While COVID-19 has created outbreaks of disorder in India, intimate and small weddings on Zoom are becoming the go-to option. Delhi-based startup, WedHaven’s aim is to make weddings fun for everyone by digitizing the mundane tasks and simplifying the overall process for both the hosts and the guests.
How it all started!
Founders Rishika Agarwal and Navam Gupta ideated this app over the years. It all started when they witnessed chaos at their own wedding in 2014, wherein their closest friends missed the whole baraat because they were a few minutes late and could not “find it”. And unfortunately, there were 50 other weddings on the same day in the city!
At other friends’ and cousins’ weddings, there were instances where they got stranded at the airport for 1.5 hours due to some miscommunication on the driver’s end or had to wait at the hotel reception for 2 hours to check in, while the ceremonies had begun in the hall. Families were stressed out and guests were annoyed. They realized that this repetitive pattern of chaos in weddings must come to an end and that’s how WedHaven was born.
“You will still see family members with printed excel sheets checking off names, giving directions on the phone,” etc., and the list goes on. WedHaven was founded with the purpose of changing the way weddings have been managed in the past using technology to “Connect Hosts, Guests & Planners – on a single platform”, Rishika said.
Launched in March 2020, WedHaven is available no matter what.
The concept enables people to enjoy the wedding and forget any stress. It provides the users with a unique, on-the-go, always connected platform. The hosts can provide real-time updates to the guests and also have the means to efficiently manage the wedding from anywhere and anytime via the app.
Here is a list of features WedHaven offers:
- Guest management – You can import your phone contacts into the app and create a guest list instantly or share the list with WedHaven’s support and they will do it for you. Hosts can create groups of guests and invite them to specific functions. It also shows the host the total number of guests confirmed along with the guestlist for every occasion (mehendi, sangeet, reception, etc.)
- Picture Album – Hosts are able to share their pre-wedding shoots and family pictures with all their Guests and the Guests are able to upload high quality photos that they take for the hosts to view and download. Everything is private and you Guests are prompted via notifications to upload photos after the events are done.
- Event Scheduling – Think of this as an online invitation card, Hosts provide details about the events (Haldi, Sangeet, etc), the timing/date and location, which can then be viewed by the Guests for up-to-date information and getting directions. Any updates made by the Hosts are immediately notified to the Guests.
- Baraat Live Tracking – Hosts can enable Live Baraat Tracking and share the latest location of the Baraat with all the wedding guests (as well as the Bride).
- Personalized wall & real-time updates – Each wedding has a dedicated social space where the Hosts and Guests can mingle by posting messages, photos and videos, it can be used for just about anything from sharing updates to playing games.
- Co-hosts – Simply put, you are not alone in managing your wedding; you can add any number of people as your co-hosts and have them manage various aspects, right from the app!
- Security and moderation – All your data is secure and only accessible by people who you allow, there is also built in moderation for which all can join the wedding and see the details.
All these features are available on a mobile app (available on both iOS and Android) as well as a sleek website. They have a freemium model, where there’s a basic set of functionality available to use for free and an option to upgrade to unlock more advanced features.
Free set of functionality includes Creating & Attending multiple weddings, Inviting people to join via code/link, Add and share detailed wedding schedules, Announcements, Real time updates with notifications & reminders and Sharing of photos with guests.
The paid upgrade known as “WedHaven Gold” provides added functionality like live Baraat tracking, Guest list creation using phonebook, Co-hosts to share the load, customized Groups to help manage guests better for various functions, RSVP tracking for events and much more. This starts at Rs. 999 only for a 50 guest wedding. It also has a smart wedding website for Rs. 499 only.
The Lockdown troubles
The restrictions on the guest limit being up to 50, which mainly comprise the family members in our big Indian families, customers felt there wasn’t much need for a wedding management app. However, for the people who used it during the lockdown, they found it quite useful to be able to keep the guests updated as the situation was very volatile and were able to easily manage multiple groups of 50 people via the app’s guest management and groups feature.
Taking the Entrepreneurship Route
“We actually knew we wanted to start something of our own since our college days. We were always on the lookout for new ideas and potential businesses, along with that we took courses on marketing, sales, business management, etc. to get a more holistic understanding. After 5 years, we ran into issues surrounding the wedding industry and decided it’s time to try our hand at entrepreneurship,” Navam quotes.
Rishika adds, “Simply put entrepreneurship is not an easy ride, in fact it is more like a high speed roller coaster. There are days when you feel like nothing is working out and start to question if it’s even worth all this time and effort? But then, when you listen to one happy customer or read one good review, it really instills the faith back in you and pushes you to move forward with even more strength and determination. The greatest learning encompassing all these aspects is to just believe in yourself, your mission and never give up despite any failures or hurdles”.
So if you have a wedding in the family, do check out WedHaven!