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Weddings are a big deal. Rightly so – apart from consolidating love and all that, the wedding market scoops up a massive US$50-billion in the US alone.
The AppyEverAfter project initially started out as a gift registry that would scan barcodes in-store and adds them to your app, explains founder Daniel Bailey. Things went up in the air when clients turned the app down. From there it pivoted to becoming a complete wedding planning app with the gift registry as one of its features.
Specifically, AppyEverAfter’s features are as follows:
- Couples can send invites, keep track of RSVPs and message their guests about any changes. Guests on the list are able to download the app and view their invitation.
- Couples can select which stores they would like vouchers from or if they would like a contribution towards their wedding or honeymoon. Guests are able to view this information and purchase gifts within the app.
- Couples can set a budget for the wedding and track expenses as they occur.
- Couples can create a full task list and set due dates for each item.
The app allows wedding services to be in touch with clients. Similar to how popular local sites like The Pretty Blog, Wedding Friends, Hitched and SAWeddings all have massive communities, AppyEverAfter acts as a middleman providing a directory of relevant services.
For those of you not so familiar with the wedding app industry, savvy couples today are mostly limited to either competitors like WedPics, AppyCouple and My Wedding. AppyEverAfter says it’s all of those combined.
The startup is currently testing out two revenue models: registered services can choose to pay either a yearly subscription fee of R1 000 or give up five percent commission on all bookings made through AppyEverAfter. Hitched (one of the local competing site directories) charges between £20 to £999 (roughly R350 to R18 000) a year for various packages. Other local blogs, which are very much content and community focused, charge flexible fees for advertising spaces.
Baily has over 10 years of digital development experience. After Bailey received his BCom degree from Rhodes University and his PGCE from UCT, he worked in London for the Department of Health.
He returned to South Africa where he worked on a price comparison site which he eventually abandoned and joined Matthew Buckland and Tim Gane to get web agency Creative Spark up and running. Bailey was also very instrumental in getting Memeburn off the ground.
Bailey went on to work for another local startup, GetSmarter, and a telecoms company but ultimately decided to start AppyEverAfter in 2013.
“When I was planning my wedding last year, there wasn’t much help and creating one’s gift registry was a nightmare,” Bailey told Ventureburn. He saw a definite gap in the market.
“Couples shouldn’t be using spreadsheets to plan their wedding,” argues Bailey. In South Africa, there were 173 000 recorded marriages in 2011. In the US, there are more than 2 million happening every year. That’s a lot of admin.
Impressively, since AppyEverAfter launched late July for iOS and Android, the free app has seen over 1 500 downloads and couples planning their weddings. Today it sees around 100 to 150 new daily downloads — a figure that’s made up of both local and international users.
The great thing about this industry is that weddings in the Western world are pretty similar, no matter where they take place. Bailey is already in talks with potential partners in US and Canada after seeing a lot of traction in those markets.
Bailey believes that AppyEverAfter adds some much needed tech to the wedding industry that has been somewhat untouched so far, especially in South Africa.
“It won’t change the world but it will save a few relationships and ensure that the wedding still happens as it hopefully makes the planning process a bit easier,” says Bailey.