|Miss Bush at Brides The Show|
Back in World War II when the intelligence war was at its peak, men (including Ian Fleming of James Bond fame) sat in the Admiralty trying to come up with a plan to fool Hitler into thinking that the Allies would attack Greece and Sardinia and not, as was actually planned, Sicily. What they came up with was the macabre but effective and brilliant plan of 'Operation Mincemeat' when the body of a dead vagrant was dressed as a Marine officer and floated ashore in Spain carrying apparently genuine documents tipping the Germans off about the landings. It worked like a dream.
But it worked because Churchill had given these men the courage to try something new by prizing 'corkscrew thinkers'. He didn't want ordinary, middle of the road plans that do what was expected in a predictable and formulaic way. He wanted creativity, a willingness to try new things and he wanted to take risks. Calculated, well planned and well thought out risks but risks nonetheless.
And, on Friday night at Brides The Show, there were corkscrew thinkers aplenty.
Those of you that follow me on twitter will have seen me trumpeting the jaw-droppingly gorgeous 'Boudicca' shoot that Miss Bush Bridal had put together for the show and their stand, next to the catwalk, was an extension of that. With hooded capes, striped bustles, stunning floristry from Bloomin'gayles and even specially commissioned scented candles all adding to the wow-factor.
There's no doubt that going hard on the warrior queen theme was a risk. It didn't play safe, it didn't go along with the cute bridal stereotypes but my goodness it paid off. The stand was packed, the brides loved it and the buzz and the feedback was amazing.
But the corkscrew thinking here worked for the same reason Operation Mincemeat worked all those years ago. It created a compelling story that you couldn't ignore. It was so brave, so ballsy and so bold that there was no way you could look away.
And there was similar daring on display right around the show and I was so proud to be there. Proud to be part of an industry that's pushing itself and trying new things. Proud that we're no longer all pandering to the lowest common denominator and imagining that brides all want to play it safe with identikit weddings.
Whether we're all getting more sophisticated, I don't know. I'm absolutely sure the blogs, Pinterest and social media are all playing a part in giving confidence and I know that brides, grooms and guests are becoming more used to seeing weddings that don't follow the church/buffet/disco pattern of old.
So, as brides are changing, suppliers have to change too. Doing what you've always done isn't going to cut the mustard any more and hoo-flipping-rah for that. Trying new things, spurring yourself on to be better and pushing the boundaries are why so many of us love the wedding industry. Creativity is to be embraced and routine shunned.
'Creativity' isn't using a different shade of pink. It comes with doing something that scares you and is actually a bit of a risk.
Because, as Churchill knew, great things can't happen when you just think in safe, straight lines.
Corkscrew thinking is the way to go.
p.s. if you've not watched the 'Boudicca' shoot behind-the-scenes video on Love My Dress - watch it now!