The micro heart of the wedding industry

Lyn Ashworth England

I believe that micro businesses are the heart and soul of the UK wedding industry, and they need our support. I also believe that choosing micros when you’re planning a wedding is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Here’s why…

With a sharp increase in the number of couples getting engaged and planning their wedding this winter, it’s safe to say that love is definitely not cancelled.

Despite many couples having to postpone or cancel their wedding in 2020, there is plenty for the industry to be optimistic about.

Which is great news when you consider that it contributes £14.7bn to the UK economy (pre-covid). Plus, it provides income for roughly 400,000 people – many being freelancers or part of a micro business.

No better job 

Lori G Bridal

From florists, musicians and caterers to wedding planners and specialist travel agents. The range of talent, skills and expertise within the industry is not to be sniffed at.

However, when questioned about lack of Covid support for the wedding sector in 2020, Alok Sharma, then secretary of state for business, was criticised for suggesting that those in the industry could be helped into “better jobs”.

Martha Tobyn, a wedding planner and stylist, posted this response to Sharma’s comment on Instagram: 

“As far as I am concerned there is NO better job. I’ve been to university, worked in an office environment, been underpaid, overworked and undervalued by the corporate system that this government clearly favour. I started Anemone in the pursuit of something more fulfilling. A career that felt more meaningful to me and aligned with my life goals. Something that allowed me to be more creative and help people. I love what I do EVERY day. It feeds my soul. There is no better job for me. This is what I want to do. What I have worked bloody hard for over the last 4 years.”

Tamryn Settle, celebrant and senior writer at Love My Dress, commented (to The Independent): “We are skilled, we are trained and we are great at what we do. To write that off is dreadful. It underestimates the creative talent in the sector, it negates the importance of hundreds of thousands of jobs and it tells almost half a million people, in every corner of the country, that their government doesn’t value their contribution and sees their work as frivolous and expendable.”

Please visit What About Weddings to find out how the sector has been affected by Covid-19 and what you can do to help.

Changing values

The wedding sector is made up of incredibly creative people. They are used to having to think outside the box and react quickly to changing situations. They are well equipped to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Of course, it’s not just the fallout of Covid to which businesses in the industry are having to adapt. 

As the public becomes more aware of critical environmental and social issues, expectations on businesses to make a positive difference are rising.

More than ever, couples are choosing suppliers for their wedding based on their values. According to a recent report:

  • 58% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers would trust a brand more if it shared its ‘work in progress’ to become better global citizens.
  • 46% of Gen Z shoppers say they prefer supporting “honest” products when purchasing. 

Brands that prioritise social and environmental responsibility – and talk about it – are going to be in a far stronger position.

By their very nature, micros tend to take more care about the impact they have on the planet and its people. What they don’t have is the marketing resource to shout about it.

This is where they need our help. If you know of a micro or freelancer doing great things in the world of weddings, let your circle know. Share on social media. Give them a Google review. Tell your friend who’s just got engaged about them.

Why choose micro?

Micro businesses make up a significant proportion of the wedding sector. Perhaps largely because couples are placing more importance on social and environmental values. Perhaps because they desire bespoke services to help them create a wedding that portrays their individual style and their story.

These small businesses and freelancers can often be more flexible than larger companies. Most are doing what they do because they have a passion for creating magical memories. They can be the couple’s best friend to help them create their dream.

Whether a couple is looking for help with arranging the entire event or want to take a more DIY approach, choosing micros can often be the natural choice. 

It’s very much a word of mouth business. Couples are likely to seek recommendations from people they know and trust. Often, they will choose local services, as this allows them to get to know and trust the people they choose.

There’s also a huge opportunity to support the ventures of friends and family. Most of us know someone who does something that could be wedding-related. Perhaps a friend who wants to be a photographer or a cousin with a side hustle making cakes.

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times of a couple’s life together. Having a good relationship with those working on your big day goes a long way to reducing that stress.

Micros and freelancers can bring the human connection and make it a fun experience.

And my top reason for choosing micros for your big day? They LOVE making dreams come true.

Are you planning a wedding? Check out the Simply Club’s wedding directory. We have a range of members offering everything from dresses to food and photography. If you have a micro business and need support to achieve your goals in 2021, I invite you to join the Simply club.