Last night, ABC aired "Wedding Confidential: Industry Secrets." First off....industry secrets?? What secrets? The title alone of ABC's 20/20 episode on Friday, January 18, 2013, bothered me but the direct line from their promo, “Learn the tricks the wedding business uses to rip off unsuspecting lovebirds...” well, that just burns my biscuits!! That really makes me mad. And I don't like getting mad. The media has made me, and the rest of my colleagues in the wedding industry, look like heartless, slimy con artists who use lies and hype to trick brides and grooms into giving us money that we don’t deserve. Normally, I would shrug this off as bad reality TV, but I can't. Not this time. ABC has made a BIG mistake in their reporting. And judging from the negative feedback on their Facebook page by members of the wedding industry, I'm not the only one who thinks this episode was an epic fail!
What I'm really upset about is that ABC has now created a rift between wedding vendors and engaged couples by creating all the hype themselves and presenting the wedding industry as finks. They present this show with the idea of, "We're going to help you" and they've done nothing to help couples. In fact ABC has made it worse for them. Brides already feel cautious and insecure when meeting with vendors and to see a show like this, that misleads couples about the whole industry, is just disappointing. It's blown all our collective efforts in building a bridge of trust between our industry and engaged couples in just a matter of minutes. Wedding professionals, including myself, are some of the most caring and passionate people out there who truly want to be a help to brides and grooms and their families. These types of shows and blogs and books that teach couples "negotiating power" to get cheaper prices are doing nothing but turning THEM into being pushy and demanding. NOBODY likes a pushy, demanding person. Pushy and demanding brides are a TURNOFF for just about every wedding professional out there! So, tell me 20/20, how does this help them? The repercussions from this will not help the relationship between brides and their vendors. It hurts everyone on both sides.
Very disappointing! Shame on you, ABC.
What most couples don't fully realize is that there is a difference between planning a party and planning a wedding. A wedding is NOT a standard party! There is more stress, an increased time investment, more details, more liability. Therein lies the higher expense. This should not even be something the wedding industry has to defend. If you're a bride-to-be reading this...would YOU want your DJ to prepare for your wedding the same way he would prepare for your birthday party? If you're honest, your answer is NO!! I would think that you'd want the biggest day of your life to be rockin' and memorable!! If you hire a DJ who charges the same for every job, you are NOT going to get a rockin' wedding...you'll get an OK wedding. I don't know about you, but that is not acceptable to me. And your mediocre wedding won't be the DJs fault. You paid for it. You want an exceptional job, expect to pay. That is not a rip-off. That's common sense!
Again, shame on you, 20/20, for misleading brides instead of educating them on the ins/outs of wedding planning. You had a chance to really help engaged couples everywhere and you didn't. You had a chance to support small businesses and you didn't. You just threw us under the bus!
I, for one, will be addressing this episode more in depth in the following week to clear the air and set the record straight with brides and grooms. I hope my fellow wedding professionals - YES! Professionals!! - will get out from under the bus and stand up to 20/20 for making a mockery of brides and grooms and the industry as a whole!