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Technology Tuesday: Wedding Planning Collaboration Online

How to get your Mom, ‘Maids, Fiancé, and wedding Professionals on the same page!

diamond engagement ring

According to The Wedding Report, approximately two percent of couples get engaged on Valentines Day. That’s between forty and fifty thousand couples.

Congratulations to all of you newly engaged couples out there!

Thinking back to the early stages of my own engagement, I can tell you this: there were times we seriously considered eloping! For me one of the most difficult aspects of wedding planning was getting all of the key players on the same page. I was fairly organized as an individual: I used The Knot’s planner to manage my guest list, and Excel to keep track of tasks, timelines, and budgets. The problem was keeping everyone else on the same page. I would have loved to have something other than Google Docs to help me keep everyone abreast of decisions and changes in real time. Enter Marrily.

Marrily Screen shot

Marrily is a new online wedding planning resource that lets you invite collaborators to your account. That means your mom, bridesmaids, wedding planner, florist, and fiancé can all be on the same page with your wedding planning process. The best part is that you can limit what certain people see. For instance, while your planner may see everything, your florist may only see what is relevant to her.  {NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST!!! I actually spent time reviewing Marrily and genuinely think it is a useful tool.}

bride with planning materials

So today, I am super excited to have Alex, the founder of Marrily, on the blog with me today. Alex and I have been corresponding about Marrily via email. Below is a Q+A interview I recently did with him.

HSB: Talk a little about the wedding planning experience that prompted the creation of Marrily.

Alex: Back in 2007, I flew to California to help my friend with his 400-guest wedding.  I was the man in charge of Excel: printing, managing guest, and helped with the actual seating arrangement of the guests.  The wedding was a success (at least no one got really upset afterward!).  However, I thought that there had to be a better way to manage the guests list.  I started working on Marrily a few months later. The name means “to marry happily”.  The idea gradually developed into a full suite of  planning tools to help couples save time and plan their wedding better and easier.  When I decided to focus on Marrily, I quit my high-paid web developer job in Chicago and moved to Dallas to work on Marrily.

HSB: Talk a bit about the creation of Marrily vis-a-vis your planning experience.

Alex: Based on my experience with helping a few other friends with their weddings, I want to have suite of simple tools that can accommodate most of the tracking features a couple would need. I did a lot of research on the available services to find out what works and what doesn’t work.  Most of the time the services are built just so that the site can sell ads to the couples, without much attention to how the users experience the application.

HSB: What does Marrily offer that other wedding planning tools lack?

Alex: Marrily offers simplicity and flexible but clutter-free planning tools.  To support the vision I have for Marrily, I decided to go with the premium route, as opposed to offering the service for free.  Since other free alternative services makes money by selling ads, their goal is to find ways to sell the most to the end users without paying attention to the user experience.  By charging a small monthly fee, I can offer a much better product with no ads, fast, great support and a solid development plan for time to continue.  Other services want to make money first, I want to help couples to stay happy.  Basically I want Marrily to stand for:  a happy software, great support, and affordable.

HSB: Any future plans in the works for Marrily we should keep our eyes peeled for (i.e. mobile aps or additional features)?

Alex: I have a solid roadmap of where I want to take Marrily to in the end of the year.  Even though the site right now is a nice tool, but there are several features that can be added or enhanced to make it a more complete product.

I’m also working on the iPhone application that will let Marrily users to plan their entire wedding anytime.  The app will be complimentary to every account.  To my best of knowledge, no one on the market right now have the same offering as Marrily.  I’m very excited about the next 2 months and how Marrily can be improved to help more couples.  I’ve also been working with users to add requested features, so if you see something missing, drop me an email!

HSB: What is your best hindsight advice for brides in the midst of planning?

Alex: Based on my own experience and my conversions with numerous brides and wedding experts, starting the planning process early is probably the best hindsight advice for couples.  Because planning a wedding is a time-consuming process, the earlier you start, the better negotiating power you can have with the vendors, and the more flexibility you can have with finding alternative options.  This alone will save you a lot of frustration and more importantly, your money, since you can bargain a lot more to get better deals.  I’d also add that researching and reading the vast amount of resources, online and offline, also helps you stay organized and prepared for your big day.  And remember, stay positive and enjoy a good laugh, it will make your planning a lot easier and more fun.

Try it for free for 14 days and tell me what your think! I’d love to hear your thoughts.