the first wedding vendor all about capturing memories. Photography has since grown to become one of the top vendor categories. Your wedding photographer is widely considered one of the first vendor choices you make when planning. And rightly so!

I then hit fast-forward 125 years. That’s because the next major breakthrough in wedding “media” didn’t happen until the 1970s. Made possible by portable & affordable video recording equipment, wedding videography became its own vendor category. While videographers aren’t a must-have for every couple, they’re hired for more more weddings than not.

Over time, the technology we use has improved, and by a lot! For example, cinematic drone footage is must-have establishing shots for any videographer. We’ve seen the invention of DIY photo booths and 360 selfie booths. The list of technology & innovation goes on…and on. However, the photo and video category at weddings hasn’t fundamentally changed in at least 50 years.

@planwithlaur Because every moment deserves to be captured✨ #weddingbehindthescenes #weddingdaymemories #timelessweddingideas #romanticweddingvibes #weddingdaymagic #intimateweddingvideo #intimateweddingphoto #weddingdayinspo ♬ The Thrill

This is the wedding media & vendor landscape I experienced as a bride. As a bridal influencer sharing about my wedding planning journey online, I simply couldn’t wait weeks or months to get content back from my wedding. My community wanted to experience my wedding in real time.

Beyond that, I realized that my vendors weren’t creating short-form video content for me to post online. Your videographer is focused on the cinematic edit. Your photographer is getting staged photos. Who is documenting the more candid and unfiltered moments throughout the day?

I realized then that there was a gap that I needed to fill. And this is why I started wedding content creation!

Since wedding content creation is a completely new wedding vendor category, there were so many questions from the crowd.

I mention all of this because one word that kept coming up was “disruption.” Wedding content creators are changing the traditional photo/video landscape for the first time in 50 years.

The conversation turned over cocktails to other areas in the wedding industry where there is potential for disruption, or where change is needed.

Here are four areas we talked about!

wedding fashion: size inclusivity

There’s an unfortunate but very real facet of wedding culture called “shedding for the wedding.” Couples, and especially brides, feel pressure to lose loads of weight to look and feel beautiful on their wedding day. It’s unhealthy and toxic, but I can attest – we all see the pressure, even if we don’t all feel it to the same degree.

This culture also plays out in the sizing of most wedding dresses. Sample gowns that you try on in your bridal boutique are typically bridal sizes 8-12, which themselves are 1-2 sizes smaller than off-the-rack clothing. When the average woman wears a size 18-20, there’s a really problematic signal sent by brands & designers to potential clients.

While more size-inclusive designs are beginning to come to market, the reality is we have so long to go to ensure that dresses are designed to fit all shapes, sizes, and genders.

year-round inclusivity

It’s not enough anymore for the months of February and June to be the only time to feature your BIPOC and Queer partners, vendors and employees. Weddings should be inclusive year round. Posting only during June, will give the illusion that you’re a queer-friendly company, but it can have the opposite, tokenizing effect on those you work with.

Planners in particular at the conference were aware that when they plan weddings for all couples that it’s important to market their services (& their website and social media feed) to reflect that.

media teams

One really interesting topic of conversation was about how media teams grow ever larger, especially at luxury weddings. For context, when I say media team I mean photographers, videographers and content creators. I’ve worked weddings with 8-10 people on the media team; some planners have entire production teams at weddings.

One thing that a lot of couples don’t understand is how influential your media team is in your wedding timeline. In many cases, your photographer will actually dictate start & end times for hair, makeup, the ceremony, and more.

We’d all love our couples to better understand how influential their vendors are in shaping the wedding timeline!

Photo from Devon & Chris wedding where I worked beside Moonhoneyphotography

social media

This last area is close to my heart…for obvious reasons! Social media is where I planned my wedding. And it’s how I’ve built my career.

Weddings are a lot of work because, hey – it’s your first and only time planning one. This is exactly why we hire planners. It’s also why knowledge sharing hubs and marketplaces like The Knot and WeddingWire are mainstays & frequent reference points for couples throughout their planning journey.

How we share knowledge is changing, however. Wedding planning is now happening in real time on social media! You’d be shocked how good TikTok search is – so good that Gen Z literally uses TikTok instead of Google. (#guilty) There are cohorts of #2023brides (up to #2026brides) who are leveraging TikTok for tips, DIY guides and ideas. They’re learning from people like me about how they plan their wedding.

These are but a few areas where the wedding industry is undergoing or on the verge of change! For me, I’m back in NYC but dreaming of that cool ocean breeze off the beach at Martha’s Vineyard!