When we started Wedding Paraphernalia in 2003, we found that many bride and grooms were taking the planning process quite slowly. They would build their dream wedding over the space of a year, maybe two years. During that time, they were able to think their plans through and save for the paraphernalia they wanted. By booking early, they were able to secure the photographer, venue, church and cars they wanted too.
So when we look back at 2005, we found that we had been talking to these couples for anything up to two years, we knew the couple really well and they knew and trusted us. They had excellent relationships with their wedding suppliers.
Fast forward to 2007, suddenly there was a boom of "we've remortgaged or taken out a credit card to pay for the wedding" and budgets went through the sky. Couples were coming into the shop and booking us for a wedding that was literally in six months and there was no limit to their budget. Yes, we had great business relationships with them, but didn't get invited to half as many weddings as we did in 2005!
But this was the start of the recession years .... and suddenly reasonable budgets did matter and ebay was looked upon as the place to buy lots of cheap items and "do it yourself" - and many weddings were postponed until a later date.
Roll on to 2010 and a reflection of the weddings we have been a part of this year. We've had a really excellent year turnover-wise and have helped with lots of last minute weddings, where couples have secured venues at cut-price offers and taken cancellations but suddenly we are taking bookings for 2012, what about 2011?
We think we are going back to the days of carefully thought out budgets and savings plans; the budget-savvy bride is going for a 2012 date and will carefully think through her ideas and suppliers, whilst saving every penny for it.
So, what about 2011? Will it be mainly last minute weddings again or are couples sitting tight until the New Year now before booking? Just remember, come January and you will be paying the VAT increase!