WPW: Are you Prepared for Change?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Business Advice, Strategy & Advice | 3 Comments

This past weekend one of our clients caused quite the stir on the internets when she decided to NOT wear a dress that was designated by a designer as a “wedding dress” and instead rock a gown that she felt (and looked) amazing in.   The selection of her dress happened so organically and so suited her personality and the wedding celebration itself, I honestly never gave it a second thought when she sent me pics of the dress a few months ago.  After all, we’ve had lots of brides in the past opt out of “traditional” wedding gowns in favor of the chance to wear something they found to be simply amazing.

The difference of course is that our other brides, though gorgeous and amazing, didn’t end up in People and so their individual choices end up largely remaining that- individual.    When celebrity starts intersecting with even the more obscure “trends” of our industry, it becomes a permission slip to the general public to pick up those trends and run with them…especially when it taps into a permission that people are craving.

I raise this point not because I think because our client wore a non-wedding gown to her wedding that EVERY bride is going to start doing this, but I do think that more brides might say “Hmm, I could buy this $6,000 wedding gown or I could use this as an opportunity to wear Givenchy/McQueen/Balmain.”

This thought process is one that, as an industry, we need to get more prepared to see: where succumbing to established tradition as part of a rite of passage holds less value than the appeal of being yourself.    Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that over the past 5-6 years weddings have been trending towards the more casual and even less traditional.   Well hold on and prepare for more.  As weddings become more and more expensive, more regular couples are starting to say “If we’re going to spend the money, let’s do it our way.”  Especially as the sphere of celebrity- a term that has extended to include instagram sensations as well as movie stars- starts tapping into this tradition bucking trend and handing out permission slips.   Remember when Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alva took everyone Glamping and no one knew what that was?  How about Adam Levine at Flora Farms?  Pamela Love?? And I’m assuming you are paying attention to pretty much EVERY low key, effortlessly glamorous romp around a wedding that Vogue is posting pretty much every day….

I bring this up because as an industry we have to remain flexible to what weddings are wanting to become and sell ourselves, talents and services accordingly.   The surest fire way to date ourselves and render ourselves useless is to seem as though we have an idea of what a wedding should be. We can understand what makes a great party, we can create amazing photography, we can fundamentally have a design aesthetic, but the time has passed that people turn to wedding professionals for prescriptions on HOW their wedding should be handled.  No one cares anymore how things are usually done, they care about how they would like them done and if you think that can work.



  1. marcy blum
    July 30, 2014

    I agree with you ( as always:) But one caveat: in certain circles where lots of women wear Balmain or Chanel and even buy it directly off the runway, the only sure fire way to make sure no-one will be wearing the same dress you, the bride is wearing,, is to wear a wedding dress ( unless you have really whacko friends)

    • The Blogsmaid
      July 30, 2014

      in which case, you go totally custom :-)

    • Cameron Clark
      July 30, 2014

      I could see this becoming a trend for sure. A lot of brides who are spending $6,000-$12,000 one time on a designer wedding gown could easily justify a $12,000 designer gown instead and MOST of them would not have to worry about their friends having the same dress. Of course, I agree with Marcy, if you and your besties are ALREADY wearing Balmain regularly then definitely go custom for your wedding gown. Personally, I loved Pipers’s colorful veil and thought her whole look was unique. As a photographer, I applaud any effort a bride makes to do something visually unique, especially with her gown and the groom’s attire!


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