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Wood Thumb Wedding Diaries

Breaking into the Wedding Industry

We know a lot of folks are interested in buying our products for their weddings, or would be, but they just don’t know about us yet. A lot of attention goes into the bride, but what about the groom and his men? The groom wants to look at the top of his game and if he’s having a wedding party, give personalized, original gifts. And not just some kitschy gift, but a stylish, well made gift that they’ll want to keep. And one that can be customized. Well, we have all of that. 
photo by DAVINA + DANIEL 
Admittedly we had no idea how big this market was, but we knew it was big and would be a great opportunity for us. After weeks of initial research and planning, we thought it would be interesting to share our experience along the way. So far, here are some of the quick and dirty facts we’ve gathered:
  • The industry isn’t just big, it’s HUGE! 
  • There are about 2.3 million weddings in the U.S. alone a year
  • The wedding industry, and granted it is fragmented so this number is just approximate, spend ranges from 40 - 70 billion a year (we pulled this number from a few sources online). This just means there could be a lot more stylish grooms and groomsmen gifts out there. 
The folks at the wedding blogs are well aware of this fact so they’re charging a pretty penny to be listed in their vendor guides and/or social media pushes. But they also have the audience! Look at some of their numbers for just a few of the sites we are considering (Wedding Chicks, Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty):
  • Instagram: WC- 103k, GWS- 139k, SMP- 280k
  • Pinterest: WC- 4.6M, GWS- 2.1M, SMP- 5.8M
  • Facebook: WC-1.2M, GWS- 192k, SMP- 1.1M
  • Page Views/Month: WC- 3M+, GWS- 1.3M+, SMP- 19M+
The cheapest rate we’ve found is for advertising as a wedding vendor in one location for 12 months at $150 (even though we do ship worldwide- that upgrade alone is another $350). Being a small shop, we need to be strategic about our advertising spend and make sure it’s worth it. Currently, we are listed in a local pub, The Bold Italic’s 2015 Wedding Guide. This cost us about $200, and frankly, we’re not seeing the return we would have liked thus far. 
 
Try searching for free wedding listing and you’ll find it a waste of your time. WeddingWire, which boasts a free listing was a complete joke. I filled it out, spent time writing a description and uploading photos, and this is our profile. It doesn’t even link to our website. Long story, short after talking to a rep at the company, I was told that this is just used as a search tool. People have to be searching for our company directly and can then write a review. Since we’re not providing a service and we’re pretty targeted, this will probably just sit on the Internet, forever unsearched. Or, we can pay a monthly fee that starts at $40/month.

How do we know what will work? What will be useful? After our first attempt at advertising as a vendor and not seeing a huge return, is advertising as a vendor on these sites still the way to go? Or, do we need to upgrade for the social media boost where we will (hopefully) be repinned and reposted all over the internet and thus showing the world the style they’ve been missing out on?
Believe me, we tried to go the “free” route of submitting photos, offering to send some of our product to blogs for review, but it turns out most of the content you see on wedding blogs is paid or actual wedding footage. We have photos of our products at weddings, but not a lot, and nothing cohesive. So, to remedy that we decided to stage our own engagement session that would capture our brand’s look and feel, turn it into a useful Wood Thumb Wedding Guide full of style suggestions and handy tips, and post it all over the internet (watch out!).

Next post: Staging your own wedding-themed photo shoot. 

**This is ongoing and we’ll post updates as we go, including stats as we discover them. Have any advice or insights? Send us the good word!**

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