By Paul Pannone
Because of the recent events in the country over the past several weeks wedding-related topics seemed to have taken a back seat to higher issues plaguing society. The hurricane disaster, the election and aftermath that has further divided the country has taken the attention away from trivial problems of the wedding business and caused many wedding industry people to get more involved in charitable activities and others to use the disaster as a reason to tailor marketing and try to scam dollars in any way they can.
New additions to the Wedding water Cooler includes retailers who’ve moved past their front door and been involved with all sides of the business.
Wedding Water Cooler members have tried to get back on topic sans the normal rhetoric and internal bashing. The addition of several new members could be a reason for the better behavior– but I doubt it. Members of the group did not escape devastation, citing down trees and power outages in their homes and businesses. Some opined on how this hurricane and devastation differed from Irene, hitting the metro New York and New Jersey area, getting more coverage.
Industry veteran and co-founder of the WWC, Christine Boulton, wrote a story involving wedding planners and the different roles they play. The story struck a nerve in the group and steered discussions back on track to the more trivial part of life– the wedding business.
Boulton’s story sketches out the roles played by planners in the following structure:
The architect designs everything from the structure to the appliance placement to the general layout of the landscaping. To translate this to wedding planning you start with nothing and design the whole package from location to lighting concept to the style of the invitations.
The General Contractor:
The GC takes the plans and makes them happen. She hires the subs and creates the schedule. She keeps everything on track and budget. The translation: you take the brides concept and find the right vendors to make it happen. You make sure that they are all on the same page and working on schedule, that the flowers are delivered at the right moment and that the cake gets cut when the photographer is in place to catch the shot. You are the field general, implementing someone else’s plan.
The Stage Manager:
The stage manager comes in last, after the walls are in and the floors are in place. He makes sure that at the time of performance timing is adhered to, that the props are all in place and that everyone hits their marks. This translates to weddings as someone who comes in after all the vendors have been hired and the major decisions made. You manage the actual day of, you work with what they are given to make the brides vision happen.
Boulton’s piece was hailed by planner members including Khalilah Olokunola who said:
“Best damn article I’ve read in a long time regarding the roles of planning – I plan on sharing the heezy jeezy out of this! If more planners understood the different roles we would have less drama a better interpretation of what the industry and individuals have to offer. I’ve pondered throwing in the towel a few times this year, most recently last week because frankly it stinks and I’m so tired of the fly by night pop ups who do this just because they feel like it and not from because its fueled from a passion that started inside to create . I’m damn sure positive that I’m different , I look different, talk different and design different…heck I have different ideas of what fabulous is and isn’t - We all do ….The problem in it all is that you can’t market people who don’t really know who they are – I hope this article sets them free ….”
New addition to the group, Jacqui Wadsworth added:
“In our area, I’ve watched several women in the wedding business “become” wedding planners. Their chosen fields weren’t apparently producing enough income, so they decided since they were photographers, or small bridal show event people, that they should “add-on” a related field in the form of wedding planner. I’m keeping my eye open to see how this pans out for them. I’m afraid that trend may be getting larger as everyone who loves the bridal market that can’t seem to make ends meet, looks for another way to do so. I’ll keep you posted on my findings.Meanwhile, I’m glad to hear what true wedding planners are doing. Thanks!”