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20/11/2015

Brands are failing to capitalise on the rising number of gay marriages

The lack of response by brands to the rise of gay marriages has taken Michael Wells, group account director at TMW Unlimited, by surprise.

Over 15,000 same-sex marriages have taken place since it became legal in England and Wales in 2014, the Office for National Statistics has revealed

As a gay man in a long-term relationship, and at an age when many friends, family members and colleagues are getting married, I’ve been getting involved in a lot of wedding conversations. Also, working in marketing, I’m especially attuned to how brands are capitalizing, or more often, failing to capitalize on the rising number of gay marriages.

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Brands are failing to capitalise on the rising numbers of gay marriage

Very little marketing activity speaks to the gay community

Same sex marriage gives brands a big opportunity to tap into a relatively new market. It provides a topic to talk to their gay consumers about and an opportunity to reaffirm their support for their gay customer base. But surprisingly there is very little marketing activity out there that speaks directly to the gay community, even from companies in the wedding business.

In the immediate aftermath of the legalisation of gay marriage, brands, including The Co-operative, VisitBritain and Google, targeted same sex couples with their advertising. Virgin Holidays, a company with established links to the gay community with its sponsorship of Attitude magazine, was one of the first to show its support for gay marriage. Ben & Jerry’s produced a limited edition ‘Apple-y Ever After’ flavour ice cream, replete with a picture of a gay couple on the tub, and Tiffany brought out its first ever ad showing a gay couple. Since then marketing budgets have, in the main, been directed elsewhere.

You'd think same-sex marriage didn't exist at all

Out Now Consulting found that the first year of civil partnerships in the UK boosted the UK economy by £130m, and the LGBT community is worth an estimated £80bn to the British economy each year, according to Stonewall. Yet gay consumers are still not getting the attention they deserve from brands. Researching weddings and honeymoons online can make you feel rather excluded as a gay couple. If you were to go by the marketing messaging from companies in the wedding business, you would think same-sex marriage didn’t exist at all.

The popular wedding location, Grittenham Barn in West Sussex, is typical of these, with a website showing only images of heterosexual couples. Honeymoons.com is similarly illustrated and, in the case of hotels company Mr & Mrs Smith, the exclusion of non heterosexuals is even in the name. However, in Mr & Mrs Smith’s defence, the tone of its communications is more inclusive than others, with words such as ‘couples’ and ‘soulmates’ used instead bride and groom. Even gay-friendly brand Virgin Holidays boasts a 64-page glossy online brochure without one picture of a same sex couple. Meanwhile, type ‘gay honeymoon’ into Google and it just delivers a list of porn sites.

These companies are missing out

These companies are missing out. I could in theory have a large wedding and honeymoon budget and yet none of them is doing anything to get my business. It doesn’t do brands any favours to try too hard but they should at the very least ensure their communications are inclusive. I don’t need to feel that a brand is a specialist in same sex marriages, but I would want to feel reassured that it would be something they would support and accommodate.(Source: bridesmaid dress)

04:27 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

17/11/2015

Wedding ideas: 5 reasons to elope vs a traditional wedding

Right after one of the biggest decisions in life, to marry the one you love, comes another big question: how (and when) to get married? It seems quite a few people are opting to elope to get married rather than have a wedding in front of an audience of friends and family. What are the pros and cons of this seemingly increasing trend to run away and down the aisle, just the bride and groom and no one else?

Wedding ideas: 5 reasons to elope vs a traditional wedding

Pros of Eloping

1. Often the number one reason to elope is financial. The couple doesn't want to fork out what can be the equivalent of a house deposit, on one day in their lives. This is especially true for couples who have been living together, already share a child or are not on their first marriage. Eloping seems like a romantic and financially conservative option.

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2. Avoid stress and escape family drama. Planning a wedding is time consuming and often stressful and anxiety producing as the couple seeks to make everyone in the extended family happy and meet each stakeholder's needs.

3. Focus on each other. Eloping can feel like re-prioritising back to the couple's relationship and their wishes for the core part of the process of getting married, which is to stand together and promise to love and honor one another. When it's just you, the vows you say are for only you and they are truly emotionally examined.

4. Avoid religious and cultural clashes. If there are substantial differences in each person's culture or religion about how a marriage ceremony traditionally is, the couple may elect to elope to avoid the family pressure or expectations around this. Or the couple may want to have their wedding be non-religious.

5. Location, location, location! Often couples who elope do it somewhere fabulous. The expense that may have been spent on a ceremony with tons of people they don't feel terribly close to instead gets spent on a combination wedding-honeymoon in an exotic or lush paradise. A truly loved up holiday together, complete with all the special and photo-friendly memories like others who have traditional weddings get to put in picture frames and photo books.

Pros of Having a More Traditional Wedding

1. Sharing. The marriage is about you as a couple. The wedding is a celebration. Celebrations and rituals involve others, even the crazy drunk uncle and the eccentric aunt. Sharing the day expands the love and celebration even more.

2. It's a good marital testing ground. Yes, OK. Planning a wedding can be huge stress. It can bring out the bridezilla in even the most laid back bride to be's and chill grooms. It can ignite and fan the flames of what were once small issues, into big, roaring disagreements fueled by hurt feelings and power dynamics. But those struggles, conflicts and necessary decision-making processes give you - all - practice for the days and years ahead in marriage. Learning how to communicate, how to let go, how to navigate competing agendas and wishes is great training for marriage. Getting this learning curve under your belt before walking down the aisle can strengthen your relationship.

3. Deepen inter-family bonds. You've heard that you don't just marry your partner, you marry their family too. Some families will know each other before the engagement but many won't. Sharing the wedding (planning or not, even just the day) and creating pictures, speeches, and memories, all together, creates a bond and sense of togetherness between your families as you move forward in a shared life, connected together through you as a couple. It's a warming experience, even for the most dysfunctional of families!

4. Cost effective. Most people assume eloping is cheaper than a wedding and the reason to elope is primarily economic. But one can have a truly fabulous wedding, with plenty of guests, and still make it cost effective. Plan the wedding with your friends and extended family's help, choose a location you don't need to pay (much) for, keep it low key, or even like an elegant party, and it can actually be cheaper than a destination elopement! When the central theme of the event is love, the details don't have to be pricey. Really!

5. A big wedding is your thing. If splashy is your style, and festive is the theme of a big, grand celebration, with everyone you and yours know invited, a wedding is simply THE way to go all out and celebrate! It's one of the events you won't do very often in life, many do it only once, so if there was ever a reason to pull out the stops and go all out in fun and fanfare, a wedding is the premiere choice and you're at the heart of it. Which is why so many, despite the popularity of eloping, still opt to do it!

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04:07 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

29/10/2015

Harbhajan Singh’s wedding–Tips to have a rocking mehendi ceremony like Geeta Basra

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh and actress Geeta Basra are all set to tie the knot on 29th October 2015 in a big fat Punjabi wedding and the couple is now busy with their pre- wedding ceremonies. Their mehendi and sangeet ceremony were held on Tuesday on a grand scale. nd the bride-to-be looked beautiful in a pink ensemble for her mehendi whereas the groom kept it simple. For the Sangeet ceremony, however, Bhajji decided to go all grand in a pink waistcoat with kurta and a pink turban and Geeta wore a dark green lehenga with gold border.

The couple just shared the pictures on various social media sites and the pictures of the mehendi and the sangeet ceremony are going viral.

Geeta basra

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Decoding the mehendi

The mehendi ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies of an Indian wedding and the design itself is very significant with each type of design symbolising different aspects of life. Flowers and buds, butterflies and birds, bride and groom designs, paisley are the most common designs used in a bridal mehendi. The design is usually applied on the palm, back of the hand, the forearm and also the feet. It is believed that designs on the palm invoke offering, the design on the back of the palm acts as a shield and acts as protection. Flowers are a symbol of joy and happiness and the bud signifies new beginnings. Flowers like the lotus mean grace, sensuality, purity, feminity and purity. Vines and leaves which are a must have in a bridal mehendi symbolise devotion, entwined lives and vitality. Sun, moon and stars too are a symbol of lasting love between the partners.

Health benefits!

Apart from the significance of designs, applying mehendi just before the wedding has various health benefits too. Mehendi is a medicinal herb and helps relieve pre-wedding stress and anxiety. Application of Mehendi has a cooling effect on the body and it also calms the nerves and helps the bride and groom relax. Mehendi is also useful to boost over all health of the couple and protects them from any viral and bacterial infections just before the wedding. Also, the powerful smell of the mehendi acts as an aphrodisiac and helps boost the romance in the couple in the initial days.

The colour of the mehendi is often enhanced by adding clove and eucalyptus oil and few drops of lemon while making the paste. Here are some more tips to make your mehendi last for a long time. Traditional mehendi made from just the herb is very healthy and has no side effects as such except for some allergic reactions in some sensitive individuals. But nowadays chemicals are added to the mehendi paste for the mehendi to appear dark brown or black. A common allergen called PPD is usually added for this. This chemical is known trigger contact dermatitis which has symptoms like wheezing, itching, burning and redness of the skin. Here are some more side effects of mehendi.

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07:18 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)