Disruptive Companies in the Wedding Industry

Monday, July 23, 2012

I tend to roll my eyes when people in the wedding industry claim to be disruptors. If you're so disruptive, why haven't we all heard of you? Why aren't more couples using your products or services?

The Knot was a true industry disruptor. Wedding blogs have the potential to be, but nine years in, most have decided to mimic The Knot's business model, and so really are just more of the same, dressed up in a different layout.

Yet there are people you've never heard of working quietly on projects. A new wave of entrepreneurs is getting ready to enter the industry -- many of them millennial-aged graduate students who do not understand why the wedding industry is still so Gen X focused. They are creating services and products that the industry has never seen and that don't depend on running a glorified vendor directory as a revenue stream. (Full disclosure: I'm an advisor to two of these new companies.)

Doing disruptive work means doing something that upends an industry and creates new, lasting value (as opposed to shiny gimmicks that look innovative but aren't). We haven't seen a wedding company be truly disruptive in a long time, but we're going to see a handful of them over the next five years and they will change the way the industry markets and works. It's an exciting time to work in the wedding industry -- an industry that's evolving, not dissolving. For established businesses in this field, the next five years will favor those who are married to their vision, not their process, and who can adapt quickly and leave the red tape on the shelf.

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