When most people think about weddings, they think about food and beverage that's marked up 500 percent, a white dress that will be worn once, and an overall price tag that could have easily served as a down payment on a house.
One thing is sure: weddings are big business--$300 billion globally--and tech visionaries like Dave McClure of 500 Startups saw an opportunity and got behind 'wed tech' when no one had really 'named the space' yet. Then there's WedTech Summit, for which I am an advisor, which is a bit of a 'TED Conference' for the wed tech-space. Innovators like Wedding Lovely (a 500 Startup grad), Aisle Planner, Honeybook, The Bach and BlogHer show industry insiders, brands and VC's where the future of weddings is headed.
Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, weighs in on why the wed tech movement is relevant today and why she's involved: "When I got married seven years ago wedding blogs were already popular and full of great advice, but I was amazed at the lack of tech solutions to make planning my wedding easier. I created my own RSVP widget (and still get asked if it's available for general use)," she says. "The landscape has changed radically since then, and smart developers are realizing that there's no one more primed to spend and desperate for innovation and efficiencies than engaged couples!"
If the idea is to save time, money, mental health and ultimately make more inspired, intelligent choices, then here are some of the top apps in the wed tech space doing just that:
HoneyBook is an invite-only platform designed to help event-focused professionals, including wed-pros, manage: brainstorming, decision-making, and payments to vendors. Honeybook is a tool that unifies smaller businesses, involving coordination, communication and transactions with their shared customers--in a way no other event management platform does.
Wedding Spot is an online marketplace that allows users to search, price, and book over 1,000 wedding venues. While there are many generalized venue search engines online, Wedding Spot focuses exclusively on venues ideal for, or specializing in, hosting weddings.
Aisle Planner is a cloud-based solution targeted to wed-planners, enabling them to more efficiently organize events and collaborate with clients, vendors and venues in a streamlined, time saving manner. Because Aisle Planner was designed by professional wedding planners with 'boots on the ground' insight, its entire feature set is keyed into that market more than most planning tools on the market. It's currently in Series A funding round, to be announced on Crunchbase.com Q4.
Weddington Way is an online boutique that offers the modern bride a highly curated selection of brands in a variety of styles while offering professional support and social sharing. Weddington Way appeals to the 'always on' generation by digitally facilitating traditional social aspects of shopping--while addressing Millennial preferences--like having geographically dispersed friends and demanding the option to shop anytime, anywhere.
Wanderable offers an online and iOS honeymoon registry creation solution, so that wedding guests are able to gift meaningful, memorable, and unique experiences to a newlywed couple. This follows current trends of 'memories over stuff,' and 'time is the new currency.' Wanderable enables wedding guests to give unique and vetted gifts that might not be on a more conventional gift-giving radar screen.