Well how are you all today? With all the news from Boris yesterday about when...
If you are at the beginning of your wedding planning journey, or half way through and have lost your way then let me introduce you to something that is going to make your life SO much easier! Here is WedSites. WedSites was created by two partners, who were once like you, newly engaged and trying to figure out the best way to plan their wedding. As a geeky duo with a combined background in wedding coordination, web design, and software development, they were frustrated by the lack of intuitive wedding planning tools, hours spent researching and constantly being bombarded with unwanted ads and sales emails. They knew there had to be a more efficient, personal, and smarter way to plan their wedding, so they decided to create their own planning platform for likeminded couples! The site does everything you could dream of, keeping all your wedding planning in one place. Guest lists, budgets, to do lists, seating plans, supplier payment reminders, and so much more. I have invited founder of the site Ayla Toyokawa, onto the blog to tell you more about how WedSites came to be, and how it all works.
The initial idea for WedSites came about when I was asked to be Maid of Honor for my best friend who was planning a destination wedding in Hawaii. I was in Australia, she was in Japan, and her fiancé was in Washington DC, so we were across 3 different countries trying to plan this wedding. While I was having fun being her sounding board, I noticed she was starting to get stressed and had signed up for a whole heap of different online tools and created different spreadsheets to keep track of her guest list, tasks, budget, contracts, to set up her wedding website, and the list went on. Her attempt at getting organized quickly became an overwhelming mess, and I really wanted to help.
Having worked in the technology space for nearly a decade using various software tools, I just knew there had to be a more efficient way to stay organized and plan her event. But after scouring the web for a good solution for her, I just couldn’t find anything wondered why there wasn’t an all-in-one platform to make the wedding planning process easier…
My first lightbulb moment for WedSites hit me in 2016 when my best friend was planning her wedding, and over that year I had really observed, researched, and talked to as many wedding professionals, newly engaged brides, and recently married couples as I could to learn more about their experience planning a wedding. Later that same year, I got engaged and that’s when I really started putting pen to paper to map out the product we wanted to use for our own wedding.
After building out the prototype, we launched beta and used the platform alongside a hundred other couples who were also planning their 2018 weddings!
WedSites supports couples all around the world! We’re very proud to have couples from over 40 countries using the platform to plan their weddings. Our couples can set up their wedding website in their own native language and manage their budget in any currency. It’s been fascinating talking to couples from different countries and learning about their wedding traditions, too!
When initially developing our platform, we designed it to be used for a ‘typical’ wedding planning year. With so many couples being forced to cancel or postpone their weddings in 2020, we wanted to make it easier for them to keep their guests updates with any last minute changes and give them a way to add a virtual component for guests who wouldn’t be able to physically attend their weddings. I’d have to say our biggest achievement last year was being recognized as one of the best livestreaming platforms for weddings, introducing virtual wedding features to the platform, and helping over 4,000 couples navigate through their 2020 weddings.
We’re a bit of a mash up between a website builder like Squarespace and a project management platform like Asana or Trello but designed specifically for wedding planning!
Unlike other wedding website builders on the market, our site builder allows couples to change colours, fonts, layouts, and even upload their own custom headings and calligraphy elements to design a truly one-of-a-kind website. There are endless possibilities for design!
We understand that each wedding is unique and really value giving our couples a great user experience. That’s why our planning tools can be personalized to suit the couple’s individual needs and we never place ads within their private planning space or sell their information to advertisers. We use inclusive language and gender-neutral terminology to make all our couples feel welcome on WedSites!
What also makes us unique is that we have developed a suite of event management tools that are designed for collaboration between partners, bridal party members, and wedding coordinators to keep everyone on the same page. But unlike a software platform designed for wedding professionals, WedSites is thoughtfully designed to help newly engaged couples navigate through the wedding planning process.
One of my favorite parts of my job is speaking to users! While I rarely get to meet our users face-to-face, I really enjoy talking to users whenever I can to better understand their needs. WedSites is committed to help couples plan their weddings. We regularly publish resources to on our blog and our team is always available to answer any questions via live chat!
Sure! WedSites has 3 different pricing tiers that couples can choose from; Lite, Standard, and Pro. Couples can start by creating their wedding website for free on the Lite plan and choose to upgrade to Standard or Pro by paying a one-time fee.
Our Standard plan includes guest list management tools, our customizable online RSVP process, and digital save-the-dates, invitations, and custom email sending for quick updates to guests.
The Pro plan includes all of the Standard features plus all of our event management tools including, a digital checklist, budget calculator and tracking, vendor payment reminders, drag-and-drop seating chart builder, printable reports, and up to 5 users accounts.
I spend a lot of time behind a computer screen, so whenever I get a day off, I like spending it away from electronic devices and being outdoors in nature. Going for hikes, swimming in the ocean, or exploring a new area.
My dogs! They give me a great reason to go outside and get some exercise since we can’t go out much because of Covid. I take them with me everywhere, which means these days I never leave the house without my phone and headphones to listen to podcasts, and poo bags. I’m a responsible owner
That’s a really great question! I love what I’m doing right now, but if I wasn’t working on WedSites, I would probably be working as a product manager or coming up with another business idea!
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