W Hotels Defends $3,000 Social Media Wedding Concierge: "To Some, This May Seem A Bit Over The Top"

Considering the expensive history of weddings, is a leap to a $3,000 social media concierge really that hard to imagine?

As you may have heard, W Hotels in New York is offering its wedding clients a new service. For $3,000, the soon-to-be betrothed can hire a "social media wedding concierge" who will live-tweet their big day, create a wedding hashtag, set up a wedding blog, and even curate "registry wish list[s] and dream honeymoon Pinterest boards to inspire."

Commentary on the news, which emerged Tuesday, has for the most part reflected some version of this Huffington Post headline: "Please Do Not Pay Someone $3,000 to Live-Tweet Your Wedding."

But Alyssa Kiefer, W Hotels' global social media strategist, is unfazed. In an email (W Hotels declined to let me speak to her by phone, saying Kiefer was on vacation), she said the service—which doesn't even have its own web page yet—is based on behavior guests have already exhibited, such as updating their Facebook statuses at the alter and asking how to get their weddings to trend on Twitter.

"Perhaps a relative can’t make it from another country or you just want a modern day ‘scrapbook" of sorts,’" she notes. The service includes not only wedding-day support, but social media support at every step along the way, providing, for instance, "shots of the engagement photos, the cake tasting, finding the perfect dress, and everything in between."

Yes, Kiefer has heard the criticism, but she doesn’t think that it will stand in the way of the program’s success.

"To some, this may seem a bit over the top and we’re okay with that," she says. "We’re sure couples balked at the idea of traditional wedding planners years ago and now you wouldn’t think of planning a wedding without one."

Regardless of whether a social media wedding concierge is necessary, she may have a point. The typical American wedding has transformed over the last 100 years from a small, private event hosted at home into an all-night production that in 2012, on average, exceeded the median income. In this context, it’s not particularly difficult to imagine the leap from where we are today to when a $3,000 social media concierge doesn’t seem absurd. What that says about how we use technology, the consumerization of weddings, and the point of getting married is more difficult to articulate—and best left to someone other than W Hotels.

[Image: Flickr user Sam Howzit]

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5 Comments

  • Is there more value if there is a curated published book of the photos?

    Here is a place that does that but mostly just gathers, curates, retouches, and publishes the photos from wedding guests they took via hashtag (or not. ) into one book. http://www.pixobook.com/

  • I agree with Kim, this is nothing more than taking advantage of couples who are time poor, or do not have much experience in the Social Media space. There is nothing being offered which even comes close to $3K in effort. Most people have photographers and guests who take pics and videos, which BTW is free to post on your Facebook and share to your Twitter followers. When you start getting in to the "rent a crowd" mentality, you really are saying I'm too lazy to sort out my own celebration. As far as I know people have been happily married for 100's of years without rip off planners, rip off catering, rip off social media all by pulling their fingers out and making a few calls and enlisting family and friends. Way more dignified

  • If anything, this seems like the kind of add-on service a wedding photographer or videographer could include. They could probably do it at a far more reasonable amount too.

  • More power to them. If there's a market for it and they can provide value through organization of the channels and engagement pre-wed/during/post-wed then why not. It takes a lot of time and know how to make it work right. The wedding party has other things to worry and deal with. After it's all done, they'll have an online presence documenting it all.

  • Kim Randall

    So much ridiculous in this. Women create wedding Pinterest boards because they see things they want or are inspired by. So someone who doesnt know me is going to do this?! No thanks. As for live Tweeting, I'm sure anyone that wants this done has one friend that would, but if they want to do this live social media because family cant attend, why not just stream it in a hangout or on that fancy wedding blog they are creating. I own a social media company and this is a ripoff and a joke.