Is The Bridal Boom Bursting? Why You Might Not Be Booking As Many Brides Right Now
Back in November of 2021, there was a lot of talk about the bridal boom happening – there were more weddings scheduled to happen in 2022 than there had been in 39 years – since 1984.
Due to COVID, with many weddings delayed, rescheduled, or private events, big celebrations were pushed back until people felt comfortable having in-person events again. Despite the increased demand, there were still the same 52-Fridays, 52-Saturdays, and 52-Sundays in the year and competition for dates and vendors was fierce.
We saw people getting married on different days of the week – Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays – you get the idea. With so many brides getting married, marketing no longer had to do the same job it had previously done. The market was flooded, and brides were willing to book as far in advance as they could and willing to accept whatever business terms you put down. They wanted to make sure they had someone available for their date.
Now, the bridal boom is bursting. You can’t rely on the quantity of inquiries anymore because bookings are going towards pre-pandemic levels. So, what do you need to do now, as a bridal hairstylist and makeup artist to keep your business running smoothly?
With people back to in-person working and weekday weddings tapering off, there’s also the risk of recession coming in and impacting buying habits. So first, let’s talk about how brides are shopping now.
For vendors, brides are becoming much more educated and many use social media to research their vendors before sending an inquiry. With so many people in the bridal industry working to educate viewers, they are letting their consumer, the bride, know – here is what you need to know to book this service, and this is when you need to start looking.
Episode 52: Is the Bridal Boom Bursting?
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For example, the carousel posts on Instagram artists are really capitalizing on the efficacy of that marketing strategy and putting together informative posts – here’s what your make-up artist wants to know, here’s what your hairstylist wants you to know, here’s how to prep, here’s why we cost what we do and more. They are becoming more educated and understanding what goes into the process.
As bridal hair and makeup artists, we need to adjust our content to no longer be surface level. Just a pretty photo will no longer work with the way technology and marketing have advanced and so you need to adjust your business to be able to adapt to that.
Right now, social media is how brides are shopping and now is the time to utilize that approach. So, what sets your business apart from another? What are you offering that is unique? That’s the core of your marketing message, you just need to adjust your delivery method – and the delivery method will be continually changing. Despite the method, knowing who your dream bride is and what she needs from you to make a buying decision will still be the basis of your marketing message.
From someone who has been in the bridal business for the last sixteen years, I’ve seen many shifts in the industry. When I first started, there were many open houses and vendor shows – huge expos where you would pass out brochures and business cards and that’s how people learned about your business. Then, things like WeddingWire came around, Bride’s Choice Awards, the Knot and people got their information differently and bookings were in line with 6-9-12 months out.
During the pandemic with the things being cancelled and rescheduled, we saw a huge request in advanced bookings. Now, with that tapering off and social media posts from vendors educating brides on their booking windows, they are trending back towards the 6-12 months in advance.
Don’t be surprised if your numbers start to shorten a bit and you’re not booked as far out as you have been in the past few years. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with you – it’s most likely a shift back to pre-pandemic patterns. That means that it’s important that you are not making business decisions from a place of fear or based on emotional reactions to this change. If you’re somebody who’s making changes in your business and you’re suddenly seeing a slowdown of things, it’s not necessarily the one change you’ve made. It could be when you made the change – where are you at in your booking cycle right now? Is the recession impacting buying habits?
What that means for you and your business is to come back full circle and look at your marketing messages and how you are educating your dream bride. You need to educate and build up the value of why you are the non-negotiable choice, why you are uniquely qualified to meet their needs. If you are getting push-back on your rates, or you just raised your rates, it’s because you’re attracting a lower value inquiry. You are not building enough value in your marketing, and you need to make changes – but don’t change everything all at once. It’s a process and your audience and target market need to shift along with you and your business processes. If something is no longer working or working the way you want it to, do not react emotionally – business isn’t personal even if it can feel like it.
You might also really love my June 2023 Masterclass from my Masterclass Magic Series all about Content Planning! This masterclass is dedicated to helping you create more strategic content for your social media to build trust in your brand with your audience so that when they inquire, they are much more likely to book! Check out more on the masterclass and all the monthly topics here!
Register for my FREE training, The Essential Systems You Need In Your Bridal Beauty Business To Achieve Higher Levels of Success & Freedom. You can watch on demand and learn the exact blueprint I teach to my students inside Next Level Bridal Business on how to grow strategically and sustainably without burning out.