The likelihood of independent wedding businesses having the budget to regularly advertise on TV is slim. However, that doesn’t mean the buck stops there. In this article, I detail how one of our clients who runs a wedding car business featured not once, but twice on wedding-related TV shows. I’ll conclude with a discussion on how this may benefit your business.
Four Weddings on Sky Living
Meet Deb and Nick James from Brecon Wedding Cars (BWC), a family owned and operated company covering Wales and Herefordshire who are insured with the Wedding Insurance Group. Their fleet consists of modern and vintage style vehicles. In 2010, the company got a surprise call. A bride who had already booked BWC for her wedding had applied for a reality TV show called Four Weddings. Her application was successful and the production company confirmed they would be filming her wedding, which was two weeks away! Talk about good timing.
The show is similar to Come Dine with Me except four brides attend each wedding before scoring marks out of ten. Each bride still gets to decide what suppliers they will use for the big day. BWC’s Beauford Open Tourer made a brief appearance when the episode was broadcast on Sky Living seven months later.
Celebrity Wedding Planner on Channel 5
Four years later, another call comes in. This time from another production company filming Celebrity Wedding Planner for Channel 5. This show sees the bride hand over control of their wedding planning to a surprise celebrity. The wedding occurred at Craig Y Nos Castle where BWC had participated in several fayres and delivered weddings. As a result, the company built a good working relationship with the venue.
BWC can’t confirm where the lead came from. However, because they had an existing relationship with the castle and the wedding took place there, it’s most likely that the venue team was the lead source.
BWC’s Badsworth Landaulette made an appearance on the episode featuring Coronation Street’s Helen Flanagan and Made in Chelsea’s Hugo Taylor.
Don’t Tell the Bride on Channel 4
Another client of the Wedding Insurance Group was featured on the popular show ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’. Colin from Spirit Wedding Services (SWS) was delighted to receive a phone call from the participating groom who had found his business on page one of Google after searching for ‘wedding car hire Burton on Trent’. Luckily, Colin was available on short notice and so his blue Rolls Royce Silver Spirit was featured on the next episode.
How could this benefit your wedding business?
BWC and SWS did get paid for all appearances. BWC said they didn’t experience a sudden increase in enquiries after each show aired. The chance of that happening with any other TV show that is not consistently earning top audience numbers is debatable. But that is not how I would view this. Let’s look at the bigger picture.
Content for social media
Appearing on TV could be a great opportunity to create social media content that can be repurposed if possible. Be mindful of copyright laws before you share anything. As insurers, the Wedding Insurance Group is in no position to comment on this. It’s highly recommended you consult a suitable legal professional or liaise with the production company.
If you are able to use content on social media, sharing to regional wedding couple Facebook groups and on local Twitter networking slots such as #WorcestershireHour are examples of how you can go further than just posting on your feed.
Remember, BWC were most likely recommended by the venue to the company producing Celebrity Wedding Planner. Therefore, your content from TV appearances delivered via social media could create new collaborative opportunities with other venues.
Appearing on TV also presents opportunities to contact your local press and other suitable publications so you can ask if they would be interested in covering your story. Again, this makes great content to share on social media. Digital PR also can greatly benefit your SEO if these publications link back to your website. You can find out more about this in our article covered by Bride Magazine.
Wales Online covered the episode of Four Wedding that featured BWC’s bride. The article even details the cake and its maker that unfortunately did not appear in the final cut of the episode. There is no mention of BWC and in hindsight, this is a missed opportunity. However, it can be quite difficult to manage this continual process if you are too busy running your business or you don’t employ a dedicated PR team member or contracted professional.Appearing on TV presents opportunities to contact your local press and other suitable publications for coverage. Click To Tweet
It’s interesting to note that Wales Online didn’t provide any links back to third parties such as the venue or cake maker. You’ll find some publications have a policy that does not allow backlinks or they charge a fee. Don’t panic if a link back to your website has not been given. Being in the article still generates brand awareness and you can use this as a stepping-stone to build relationships with editors over time.
What can we learn from BWC’s experiences?
Networking is crucial. As a successful wedding professional, you are most likely doing plenty of this. However, as we have seen with BWC being recommended by a venue for Celebrity Wedding Planner, it’s always a good idea to periodically review your list of affiliated venues. Identify any opportunities and get in contact. Attending fayres or other related events are a great way to introduce your business to event teams and decision makers.
Having an existing client win an application for a TV show such as the experience with Four Weddings can be viewed as a lucky coincidence. Having said that, what if you compiled a list of relevant TV shows that are accepting applications from the public?Compile a list of relevant TV shows that are accepting applications from the public and share these opportunities with your suitable clients. Click To Tweet
‘Say Yes to the Dress’ was accepting applications at The Wedding Fair ExCeL London in April. Celebrity Wedding Planner may also return for another season. If there are no open applications, consider the following options:
- Follow these shows on social media if possible, they usually announce when applications are open for the next season.
- PR coverage about open TV applications is usually picked up by relevant publications. Setup a Google Alert using the TV show as your search term. Google then monitors the web and emails you a notification every time your terms are discovered in new content such as magazines, newspapers and blogs.
Once you have a list of open applications, you may wish to consider sharing them with any suitable clients. You never know, some of your couples may find this of interest. TV shows may offer to pay or contribute towards the cost of the wedding and this might appeal to some.
What can we learn from SWS’s experiences?
The groom participating in ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ found the business on page one of Google. I’m sure you have heard of SEO. Well, this is a great example of local SEO working its wonders. Local SEO involves optimising your website for local or regional search queries such as ‘florist in Cambridgeshire’ or ‘bridal shop in Worcester’. National SEO focuses on broader queries such as ‘wedding planner insurance’ or ‘wedding venue insurance’.
The more visible your business is on page one of search engine results pages related to your services and location, the more likely you are going to receive higher levels of traffic. SEO is a vast subject so I would recommend you take to the web if you would like to know more.
I’m not a wedding car business; is this article relevant to me?
The principles outlined above are still applicable for other wedding businesses such as venues, retailers, florists and mobile caterers. For example, certain shows such as Say Yes to the Dress are only relevant for bridal shops. There may be forthcoming opportunities that are specific to your trade. The only way to find out as recommended in this article is to keep your fingers on the pulse of your industry.
Adam is the brand evangelist for the Wedding Insurance Group. He continuously researches how the wedding industry is changing by liaising with our clients. Connect with Adam via our social media channels where he publishes informative videos on a regular basis.