2020 has seen the first recession in the UK for 11 years due to the COVID lockdown and subsequent restrictions. This has had and is still having a disastrous impact on the Wedding Industry in the UK. What we thought would be a summer of no weddings, is quickly turning into the whole year, with a massive question mark as to what 2021 is going to look like.
Not only has the postponement of weddings across 2020 due to the first lockdown halted revenue for small business wedding suppliers, the numerous restrictions has furthered the blow to the industry. But with no sign of a vaccine in kicking in within the next 6-9-12 months?? and many families attempting to shield the more vulnerable members of their family, weddings as we knew them pre 2020, still feel a very long way away.
Amid this unprecedented occurrence of lockdown and subsequent restrictions, many couples on their wedding planning journey have had time to reflect on what is truly important to them. Due to the uncertainty of how the Covid restrictions will play out on 2021 and beyond, for some, they are choosing to further postpone out to 2022. Whilst others are making a choice to now reduce their guest numbers and hold a smaller, more intimate weddings to abide by government restrictions.
With this shift towards a more personal wedding with fewer guests for the foreseeable future at least, what does that mean for us as wedding suppliers going forward for the next couple of years?
Well lets, keep in mind, there are only ever 2 reasons an engaged couple choose to purchase a business’s services for their wedding, whether there are Covid restrictions or not:
1)You are solving a problem for them, or
2) They WANT what you are selling.
We just need to clarify what the new WANT is under todays circumstances.
Initially you may see the potential reduction in guests as yet another hit to the industry, but here at The Boho Bride Guide, we see this as a massive OPPORTUNITY.
The decision or restriction to having a limited amount of guests, potentially means that couples planning their wedding have more money in their pocket to spend per head than they previously did. Therefore, we as wedding suppliers need to refocus in on their new requirements and show we can offer a premium wedding service that caters to exactly what they WANT at their more intimate celebration.
An event hire company pre- Covid offered their glassware per unit at £0.60 per glass and their plate chargers at £0.90 per charger. Due to the down turn in guest numbers, this would drastically hit their bottom line. As 150 guests could be = £225 has now been cut to 15 guests = £22.50.
However, if you refocus your thinking, and start creating 'Premium Covid Friendly Wedding' packages, you can quickly start to retain and potentially exceed your profit margins.
You find out through customer research that there is a big want around creating a boho inspired table-scape. So you package up your items and sell them as a 'Bohemian Wedding Dream' Styling Package. It includes, 2 Peacock Chairs, a macrame backdrop hanging, a macrame table runner, 15 mustard coloured water glasses, 15 Champagne flutes, 15 hessian plate chargers, 15 cheese cloth napkins, table candles, 15 sets of antique knives and forks. This premium package is costed at £325 (excluding delivery),
You then set all of these items up and get some fabulous imagery of the package items so the couples can clear visualise what they are getting and how their table will look on their special day.
By offering this premium package you are 'reducing friction' for the couples planning their Covid Friendly Wedding. The package is:
Smaller Weddings = More Money Available per Head
How can you apply 'Premium Covid Friendly Wedding' Packages to your product offerings?
The 4 Pillars of How to Diversify & Thrive through Covid as a Wedding Supplier…
For example: As a florist I have refocused my attention from providing packages that cater for large bridal and groomsmen parties, to specialising in providing bespoke ‘Just Married’ boho inspired backdrops. Where the newly wed couple sit and eat their food and listen to speeches surrounded in floral beautifulness, which actually has a higher profit margin ironically!
I have partnered up with a fellow event hire business to enable us to create unique one off newly wed table transformations, for couples looking to create a WOW factor in their wedding photos to share with their wider friends and family that were not able to attend.
The other element to this section is how to potentially inject a ‘passive’ or ‘semi passive’ income, or how I would rather view it ‘online assets’ into your Business Product Hierarchy – where you are no longer trading your time for money.
So using my wedding florist background as an example, I could choose to cater for my existing audience, ‘boho brides’ and create an online course teaching how to create their own boho inspired wedding flowers, for a one off fee. So once the course is online, other than content management, improvement and asset marketing, you then have an online product that brings you in income without having to provide a physical service each time someone buys.
Remember – someone wants the information you have and are willing to pay for it!
So I hope this has given you some motivation and fire back in your belly as wedding suppliers. I’m afraid this is not for everyone, as this is going to take more blood, sweat and tears to get this right and to create wedding business that will survive through Covid and thrive in the ‘new normal’. But if you are up for the challenge, then hold tight as my next 4 blog posts will go into more detail around each of these 4 pillars and how to implement them within your wedding business.
See you there!!
The Wedding Business Blog
A biz. development blog dedicated to wedding suppliers looking to grow their business resilience and thrive amid Covid 19 and beyond.
Founder of The Boho Bride Guide
At the beginning of 2020, Jenny identified a gap within the wedding industry, and realised by bringing her two areas of expertise together, her background in Training and People Development, as well as her experience running her small business in the wedding industry, she could really make a difference to wedding suppliers looking to grow their business and their brand.