Instagram like reality TV – is a world we know is elaborately staged but still want to believe in. Influencers have become the reality TV stars of our generation (or are sometimes both) and we can’t help but get lost in their ‘authentic’ posts – especially ones that document special moments like engagements and weddings.
Need more proof? Last week 195,000 people followed Goop employee Marissa Fuchs on a six-day scavenger hunt that ended in a “surprise” wedding. The elaborate affair was orchestrated by her partner Gabriel Grossman, which the pair alleged was done without her knowledge – that was until the Atlantic published a piece by Taylor Lorenz revealing the whole extravaganza was set-up for, probably for brand sponsorship. Before the proposal, multiple brand marketers had received a PDF of a pitch deck, “in the context of a potential sponsorship.”
Schemes like this one may sound like they are one in a million but social media has bred an influencer culture where broadcasting “special moments” appear more important than the moment itself. One “influencer” had their agent reach out to a photography and videography company in the hopes of getting their special day documented for social media in exchange for exposure – but when they pointed out she didn’t have a Fuchs-level following, things got ugly.
The agent of an “influencer” reached out to a photography/videography company in the hopes of exchanging free services for exposure
The agent contacted the company Betrothed and Co, a photo and partnership, who specializes in weddings. The duo is contracted all around the world to document special events. The screenshots shared online showed a conversation between Frankie of Betrothed and Co, and the agent named Melissa.
Melissa wrote in the email that her client was a “well known social media influencer” and would be getting married on April 20, 2021. The request was for a documentary-style video of the pre-wedding events, an hour-long video of the ceremony, as well as 1,000 photos she could share with the guests. In exchange for their efforts, the unnamed influencer would promote their business to her 55,000 followers from both Instagram and Facebook. For followers who requested the services of the company after her wedding, she also asked they get a 25% discount. But Frankie was suspicious of the agent and asked about the follower account.
As a well-established company, Frankie informed the agent that they had received similar requests before but from influencers with much larger followings and those people had even still paid for their services. According to the artist, the price of said services would be between €3-4k. According to the 2018 Real Weddings Study, from The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,679.
Despite the shaky proof and logistics presented by the agent kindly said that if they were able to bring up their follower count by the impending date they could work something out. Well, the agent proved to be a very choosy beggar – and things escalated.
Frankie kept his cool and responded with a lengthy email in which he apologized for his “forthright attitude” among other things mentioned by the agent. He even mentioned his own mother had also died from cancer and shared some empathetic words despite the strongly worded email he had received.
Social media and weddings have become one growing beast. The tag #weddingphotography includes more than 17 million posts. Similarly, #weddingdress rings in just over 20 million, while the tag #wedding appears in nearly 128 million posts. Forget wedding binders, 83% of wedding planning is now done online, 62% of couples create their own wedding site, 52% use a wedding planning app and 54% implement a wedding hashtag.