Lifestyle Magazine

Educating Brides and Grooms… is It Patronising?

By Claire

Or does the notion of being edu­cated about wed­dings instantly make you put your guard up? Edu­cat­ing brides and grooms could be all about telling you to buy more essen­tial prod­ucts and ser­vices for your big day…

Depends who’s offer­ing you the edu­ca­tion, I guess!

Why do we talk about edu­cat­ing brides and grooms?

Wed­ding plan­ners often talk about edu­cat­ing brides: some of the wed­ding plan­ners I love most in the UK are pas­sion­ate about this. For most it’s sim­ply about help­ing you plan your wed­ding. Most cou­ples haven’t been mar­ried before: plan­ning a wed­ding is a once in a life­time expe­ri­ence, and it’s tricky know­ing where to begin! So wed­ding plan­ners will help you get started with tips about what to book first, how much to pay for key sup­pli­ers, how to man­age your wed­ding bud­get etc.

So long as you find a trust­wor­thy wed­ding plan­ner, this “edu­ca­tion” will be a lifesaver.

It’s not only wed­ding plan­ners who talk about edu­cat­ing cou­ples about wed­dings. I’ve heard the phrase from wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers, from wed­ding venue coor­di­na­tors and wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers too. Many cou­ples don’t know all the facts about wed­ding ser­vices. An exam­ple would be own­ing copy­right on your wed­ding pho­tos, or hav­ing a designer logo on the back of your wed­ding invi­ta­tions. It’s up to your wed­ding sup­pli­ers to explain the finer details of their ser­vices to you.

Do cou­ples need edu­cat­ing about weddings?

I have an issue with the ter­mi­nol­ogy though. Edu­cat­ing… it sounds so patro­n­is­ing! It would also make me very wary. Imag­ine going to your bank and being offered a chat with an advi­sor who could “edu­cate” you about finances. You’d expect a half-hour sales pitch, wouldn’t you?!

So no, cou­ples don’t need edu­cat­ing about wed­dings. The very notion almost puts the wed­ding sup­plier (or who­ever wants to edu­cate you) in a posi­tion of author­ity. It doesn’t sound very nice!

Free advice for cou­ples plan­ning a wedding?

You don’t need edu­cat­ing about wed­dings or wed­ding ser­vices. But I think it’s true that cou­ples can always use some free advice about wed­ding plan­ning. At the very least, wed­ding sup­pli­ers should offer you advice — but with­out feel­ing like it’s an education!

When wed­ding sup­pli­ers talk about edu­cat­ing brides and grooms, it’s very often because we under­stand that all of this is new. We gen­uinely want to help. The very best in our indus­try will offer advice to you in the same way we’d advise our own friends.

Let’s not talk about edu­cat­ing brides and grooms any more!

A quick inter­net search has come up with some gems which really prove my point. “Edu­cat­ing” cou­ples is patro­n­is­ing. It now ranks along with “bridal indus­try” in my list of wed­ding indus­try horrors.

Do read these:

  • How do I edu­cate brides about my value on Book More Brides: starts out as patro­n­is­ing as you could pos­si­bly imag­ine, ends on a gen­uine note… leaves me feel­ing quite uncom­fort­able, to be hon­est! An inter­est­ing read.
  • Do you edu­cate or push with your mar­ket­ing to brides? — an arti­cle for wed­ding sup­pli­ers: good advice on wed­ding busi­ness mar­ket­ing, but do sub­sti­tute ‘advise’ for ‘edu­cate’ as you read! (And what about grooms?!)
  • This says it all, in pic­tures. I can’t stand that woman! (Click and you’ll see who I mean!) Edu­cat­ing brides — a conference

Inter­est­ingly, all the arti­cles I found online while search­ing for “edu­cat­ing” about wed­dings are about mar­ket­ing and sales. It’s a term used in the indus­try, and excludes brides and grooms.

Brides and grooms aren’t ask­ing to be edu­cated. (If they were, it’d be on the inter­net and those links would be much nicer!) If you think of your­self as edu­cat­ing cou­ples, it’s time to change your perspective.

Free wed­ding advice is so much nicer, don’t you think?

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