Friday, July 25, 2014

Wedding Market Reports by Budget Spend

The most current wedding market reports in all four budget categories are now available from Splendid Insights! The budget categories are:

*Luxury: wedding budgets of $96,000 or greater, not including honeymoon (7% of global wedding market)
*Premium: wedding budgets of $31,000 - $95,000, not including honeymoon (19% of global wedding market)
*Standard: wedding budgets of $11,000 - $30,000, not including honeymoon (44% of global wedding market)
*Economical: wedding budgets of $10,000 or less (30% of global wedding market)

Splitting the budget segments into four categories rather than two ("average and luxury") gives a more accurate picture of what couples value and are looking for in their wedding planning process. It can also give you a sense of how to make different choices for your business based on your target clients or who you would like to be your target clients. If you have a mass market product, the Economical and Standard reports are ones you'll want to review.

A note on the budget segment names: it was important to me that the segments be named in a manner that was not demeaning to a couple's financial choices. Describing a wedding as "average" is a slap in the face to a couple who spent just a many hours dreaming of their day as another couple who may have spent more.

I also wanted to stay away from the term "low-budget." $10,000 is a significant amount of money, no matter your household income. If someone chooses to spend less on a wedding, we as an industry shouldn't be turning that choice into some type of wedding caste system. Every wedding budget has a story: some couples pay for their weddings entirely themselves, some are paid for by parents who have been saving since the day their child was born, and so on. How we talk about budgets in the wedding industry matters, and I tried to choose terms that were respectful of the different choices we see every day.

The budget segment reports, along with regional and country wedding market reports can be purchased here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Successful People

People are just people. Famous people are just people. Wealthy people are just people. Successful people are just people. 

It's important to have mentors, and it's important to have role models, but it's important not to set people up on a pedestal. No one is better than you as a person and creating an idol out of a successful wedding professional or successful business person is a fast way to quench your creativity. Also, they'll inevitably disappoint you at some point. If they don't then you're probably not being objective enough in your view of them.

There is no reason that you can't be as successful or more successful than the people you look up to. There is no reason you can't be known as a trendsetter (trends are trends because someone said so; be the person who says so). There is no reason you can't be the person other people look up to. That truth is one of the hardest to accept, in both life and business, but it is also one of the most liberating.

Are you living your life in such a way that other people want to emulate or learn from YOU? And if not, why not?

Originally published February 2009.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Remembering What You Want

Discipline is remembering what you want. -- David Campbell

We eat this, not that and commit to exercise because we remember that what we want is to feel and look good.

We say no to certain types of projects and clients because we remember what it is we want to have more room to say yes to.

We create personal boundaries surrounding our businesses because we remember that we want to have more focused time with family.

We schedule in time for reading/exploring/art museum visits because we remember that what we want is new ways of thinking and that will only come by exposure to varied and new ideas.

We schedule in time for marketing tasks because we remember that their benefits accumulate over time and that it's best not to wait until the well is dry to start looking for new life-giving sources.

Discipline isn't a dirty word nor an impossible feat. It is making choices, day by day, hour by hour, that keep in mind what we really wanted in the first place.

Originally published October 2012

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yes, You Have To Fight For It

You may have seen this quote making the rounds on Pinterest: "When it's real, it's effortless."

It's terrible advice.

These concepts of "easy having" and "easy living" have permeated our culture to the point that many of us believe that good things -- real things -- should show up magically and without much fuss. Then when they don't, we decide they're not worth pursuing and write them off as "not meant to be."

This is one of the most toxic lies we believe and it prevents people from experiencing sustainable joy.

Parents fight for the well-being of their children.
Couples fight for their marriages.
Societies fight for their values and ideals.
The oppressed fight for their freedom and voice.
Entrepreneurs fight for their companies.
Artists fight for their ideas.

Anything and everything worth having in life requires tenacity and grace. If you want something real -- something that matters and stands the test of time -- you will have to pursue it. You will have to fight for it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What You See Is What You Get

I'm always amazed at how Beka Rendell of Styled Creative and Kimberly Fink of Treatmint Box see things. They can walk into any dilapidated venue and see it transformed into something magical. They can take a piece of what the rest of the world would consider garbage and turn it into art. They can take a handful of seemingly disconnected items and combine them into what becomes the next must-have trend (their hanging ribbon escort card "table" --  once published in Martha Stewart Weddings -- is now recreated at weddings every weekend by planners across the United States).

This industry is full of people with this kind of talent: Todd Fiscus, Marcy Blum, Calder Clark, and Preston Bailey to name just a few.

All of these people can look past the dirt and stains and see a beautiful end result. They can see the cohesion that the bigger picture provides and are able to see where things fit in the grand scheme of things. This skill transcends events and design.

We see what we look for. If you look for cynicism, you'll find a cold, hard, gloomy world where everyone is completely focused on themselves. If you look for the silver lining, you'll find a world of joy, creativity, generosity and simple pleasures.

This isn't to say that looking for the good erases the bad. Far from it. Looking for the good simply allows the bad to be viewed in the appropriate context: as a part, not the whole, and often as something that can be restored or given a second chance.

Originally published March 2012