Weddings are a big deal. There are more than 300,000 wedding vendors operating in the United States today, including wedding planners, coordinators, caterers, DJs, photographers, and even makeup artists. In total, they make up a $72 billion industry that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.
For the foreseeable future, people are going to keep getting married, and spending lots of money in the process, making sure they have access to the best clothing, decorations, and services, and easing the stress of the ordeal as much as possible for themselves and their guests.
Fortunately, technology is catching up to the nonstop consumer demand for wedding services. Multiple startups are emerging to make weddings easier, more enjoyable, and in some cases, more affordable.
So what are these leading startups like, and how could the future of wedding tech play out?
Emerging Startups Changing the Wedding Industry
- Destify. First up, there’s Destify, a startup attempting to make destination weddings more affordable for everyone involved. When relying on the platform, couples are connected to destination wedding experts to find the simplest, most efficient, most affordable group travel options for guests. Couples can build a customized website with all the details their guests need, and take advantage of the mobile app for even more functionality. It makes destination wedding planning faster, easier, and most importantly, less expensive.
- There’s also Zola, a site created for newly engaged couples to create a guest list and registry. With a fresh $100 million round of series D funding, the website is looking to expand quickly. It already has access to more than 600 brands, and has 110 employees looking to make improvements to the service. Zola even offers checklists to engaged couples, so they can more easily track all the events and responsibilities they’ll need to take care of before the big day.
- Finally, there’s PartySlate, a graduate of the Techstars 2016 program. It’s a platform that functions similarly to Pinterest, with the aim of connecting event planners to professionals like DJs, florists, caterers, and venues. Think of it as a social media style platform that helps couples find the resources they need to plan the event of a lifetime.
Where the Wedding Industry Goes From Here
Entrepreneurs already realize the enormous potential for technology in weddings. In fact, San Francisco recently became home to the WedTech Summit, a conference specifically designed to attract promising startups and industry moguls to pave the way for the future.
So what trends are we likely to see emerge in the near future?
- Efficiency and cost reduction. Planning a wedding is both time-consuming and costly, but technology has the power to make almost anything faster and easier. Most wedding startups will, to some extent, work to make the planning process more efficient and the wedding itself less expensive.
- Social connection. Weddings are also social events, and future startups will work to make them even more socially connected. Apps in the style of social media may be able to connect couples with professionals, or to their own guests, crowdsourcing at least some event planning responsibilities or giving guests more creative control.
- Automation and personalization. Finally, we may see the total automation of certain portions of the wedding planning process, such as making personalized recommendations for dresses, decorations, or venues based on predefined preferences and characteristics. AI and digital assistants may emerge in this space.
It’s hard to say exactly how the future of wedding technology will change, but it’s certainly going to keep moving forward. With so much money and so many events at stake, the innovation here isn’t likely to subside anytime soon.