On Monday I wrote on my DJ company’s blog about the misguided idea that “wedding DJs” are somehow something to be avoided, as though the very association with weddings makes a DJ cheesy and generic — as opposed to, you know, someone who happens to specialize in weddings. Unfortunately, this mentality doesn’t seem to be limited to just the DJ world.
Rather, I’ve noticed the creation of this kind of “anti-wedding” counter-culture, where both engaged couples and wedding business owners are rallying against the idea of weddings themselves. But, while I’m all for bucking traditions that don’t feel “right” and making your wedding personal (hell, I had an all-Stevie-Wonder ceremony and a caricature artist at my own 10 years ago), I’m kind of bothered by the idea of wedding vendors capitalizing on the idea that weddings = bad.
Because that’s what they’re doing: capitalizing, or trying to capitalize, on something that ultimately may bring harm to the wedding industry at large. It strikes me as a little disingenuous to make money on someone’s wedding while selling them on how “non-wedding” you are. See, weddings aren’t any one thing. Weddings are not big poufy-sleeved dresses, they’re not twelve-tier cakes with plastic staircases and fountains (do those still exist?), they’re not the Macarena, they’re not over-warmed “steak and cake” entrees, they’re not floating tealights in fishbowls, they’re not spot-color details on a portrait that took 20 minutes to set up.
Weddings are what the couple want them to be, and what their hired vendors create.
If weddings themselves are the enemy, then we should all shutter our businesses and direct our clients to the nearest justice of the peace. We sure shouldn’t be trying to make money off them.
And yeah, it might sound a little dramatic to say an “anti-wedding” marketing push is harmful to the industry. Maybe it is. But fear-mongering doesn’t sit well with me, and making engaged couples worry that the majority of wedding businesses are out to force cheesy “traditions” on them and won’t listen to their ideas is, in fact, fear-mongering.
Why not shift the negative “I’m so much cooler than weddings” message toward a more positive “your wedding can be however you envision it” approach? Because weddings are, in fact, how we make our money, and we as professionals should respect the industry in which we work, and all the possibilities it creates for our clients.