Before the I do's come the to-dos, and at the top of the list for the savvy bride-to-be is finding the perfect place to get married. In what has become a bridal game of musical chairs, however, this search for the perfect site can leave some soon-to-be brides scrambling for a venue to say their vows.
On the other side of the planning aisle are event venues eager to fill up their spaces and the voids on their calendars.
, Greater Cincinnati's new online wedding venue coordinator. With a business model akin to well-known online travel agencies, VenueAgent enables betrothed couples to book the best venues in town (often at bargain prices) while relieving event vendors of worrisome vacancies. . . a marital match made in heaven.
The inspiration for this ingenious website came to newlyweds Jocelyn and Joe Cates, of Burlington, Ky., after experiencing first-hand the challenges of researching and planning their own big day. The young couple questioned why "people can search travel dates for special deals and offers" while the same conveniences were not available to couples in selecting "The most expensive and important part of the wedding- the venue."
Jocelyn's professional background in the wedding industry also provided her with a unique perspective from the vendor side of the planning process.
"Event space can be compared to seats on a plane and guest rooms in a hotel" says Jocelyn. "They're all perishable and if they don't book, the opportunity to make money is gone."
The Burlington couple soon realized they were on to something. With market research to back up their instincts and the help of web design firm Mindbox Studios
, the Cates began a year-long journey to bring their concept to life.
Beta-launched in May 2010 (with plans for a formal launch in winter 2010), VenueAgent.com has already listed more than 70 area venues along with a rapidly growing membership of eager brides-to-be.
With customizable planning and advanced research tools, couples can seek out and build a comparative profile of venues, find "Hot Dates and Rates" to fit their budget and calendar preferences, and take advantage of special deals offered exclusively through the site.
Event vendors can showcase their venues, readily update availability and reach an audience that standard marketing campaigns may have missed.
With VenueAgent playing matchmaker to the blushing brides and the best venues in town, it looks like everyone will be smiling on their way up to the altar.
Writer: Alyce Vilines
Source: Jocelyn Cates