It’s no surprise that bridal news would drop in June, the most popular month of the year for beach weddings, church weddings, big city weddings, televised reality show weddings — all weddings. Wedding planning, which used to be a big industry in this country, has now, thanks to the internet, become a $53.3 billion per year behemoth. Last year, brides and grooms spent $8.6 billion on wedding-related e-commerce and $700 million on wedding-related m-commerce. The sites in this sector that have seen the most growth are search-related ones — where users go to connect to vendors — which experienced a healthy 78 percent uptick in revenue in 2011.
One such star is Lover.ly, a wedding discovery engine that categorizes its curated content in a way that is as visually appealing as it is helpful. Whether by color, wedding theme, season, popular images, or any number of other filters, Lover.ly allows brides to search, experiment and fine-tune their ideal wedding “inspiration board.” Each of the images, which range from wedding party photos to ring-bearing dogs to dramatic portraits of the bride’s red-soled Louboutins, are clickable back to a source–generally a wedding blog or photography studio. From there, if a bride wants a certain item for her special day, she can chase it down and buy it from a third-party. Hopefully.
To minimize the bride’s legwork, earlier this week, Lover.ly announced a new partnership with Nordstrom, Kwiat, Twobirds bridesmaid and Minted, wherein all four vendors will make images of their dresses, jewelry, and stationary available to the site, and, more important, make them easily and immediately shoppable. The venture benefits everyone: Lover.ly gains credibility for aligning itself with such esteemed brands, not to mention boosts the size of its virtual album. For Nordstrom, Kwiat, Twobirds and Minted, these companies will be able to tap more readily into those e/m-commerce billions without much extra effort or investment. But perhaps the biggest winner here is the bride, who can now spend the hours she would have wasted hunting down that wedding invitation she saw on Lover.ly doing something more productive. Like, figuring out how to keep her French Bulldog awake at the reception.
(Image via Lover.ly)