A marriage ceremony is a big thing, and the definition of “big” here is synonymous to a grand affair with stages often resulting in months of planning and days of celebration. While there are two spectrums of this ceremony, from the private church gathering to the huge private island celebration, the planning that goes on behind every successful love story is nothing to sneeze at.
Malaysian startup Wedding.Com.My recognises the fact that getting married does not need to be so complicated. With a simple desire to aid women in their wedding plans, they provide a one-stop online platform to host vendors and users in a style mirroring Pinterest for “all things wedding”. They take that mantra very seriously, featuring 23 different wedding categories, 13 individual colour sections and seven respective themes, ranging from nationality to era style. Their extensive reach of all topics and vendors pertaining to the big day endorses their position as the top site for wedding ideas and inspirations, reaching eight out of ten brides in Malaysia effectively.
The married duo behind the website has bigger plans for Wedding.Com.My yet. Kelvin and Petrina Goh explained that their ultimate plan was to provide an online destination that would follow a female from her teenage years to her motherhood journey. Using a series of portals to capture their audience as early as the dating stages, their strategy is based more on localised practices than factual statistics. The website does take on a communal approach, with a small team of ten including the couple, and the entire process being self-funded since its launch.
Additionally, the strong foundation of their partnership was primarily built during their own wedding planning. They realised that there were too many resources online to filter through, not a visible outlet for readily reliable content, and that this situation may be replicated through many brides’ experiences.
The website traction relies on converting word-of-mouth advice into digital resources that can power features of real weddings. Allowing the visuals to speak for themselves, tagging features are also used to link familiar monikers within the wedding industry. Vendors are constantly reviewed despite the website hosting the largest database of wedding industry players, and there are times when the couple attend a wedding that grew from the seeds of their platform to keep the quality in check. “It is like being a wedding spy,” said Kelvin good-humouredly, “We want to feature the best weddings on our website to act as an relatable shoulder for all the future brides.”
One of the main challenges was, surprisingly, going online. “Getting traditional vendors to put up a digital front was a challenge,” said Petrina, “We want all their beautiful content on our website, so we had to start from the bottom and educate them about digital solutions.” Kelvin echoed her point with the need to move at the speed of the Internet, a lesson from Startup Asia Singapore 2014. “User experience is one of the crucial aspects that we are always working overtime to improve. We know that while you can attract customers in terms of awareness, you need a nice front to keep them in. Curated content will prevent us from losing online traffic, like how a professional offline store will prevent customers from turning away,” he said.
What was their wedding like as compared to their dream weddings? “Our wedding plans took six to nine months to sort through. I wanted a garden wedding but the space and resources (in Malaysia) made it impractical”, said Petrina, “In the end, we went with a garden-themed wedding at the hotel, decorated with enough flowers.” Kelvin’s dream wedding was in tune with the counterpart impression, and it was a wedding that was “as simple as possible.”
The advice that the pair will give to people who are planning their own weddings is simply to not overspend on the event. “Don’t get carried away planning your own dream wedding,” said Kelvin, “Couples always end up in debts for their own marriages. Planning and attending a wedding two different matters, and when you are the star of your own wedding, you really need to stay focused.”
Wedding.Com.My will be planning to expand regionally next year, and perhaps reach Cambodia in a couple of years more because of the local demand for more traditional weddings. The second vertical, Motherhood.com.my (maternal, baby, kids), is targeted for launch in August later this year. Check them out at their website for more resources and cases to perfect your biggest day!