In business since 2007, Nearlyweds! provides personal wedding websites for design-conscious couples. In a market littered with generic free offerings, Nearlyweds! has built a great premium business by focusing on the user experience, partnering with top invitation designers in the industry to offer beautiful design coupled with intuitive and functional social software.
The company’s focus on quality has attracted key industry partners as well – in addition to operating their own destination site, Nearlyweds! also powers the wedding website offerings of leading wedding stationery designers Wedding Paper Divas and the world’s favorite non-traditional offering the Offbeat Bride, and works closely with a passionate community of supporters in the independent wedding design and wedding blog community.
We first met Nearlyweds! co-founder Porter Bayne in early 2008, but at the time he and co-founder John Scrofano were running the site as a side-project while pursuing other businesses. As we got to know Porter and John better, we learned more about the business and collectively began to see significant untapped potential in the “social wedding software” space, powered in part by:
- Shifting demographics – as young adults raised on social software enter the wedding market, many of them are looking for online wedding tools that enable the kinds of collaborative planning and sharing they’re accustomed to.
- Fragmented / localized business – wedding vendors are still predominately local, and despite the best efforts of leading online brands like The Knot and Brides.com, the default process for inviting wedding guests and communicating with them in the months leading up to the wedding is still largely managed offline, via a highly fragmented collection of service providers.
- Secret sauce – In thinking about where they’d come from and where the market was headed, John and Porter had some really interesting new ideas about the role Nearlyweds! could play, but they needed a little more firepower than the current business could support.
The ink is still drying on this investment, and Porter, John and Chief Architect Eric Malone are now heads-down turning some of those ideas into software and new customer relationships, but you can expect to hear more about what they’re up to in the months to come.
If you’re (a) planning a wedding; (b) have stories to share about the social software you wish you’d had when you got married, or (c) play a professional role in the wedding business and want to learn more about what Nearlyweds! is up to, please drop me a line and I’ll introduce you.