WEDDING suppliers in Cebu remain optimistic of the wedding industry, saying it has potential to grow substantially with the advent of social media and the growing sophistication of engaged couples.

Wedding planner Zenith Lim of Joyful Weddings said couples these days are more detail-oriented and want to be part of the wedding preparations from the start.

Preparations, she added, are done at least a year ahead, unlike in the past where these were done four to six months before the wedding day.

“Engaged couples these days are more hands-on. They really sit with us in the planning. They have plenty of inputs or ideas on how the wedding should be like,” said Lim.

Social media, according to Lim, has also helped the wedding industry bloom. Engaged couples turn to Instagram, Facebook and wedding websites for inspiration.

“Expectations are also high on the part of the wedding planners to deliver results,” she said.

A client spends about P250,000, although wedding planners can still help mount the event depending on the budget of their client. They can go as low as P50,000.

Joyful Weddings was one of the wedding suppliers that joined the Radisson Blu’s bridal fair dubbed “Weddings at the Blu” held over the weekend the the SM City Cebu North Wing.

With the increased competition in the wedding business, Lim said wedding organizers like them don’t just offer the concepts but have diversified their offerings to include attire, flowers, and photo and video coverage, among other services.

“We created all-in packages so our clients will no longer seek for other suppliers to take care of other wedding requirements,” said Lim.

Karen Mae Go, owner of Blush Flower Creations, reinforced Lim’s observations on the growing wedding industry here, saying the new generation of couples are now more interested in themed weddings.

She said couples are willing to spend much on flowers and decorations just to achieve the mood they want.

“Weddings these days are more intricate compared to the past. Before, we could organize it ourselves, decorate it ourselves. Now you need somebody to handle it for you and it really requires a substantial budget,” said Go.

For a hundred guests, Go said the minimum investment for flowers and decor is at least P25,000. More elaborate arrangements could go higher.

Designs for wedding invitations have also evolved.

Ginivive Tampepe, sales representative of CDI Designs, said they constantly introduce new designs to cater the changing preferences of the market. She noted that wedding invitations have transitioned from being simple to colorful. The latest trend is laser-cutting.

A laser-cut wedding invitation is priced P500 a piece for a minimum printing of 100 pieces.

“We have clients who spend high for wedding invitations, although there are some who allocate just enough. But what we observed is that engaged couples want their invitations with a personal touch and they are willing to spend for that,” said Tampepe.

Weddings in the past were simpler. Today’s generation of engaged couples want to incorporate mood lighting in their wedding reception.

Marites Oclarence-Caindec, owner of Pro AVM Solutions, said couples shell out at least P5,000 for lighting alone. She said couples now are very particular with audio, lighting and effects like confetti and smoke.

“With this growing sophistication, we are also challenged to upgrade our equipment from time to time,” said Caindec.

May and December are peak months for weddings in the Philippines. Caindec said they get an average of 35 bookings during peak months and at least 10 bookings during the lean months.

The Philippine Association of Wedding Planners (PWAP) noted that the wedding business has trickle-down effects on the economy. One wedding would need caterers, florists, musicians, photographers, and more.