Wedding Industry Using Tech To Adapt To COVID-19
The UK wedding industry is set to lose approximately £87.5 billion in revenue this year, with 64 percent of weddings postponed or cancelled, according to a study by London based wedding planning app Bridebook.
The timing of the COVID-19 crisis came at the most crucial season for weddings in the UK, as most couples prefer to have a wedding in the months between April and July when the country is experiencing moderate climates. As a result, many businesses in the wedding industry – wedding planners, caterers, wedding venues, florists, photographers, and others – are facing their hardest moments ever. But, instead of just sitting there and taking a beating from COVID-19, different players in the industry have decided to turn the lemons the world is handing them into lemonade and are using various technologies available today to survive the tough times.
The planning stage
As couples plan their highly-anticipated celebrations of love, many of the processes that are typically involved may not be possible right now. Thankfully, there are various digital planning resources available that allow couples and wedding vendors to tackle planning necessities efficiently without having to leave their homes. For example, with face-to-face interactions strongly advised against or even impossible due to restrictions, many have resorted to using video conferencing and project coordination apps to keep in touch and ensure that everyone is on the same page during the planning process without putting anyone’s health at risk. Wedding venues have also been forced to adapt, and many are offering virtual tours to cater to couples who are unable to do a physical inspection. Some are even using virtual reality technology to offer 360° virtual tours that give couples an experience that’s so realistic that it feels like they’re physically standing in the space.
Shopping for wedding essentials
Brick and mortar businesses that sell products and services to weddings have either had to remain closed or are receiving a tiny fraction of their usual traffic. To survive, many of them have set up e-commerce platforms that allow them to keep selling their products and services to couples without coming into close contact. For example, many boutiques and wedding dress stores have started operating online, making it possible for their clients to browse through products and have their measurements taken from a safe distance. Some are offering at-home try-ons, where they ship several wedding dresses for brides to safely try on at home before choosing one. Jewelers are also selling more wedding rings online than ever before by allowing couples to browse through collections, inspect the rings virtually using high-quality multi-angled images and videos, and have their rings delivered to their homes safely. Hair and make-up artists have not been left behind, and are offering virtual consultations and tutorials to help couples and party members to settle on details that work best for their hair type, skin type and face shape.
For an industry that has been known to be “recession-proof”, the last four months have proven that the wedding industry is not pandemic-proof. But, even though weddings have been hit by major setbacks as a result of the pandemic, many are still happening thanks to the ingenuity of different players in the wedding industry and their willingness to adapt.