Planning a wedding is no easy feat. From finding the right caterer and getting a suitable venue, to choosing a wedding gown, a professional photographer, emcee, and all other minute details of the wedding dinner and pre-wedding photoshoot. In addition to that, the bride and groom have to make decisions that satisfies their respective in-laws and fulfil the expectations of others and themselves. It’s no wonder that some brides end up turning into bridezilla, flaring up at every single detail that do not meet their requirements.
Two ex co-workers from Carlist.my, Weng Foo and Affandy know this all too well as they’ve both seen their close friends and relatives struggle with the difficulties of planning a wedding for their respective friends and family members. They soon realised that they shared similar experiences and since they were technologists and forward-thinkers, they refused to believe that there was no better solution and consolidated platform available to these brides; and thus Planyourwedding.my was born.
How Does Planyourwedding.my Live Up To Its Name
When Vulcan Post spoke to the founders from Planyourwedding.my, they acknowledged that the concept of an online wedding planning directory isn’t quite a new idea in Malaysia per se. In fact, a quick search online would reveal that there are other various wedding websites available as well. However, Weng Foo and Affandy explained to Vulcan Post that the concept of being able to view and follow the works of various vendors, read reviews of the vendors by other couples, all in one same online platform, is still relatively new for the wedding industry.
Despite this, Weng Foo and Affandy are proud to be the No.1 wedding site in Malaysia where future brides and grooms are able to immediately connect to over 1,800 wedding vendors who are based in Malaysia and Singapore – and you’d be surprised to know that they managed to achieve this status in just one short year. The founders claimed that it is this variety (all 80,000 inspirations available!) that makes Planyourwedding.my the ideal place to search, compare, and connect with vendors that provide services for nearlyweds’ attire and make-up, venue and decoration, food and beverages, photographers, videographers, entertainment, and so much more.
Honestly, the site is so thorough and packed with different subsections, that I took more than an hour to go through all its features and services, and then another hour plus to read their helpful articles which provide all sorts of tips, ideas and inspirations.
Giving Both Users And Vendors Their Favourite ‘F’ Word
Unlike some online services, registration for both users and vendors on the site are absolutely free. This means that users can browse the site and look for the services that they need without paying for some form of membership fees; and vendors can also advertise their services on the website, without paying for that exposure and marketing. Instead of charging the users and vendors, Weng Foo and Affandy chose to run their website purely on an advertising model and do not even take any cuts from vendors if they were to have a successful sale.
However, there are some upgrades in the works, “We are in the midst of rolling out a premium subscription for more serious vendors who want to gain extra exposure and benefits on the site,” they told Vulcan Post.
I assume that this might be due to certain vendors who wants to be placed or situated more strategically to set them apart from other vendors and attract more attention from potential clients. But even so, vendors can still be pleased to know that even without this premium subscription, their services will still be published on the site. Also, this free subscription gives me, as a potential client, the peace of mind that the prices quoted by the vendors are not purposely marked up or increased to cover their marketing, registration, or membership fee; therefore, I would not be paying the vendors extra just because I enlist their services via the website.
Quality Control And Information Crowdsourcing
With the large number of wedding vendors on the site, to ensure some basic form of quality control, the team filters the vendors that wants to join the site. However the filtering process is more directed towards problem-solving instead of just removing vendors who don’t make the cut.
“We believe the wedding industry should be more transparent and we want to crowdsource information to help solve inefficiencies in the industry,” the team said.
Planyourwedding.my runs as an open platform where information is crowdsourced and disseminated freely for couples to make informed decisions when choosing wedding vendors, therefore another way of evaluating vendors is by using the reviews feature on the site.
“Couples can rate and post their experiences after dealing with these vendors (on whether it was a pleasant experience or not). With this information, future users can make a more informed decision when choosing their vendors,” they added.
The couples deal directly with the vendors and the website does not receive any middle man commission. Therefore, it is hard for Planyourwedding.my to provide forms of compensation if customers are dissatisfied with any services provided by their vendor of choice. However, this is how the reviews feature comes handy as well. “The more users rate, review, and recommend vendors, the less likely a “bad” vendor will be featured on the site in the future. This acts as a motivation for vendors to improve on their services,” Weng Foo and Affandy said.
Setting Themselves Apart From Traditional Wedding-Planning
It is challenging to change the traditional ways of planning a wedding from visiting bridal houses individually, to virtually ‘visit’ them on an online platform. Online shopping may have taken off in Malaysia pretty successfully; however, it is more difficult to change the mindset of brides and grooms because buying a wedding gown or selecting a wedding cake is a meticulous and specific process. Thus the challenge faced by Planyourwedding.my, as mentioned by the founders themselves, is not only to convince vendors to come on board, but also to educate customers about their site and services.
Unfortunately, they shared that vendors are still not particularly receptive to the online platform as the wedding industry is traditional and competitive one as well. This may be a stumbling block, but they do not allow it to pull them down. “We come into office everyday with the goal to change their mentality and although it’s not completely solved, it’s a process,” Weng Foo and Affandy said, sounding very determined in their email to Vulcan Post.
Also, being two guys with a background in the car industry, it definitely wasn’t easy starting Planyourwedding.my, a website specially catered to the wedding industry. “What did we know about weddings!” they exclaimed.
However their lack of initial experience did not stop them and Planyourwedding.my flourished. In order to continue to fight against the traditional mindset of wedding-planning, the founders said that their young team of 21 people work hard every day to make calls and personally meet up with potential wedding vendors to convince them that Planyourwedding.my is the best platform for them and that their social media platforms act as a form of advertising for them.
They happily shared that they must be doing something right because they receive enquiries from vendors daily because that are interested to join them and sign up with the website. Other than that, there has also been positive feedback and testimonials from their previous customers (users looking for vendors on the website).
“Prompt service and excellent staff who provided us with so much information and vendors to contact during our preparation for our wedding. We were so clueless initially, but after putting up our request on the site via QR, we received so many emails from the vendors that I was able to finally find my dream dress! Thanks so much to Planyourwedding.my!”
Dr. Tan Qian Hui, Perak
“I found the website via a Facebook ad and what struck me was not only the simplicity of using the Planyourwedding.my webite but also the fact that the team was on hand to give me help during the crucial planning stages of my wedding. They were really helpful in keeping a close eye and following up on almost every stage. Without the website and them, I doubt I would have been able to achieve my ideal wedding. Thank you so much!”
Imun, Kuala Lumpur
Creating The Ideal Wedding Site To Make Dreams Come True
Planyourwedding.my just turned one year old in August recently, and even though their anniversary celebration was a simple and small one (they had an intimate celebration amongst the staff with cake and some wine), their goals and hopes for the future is far from simple and small.
“An ideal wedding site should also be an interactive community instead of just providing passive content for browsing.”
The founders envision Planyourwedding.my to be a place where nearlyweds, newlyweds, and vendors could all meet to collaborate and share ideas. With a platform for information and personal experiences from the newlyweds, and vendors to showcase their expertise, Planyourwedding.my hopes to help nearlyweds to turn their inspirations into reality, and make their dream wedding come true.