In addition to the typical aspects of the wedding photography business – finding your style, building your brand, all the technical details from lighting, gear, settings, etc – you have to find ways to get your business in front of the eyes of the right people (i.e. engaged couples). Marketing can be a confusing, frustrating, and definitely time-consuming process. It’s a constant struggle to find new ways to stand out from the sea of wedding photographers in the industry.
One common marketing technique for wedding photographers are bridal shows. Bridal shows theoretically sounds like an ideal place to find your target market, right? Hundreds, even thousands, of brides-to-be under one roof, looking for wedding vendors for her wedding. And while some find huge success doing a bridal show, there are just as many wedding photographers that have been disappointed after investing in a booth.
Wedding photographer Callie Murray took the bridal show concept out of the horribly lit, trade show floor setting and gave it a creative twist. In 2008, Callie started The Big Fake Wedding (which used to be called The NotWedding). Inviting wedding vendors to come and show off their wares, a real-life married couple to come renew their vows, and brides and grooms-to-be as the guests, Callie’s inaugural event was a huge success. Guests enjoy dinner, a ceremony, and a dance reception and are able to “truly experience the wedding vendors in action.”
“We have three goals: Inspire brides and grooms to do something different, support small businesses, and encourage a solid and committed marriage,” LaBruce Trammell tells Yahoo. LaBruce was one of the “fake wedding” couples and was later hired on as a marketing director for the company.
Tickets cost $25 per person, which are exchanged for invitations when they arrive. Once there, the guests watch a real vow renewal ceremony and experience the work of about 30 local wedding vendors in an entire fake wedding day. The concept has grown to over 30 events in 25 different cities each year and attracts over 6,000 guests. Each event has a theme and vendors receive an inspiration board with a color scheme and “mood setting song to listen to while they plan. From there the vendors can let their imaginations run wild and show off their creativity.
Check out a video from one of The Big Fake Wedding events below:
Kudos to Callie and her team for thinking outside of the box, finding a way to market her business, other local businesses, and inspire brides and grooms around the nation. It sounds like a fun event and though I’m not getting married anytime soon, I might consider crashing one of these fake weddings for the good food and dance party.
What are some creative ways you market your business? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.