The Wedding Industry thrives on innovation, and Couples getting married are now breaking away more than ever from tradition, instead seeking to have it “their way”. And power to them I say!
Alongside that comes a need that needs to be fulfilled. And the people to fill that need, are Wedding Suppliers!
Over the years I’ve seen so many daring individuals try new things in the Wedding Industry – it’s possibly one of the most daringly creative places for art. Whilst there is a bed of well tested, timeless ideas and ideology informing what is readily available, there is also a thriving underground of surprise and delight that continues to push the envelope for those who are actively looking.
Some of these creative ideas burn out as “one offs”, or experiments that don’t attract enough audience to become a mainstay.
That being said, I have completed commissions in styles and approaches that are bordering on being wholly unique, to the complete satisfaction and thrill of my Clients. They most likely remain so, even to this day. In this sense I was certainly breaking ground and ground breaking at the same time!
Some ideas influence a force of change in the industry and there’s no looking back. Look at how Wedding Films have changed over the last decade and consider the sheer level of impact that has had, for good, for everyone involved!
One day, someone is trying out a new piece of kit, or looking at the world in a slightly different way, or just trying out a daring soundtrack, and suddenly the world shifts on it’s axis and there’s no looking back. Everyone is adopting this approach and there’s no closing Pandora’s box!
Another really exciting phenomena that should be mentioned is the felt sense of Weltanschauung – literally, “World View”, that influences several creative minds at the same time. All those touched by the spark of inspiration ultimately reaching the same conclusion at the same time. Sometimes creating offshoots of the same goal, with wildly varying results. Essentially how some would say the lightbulb was invented. Some aspect of society, be it need or innovation, sparks a subconscious thought pattern that leads to the “next big thing”. This is happening in the Wedding Industry right now… and has been happening all along!
What at one time was unique and innovative, can rapidly become expected and standard. I think perhaps the use of drone footage could be applied here for example. The technology moved it along from possible but niche, to affordable and easy. Camera technology has automated some of the process of capturing great images and allowed for much greater degrees of error than before. We can work quicker, smarter AND produce better results! So the technology is certainly our silent partner in making these changes and innovations possible.
On occasion there are the maverick Wedding Suppliers who dare to be different to such an extent that they make a name for themselves. I forget the name of the Photographer who’s innovation I’m about to share with you, but he decided that no Couple should ever receive their Wedding Photos in the same format. And as a result, you would commission him to record your Wedding, and receive your images back in a format that no one else ever had. On one occasion I believe this was a Victorian Image Viewing device with the pictures inserted into the mechanism.
So this all leads me on to thinking about how we view our work. Is it breaking ground – making progress through our own lives in a steady and informed way, or is it ground breaking – are we doing things that are considered outside the norm, or challenging the status quo of an industry?
The reason I ask this is simple – up to this point, all the focus has been on us, and our work, and our intention…
What about the Clients?
It is so important to remember our duty of care towards others when we embark on such important and valuable work – work that could be appreciated for hundreds if not thousands of years to come!
Values can change in a heartbeat, and our experience through life informs our core set of values continuously. Part of our role as Wedding Suppliers is to future gaze and imagine what our work will represent for our Clients in the decades to come. What matters most to the Client, how is that best represented and how do we help them, no, guide them, towards achieving that to the very fullest potential?
My Grandfather, now 105, once challenged me with this very notion. For all the forward thinking and innovation I continually sought to introduce into my work, my Grandfather would always point me back to the Client, to re-assess whether this was for them, or for me.
For him, the important aspects were simple. Can I see the Couple? Can I hear the audio? Can I see the guests enjoying themselves. For him, flair simply obfuscated the details that mattered most in his opinion. It was an interesting lesson!
Years later, I feel it was important for both myself and the client to be satisfied! Unchained creative satisfaction is not always possible from commissions but there is certainly room for a balance.
My Clients in particular were thrilled when I introduced a new creative element into my work, but it was done so through the lens of enhancing the experience for the Clients. The danger here is to enhance the experience for ourselves!
Breaking ground and ground breaking are actually the same thing, just with slightly different adopted usage. They both tie back to the very same idea, and that is prepping a space – a patch of land or headway through the ice, towards building or creating something. And it really is that simple.
The process of our creative work should always be in the interest of creating a better lives for ourselves, unquestionably, but in doing so, we can very easily enhance the lives of others. And if understood and managed carefully, we CAN be both breaking ground and ground breaking to the benefit of everyone in our industry!
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and let’s build a stronger Wedding Industry together!