Not Too Fancy: A Qualitative Study of Professional Wedding Planning Services in Denmark

Luna Bo Christoffersen & Oulfat Damjiguend

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The Americanization of Denmark has been going on for decades and continues to influence Danish culture and consumption. It is evident from the products, trends, and traditions Danes adopt from the United States. However, wedding planning is a service known from the US that has not yet gained popularity among Danish consumers. This thesis investigates the reasons behind the low demand for wedding planning services in Denmark. The first Danish wedding planning company was founded in 2001. Today there is only a few companies in the market, and supply exceeds demand for the service.
The aim of this thesis is to understand why Danish consumers still hesitate to use the service, and whether or not this will change in the future.
The thesis takes a cultural perspective and uses Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) as the main theory to investigate the subject. A service marketing mix is developed in order to provide recommendations for a fictitious new wedding planning company to increase demand for its services. Through a qualitative interview study with eleven brides-to-be, three CCT professors, and two wedding planners, we found major cultural barriers for wedding planning services to become popular in Denmark. Especially the Danish consumers’ wish for personalization and low-key weddings diminishes the need for wedding planning services. The strong “do-it-yourself” (DIY) culture also means that planning a wedding gives individuals cultural capital and is something that brides enjoy doing themselves. This thesis presents three opportunities for wedding planners to increase demand for their services. These are: (1) Adjusting the service to fit Danish consumer culture, (2) Increase consumer knowledge, (3) Sell the experience of a wedding rather than the service of planning. These opportunities are discussed and evaluated. It is found that the demand for wedding planning services is unlikely to increase enough to make it an attractive industry for businesses. There are external challenges that are out of the control of wedding planners and cannot be overcome through marketing only. It will take radical changes in Danish consumer culture for professional wedding planning to become a widely used service in Denmark.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages200