Six years ago, it was an OkCupid algorithm that brought New Yorkers Naa-Sakle Akuete and Kyle Healy together. Four years later when Healy proposed, he attempted to slip the ring he designed himself on the site “Blue Nile” to his fiance’s finger while simultaneously holding his iPhone out to capture the moment.
Now, the couple is planning their wedding with one goal in mind: To only use tech-driven startups to throw an event for under $US10k. They want to have complete creative and financial control over their wedding, knowing all too well that venues and companies jack up their prices for “once-in-a-lifetime events.”
Fast Company on Wednesday profiled the couple, and we broke down which startups are replacing traditional companies.
VENUE: Instead of renting an expensive venue, they found a spectacular Williamsburg roof-deck location through Airbnb.
INVITATIONS: The couple ditched fancy paper invitations and used Paperless Post to send classy e-invites to their friends. Wedding invitations on paper can cost anywhere between $US1.50-$5 per invite, and that doesn’t count Save the Dates and RSVP cards. Paperless Post is often free.
EVENT STAFF: The couple turned to TaskRabbit to staff their wedding with photographers, waiters, cleaners, bartenders, and cooks.
FOOD: Instacart, a grocery delivery service, will deliver food and beverages directly to the site. Forget a fancy caterer.
DECOR: They ordered everything off Amazon (and yes, they have Prime.)
THE DRESS: Akuete found her favourite dress (which was sold out at J.Crew) on eBay.
MUSIC: No band, no DJ, just a really good Spotify playlist, created by the bride and groom.
With these tools, they have managed to put together a fully catered wedding with 130 guests for less than $US10,000–no small feat in a city where weddings cost an average of $US86,916 last year. Even compared to the 2013 national average of $US29,858, Healy and Akuete’s wedding comes in at a fraction of the price. These figures, drawn from TheKnot.com’s annual survey of 13,000 brides and grooms, show that wedding budgets have been steadily increasing since the economic downturn of 2008, reaching a record high last year.