Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Erica and Clare of Joy, a Seattle based company that designs gorgeous wedding evites, websites and apps! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
We are Erica and Clare, two of the engineers at Joy. We’re both romantics at heart with a tenacity for problem solving—which makes designing an intuitive wedding tool a lot of fun.
Joy brings together all the elements of wedding planning, just like a virtual bridesmaid or groomsman!
- Beautiful Website and App. Joy has a variety of sleek, elegant, romantic, and modern templates that help our couples showcases their personal style on their wedding website and app.
- Invites and RSVP. Organizing a guest list is one of the toughest parts of planning a wedding. Joy couples can import their whole guest lists at once (or add guests individually through the website and app), customize RSVP questions, send out invites, and track responses.
- Communication. Joy couples and their guests can personalize messages and announcements. Joy’s smart notification system can be used to send event reminders and ask guests to silence cell phones during wedding events.
- Wedding Details. Our couples can include wedding schedule locations, times, and maps. Additionally, couples can add hotels, rentals, shuttles, and note fun sightseeing and things for their guests to do. Our couples can also choose to include their gift and cash registries and customized wedding FAQs. Joy is your guests’ one stop shop for all your wedding details!
- Guest Photo Sharing. Joy guests can upload photos and notes before and during the wedding. Couples can relive their wedding from hundreds of points of view!
- All or Some. The best part of Joy is that it’s totally custom. Couples can choose which parts of Joy they want to use and customize visibility for each section.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into the business?
Joy originated as a side project among the co-founders, Michael, Vishal, and Kaiwalya, when Michael’s sister Amy was getting married. She was not able to find a solution that would help her organize her guests across states, communicate wedding information, and collect photos all in one place. The guys built Amy the first version of Joy for her wedding, and then began getting requests from her guests to use Joy for their weddings!
Erica found Joy after moving to Seattle to pursue a career in programming. She was captivated by the founding team and the gorgeous product they were building. Serendipitously, Erica met Clare a year later as she was beginning a career in programming.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Erica: It’s one thing to be sitting at my desk writing code, and it’s another to hear from our couples who tell us how fun and easy it was for them to use Joy and how it made their wedding day just a little more stress-free. We all take turns talking to customers once a week, and it’s awesome to hear from couples who tell us they tried out a bunch of different platforms but found us the easiest and fastest to use!
Clare: Ditto. It makes my day to help a couple discover little thoughtful features of Joy—like being able to add shuttle reminders to your calendar or embed a map for each schedule event— that make planning their wedding just a little easier. Getting to hear our couples’ proposal stories is also one of my weekly highlights.
If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?
Erica: There was a wedding I couldn’t go to that was using Joy. I remember sitting at home that weekend, getting notifications whenever people posted photos, and I could see practically everything in real time—the wedding party getting ready, the walk down the aisle, the cutting of the cake, my friends dancing at the reception. Joy’s Moments feed is amazing, especially if you have loved ones who can’t make it to your actual wedding.
Clare: Agreed, and the Moments turn into a slideshow as well, so you can look back on the day forever (and can watch even for your 10th anniversary). But, I’d have to say my favorite feature of Joy is our privacy settings. We created a finely-tuned privacy filter, allowing couples to choose how they share each bit of their website. For example, our couples can choose to keep their registry and photos publically visible, but keep their wedding schedule or travel information private to their guests. It makes me happy to know that each couple can share their wedding as openly or intimately as they choose.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
Clare: Get to know the couples getting married and resources they have available to them right now. There are big changes happening in wedding planning these days, and plenty of places that couples still need help. The best way to find out what would make a bride or groom’s life easier is to take the time to ask.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
Clare: I’m a big sucker for cooking while singing along to some of my favorite musicals or 80s love ballads. I also love to get out for a good hike with my two dogs.
Erica: I live near Green Lake in Seattle, so in the summer I love to go biking or paddleboarding on the lake! I also love Soundcloud and Spotify. :)
Any great stories from working with a client?
Clare: I was doing some quality assurance work one night when I landed on Jacklyn and Jared’s website. I loved the photo and theme they chose so much that I reached out to Jacklyn to see if we could feature her design on Joy’s website. She was thrilled! She gushed about how Joy made planning her wedding so easy and how her guests loved her app and website. It was such a nice reminder of who we are making Joy for and how much of an impact it is having on our couples’ during one of the most intense and exciting phases of their lives.
Erica: At one of our first weddings, the groom reached out to us the day of the wedding in a panic. One of the main bridges in Seattle was closed, and he was desperate to know if there was anything we could do to help him notify his guests. We were coincidentally working on notifications at the same time. Our CTO, Kaiwalya, worked his magic and was able to send an announcement to all of the couple’s guests ahead of time telling them what to do…and no one was late to the ceremony!
What makes you different from others in your field?
Since we are new to the market, we’ve had the chance to observe the pain points of wedding planning for modern couples and create an admin that is easy to use, where the couples can create a personalized site and app with ease. But our greatest feature is the community we help our couples build around their weddings.
Most wedding websites are about the couple – whether it’s sharing the couple’s favorite photos or allowing the couple to share information about their special day or their story. But we’re seeing more couples who are conscientious about making their wedding fun and comfortable for their guests as well. This is where our RSVP, Travel, and Guest sections comes in. Guests can use the app to answer custom RSVP questions, find things to do, people to do things with, or even reconnect with friends from different seasons of life.
Joy also encourages guests to take part in your celebration of love, through uploading photos, sharing well wishes, and words of encouragement. These photos and messages will live on after the wedding, letting couples step back into their wedding day and remember all the little moments that came together to make their day so special.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
Clare: I am personally a fan of “Stag and Doe” parties, which are popular in Canada. I love the idea of celebrating a couple’s engagement in a setting where families and friends are encouraged to get to know each other through small games and raffles before the wedding. What better way to start building a community?
Erica: I love seeing couples who plan casual events before their wedding for both sides of the family (and friends) to meet and get to know each other. We’ve been seeing more and more couples doing that, and not just at destination weddings. They want their wedding to be about bringing everyone together.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?
Clare: This is a tough one for me, since I have not planned my own wedding (yet!). From an outside perspective I would encourage a couple to let us know things that would make their lives easier. I love interacting with our couples and brainstorming ways to make wedding planning less stressful, sometimes three heads are better than two!
Erica: I would say to never lose sight of why you’re getting married. You get caught up in all the things you need to do and people you feel like you need to make happy — it’s human to feel overwhelmed. But when that happens, remember why you’re doing everything in the first place. (And maybe use Joy to help you have that peace of mind!)
Thanks Ladies! For more information about Joy, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Erica or Clare? Add them to the comments below!