Hi — Tracy, founder of WeddingLovely here!
One of the things that I have not done but have always known I should do is write personally on the blog here. We run interviews with our vendors, showcase products, announce new launched products and features, and talk about the wedding industry — but there hasn’t been a real personal element. Why? I’m not sure — perhaps the fact that we’re super busy, or lazy in a weird way, or perhaps a bit of fear. Today, I’m going to change that, and I’m hoping to write every week about something. The progress of WeddingLovely, what we’re trying to do, what our last week was like, what our next week will be like, something. They won’t really have a point, but you’ll get insight into WeddingLovely and what we’re trying to do, and get to know us.
Sidenote: Julia has been a lot less lazy than me and has already been writing about her wedding planning progress. So there has been some personal content, but it hasn’t been from me (whoops!)
Rest of the post after the cut…
Last week I was at Brooklyn Beta in NYC. This is essentially the TED Conference for web folk: a lot of smart, amazing people who all work on the web in some way, mainly designers and developers. The theme of the conference was “Make Something You Love”, and I’m going to talk more later next week about what the conference talked about and the things I learned from it. But I also spent a ton of time at the conference talking to other attendees about WeddingLovely and what I do, and it occurred to me that I’ve never spoken to wedding folks and people on the blog here about the real long-term vision that Julia and I have for WeddingLovely — what we’re actually building and trying to achieve. So that’s a great starting point for today.
Backstory: I super duper dislike the current wedding industry. I’m sure someone out there gasped out loud. I had a lot of people ask me (when I mentioned this) “Why are you working in the wedding industry then”?
My goal is to promote the aspects of the wedding industry that I love. Small business and local wedding vendors, building and crafting something that they love. Parties and celebrations that honor and celebrate love. Creating a day that is the best day in someone’s life celebrating their union with the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. Love, love, love.
Every wedding company, I’m sure, says something like this too. But I think the contrast is with the things that I dislike: the buy buy buy wedding industry. The fact that the diamond wedding ring tradition was crafted by diamond cartels to sell more diamonds at a huge markup. Actually, taking a step back, that most traditions in the wedding industry are actually coined by people who want to sell more product. And these things turn into $20,000+ weddings (that’s less than the US national average) that put people into debt and the wedding planning process is something that get people stressed out and worried and panicked and generally a whole bunch of negative feelings.
Shouldn’t weddings be about celebrating the new bond between two lovers, and creating an event that honors the couple (and have a grand ol’ time after partying it up)? And shouldn’t planning this event be a joyous process, where you can make the party that you love, without going into debt, without stressing out, and working with vendors that also love what they do?
That’s my thought process. I feel like we’re slowly building the foundations of a business that can promote all of this and change the wedding industry. Our wedding vendor directories (WeddingInviteLove, WeddingPlannerLove, WeddingPhotoLove, WeddingVenueLove, and WeddingVideoLove so far) started because I wanted a vendor directory that was free to join, beautiful, and supported local/small-business wedding vendors, since they generally love what they do and that’s what makes a wedding wonderful.
Then, WeddingLovely.com — our online wedding guide application — started so we can bring couples to those vendors, and surround them with good, ad-free information on how to plan a wedding. I’ve had people wonder why I don’t add advertisements or sell people’s information on WeddingLovely.com (“you could make so much money!”) but that’s the kind of wedding industry thinking that I strongly, strongly dislike.
WeddingLovely does need to make money, I’m definitely aware of that — things can only get more awesome if Julia and I can continue to work full time on this — but if we play our cards right, we can spread love to couples getting married, and vendors, and wedding bloggers, and other wedding startups — support everyone — without resorting to traditional wedding techniques. We can support ourselves, help amazing vendors support themselves, help bloggers support themselves, and help wedding couples have a more amazing and stress-free wedding. Everyone wins (except perhaps some of the giant wedding companies who make more than 50% of their revenue from advertising, and therefore will never, ever, change.)
WeddingLovely can (and hopefully will) promote a more sustainable and filled-with-love wedding industry.
That’s our goal, and that’s what gets us up in the morning (even though Julia and I make an astoundingly small amount of money right now.) We love what we do, and we’re making something we love.
PS: The other thing people ask me is, “How did you get into the wedding industry? Are you married?” and the funny thing is, I’m not and never have been — I’m not even engaged! Thankfully, my boyfriend has been very accepting and hasn’t freaked out about me looking at wedding stuff all day. ;)