Sunday December 1, 2013
Criticism of the Wedding Industry
By Jolly Edition
Back in August we were asked by Etsy to be featured sellers. We wrote a post about how that worked out for us and how warmly our work was received, especially by other vendors. But not everyone’s feedback was positive. When we face criticism we feel it’s important to address it in an accountable way.
This was the comment:
Beautiful work, talented artist, but such a shame to be utilised in such a rip-off industry as the wedding business. Just put ‘wedding’ in the title of any search and the prices are doubled. I realise people want something special for their big day, but there’s no need to charge them double what you’d charge anyone else. I know weddings aren’t the only events that use custom stationery, but they’re by far the largest market and I hate that young people are taken in by the idea that it’s necessary to spend quite so much money on what’s basically a party—mazedasastoat of mazedasastoat
We think mazedasastoat has a point here but we can’t speak for other vendors, we can only address our position on their criticism. We responded the same day to mazedasastoat with a detailed response and rebuttal of their comment. We’ll sum up our thoughts here.
Our products are worth it, in any industry
We’re transparent with our pricing because working with us is an involved process. The last thing we want to do is to entrap clients into working together in our involved process. That would be a bad idea for both parties. More than that, the prices we charge are very competitive. Each project takes months to complete across several detail–oriented stages:
- Research. We ask the client about their celebration, their relationship(s) and their ideas for how we can make their perfect stationery.
- Planning. We provide our plan for how we can make the client happy, using their ideas and our own.
- Design. We work in an intricate, feedback-driven process of progressing the design to meet the agreed requirements.
We accommodate all sizes of celebration in an affordable way. If you have thousands of dollars to spend we can provide all the trimmings with letterpress on top. If you only have a few hundred dollars we can accommodate smaller, more intimate weddings and celebrations: our new pricing offers our work in a design–only format for the first time. At $150 for a single–sided — completely custom design — we’re yet to come across any other stationer who can provide a similar service.
We charge for our time, expertise and the work we’re expected to deliver. The wedding industry is obviously an expense for it’s consumers but we would be asking for the same prices irrespective of the industry we operate in. We’ve been working on several custom family portrait illustrations recently that we charge the same price for as custom wedding portrait illustrations. The same goes for stationery.
Criticism of our industry
Mazedasastoat‘s problem seemed to be with vendors asking for more money than they should from consumers. We feel a much bigger problem in the wedding industry is advertising vendors (blogs) asking too much from vendors (photographers, stationers, stylists…) trying to tread water in a competitive, saturated pool of independent professionals. Wedding blogs will put vendors’ work in front of their audiences not based on their merit, but their ability to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege. Readers, consumers, brides, grooms, they’re all unaware of this practise (and that most of the time the content is written by the vendors, not the blogs). They’re there to find inspiration because they’re excited about their own plans. We’d like to think that if they knew they were being treated as advertising commodities they might think less of the blogs. We don’t begrudge highly trafficked blogs the chance to monetize themselves but we are saddened that talented vendors — albeit without the audience to succeed — are being forced into paying to play rather than being featured based on their body of work.
Who knows, if those talented vendors didn’t have to pay substantial amounts to have their work featured on blogs they might in turn charge less for their own work. It’s a complex situation but we have ideas about how to better it for everyone.
What do you think?
We’re comfortable talking about how we’re trying to better our industry. If you’re a fellow vendor or a consumer we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. The direction of our company is guided by our clients, peers and consciences. If you’d like to talk to us about what Mazedasastoat said or our reply…
Photography by the wonderful Hudson Nichols Photography