This year has been a difficult one for the wedding industry; there’s no getting around that fact. Many event pros have felt like 2020 has put their businesses at a standstill, leaving them to consider whether they still had a future in weddings. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and its much-anticipated resolution, it’s natural to question what the industry will look like in 2021—and where your business fits into that landscape.
There’s one thing was know for sure: the pandemic will come to an end and, in its wake, the wedding industry will be reborn as engaged couples and their loved ones embrace the opportunity to gather in person again. What was once taken for granted will now be a celebration not just of love, but of reunion and recovery.
But the truth is that the pandemic is only a catalyst for change in the industry. In fact, the market has been shifting for some time and many wedding businesses have seen couples pare down guest lists and move away from the ‘more is more’ mentality. An intimate guest experience has surpassed beautiful décor in importance and, as a result, event professionals have had to adapt their services to meet clients’ needs.
That begs the question: How can wedding professionals come together to inspire and impact the imminent rebirth of the industry?
Tailor services to meet new demands.
We’re experiencing the dawn of a new era, with personalization and intimacy at the core of the ‘modern wedding.’ Couples are returning to their roots and embracing the beauty in marriage, rather than thinking about how every little detail will look in photos.
Due to the pandemic, this shift has accelerated micro weddings from an emerging trend to the spotlight trend of today’s industry. As many couples are thinking small, wedding professionals are adapting their services to include micro wedding packages that prioritize personal details over never-ending guest lists.
However, a smaller wedding doesn’t equate to a smaller budget. In fact, a majority of couples who have limited headcount are reallocating their budget instead of cutting it. They’re investing more of their budget into creating a one-of-a-kind day for themselves and their guests, without worrying about excessive costs per person.
Lean into the change.
The average weddings looks remarkably different this year, as the pandemic has brought about countless changes to typical health and safety measures. Things like social distancing, masks, temperature checks, and limited guest counts are here to stay—at least for a while. Instead of viewing these as restrictions, embrace them as opportunities for creativity and innovation.
Masks can be customized with the couple’s initials and their wedding date. A temperature check at the entrance can be made into a raffle with prizes. Social distancing can turn into a fun guest experience made up of differently-themed pods. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re ready to move forward from a place of positivity and hope.
It’s up to wedding professionals to show couples that these safety measures can be additions to their big day, as opposed to annoying restrictions on their celebration. We may not be able to change the situation, but we can (and should) adjust and adapt to it in the way we do best: creatively.
Practice self-driven study.
In recent years, education has become a fundamental aspect in the growth of the industry. Unfortunately, the pandemic has limited in-person opportunities and we’ve seen our favorite conferences and workshops postponed for the year. However, this isn’t an excuse to put continued learning on the backburner; instead, it serves as inspiration to bring your education inwards.
Self-driven study is challenging for many, as it requires motivation and dedication to learning. Even the best intentions can be overshadowed by more pressing responsibilities, like sales consultations and client work. However, continuing education is instrumental to an event professional’s career development and, ultimately, the growth of the industry at-large.
Fortunately, there are a vast number of choices when it comes to self-education so you can pick a mode that best suits your learning style. Some may prefer the firm structure of a certification course, whereas others may find the most success in listening to podcasts and webinars from industry thought leaders.
While there’s no definite timeframe for the end of COVID-19, we can use the upcoming months to gather our resources, grow as individuals, and prepare to come together in 2021 to collectively lift the wedding industry from the ashes. There’s a transformation brewing around the corner, so be diligent during these quieter times and commit to personal and professional development so you can be on the forefront of change.