In case you’ve never done it, getting married is really expensive. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, so the parties involved often shell out megabucks to make it just right. The top expense on the list is usually the cost of the venue. And rounding up quotes and comparing venues can be a real hassle.
Seizing on this pain point, the wedding venue shopping site Wedding Spot allows wedding shoppers to pick out, compare and price wedding venues in an orderly fashion. A recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states that the company has raised $1.22 million of a $3.388 million round, although the company told VentureBeat that the round is now closed and was just over $3 million.
The funding money comes in exchange for equity in the company, the filing states.
Atlas Venture and KEC Ventures led the round. Great Oaks Venture Capital, Maiden Lane, Canyon Creek Capital, Erik Blachford (of Technology Crossover Ventures), Eric Liaw, Yidrienne Lai, and David Rodnitzky also participated.
The San Francisco-based startup had previously raised a $250,000 seed funding round in December 2013.
Wedding Spot’s service is currently available in 13 states, and, CEO Tina Hoang-To tells VentureBeat, it will soon scale up to all 50 states. Hoang-To says the site has already helped more than 200,000 soon-to-be-betrothed find a venue.
That’s not the only thing that will be changing. Hoang-To says her company will soon be changing its name and will start booking venues for all kinds of events, not just weddings.
Hoang-To says she hopes Wedding Spot will soon become the “Open Table of the events industry.”
At the Wedding Spot site you enter the cities in your area that you’d consider your wedding (or reception, or whatever), select the number of guests who will be coming, then the search engine spits out a bunch of venues, with pictures and information.
Hoang-To says hers is the only wedding venue site where you can get actual price quotes and set up appointments to visit the venues.
Wedding Spot has also built an Adwords-like bidding platform where venues can pay for leads generated by Wedding Spot. They can also buy a back-end booking management platform on a subscription basis.
I did a search for wedding venues in San Francisco and most of them fell in the $40,000 to $70,000 range. The Ritz-Carlton will set you back eighty grand if you get married or have your reception there. On the more affordable side, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is a flat $1,500. Temple Emanu-el ranges from $32K to almost $50K.
On a geekier note, I noticed that the Wedding Spot site is surprisingly responsive. Switching cities to see how venue prices compared across cities, the information showed up almost instantly.
Wedding Spot isn’t the only company trying to disrupt weddings. Weddington Way has built an interactive e-commerce space where brides can attempt to find everything they need to plan their wedding, and can get help from their bridal party and other family members. And just today, HoneyBook raised $10M for its service, which helps wedding-planning pros handle event logistics more easily.