Thursday 14 March 2013

Alternative? .. who cares as long as you are yourself.

2013 has been a really cool year for the wedding industry so far.

 I have noted that our clients are not following any one particular trend, the majority of my clientele are only really talking about one thing : 'different'   They want their wedding to be different somehow, they want their wedding to not look like every other wedding they have seen in the wedding magazines.  

I think the trend for 'different' or 'alternative' weddings has now reached its apex and is in fact now the mainstream in itself.  

With the majority desiring a more 'alternative' approach, this now creates unique problems and opportunities for the wedding industry as a whole.  

As a wedding industry supplier you can either set your stall out as a 'Vintage' supplier or some other niche supplier.  Marketing your business towards this smaller slice of the overall 'Alternative' pie, this is obviously a fantastic way to market yourself, however these niche trends are short lived, creating a need to restructure your business regularly to hold onto your niche market.
Or you can market yourself as an overall 'Alternative' supplier, encompassing lots of different individual trends, "Vintage" , "20's" , "40's" , "50's" , "Rockabilly" , "Gothic" , "Steampunk" , "Bohemian" the list goes on!  It is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades approach to what should be a specialist market but why the trends are there, why not research these trends are mould your business to suit?

I do however have my doubts over the whole trend of 'Alternative' , I find it difficult to justify the two words in the same sentence! Surely "Alternative" & "Trend" are the complete opposite of each other?  Once something becomes a trend it's no longer the alternative, no?

Maybe (and this is just me thinking out loud) modern couples have more niche interests, and the trend for alternative weddings stem from young couples having alternative interests in life and these interests are just being reflected in their weddings?  I really do hope that is the case!  I hope young couples are not choosing a 'Rockabilly' style of wedding despite having no love for the music or fashions? I hope couples are not choosing a "SteamPunk"themed wedding without having any idea of the literature the fashion comes from!

  I would like to think that modern consumers are far too savvy to just simply copy someone else's lifestyle choices because that is the 'look' they want for their wedding but sadly I don't think this is always the case.

For me a wedding should be about 'The Couple' or 'The Couple and their Families', it should be a reflection of their relationship, their lifestyle and a glimpse into their private relationship, so everyone can share their love for each other.  It's a celebration of two people, two lifestyles and two families coming together, not just a photo shoot for a wedding blog.

I sincerely hope the wedding industry continues down these new avenues and explores new ground.  I hope that couples continue to seek 'alternatives' to the mainstream, after all that gives us small businesses a fighting chance! I also hope that couples choose the right 'type' of wedding for them, not for us (the people who ooooh & aaahh over super cool weddings online) .

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Wedding Suit Hire - What do we mean by FULLY BOOKED?

It is this time of year again!

I think over the last 5 years I have annually posted a very similar thing.

The reason for writing this post is to try and explain exactly what we are up to here at Jack Bunneys, at this time of year we are receiving lot's of genuine enquiries for our Hire Service which we cannot fulfil, so we simply have to turn them away.

 Now I do realise that this is difficult for some and I really do feel for some and wish we could help!  But we do have very good reasons for turning away this business, (and we do understand that we are running a business, not a personal venture where we can pick and choose our clients) so what I am going to do here in this blog post is to try to explain exactly why we 'fully book' periods of the year for our Hire Service.

1.  We are a small business, with only three full time members of staff.  We alter and prepare each suit ourselves here on the premises.  This takes time and we can only prepare so many suits each week before we run out of time.

2.  We try to have excellent stock management, so as to not let anyone down.  We have a lot of stock and can purchase more at any time.  However there is always a surplus of stock required.  There are lots of different things that could happen throughout a wedding season, stock could be damaged, lost, stolen or a customer could change size.  All of these things can and do happen regularly throughout a busy year.  If we actually booked every single suit out for a weekend and then something were to happen to a jacket, trouser or waistcoat then a customer would be let down.  This is why we manage our stock at an appropriate level, so we always have an allowance for changes in size or any damages which occur.

3.  Exclusivity.  This word always makes people angry, as if we are somehow trying to influence demand for this product.  However the reason we limit the quantity of suits we hire out over a weekend (on our exclusive ranges) is something far more simple.  We do not want a range that we have designed as something more 'exclusive' to be hired out in 1000's each year, that would be the complete opposite of an exclusive range.  We honestly do try to make our grooms feel special on their wedding day, if we were to hire our so-called exclusive ranges in vast numbers, those grooms would no longer feel as if they have made an effort to find a suit which is 'the one'.

In conclusion the the reason we feel the need to fully book our hire service throughout the year is to service our clients correctly, to make sure we can spend the time on preparing their orders correctly, to make sure we have all of the stock required, in the correct sizes and so those grooms that really care about what they wear on their wedding day have an alternative to the high street.