October 6, 2013
Most of us have seen YouTube clips of the terrifying “bridezilla” – the bride with unrealistic demands and the holier-than-thou attitude. We’ve also seen the aghast faces of the wedding party (and the “oh no she didn’t” faces of their wedding planner) in response to one of her tirades on the wrong shade of seafoam green or her insistence that the tulips aren’t, in fact, tulips because “the shape just isn’t right.” Reality, however, is far removed from reality television, and such portrayals of wedding planning are few and far between. For Aisle Planner, a successful and relatively pleasant wedding planning experience really boils down to great collaboration between brides and their planners.
Aisle Planner is a startup that offers on-demand software that provides planning and collaboration tools for professional and DIY wedding planners. Initially aimed as a platform solely for professional planners, Aisle Planner has become a resource to fill in the gap between wedding professionals and brides-to-be. Through Aisle Planner, brides are able to discover inspirations, locate various wedding resources and vendors, and plan out the wedding on their own. But more importantly, Aisle Planner serves as a collaboration tool that allows these brides to connect with wedding planners to help them organize the weddings of their dreams. The platform’s publishing dashboard allows planners to essentially upload their wedding portfolios and allow brides to find inspiration from their work and hopefully work with them.
“We want to end this media perception of a ‘bridezilla’…there’s [also] a lot of animosity in the media aimed at the planner: that planners aren’t worth their fee and there’s an adversarial relationship between bride and planner. [Aisle Planner] is a platform that hopes to change [these things] through our collaborative tools,” says Rob Farrow, the president and CEO of Aisle Planner.
When it comes to planning a wedding, the production of a successful and stress-reduced wedding all comes down to collaboration. Or, at least, that’s how Farrow sees it. “At one point [in building Aisle Planner], we set to to explore this point-of-view: that there is no way that anyone can truly do a wedding by yourself. [For example,] you can’t make all the invitations and work with a wedding venue.” For Aisle Planner, the focus is on their community of wedding professionals and brides. Armed with the knowledge that even DIY, wedding-planning brides need help locating and subsequently recruiting certain services, the platform is aimed at taking each bride’s idea or inspiration and locating vendors and planners to provide her with the resources to turn those ideas into reality.
“We want to make it easy to work with and collaborate with planners. [At Aisle Planner] here it is ‘we/us/and’ – there is no ‘them/either/or’.”
For Farrow, the collaborative ethos goes beyond Aisle Planner’s community of users – it’s a philosophy that has pervaded the way he does business. The wedding planning space is extremely competitive, yet despite the number of sites out there that serve similar purposes (such as The Knot, Lover.ly, and MarthaStewart.com), Farrow insists that there’s no need for animosity. “People want to create conflict and say things like ‘you can take down The Knot’. But why? I don’t want that. Oh, God, that would get rid of so many [wedding planning] resources. I’d rather have [Aisle Planner] complement these other resources that are already available.” And on the platform itself, the company wants to stay away from advertising any specific companies. “We really want to create an organic response that users are getting the best experience and finding the best [vendors and planners] based on community response rather than promotions.”
Aisle Planner recently presented at Tech Cocktail’s Los Angeles Mixer & Startup Showcase.
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