Today is my parent’s anniversary. Happy Anniversary mom and dad!
The first of my closest friends is also getting married this year, and I am So excited. I love weddings. To be able to celebrate love and a lifelong promise between two individuals is a beautiful experience. Ok, so I’m a hopeless romantic…
There’s a lot that goes into a wedding, including picking a date and venue, hiring a planner, creating a wedding registry, meeting caterers, finding The dress, hiring photographers, selecting florists, sending invitations and much much more. Just in the short list above, I see many opportunities to improve the wedding planning experience. For example, the marketplace model can be applied for wedding planners (search planner by reviews, location, experience, etc.), wedding venues (similar to Storefront or maybe a reservation platform to allow individuals to search and book venues like OpenTable for restaurants), or even caterers. And did you know that the wedding planners industry generates about $1 billion in revenue a year and includes about 12,000 businesses??
At the heart of each of these opportunities is the need to simplify search or in some cases remove it entirely. Other opportunities also address the high cost of weddings (the average cost of a wedding dress is ~$1000 in the U.S. – this dress will only be worn once too, we hope). For example, Nearly Newlywed, founded in 2012, is an online bridal consignment shop, where brides are able to buy and sell back new, sample, used and preowned wedding dresses. Check out my post Shop a Swag for more on online luxury consignment.
Some Wedding Cost Statistics (as of January 2014)
Search vs. Discovery
The current state of “researching” for wedding planners or venues or caterers is difficult and fragmented. Pinterest demonstrated the beauty of browsing, collecting and sharing. More importantly, it revealed that people liked it. With Discovery, idea generation and research occur simultaneously as individuals browse. Sites like Pinterest, One Kings Lane and Gilt help individuals discover what they want.
A Closer Look at Wedding Registries
The way it was: Go to store and scan items to add to registry. Registry is set up by store and limited to items in store (e.g. Macy’s Wedding Registry).
The way it should be: Create and personalize online wedding registry and browse curated collections to discover gifts and ideas to add to registry all in one destination.
I also believe a successful online wedding registry is not exclusive to to-be brides and grooms, but should also allow any individual to purchase products from the platform or create a wishlist collection that can someday become a live wedding registry. Too many online wedding registry sites limit their sites to those who are already in the wedding planning stage and have forgotten the many women who begin fantasizing and planning their wedding years before they’ve even met their future groom. For example, Blueprint Registry requires wedding date and groom info to create an account and be able to create a registry, excluding many users during the signup stage (discovering is married to collecting and together they engage users). Others, such as Thankful Registry, cost $30 to use for 12 months. Additionally, retention is an obvious concern in this business as the user is most likely to discontinue after the wedding, which further supports my belief that wedding registries need to expand their target users and not limit to nearlyweds to extend the lifetime of a user.
- Successful Curation of Products
- Personalize, Collect and Share
- Ease of Purchase/Gifting