Planning weddings has always been a process that has been carried out physically, you need to try on your wedding dress or your suit, look for the perfect venue and do food tasting sessions. But with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?

Expected to rise to 30% by the end of 2017, we have seen an increase of 21.3% of online sales. 87% of British consumers have said that they have bought something online in the past year. The question remains, what does this mean for wedding suppliers? Here, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique diamond shoulder engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings discuss whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive. 

Are we moving in a digital direction?

Should the wedding industry be marking their digital footprint in the sand to remain successful in their sector?

The digital world has already had an impact on the wedding industry. With social media apps such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, brides and grooms can find so much inspiration for their big day with just a few clicks. Modern couples are now using new technology when wedding planning. In fact, 42% of people use social media to plan their wedding – with 41% of brides following photographers on social media, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists.

Research carried out by The Huffington Post found that 6 out of 10 brides are currently planning their wedding with the use of their mobile. They are searching for gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).

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Social media is full of different avenues to go down, you now have the ability to look for inspiration -whether this is looking for venues or dresses. Instagram and Pinterest, which is used by 64% of brides, have now become a couple’s go to platform for all their inspiration, a digital alternative to a wedding fair. Suppliers who have not yet invested time into creating a social media profile for their business could be missing out on free exposure.

When asked, 27% of modern couples said that they would create a hashtag to celebrate their wedding day.

Will the wedding industry survive?

Unlike many industries that are surviving through being digitally aware, this is not the case for the wedding sector. Whilst it is likely that companies will need to go digital at some stage to stay up to date with the latest technologies, and keep their head in the game, there might always be a place for them offline within the industry.

When planning your wedding, you want to make sure that you can see everything so that you know exactly what you’re getting, by doing this – planning weddings must remain a physical process. Wedding fairs have been around for centuries, and there is a reason for that; whilst modern couples use social media for visual inspiration, wedding fairs are still a great way for suppliers to engage face-to-face with potential customers. For most people, their wedding day is the biggest day of their lives so it’s important that they can speak face-to-face with suppliers, and physically see what they have to offer.

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Going to a wedding fair could be ideal, they are usually hosted in a wedding venue so it could bring what you envision to life. Nowadays, and in the future, there is no escaping the fact that the industry will embrace digital platforms – and couples will use these platforms as a source of inspiration and to help ease the planning process. However, the industry is not yet ready to wipe out all traditional methods of wedding planning. There’s no question that there is still a demand for the physical processes. Maybe, it’s just time for suppliers and other industry professionals to use digital as a means to extend their business and gain more exposure.