Editor’s note: Sara Morgan is the founder of Tailored.co, a website that helps brides organize their wedding planning process and personalize their style. A wedding industry entrepreneur, she previously served as Director of Marketing for Weddzilla.com and has been featured in The Huffington Post Weddings, InStyle Magazine, Brides Magazine and more.
After having spent three years working in the tech startup space in the wedding industry, believe me when I say there are two things that still don’t seem to go together: Technology and weddings.
Industry veterans looked at me quizzically after I suggested in meetings after meetings the notion of online wedding shopping. They believe designers don’t want to sell dresses online--much less at a discount--and that retailers want to preserve the “in-store” experience they believe brides crave.
But brides are already shopping online... they are hacking together collages from magazines like Brides and blogs like Style Me Pretty. They want ideas, inspiration. They want to discover new products and designers. They want to see how other brides are planning their weddings, what they are buying. And they want to do it online, sitting comfortably at their desks, peering around every so often to make sure their boss was out of sight.
In the HLNtv.com article, “Pinterest: Your Worst Wedding Crasher?” it is suggested that with the birth of visual inspiration and social sharing sites like Pinterest came the death of creativity, originality, and most importantly, the element of surprise. I think this could not be further from the truth and here’s why.
Brides have been sharing their wedding planning ideas with the bridal party and friends for years: This is nothing new.
As a bridesmaid in nine weddings to date, I can’t tell you how many lengthy email chains I have been included on with the bride soliciting opinions on everything from the dress to the shoes to, yes, even the cake topper. Have I attended weddings in which many of the details I had previously been consulted on? You betcha! But as opposed to feeling that the element of surprise was ruined, I felt more emotionally attached to every little aspect of the bride’s big day, because I had been a part (albeit small) of helping the vision come together.
When a bride feels she lacks originality, discovery points like Tailored, Pinterest, and Style Me Pretty are the solution, not the problem.
Anyone who believes that getting inspiration online from other brides is stifling originality in wedding planning has clearly forgotten that prior to the tech movement in the wedding space, girls were all reading the same magazines, cutting out photos from the same articles, and even shopping at the same boutiques in their hometown. I don’t argue that buzzed about wedding trends like subbing cake pops for a wedding cake or using mason jars as centerpieces can get to be a tad overplayed. But just as with fashion—like skinny jeans or boho handbags that are seen everywhere as soon as a fashion mag dubs them “the next big thing”—I don’t believe that mass consumption of a trend can ever be avoided.
No one thinks about the wedding as much as the bride does.
This is some of the best advice I have ever received (thanks, mom!). When it comes to planning a wedding, brides tend to think that their friends and family are all as consumed by it as they are. While it is fun to see what friends are thinking of doing for their big day, I am not constantly checking their Pinterest boards or Facebook profiles... are you? I mention this because while there may be some elements revealed before a wedding, odds are, even if she is posting them all over the internet, no one is taking as much notice as the bride thinks. That is unless they, too, are planning a wedding, and in that case, it gives them an opportunity to see what you are planning and avoid doing exactly what you do!
So, I say keep shopping, keep sharing, keep discovering and keep being inspired online. Take a trend and add your own personal twist to it. Instead of thinking of sites like Pinterest as your worst enemy, start thinking of them as your Maid of Honor. If you think wedding planning is hard now, just picture it ten years ago. Ahhh, you’ve finally come around, wedding industry.... it’s about time!