Are you all familiar with Aisle Planner yet? Because if not, you really should be getting on this. It’s a GREAT planning program created just for wedding planners BY a former wedding planner. I’m so excited to have Christina, the founder and brains behind Aisle Planner, here today to chat about staying relevant in the business.
Technology has changed the wedding industry in so many important ways. Fifteen years ago, as a destination wedding planner in Hawaii, clients would come to me with magazine clippings, pencil sketches and paint swatches, verbalizing their vision as best they could when neither cut-outs nor drawings could tell the full story. Fast-forward a decade or so, add the founding of both Instagram and Pinterest in 2010, and the wedding-planning industry is a completely new world.
While a nod to nostalgia is never a bad thing (I love when couples request guests put their phones away for the ceremony, for example), I have a total love/hate affair with the technology-saturated wedding-planning world we now live in.
From a couple’s perspective, technology is absolutely inspiring. Without ever leaving their homes, couples can research venues and run through hundreds of different aesthetics before landing on the one that’s best for them. Brides can compare photos of bridesmaids dresses on Pinterest, scout the perfect calligrapher through Instagram and find inspiration for ideas they would have never otherwise never even thought of (a surfboard as a guest book? yes, please). Today’s couples are equipped with new technologies that are empowering them to do more than they ever could before in terms of planning a wedding.
As a wedding planner, I can’t help but feel a bit threatened. Will technological strides in this world we live in amount to the diminishing value of a wedding planner? How do we, as wedding planners, stay relevant in this changing world?
We stay relevant by understanding technology can’t compete with our boots on the ground experience and local insider knowledge. We stay relevant by focusing on our own unique personal style and knowing that our unique abilities will always draw the ideal couples to us. We stay relevant by communicating the values we bring to the table as wedding planners, AND we stay relevant by embracing technology and learning how to use it to our advantage, realizing that the changing times doesn’t just empower couples; it empowers us as small business owners as well. But I also have to remind myself that empowerment only goes so far without action.
With Aisle Planner, I didn’t just set out to create a platform that would selfishly free the planner in me of Excel spreadsheets that needed constant updating and my beautiful mess of wedding details (spread across binders, digital files and the world wide web) for each wedding. I didn’t just set out to create a system that would enable me to plan more efficiently and work with my couples easier. I set out to create planning, design and collaboration tools that would empower this industry, and the small businesses in it, with technology so that we can more easily focus on the value that we bring to the table as wedding planners, which in turn keeps us more relevant, regardless of the how the ways we plan, design and work with our couples changes around us.
Viva La Wedding Planner!
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