Our friend Beth takes our wedding planning business very seriously and is a constant source of useful and interesting wedding related tid bids. Yesterday, Beth stopped by, holding a copy of Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine. I thought that she had a trip in mind for us and was getting excited. But instead, Beth wanted to share a business idea that she read about on her Southwest Flight. Wow! Everyone is getting into this wedding planning stuff, even economy airlines….
Adam Hunter, a writer and editor living in New York City, shares the challenges and frustrations that he and his fiance Nicole have experienced while planning their wedding (Saving the Date, a new twist on wedding websites could rescue your big day). After browsing the 184 to-do item check list found on TheKnot.com, Adam makes a very astute observation “We needed more than a tool that helps us track decisions. We needed one to help us make them.”
Adam expresses frustration with the existing information sources and tools because they are all about selling to the couple things that they don’t need and can’t afford. He advocates for a DreamWedding app that would combine the collective intelligence of his social network to help the couple make wedding-related decisions, based on recommendations from people they know and trust.
I am not sure how to interpret Adam’s idea. It kind of sounds like a spoof, a parody of what engaged couples go through. Surely, the wedding world does not need another app! However, if Adam is serious about his new business idea, then I have a few questions to ask.
How will this DreamWedding app make money? How many couples will it take to buy the app for $0.99 in order to sustain this new business? Will the budget conscious couple shell out more than that for an app? Or will this be an advertising-based model, where eventually a sponsored ad will creep into the content, trying to appear as a friend’s recommendation and eventually all information will be ad-supported? At the end, will it help Adam and Nicole make good decisions? If the answer to the last question is yes, then count me in, I want to invest! Then, let’s modify this app to help us raise children, make good investments and solve our health issues.
Wait a second, there is already a solution to help Adam and Nicole make decisions, and it’s not an app. The solution is not very technical at all, but requires some intelligence to implement. There are two options, depending on how much time you want to spend. There is a DIY option, where you invest some serious time into getting up to speed – yes, talking to friends, but also visiting different vendors, asking thoughtful questions and figuring out how to make a good decision. Similar to what a person does when deciding on which college to go to or which house to buy. And with the significant amounts of money that most people commit to their wedding, these examples are pretty relevant! Don’t have all that time, not certain that you would make the best decision? Well, then hire a wedding planner that is knowledgeable and trustworthy. A great planner knows how to guide you to make the right decisions. It is that simple.
No app will help you figure out how to resolve the dispute between your Mom and your future Mother in Law about who gets to pay for the extra guests that the in-laws just added to your list. And your community of friends will eventually tire of your wedding plans. After all, most of them will be guests at your wedding, so now you want them to plan it, too? And what happened to individuality??
Oh, almost forgot! There is one more solution to Adam and Nicole’s plea for help. Plan the kind of wedding that suits you and makes the planning process fun. There are no mandates here, it’s your day, do it your way, within a budget that doesn’t give you heartburn. Learning how to make good decisions together, for your wedding celebration will be really good practice for what happens next. There is no app for that.