In the ever-evolving landscape of the wedding industry, businesses can find themselves facing unique challenges and opportunities. Whether you're a wedding planner, photographer, florist, or any other wedding-related business, the wedding industry trade associations can be a valuable resource.
How can a trade association help my business?
Trade associations are organisations formed by businesses within a specific industry. The good ones serve as a hub for networking, education, and collective representation and can help businesses thrive in this competitive market. They often negotiate exclusive deals with suppliers and service providers for their members, resulting in cost savings on essential business needs like insurance, equipment, or marketing services.
Proactive trade associations stay updated with the latest industry insights and research, providing members with a valuable source of knowledge. They often organise seminars, webinars, and workshops, allowing businesses to stay on the cutting edge of their craft.
Wedding industry trade associations often lobby on behalf of their members to ensure that their collective interests are protected and promoted. This was particularly evident during Covid19 when the lack of a trade association covering the entire wedding industry led to the formation of a temporary UK Wedding Taskforce to give the industry a stronger voice and better access to financial support.
In addition to the services offered by the association, members will often share insights, experiences, and best practices with other members. Their connections can lead to valuable collaborations, referrals, and partnerships that can help a wedding business grow, and can prove invaluable to businesses at any stage of their lifecycle.
Building Trust In Your Business
Being a member of a recognised wedding industry trade association can enhance your business's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential clients. It signals that your business is committed to upholding industry standards and best practices. Couples planning their weddings are more likely to trust and choose suppliers associated with reputable trade associations.
Are wedding trade associations worth the membership fee?
Inevitably, alongside the good, proactive trade associations that will benefit your business, there are people prepared to take your subscription or membership fee without supplying a quality service in return. However, the good associations are easy to spot, and if it is relevant to your business you'll easily recoup your membership fee year after year in increased opportunities, competitive advantage and member discounts.
Some associations are run as a business and some are “not for profit”, but the key is to find one that is well run (do they respond to phone calls and emails?), well connected (are they involved in relevant industry activities?) and reputable (speak to a member for a reference).
Wedding Industry Trade Associations
Below are a few wedding trade associations that we consistently hear positive feedback on. None have paid us to be included in this list!
The Association of Independent Celebrants Ltd (AOIC) is a Trade Association for professional UK celebrants. They are currently the only registered trade association for celebrants in the UK. Their objective is to provide members with the support and resources they need, as well as membership benefits and assistance for newly trained celebrants. The AOIC considers themselves to be a "representative trade body that provides 'the voice of the celebrant', speaking up for celebrants collectively whilst supporting every one of their celebrant members as individuals".
The Humanists UK have a trusted network of over 500 celebrants that are trained and accredited so couples can be confident of a professional, quality service. They have been delivering non-religious ceremonies for over 120 years, with an aim to "help our celebrants create authentic, bespoke ceremonies that put people and their stories at the heart of every occasion".
National Association of Jewellers (NAJ)
The National Association of Jewellers are the leading voice for the UK Jewellery industry, shaping professional excellence for more than 2,000 member companies. The NAJ aims to "ensure couples have peace of mind when buying from an NAJ member" as they understand how crucial purchasing the perfect engagement and wedding ring is for any wedding, so ensuring you are dealing with a trustworthy jewellery business is essential.
National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP)
The NAWP was formed in 2013 to promote professionalism and integrity within the UK Wedding industry. The NAWP felt "there was a growing need to establish an association for like-minded wedding professionals" so their aim is to promote professional standards and ethics within the UK Wedding industry in order that a consistency of standards is maintained to meet the expectations of our Wedding clientele.
UK Marquee Association (MUTA)
MUTA is the UK's trade association for marquees, tents and structures. MUTA is "interested in having the best companies as members" to assure "the highest standards of quality, workmanship, service and professionalism".
British Pyrotechnists Association (BPA)
The BPA represents professional firework display companies in the UK. It had a wide membership, and displays organised by member companies spread all the way from private events such as weddings, up to National and International scale events. Their aim is to ensure that BPA members offer "not only great value, but the assurance that they adhere to the BPA code of conduct".
Balloon and Party Industry Alliance (BAPIA) - https://www.bapiaonline.com/
National Association of Balloon Artists and Suppliers (NABAS) - http://www.nabas.co.uk
British Association for Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) - https://www.babtac.com/
UK Spa Association (UKSA) - https://www.spa-uk.org/
Association of Bridal Consultants - https://www.abcweddingplanners.com/
Retail Bridal Wear Association - http://www.rbaltd.org.uk/
Licensed Private Hire Car Association - http://www.lphca.co.uk
British Amusement Catering Association - https://bacta.org.uk/
The Nationwide Caterers Association - http://www.ncass.org.uk
Fellowship of Independent Celebrants (FOIC) - http://www.foic.org.uk/
Fellowship of Professional Celebrants (FPC) - https://professionalcelebrants.org.uk/
United Kingdom Society of Celebrants (UKSOC) - https://www.uksoc.com/
South East DJ Alliance (SEDA) - https://www.seda.org.uk/
The National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) - https://www.nadj.org.uk/
Association of Event Organisers (AEO) - https://www.aeo.org.uk/
Event Suppliers and Services Association (ESSA) - https://www.essa.uk.com/
Event and Visual Communication (EVCOM) - https://www.evcom.org.uk/
The British Florist Association (BFA) - http://www.britishfloristassociation.org
Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance (SWIA) - https://swia.scot/
The International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) - http://www.magician.org
Marquee Hire Trade Organisation (MHTO) - http://www.mhto.org
British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) - http://www.bipp.com
Guild of Photographers - http://www.photoguild.co.uk
Master Photographers Association - http://www.thempa.com
Royal Photographic Society (RPS) - https://rps.org/
Society of Wedding and Portrait Photography - http://www.swpp.co.uk
The Association of UK School of Professional Toastmasters - http://www.professional-toastmasters.org
Association of Event Venues (AEV) - https://www.aev.org.uk/
The Meeting Industry Association (MIA) - https://www.mia-uk.org/
UK Hospitality - https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/
The Institute of Videography (IOV) - https://iov.uk/