Where is the Bump?

by Rick Brewer

For the past 25+ years that I have been actively involved in the wedding industry, there have been many numbers that have pretty much stayed consistent. These include the number of total weddings each year as well as the average spending. This past week I have had conversations with a few industry friends who have likewise been in the middle of the industry and know how and what to measure. Those numbers both concur on one fact: there was no bump. The bump many were expecting was the bump coming from the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex weddings.

When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex weddings, there was thought and even talk that the floodgates would open and scores and scores of couples would be coming forward to finally marry. This thought and talk failed to recognize these three facts:

  1. Those who wanted to be together, were together. They may have previously had a Union ceremony or simply didn’t feel the need to be recognized as legal by the same system that once told them they were wrong.
  2. Like the trend with hetero couples, they simply were getting married less and living together more. The length of engagements has (estimated) more than tripled in 20 years. With a longer engagement leaves the vulnerability that the relationship can end before the marriage happens.
  3. These couples who were getting married already knew those who threw parties- they had thrown parties before and had lists of competent vendors who would do just fine with their receptions.

In a previous article, I wrote some time back, I warned against the idea of sinking too much into what others were essentially calling a gold rush. I mentioned that anyone who was not in the business could be viewed as a carpetbagger to the Gay community. Further, the bump which was predicted was somewhere around 1-3% of the industry. Presuming that it hit the high end, even if that bump doubled, any business would be wise to focus on the 94% of the business rather than the 6%.

Here is something even more important to consider: Statistics are 100% personal. The fact is at the worst times of the wedding and event industry there have been those who dug in and made it through with flying colors. My point is this; no matter what the situation, boom or bust, you can fly with your business to the levels you deserve to be at. It simply requires that you focus on the items that make you money in your business.

No matter what the numbers are in the industry (by the way, one of my go to people is a numbers guy like me, Shane Mc Murray with www.TheWeddingReport.com  there is enough business out there for you to grab your slice. Further, few professionals are taking the proper steps to get ahead, so if you know the right way to get the right leads to your doors, you have an enormous advantage.