There might not be such a thing as a stupid question, but there definitely is such a thing as misinformation. On Tuesday, Channel 7 (WXYZ) broadcast its popular recurring "The Ultimate Wedding Show' program with the alleged purpose of informing newly engaged couples in their wedding planning. If you saw the show, please read and if you missed the show, let this show act as a lesson: All information, whether intended or otherwise - including this article by the way - if filtered information. What WXYZ is doing with "The Ultimate Wedding Show" is shameful, as it is not so much a program meant to inform but a show meant to sell. It should be more accurately titled, "The Ultimate Wedding Paid Advertisement."
Yes, its OK to be "uninformed" when beginning your wedding planning...it's a major event in your life and you are just getting into things. But wedding "experts" at WXYZ should be better informed than this.
So what was my problem with the show and what do I mean by filtered information? Full disclosure - as most of my readers already know - I am biased in that I am in the wedding industry in Michigan, having ran a Wedding Video Production business since 2002 (my company, Complete Video Solutions, was Voted #1 by area brides through Channel 4's ClickOnDetroit "4 The Best" competition three years running and we've also been named "Best of The Knot" website for 2013 and 2012. There, how's that for a plug?) Oh yeah, and I'm also male, an oddity for sure when it comes to the business of giving wedding advice, but as a writer, you are always told to write about what you know. I do not know everything, that's for sure, but I do know weddings. And I know how incredibly tough it can be for a newly engaged bride (or groom) to find good information when it comes to what to do, when to do it and which vendors to choose for all of the day's most important services.
Most newly engaged people turn to the internet, magazines, or quite possibly, shows like "The Ultimate Wedding Show" for planning tips and advice. Many start first by turning to friends or family for first-hand suggestions, who in turn may have gotten advice from friends, who got advice from friends...and on and on...finally ending up back at someone who probably got the information from the internet or a magazine, or a TV show. So as you may guess, these mediums hold incredible power and influence over a bride's decision-making and the processes involved with wedding planning.
And so, we get "The Ultimate Wedding Show," hosted by the lovely Erin Nicole. Now to be fair, my problem is not so much in the information that was given, but in how it is presented. As the show moved through its allotted 60 minute time-slot, we were given a "Checklist" for a newly engaged couple to follow. Then, segment by segment, we were given what can only be described as paid advertisement segments as we learn about one specific vendor after another followed by Nicole's interview with a representative from each particular company.
Nowhere on the show (or to my knowledge) does it state that these vendors paid to appear, but it is quite obvious to me. Nor is it explained how or why these particular vendors appear on the show.
As a quick note, the vendors themselves are fabulous! Whether they paid to be a part of this "Ultimate" show or not, is irrelevant and many of them I have worked with personally (The Inn at St. Johns, The Mirage, DJ Crashers, to name a few). They are all great and knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.
That being said, the show's format broke the Golden Rule of wedding marketing: The wedding is all about YOU. Not about the vendors. As we met a jeweler, a venue, a gown place, a hairdresser, we got what basically amounted to a short infomercial on each company.
Thrown in throughout were "questions from viewers" which were so canned and so generic (as were the prepared answers) that I highly doubt these questions came from actual viewers (especially because you can tell the segment was pre-produced and not shot live).
There was a lot of easily digestable information spattered throughout the show, not all of which was bad. The jeweler gave a price range to expect when picking an engagement ring, a beauty boot camp expert gave some fitness tips, a venue that offers 18 month interest-free credit to finance the entire wedding, and some trends for 2013 were discussed. The most informative portion of the show was when Erin Nicole pointed out trending topics on Pinterest...information that any bride could obtain by...you guessed it, going on to Pinterest.
Ultimately, the "checklist" used on the show was incomplete at best, with no mention whatsoever of photography, videography, tuxedos, bands, musicians or any of the many other vendors that provide wedding-related services. Most of the companies talked about their venue and their special deals. None of this information was presented in a way that suggested that the show itself gives a crap about you, the newly engaged.
Oh yes, I mentioned misinformation? How about when one of the vendors mentioned that the company they represented was "voted #1 on The Knot?" Well, "The Knot" doesn't "vote," instead it gives out special recognition - "The Best of The Knot" - to vendors in all categories, and often times, multiple vendors in the same category.
Don't call something the "Ultimate" when it is incomplete in its coverage and don't call something a "Show" when it is a paid infomercial. For the amount of times that it was mentioned that "brides are on a budget," - and yes, they all are, you included I'm assuming - the program offered incredibly little in the way of actual numbers (only the jeweler gave a range and only the DJ suggested a specific package price). Or how about this: Wouldn't someone just starting off their wedding planning like to know just how to arrive at their wedding budget?
Questions like this were not important ones to answer on this program. But then again, while your wedding is definitely all about you, this show is all about them.