Cash In on 'I Do': Product-Oriented Businesses
Learn how to invest your IRA or 401k into a franchise penalty-free. ($50k min)
What would a wedding be without invitations, favors--and pet apparel? From traditional to trendy, here are some products you could offer to make a couple's big day perfect.
Sell conflict-free diamond engagement rings. Once grooms-to-be have the proposal planned, the ring education process begins. And they're doing their research. Many brides and grooms are becoming more interested in conflict-free diamonds. There currently aren't many diamond retailers who offer them exclusively, so you might be able to fill this niche before it's saturated.
Write a bridal planning guide. It's definitely been done before; just peruse the aisles of your local bookstore, and you'll find a plethora of wedding advice and planning books. But brides are always searching for ways to save money or differentiate their weddings from others, so if you can bring something new to the genre, go for it.
Create invitations and save-the-date cards. The first impression of any wedding is made when the save-the-date card arrives in the mailbox. Then, the invitation indicates the theme and overall feel of the celebration. For this business, you should have some graphic experience and access to a professional printer.
Become a wedding apparel retailer. Roney estimates brides spend an average of $2,000 on their bridal gown. But she points out that today's brides are moving away from traditional gowns and looking for something more sophisticated with a touch of color. Some brides are also splurging on a second wedding dress. Typically, they'll go for a more formal look for the ceremony, then change into a sexier version for the reception. So far, there aren't many retailers specializing in the latter dress style, so this is an area you could tap into.
Create pet wedding apparel. Don't forget the pets. Pet boutiques can stake their claim in the wedding industry as pet wedding experts. With more and more Americans choosing to include pets in their wedding celebrations, it's a growing market. The wedding ceremonies of celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling and Adam Sandler all featured their canines.
Design bridal jewelry and accessories. Once they've found the perfect dress, brides want to accessorize with the perfect tiara, veil, necklace, earrings, purse and shoes. An online site offering all of the above would be a nice one-stop shop. Or, if making necklaces and earrings is your forte, focus on that. You can also ask local bridal shops to display your jewelry at trunk shows.
Design cake toppers. Roney says the days of traditional wedding images, like bells and doves, are fleeting. That means the traditional bride and groom cake toppers are also on their way out. Alternatives range from the couple's initials or wedding monogram to themed pieces that reflect their personal style.
Create unique bridal garters. Today's brides want personalized garters that will impress their beaus. Try making garters with college colors and insignias, sports themes and traditional designs for the hopeless romantics.
Sell disposable cameras. Of course the photographer will capture the major moments, but placing disposable cameras on tables creates fun, impromptu photo opportunities. It's also a great way for brides and grooms to see guests they may miss throughout the hectic day. You can differentiate your cameras with special designs and personalization sure to catch the attention of the meticulous bride or groom.
Design personalized favors. Brides and grooms are growing tired of typical favors and instead are looking for unique items that go along with their wedding theme. For instance, Roney says favors involving the beach are hot right now. Some couples are choosing to forgo a favor altogether and are instead donating money to a charity. In that case, you could design an elegant card to display at each place setting explaining where the donation is going.
Create personalized bottles of water. Bottled water with personalized labels, often featuring a picture of the couple, their wedding date and a short thank you note, are making their way to the exit of many receptions.
Make honeymoon kits. With the hectic pre-wedding schedule, most engaged couples don't start thinking about what to pack on the honeymoon until a few days before the wedding, making it likely they'll forget something. Create fun honeymoon baskets based on popular destinations like Hawaii or Tahiti. For example, for Hawaii, you could include reef shoes for scuba-diving, sunscreen, after-sun lotion, beach cover-ups and flip-flops. These make great shower gifts and save the couple time and money.
Design bride and groom T-shirts and hats. If you can't tell a newlywed couple by the way they look at each other, these shirts and hats will confirm they're recently hitched. Featuring words like "bride," "groom," "newlywed," "Mrs. Smith" and "Mr. Smith," they're a fun way for a couple to show off their new marital status.
For more information and the full list of business ideas by categories, return to our complete wedding feature.
For reprints and licensing questions, click here.