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There’s someone new on the wedding guest list – and they have one job

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There’s a new team member joining the ranks of some weddings, and they might be subtly snapping cute moments of you: the wedding content maker. They’re separate to the photographer and videographer — and there to capture candid moments of the bride (or groom) for their social media profiles. And they could only exist in our current internet.
Ariana Tapsell started her business Maid of Socials just a few months ago and has been inundated with client requests since — she’s already planning to hire a team to service the demand.
“The brides that are interested in these services at the moment are brides who are naturally quite active on social media,” she explains.

Tapsell spends the wedding day filming and photographing the wedding on her mobile phone, as guided by a brief developed with the bride, then delivers hundreds of pieces of content to the bride in the first 24 hours, including edited Reels or TikTok content, ready to post on socials.

Where did the wedding content maker come from?

The wedding content creator started to emerge in the last 12 to 18 months, says founder and director of weddings website Wedded Wonderland, Wendy El-Khoury.
“Some of them do it really well because they have a background in marketing, social media, and they know how to create content,” says El-Khoury.

“[A wedding] is one of the most expensive days in your life — it is such a big investment, everyone you love you hope is present. And so couples are now saying, ‘Well, let me get everything, let me get every angle, every talking point, every moment’.”

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Wedding costs aren’t slowing

The average Australian wedding cost $36,000 in 2012, according to federal government website MoneySmart, though we all know prices have gone up since then.
Wedded Wonderland regularly surveys its audience and says the last couple of COVID-themed years don’t really do justice to assessing 2023 costs. However, in 2019, their responders spent around $55,000 to $60,000 on a wedding. El-Khoury notes there are many other related costs, including the honeymoon, bridal showers, beauty prep and more.
She said the larger the wedding, the more the couple want it captured, “particularly when it’s cross-cultural.”
“These brides, they spend so much money and effort and time organising this day, and they capture every other element of their life … that this is naturally something they’d want to capture to and share,” she says.

Generally, wedding content creators charge about $1,000 to $3,000. Tapsell has a hunch the content maker might be chosen over the videographer more often in the next couple of years — she says almost half her recent clients went without a videographer.

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A new era of how we document our lives online

This new job has emerged from a perfect mix of pandemic, pop culture, and the TikTok boom of 2020. During the pandemic, we embraced TikTok’s candour and scoffed at nauseating celebrity attempts to soothe us with awkward renditions of — the shiny content of the Twenty-Teens started to lose its sheen.
“Ten years ago or eight years ago, the Instagram feed was very highly curated,” says El-Khoury.
“It was only showcasing your best moments … everyone out there wanted you to only see the best of their work.”
The evolution of TikTok took place largely when people were locked down, she says, and moved us towards showcasing the authenticity of our lives.
Soon-to-be bride and Maid of Socials client Oliva Burke, who’s also the senior marketing manager of bridal designer Kyha Studios, agrees.
“Creating the content on that platform was really not easy, but easier … Naturally, it was less polished,” says Burke.

“TikTok was very much on-the-fly video content, and it resonates with people.”

And it signifies a shift in how we represent ourselves online — anything overly polished or high-production can now at times feel awkwardly dated. The de-influencing trend already exposed that much of the stuff being sold by influencers isn’t always worth the money. (Will someone please reimburse me for my FaceTape?)
Wedding content doesn’t have to wait weeks or months for retouching or editing — it’s served up almost instantly for engagement with your friends or followers.
But wedding content is still polished — in a way. It’s styled but not too styled, it’s casual but not too casual, it has an element of behind-the-scenes. And it is still meticulously planned — Tapsell spends weeks working with her clients leading up to the wedding creating mood boards and run sheets to capture the wanted content on the day.

“What we’ve seen is an evolution of what people really want to showcase which is the authenticity of the love, the moments between family and friends,” says El-Khoury.

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There will always be a place for aspirational influencers

Even though we’re leaning into a more authentic representation of our lives, Burke feels there will always be a place for aspirational influencers.
“[At Khai Studios] we do campaign shoots and high production campaigns for our gowns because it sets the tone of a brand … it really does set the scene to launch a collection,” she explains.

“But what resonates with people is real people — seeing a real bride in a dress that you want to wear on your wedding day is so much more relatable for people than seeing a campaign model in it … and seeing what a content creator can produce of a wedding seems a little bit more attainable, rather than aspirational.”

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